The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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John TORLESSE [1627]
Anna Maria ROBINSON [1628]
Edward WAKEFIELD [1637]
Susannah CRUSH [1638]
(Between 1767/1775-1816)
Rev Charles Martin TORLESSE [1633]
Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD [1636]

Charles Obins TORLESSE J P [1670]


Family Links

1. Alicia TOWNSEND [1682]

Charles Obins TORLESSE J P [1670]

  • Born: 2 May 1825, Stoke By Nayland SFK
  • Baptised: 3 Jun 1825, Stoke By Nayland SFK
  • Marriage (1): Alicia TOWNSEND [1682] on 27 Dec 1851 in Christchurch NZ
  • Died: 14 Nov 1866, Witham Lunatic Asylum ESS aged 41
  • Buried: 20 Nov 1866, Stoke By Nayland SFK

bullet   Cause of his death was exhaustion from mania.


bullet  General Notes:

It is probable that Charles Obins Torlesse owes his second name to his fathers friendship with Archibald Eyre Obins [32701].

Charles trained as an Engineer/ Surveyor. On the 27 April 1841 he sailed for Nelson, New Zealand, as surveyor for the new settlement, with the ships Whitby, Will Watch and Arrow. Details pg 140 Byegone Days. Returned to England in 1843 after the Wairau massacre.
He worked for his Uncle Edward Gibbon Wakefield 1845-48 planning a new settlement at Christchurch, sailed for NZ 1848. While surveying the new settlement he made expeditions into the Southern Alps, climbing Mt Torlesse (1 Jan 1849) with a Maori companion and explored much of Mid and Sth Canterbury.

His sister Frances recalls in 1926: My brother, when aged 16, went to Nelson with Captain Arthur Wakefield. Returning later to England, he qualified as a surveyor, and, on account of knowledge of the Maori, was chosen to accompany Captain Thomas to Canterbury to prepare for the first settlers there. My brother, when in Canterbury, always wished to explore the hills beyond Lyttelton Harbour, and later he obtained permission from Captain Thomas, so in company with a Native, a donkey, and a dog, they proceeded, only to find hill after hill, but still went on. At last their food ran out and they had to decide whether they had best kill the dog or the donkey. He tossed up, and it came to the dog, but the animal saved its life by killing a weka. This gully is known as "Hungry Man's Gully.

Charles took up land at Rangiora (building a church and school) and at Fernside Oxford Bush. Returning to England he brought his new wife out to settle on 1 Oct 1852. He visited England again in 1861-2, then settled in Christchurch, building a house in Rolleston Tce, later the Anglican Diocese Theological College, and the first stone building in the town.

Canterbury Association, Canterbury Office Inwards & Outwards Correspondence 1840/1850 - many references to Charles activities in Canterbury.
Ref: Archway NZ.

October 1st, 1841,
Barque "Whitby".
My dearest Mother,
After a voyage of 144 days and a week's knocking about in the Straits we arrived safely in "Port Nicholson" Harbour on the 18th of September and found there, the "Wise Watch" and the "Arrow", the former had made a passage of 133 days and the latter of 93 days.It was a miserable, wet, foggy morning, but it cleared up a little in the course of the day.
Uncle William and Edward came on board as soon as the Health Boat had returned.They both were very well.The Harbour is a very splendid one, completely land locked on all sides
It is very hilly all round. I went to the native churches on Sunday; their books are in the New Zealand language but in English Characters. They sang their hymns to the tune of the "Hundredth Psalm,".They all squatted down on the ground, they seem a short set of people but some are very tall, they all seem remarkably strong, their only covering is a blanket or mat.But some two or three are dressed in the best English fashion. They are very fond of getting an English cap or coat. They now know the value of money as well as I do, they won't be cheated.
There is a wild 'Pigeon' found in the woods, which the natives shoot and bring down to Wellington for sale, they are half as large again as the English Pigeon, and sell for a shilling each. Baskets of Potatoe holding from 6 to 8 lbs. sell also for a shilling. They bring pigs up to the butcher, but this is the wrong season for fruit. We got our weekly pay on Monday and again on the following Sunday on which day I went to church twice at the native church. The English service was performed and also at the court house, they were all the Presbyterian church.I never expected to see so fine a town as this is, or such a beautiful country, the highest hills are covered with most beautiful trees and luxuriant shrubs, finer than any that I have seen in the English greenhouses.
Uncle has a nice large house. The Houses are made of wood, the poorer ones are made of common log frame work and filled up with mud or bows of trees and thatched with reeds. There are plenty of public houses. The people appear universally contented with the place. Governor Hobson came here the other day in his brig, he will not permit us to go to the Middle or Southern island, but wants us to go to Auckland, he has given Port Cooper or Akaroa on Banks Peninsula, the place which was first proposed, to the French, and we are thinking of going to Blind Bay, we weigh anchor tomorrow, wind. and weather permitting, This is a miserable scrap of a letter but you must not expect a better one just now as I have been fully occupied during our stay here. My journal I will not send yet, and probably not till the August Expedition arrives. My principal occupations have been shooting and going with gangs of our men to cut wood firing and to make pickets. I went up to Petone, on the River Hutt, to see Burcham and his wife, they are getting on very capitally, he has my uncle's former house, 200 sheep, a cow, a calf, a very large stock of poultry, and capital out-houses for their poultry. He also has a large bake house and employs a man to bake for him, he is making money rapidly. They bought 9 hens and a cock at the cape, and have had from them between 30 & 400, they sell for 30s. a pair now. He has 11 hens setting, besides five with broods, he also has plenty of pigs.We slept there two nights, we went up the Hutt to see Redeford's and Molesworth's clearings, their wheat was beautiful. I dined and slept at my Uncle's house on Monday night. We have all been quite well during the voyage and had an exceedingly pleasant voyage. We have had splendid weather, only one blowing, uncomfortable day since we have been here. We were reported to be wrecked, and if we had not come in the day we did, they would have sent the "Arrow" out to look for us. My dearest Mother, do not be angry with me for this scrap as I will endeavour to make it up afterwards.
Give my very kind love to my dear father and all my dear sisters and Harry.
I pray that God may bless you and preserve you from all harm.
Your ever affectionate son,
C. O. Torlesse.
Ref: Rangiora Museum.

Charles signed a citizens petition to The House of Commons, in 1844, seeking redress for the report and inaction by Govenor Robert Fitzroy over the matter of the Wairau massacre, (see Notes Arthur Wakefield [1664]).

Lyttelton, Oct. 2.- Alfred Lake sued C. O. Torlesse for L1.3s.6d. for stabling and keep of a horse. Plaintiff swore that he had applied for payment three months before, when Mr. Torlesse told him that he had no money with him and made no objection to the charge, that on his applying subsequently, Mr. Torlesse refused payment on the grounds of an overcharge. The defendant pleaded that the demand was extensive, judgment for debt and costs.
Lyttelton Times, Volume I, Issue 44, 8 November 1851, Page 6

ARRIVED. June 26, schooner Wellington, 54 tons, Ferguson, from Wellington. Passengers, Messrs. Wortley and Torlesse.
Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 130, 2 July 1853, Page 6
Placement against Charles is completely conjectural. Papers Past record a great number of trips by ship by the Torlesse family.

ORDERS taken for Sawn Timber and Shingles at the pit, Rangiora. Wood, or delivered at Kaiapoi. Apply to C. O. Torlesse.
Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 195, 13 September 1854, Page 2

Christchurch, Tuesday, March 24 [Before W. G. Brittan, J. Hall, C. Bowen, R. H. Rhodes, and W. B. Bray, Esqrs.] TORLESSE V. FRAZER. This was an action brought under the Scab Ordinance of this province, for driving sheep across a run without giving due notice to the occupier The case had been adjourned from the previous Saturday. Mr. Frazer had driven about 1000 sheep from the province of Nelson, and was taking them, we believe, to Otago., He crossed the northern boundary of this province under certificate from the inspector. On Monday, March 16th, he gave verbal notice to Mrs. Torlesse, at Rangiora, of his intention to cross the plaintiff's run the next day, but did not, as the law requires, leave a written notice at the chief station on the run. The same day, he drove forward his sheep on to the run, and they were seen at daylight the next morning by Mr. Torlesse, within his boundary, but just on the point of crossing it. On this the information was laid.
Mr Gresson appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Moorhouse for the defendant. The above facts were proved. The defence set up was, that, as the plaintiff could only swear to 900 sheep being on his run, whereas 1000 were stated in the information, the information as laid was not proved, and the casefell to the ground. This point was overruled by the Court, and a fine was inflicted of 6d. per head for 900 sheep, with costs. The fine goes to the Treasury. The Court highly commended Mr. Torlesse for the public spirit which he had shown in bringing the matter into Court, and allowed him his legal expenses.
Lyttelton Times, Volume VII, Issue 459, 28 March 1857, Page 7

Mr C. 0. TORLESSE having instructed the undersigned to settle any accounts against him, prior to his departure for England, they hereby give notice that claims against Mr. Torlesse should be sent in to them before the end of this month
Lyttelton and Christchurch.
Dec 21 1860.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XIV, Issue 848, 26 December 1860, Page 2

It is a pleasing task to chronicle from time to time any marks of progress exhibited by the rising districts of this province. . . . . . During the past year . . . . . the Church District School has been re-established on a better footing, under the superintendence of Mr. Charles Merton. The last mentioned institution has prospered to such a degree as to require a large addition to be made to the school room. A munificient donation from Mr. C. 0. Torlesse has enabled this addition to be made, in the shape of a room 36 ft. by 18 ft. . . . .
Lyttelton Times, Volume XV, Issue 852, 9 January 1861, Page 4

Charles took up business with Henry Matson as a Wool and Land Agent, and performed much Public Service. Becoming seriously ill in 1865, he returned to England an invalid, where he died.

MESSRS MATSON and TORLESSE beg to announce that they have established a business in this City as LAND AND ESTATE AGENTS, AUCTIONEERS, &c.
Their business will include:
1. The investment of moneys transmitted through a mercantile firm or any of the colonial banks, in land, sheep, and cattle stations, as may be required.
2. The holding of periodical Auction Sales at which sheep and cattle stations and landed estates will be submitted to public auction.
3. The Purchase of Estates, selections of Town Sections in proposed townships, and of the waste lands of the province, for intending purchasers.
4. The Management of Estates.
5. The Sale of Wool by auction.
6. The Valuation of Property, and Arbitration in cases of dispute. 7. The business of acting as Agents for the Importation of Sheep and Cattle from the Australasian Colonies.
Messrs Matson and Torlesse have confidence in undertaking the above business, from their long colonial experience, Mr Matson having been a stockowner in the province cf Victoria for about twenty five years, and Mr Torlesse having been surveyor and stockowner in New Zealand since 1841.
Agents for the Australasian Insurance Company, Melbourne.
Colombo-street, Christchurch
Otago Daily Times , Issue 290, 25 November 1862, Page 8
After Charles left Christchurch in 1865 this business was merged into the firm of H. Matson and Co., Cashel street, Christchurch,

On Saturday evening, a serious conflagration which for some time threatened danger to the greater part of the business portion of the town, broke out in Colombo Street, on the western side between Cashel Street and Cathedral Square, Commencing from the corner of Hereford street, the block of houses in question was occupied by Messrs Axup & Co, drapers, Brook, chemist, Ayers, haircutting and bathing establishment, Messrs Matson & Torlesse, commission agents, . . . . . Messrs Matson and Torlesse's offices were closed about 4 p.m., on Saturday, under circumstances peculiarly calculated to ensure safety. Some little time previous to eight o'clock, a light was observed in the upper portion of the building occupied by those gentlemen and Mr Urquhart, but as it presented no unusual appearance, no notice was taken of it. Shortly afterwards Inspector Pender observed smoke issuing from the chimney of Messrs Matson & Torlesse's offices, but it did not strike him as anything remarkable. . . . . . The origin of the fire is as usual undetermined. That it broke out in the rear of the buildings used by Mr Urquhart, jeweller, and Messrs Matson and Torlesse, is beyond question. And it was in tbe latter premises tbat smoke and flame were first seen. . . . . Messrs. Matson and Torlesse, commission agents, offices. Insured in tbe Australasian Insurance Company for L500. . . . .
Wellington Independent, Volume XIX, Issue 2072, 9 June 1864, Page 4

New Zealand State Literary Fund - "Letters and Journals of Charles Torlesse" no date
Agency: IA. Series: 1. Box/item. 2125 Record. 86/1/46.
Dept. Internal Affairs - Record group.

