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HURSTHOUSE INDEXCharles Flinders Hursthouse

Charles Hursthouse was born: 07 Jan 1817 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and died 22 Nov 1876 in Wellington He was buried at Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth. He adopted the name of Flinders as his father Charles Hursthouse was a distant relation and friend of Mathew Flinder's and an executor of his will.

John Hursthouse with his family, brother Charles jnr. and cousin Thomas Newsham came to New Zealand on the ship Thomas Sparks in 1843. Upon arrival at Wellington, Charles Hursthouse and Thomas Newsham set off overland to New Plymouth while John and family awaited a steamer to take them and luggage around the coast. This walk after being cooped up on the long sea voyage was to be duplicated by other relations - George Curtis husband of Thomas Newsham's sister Eliza documented this walk with cousin John Stephenson Smith (husband of Hannah Hursthouse) after arrival on the "Pekin" leaving Wellington on 29th of December 1849 and and shortly after this, brothers James and Henry Richmond landed in Auckland on 1 February 1851 on the "Victory" in October, and they decided to walk south to Taranaki.

New Plymouth was a planned settlement, initiated by the Plymouth Company in 1840 and later subsumed into the programme of managed colonisation promoted by the New Zealand Company. Underpinning that programme was a stream of propaganda designed to entice potential colonists. Charles Hursthouse describing the Taranaki province, wrote that ‘a man whose life in England has been a constant weary struggle to maintain his situation, but who sees with bitterness that his children must descend in the social scale, may soon create a fine estate, and live ten years longer to enjoy it. Pursuing the theme of social elevation, Hursthouse suggested that in Taranaki a tenant farmer would ‘soon rise up to be the independent proprietor’, while even a ‘halfstarved labourer may revel in rude plenty, build his own house on his own land, and soon raise himself to comfort and prosperity’.

New Zealander,  5 July 1848: Our settlers have hitherto been so busily engaged with their cultivations, and other employments, that few amongst those of them who are qualified, have had time to contribute to the newspapers in the other settlements, statements relative to the capabilities of Taranaki, or to prepare a work descriptive of their, beautiful district, whilst all have admitted the necessity there has long existed for such publicity through the press. We are now however delighted to know that Mr. Charles Hursthouse, a gentleman of considerable abilities, has completed a work, almost exclusively on the resources of the district, and containing a map of the settlement at New Plymouth. The MSS. has been submitted to several of the settlers most distinguished for talents, and they have pronounced it to merit the highest praise. Mr. Hursthouse intends to proceed to England immediately, and while there will publish his work. We hope it will have the effect of bringing our almost unknown self-supporting settlement into notice, so that our rich furniture woods, whale fisheries, minerals, immeasurable plains of the greatest fertility, the practicability of making a harbour, by building a short breakwater, (an abundance of material seemingly placed by nature on the spot for the purpose), may become more generally known in the mother country; and also, by truly delineating the present state of the roadstead, contradict the dangerous character which has been widely circulated respecting it, by mentioning the fact of one vessel only being lost out of the numbers which have visited the settlement, during its eight years existence.

Taranaki Herald, 11 October 1854: The fine ship Joseph Fletcher, of Messrs. Willis's line of packets, arrived here direct from England on Wednesday evening last, having 60 passengers, 25 of whom remain here, the rest being for Auckland. The Joseph Fletcher left Gravesend on the 19th June, and from stress of weather, was obliged to put into Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, where she remained two days. Just before passing the Needles saw the Himalaya, Royal Mail steamer, aground, and made the Land's End on 2nd July. Arrived off the Cape on the Ist Sept., and sighted New Zealand at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd making the passage in 93 days. Mr. Charles Hursthouse. well known as one of the earlier settlers of this district, returned from England by the Joseph Fletcher. This gentleman for years past has been in England the untiring advocate of New Zealand emigration, and by his writings and lectures has materially contributed to the colonization of this settlement. He was warmly welcomed by all his old friends. We understand that Mr. Hursthouse's visit is only a temporary one, and that he is about to make the tour of the settlements with the view of bettering his information of the present position and prospects of the different districts of New Zealand previous to his return to England to resume his labours.

Evening Post,  23 November 1876: DEATH OF MR. C.F.HURSTHOUSE.
One of the ablest, pleasantest, and most prolific writers on New Zealand, and one of the most energetic and successful emigration agents this colony yet has possessed Mr. Charles F. Hursthouse— died last evening. It is sad to have to state that his career fouud its termination in the Mount View Lunatic Asylum, whither he was removed some months ago, his mind having completely given way owing to some insidious disease of the brain. Latterly his disease took the form of violent couvulsions, of which last Sunday week he had no fewer than nine in the course of half-an-hour. During nearly the whole of the last two days he was in a state of almost total unconsciousness, and he expired at (1 pm. yasterday. The late Mr. Hursthouse was an early settler" in Taranaki, and wrote a number of highly attractive pamphlets on that province, which he delighted to dub ''The Garden of New Zealand." His best and most widely known work, however, was "New Zealand the Britain of the South," which has attained a degree of popularity never approached by any similar work. Written throughout in a pleasant, and interesting, and eminently readable strain, conveying information generally accurate, if perhaps a little too much couleur de rose, that book was devoured with eagerness by intending emigrants, and led many who, although dissatisfied with their position in England, yet never would have dreamed of such a formidable step as emigrating, to look on it merely as a picnic excursion on a large scale, ultimately resultng in their comfortable establishment in more comfortable circumstances than of yore. Nor was his influence in this direction exerted solely through his pen. When visiting England in the year 1856 and 1857, he was accustomed to receive intending colonists, at stated days and hours in a room set apart for him by his London publishers, Messrs. Stanford, where he furnished information and advice to them, charging a fee of one guinea. Of late years he has written but little, with the exception of occasional communications to the local newspapers, and in these the symptoms of his malady first manifested themselves in an inveterate tendency to insert a comma after every third word in his letters. His eccentricities rapidly developed into pronounced mental derangement, and the cerebral disease made steady progress until it resulted in his death, last evening. Mr. Hursthouse was greatly liked and esteemed by all who knew him, and his melancholy end will be widely lamented.

Taranaki Herald Obituary: