Charles Hadfield to the Duke of Newcastle, 12 March 1861, C137/100

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Hadfield, Charles









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C137-100


Rl Marines
12th March 1861

My Lord Duke,

The official papers relating to the Taranaki War being about to be laid before Parliament, among which documents, probably, will appear charges made by the governor of N. Zealand and by certain other officials in that colony affecting my brother Archdeacon Hadfield, and surreptitiously submitted by His Excellency to the imperial government. I am therefore, naturally …, with the Archdeacon’s family and friends generally, that those erroneous statements should not go forth to the public without, at least, his explanatory letters, called forth when, casually, his excellency’s reticence in the colony in connection with those charges was discovered. I therefore, most respectfully request, in justice to the Archdeacon, that his letters in vindication of himself may also be submitted to parliament should the charges in question be produced.

Not only, I submit, has Archdn Hadfield this claim to the consideration of your Grace as a gentleman and as a missionary, but I think too, your Grace will admit that he has a claim in a public point of view, his having rendered important services to previous governors and governments, such services, perhaps, as under all circumstances should not have been so effectively secured elsewhere, however they may have recently escaped the recollection of some of the colonists who have sought to traduce him on account of the course he has felt it his solemn duty to adopt with reference to the native cause. A course which may hereafter be found to have been the wisest and the best he could have taken for the restriction of the war, and the welfare of the colony generally.

As I do not seem to have Archdeacon Hadfield’s letter to your Grace of the 29th May last submitted to parliament, however the predictions contained in it, your Grace will have observed, have already been remarkably realized, as well as his statements confirmed in pamphlets since written and published by Sir William Martin and Mr Fox. But I allude to his letters contradiction and refuting the charges made against him, of having instigated the natives of Otaki to petition for the recall of the governor, of his residence – Otaki – being the headquarters of an anti-land-selling league, and of his having maliciously concealed or withheld certain letters of William King from the governor, allegations, I need scarcely remind your Grace, already very widely circulated and made use of in this country by an interested and not very scrupulous party for objects too obvious.

I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace’s most obedt Servt
Charles Hadfield Lt Colonel

His Grace
The Duke of Newcastle