The Life of Charles Torlesse, 1825-1866
Early Life: Charles Obins Torlesse was born in 1825, in Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, England, the second child and eldest son of Reverend C.M. Torlesse. His father was Rector of the parish, and his mother Catherine was the sister of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. The theory and practice of colonisation was a frequently debated topic in the Stoke vicarage. As a sixteen-year-old in 1841, he began a three-year surveying cadetship with his uncle Arthur Wakefield at Nelson, working for the New Zealand Company. He returned to England in 1843 after the death of Arthur Wakefield in the Wairau Massacre. The Rev. Torlesse had become a member of the management committee of the Canterbury Association, and with that background, Charles and Thomas Cass sailed for New Zealand in 1848 on the 'Bernica', to survey the site of the Canterbury settlement with Captain Joseph Thomas, Agent for the Canterbury Association.

Surveying: The ship carrying Torlesse and company arrived in Port Cooper (Lyttelton) in December 1848. On December 19, Torlesse, Captain Thomas and Cass left the Deans farm in Riccarton to explore north beyond the Waimakariri River accompanied by William Fox and guided by William Heaphy, Thomas White and two Maori guides, Te Aika and Te Eou. While on this expedition, on New Year's Day 1849, Torlesse climbed a peak in the mountain range Thomas would later name after him. In early January, the men set out again for another exploratory journey before the real surveying began. Captain Thomas received approval to proceed with the Canterbury settlement in July 1849 and gave the northern survey of the Mandeville District to Torlesse to carry out. A base was set up at Kaiapoi with the building of a survey house, and a makeshift wharf and bridge, the house providing accommodation and office space. By October, survey stations had been set up throughout the area, and then in December the base shifted to Rangiora where the land was drier. In December 1850, J. R. Godley, the Canterbury Association's agent, arrived and wished to tour the area that had been mapped. Torlesse accompanied the group as a guide along with his friend John C. Boys, a fellow surveyor. This journey was significant as it marked the first time the name 'Rangiora' was used on a regular basis, taking over from the earlier variation 'Rakihora'. Following this, Torlesse took on the job of laying out the road from Christchurch to Harewood Forest (Oxford), and Harewood Forest to Kaiapoi.
Settlement: In 1851, Torlesse's father purchased two land orders of 100 acres each, which entitled his son to a town section and the right to rent 1000 acres of pasturage. Torlesse registered his claim for two rural sections of pasturage near Rangiora Bush, and he went into partnership with J.C. Boys and Thomas Cass in the purchase of some cattle. Charles married Alicia Townsend in Christchurch on 27 December 1851, and they lived in the first house built in Rangiora, situated on the edge of the bush by the Northbrook Stream. As well as his Rangiora farm he held the first lease for the Fernside Run, dated 25 August 1851. In its early years, it was stocked with ewes, sheep, steers and horses, most of which he grazed for other owners. Torlesse also purchased about three hundred acres of good wasteland south-east of the bush and between the fork of the Northbrook and Southbrook streams. It was heavy peat swamp and he converted it into productive farmland with the help of newly-arrived migrants. This land was first named Ohipu, then Rivermarsh, and was ready for farming in 1861. Once settled with his wife, he became quite involved in community matters in the area. In May 1854, the Government declared Charles a Justice of the Peace in the region, and in July 1855, he was made a Resident Magistrate. He was also involved in the planning for the St John Baptist Anglican Church and was the chairman of the newly formed cricket club. In 1857, his son Arthur was born, followed by three daughters. Between 1856 and 1859, he gave over the management of Fernside to his brother Henry while he looked for new sheep country. In 1856 he took up the lease of Birch Hill, and Snowdale in 1858. In 1859 Torlesse disposed of these three runs. In January 1861 after a public farewell in Rangiora, he sailed for England with Alicia and their children to visit family. They returned to New Zealand in 1862. Charles gave up farming, and having sold his stations, entered into partnership with Henry Matson as a stock agent and sheep inspector. Torlesse and his family moved to Rolleston Avenue where he busied himself within the community. In 1864, he became seriously ill. He recovered enough to return to England with his wife and children, but remained in indifferent health and died on 14th November 1866. He was buried in the churchyard of his old home, Stoke-by-Nayland. Charles Torlesse was an earnest Christian, and scrupulously straight in all his dealings. In his journals he has left us what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive record of the Canterbury Settlement during its first two years. [Peter Bromley Maling, editor of
The Torlesse Papers' in his introduction].
Sources Used Acland, L.G.D. The Early Canterbury Runs Hawkins, D. N. Beyond the Waimakariri Hawkins, D.N. Rangiora Torlesse, C. O. The Torlesse Papers : the journals and letters of Charles Obins Torlesse concerning the foundation of the Canterbury settlement in New Zealand, , 1848-1851/ edited by Peter Bromley Maling.

