Collection MS 62 - A History of Henderson and Macfarlane Ltd

Identity area

Reference code

AU PMB MS 62

Title

A History of Henderson and Macfarlane Ltd

Date(s)

  • 1840 - 1902 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

1 reel; 35mm microfilm

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Scope and content

Henderson and Macfarlane Ltd., one of New Zealand's best-known firms, was founded in Wellington (then called Port Nicholson) in 1840 by two Scottish immigrants, Thomas Henderson and John Macfarlane. The company exported timber, mainly kauri, and established its own shipping line. In the 1870's, the company became interested in the Pacific Islands trade and established a number of trading stations and coconut plantations. These were sold to Burns Philp, Lever Bros., and the Pacific Islands Company in the first years of the 20th century.

The unpublished history consists of 33 typewritten foolscap pages. It describes the establishment of the company, its Circular Saw Shipping Line and Pacific Island trade interests and mentions some well-known Pacific personalities such as Handley Bathurst Sterndale and 'Bully' Hayes; the 'siege' of the Suwarrow fort built by Sterndale and which he refused to leave after a difference of opinion with the company; Henry Mair's attempts to persuade Sterndale to leave and their subsequent 'smoking out' by Captain Fernandez of the schooner Kreimhilda who was sent to bring Sterndale back. Also mentioned is the 1890 Pacific cruise of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife on the company iron-screw cargo boat Janet Nichol described in Mrs Stevenson's book published in 1915. The history takes the story of Henderson and Macfarlane down to the year 1902, by which time J.L. Young had entered the firm as a partner and the day of free and unrestricted trading in the Islands was ending.
See also the Bureau's newsletter Pambu Oct. 1969:15 pp. 6-10.

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Available for reference

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Existence and location of originals

Mr A.E. Playle c/- Henderson & Macfarlane Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand

Existence and location of copies

Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/accessing.php

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ms62

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