FERNSIDE STATION, after which the Fernside district is named, lay between the Ashley and Cust rivers and extended from the eastern boundary of Ashley Gorge run to within two or three miles of Rangiora. The first lease, by Charles Obins Torlesse, was dated 28 August 1851 but he was on the country many months before. Torlesse had been born in 1825 at Stoke, where his father was a parson. He first came to New Zealand in 1841 as a surveyor for the New Zealand Company, he was a nephew of the Wakefields. He returned to England in 1843 but was back again in 1848 with Captain Joseph Thomas, to survey the site for the Canterbury settlement when it was chosen. Torlesse explored Canterbury north and south and was the first white man to climb Mount Torlesse, which is named after him. Besides Fernside, Torlesse owned Birch Hill and a farm at Rangiora, where he lived. He stocked Fernside in the first year with 1400 ewes, 500 dry sheep, twenty steers and three horses, most of which he grazed for other owners under the 'thirds' system. By 1857 he had 9000 sheep there. From 1856 to 1859 Henry Torlesse (1833-70), his brother and afterwards a parson in Canterbury, had a share in Fernside and probably managed it most of the time while Charles searched for new sheep country and established Birch Hill. William Reeves worked at Fernside for a time in the 1850's and had sheep pastured there.
Torlesse sold Fernside and Birch Hill to Theophilus Samuel Mannering and Andrew Hunter Cunningham in 1859 and returned to England. However, he was back again in Christchurch in 1862 and, for a year or two until his health failed, ran a stock and station agency in partnership with Henry Matson. He died in England in 1866. . . . . . Fernside contained good country and lay near the settlement at Rangiora, so the land was bought up quickly in the 1860's. The station was originally of 20,000 acres; in 1864 it had been reduced to 10,000 acres and in 1866 to 5160 In 1869 it was advertised for sale as being of 3610 acres leasehold and 766 acres freehold, with 4500 sheep and lambs.
BIRCH HILL: The first licence was granted to J. T. Brown or Roderick McKay on 5 January 1853. There is no record of Brown's stocking the run but he held it until 1856, when he sold the lease for L728 12s 6p to Charles Obins Torlesse, who was searching for new pastoral country. Certainly the station wool brand is still C.O.T. In 1859 Torlesse transferred Birch Hill to Mannering and Cunningham along with Fernside and Snowdale.
Ref: The Early Canterbury Runs by L.G.D. Ackland

By last mail from England we are informed of the death of one of the earliest colonists, of New Zealand. Mr.Charles O. Torlesse left England in 1842 with the Nelson pioneers, under Captain Arthur Wakefield He was employed in a cadet in the survey department, and just escaped being among the nnmber of those who fell at the Wairau massacre. Mr. Torlesse returned to England after about five years residence in the colony, and was employed as amanuensis to the late Mr. E. G. Wakefield. In 1848 he again left England, in company, with Captain Thomas, and was associated with Mr.Cass in the preliminary surveys and explorations of the province. A plucky explorer, Mr. Torlesse, in 1849, made his way south by the coast as far as the Waitaki, returning along the foot of the ranges. On this expedition he was absent eleven weeks, and was put to considerable straits at times for food. The result of his exploration was a very useful sketch map, from which the first lithographed maps of the Canterbury settlement were made. In the latter part of 1849 and early part of 1850 he was employed with Mr. Boys on the trigonometrical survey north of the Waimakariri, leaving the service an 1851. Mr. Torlesse was the second who applied for a run in the province. As a sheep farmer Mr. Torlesse acquired a moderate competence. Retaining his love of exploration, he undertook, in 1858, a reconnoissance survey of the country about the head waters of the Waimakariri and Ashley, being the first to ascend Mount Torlesse, which was named after him. Mr Torlesse paid a second vist to England in 1860, returning to the province in 1863, when he became a merchant and commission agent in Chnstchurch. Mr. Torlesse always took a lively interest in all matters relating, to the welfare of the colony and this province. In church matters he took, an especial interest, and always occupied a prominant position. Mr. Torlesse finally left the colony in the Mermaid, on April 29,1865. Lyttelton Times.
Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIII, Issue 2982, 14 February 1867, Page 3

NZ Card Index
Auckland Library
Sketch of Rangiora. Charles Torlesse's House. 11th Nov. 1855 by W.J.W. Hamiltonp128-9 TP NZ 920 T05

The Assessment Court continued its sittings at Rangiora yesterday before Mr H. W. Bishop, S.M. The following business was done . . . . . C. 0. Torlesse's estate (Mr Scott), 298a, L5960 valuation upheld.
Star , Issue 6142, 31 March 1898, Page 4

Death year1866
Burial year1866
Burial day20
Burial month11
Church descriptionST MARY
Church denominationANGLICAN
Record setNational Burial Index for England & Wales

He died 14 November 1866 the night of a famous shower of meteors over Britain.

Torlesse. 14th inst., aged 41, Charles Obins Torlesse, eldest son of the Rev C. M. Torlesse, vicar of Stoke by Nayland.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 24 November 1866.

Charles died at the Witham Lunatic Asylum in Essex, his will was Proved in NZ 28 Aug 1867.
His estate was left to his wife in trust then his children, Will on this file.

bullet  Research Notes:

My introduction to the Canterbury (NZ) Alps was a climb on Mount Torlesse with the Founder of the Canterbury Mountaineering Club, Gerald Carrington. Perhaps because of his tragic death in the Waimakiriri River, every detail of that climb remains in my memory. I can remember the place where we boiled the billy by the banks of a creek and it was here that Carrington, an expert on Canterbury place-names, told me, that the mountain was named after Charles Torlesse who made the first ascent.
Until this, I had not heard of Charles Torlesse, and from then on I took an interest in his history, but when I began making inquiries about him, I found it difficult to gather up any information about this pioneer explorer.
Major P. H. Johnson, of Raincliff, was the owner of Mount Torlesse station, and he knew something of him, and Mr C. E. Torlesse, a bank manager who lived in Timaru for many years, was also able to help me. He told me about a book called "Bygone Days," written by his aunt, Frances Torlesse. "Bygone Days" gives an interesting account of early Canterbury and I can remember Miss Torlesse telling how she used to receive acorns which had been gathered at the village of her birthplace, Stoke-by-Nayland, by the schoolchildren. Wherever she went, Miss Torlesse planted these acorns and so many of our Canterbury oak trees had their beginnings at Stoke-by-Nayland.
Mount Torlesse
Miss Torlesse also tells of the climbing of Mount Torlesse. She wrote: "I have often heard the story of Charles' ascent of Otarama (Mount Torlesse). When the surveying party mounted the hills above Lyttelton and looked across the plains to the long range of the Alps, he said to Captain Thomas: "I should like to go and see what is on the other side of those mountains." Captain Thomas gave him leave to make the expedition, and finding a Maori boy from Kowai Bush Pa to act as guide, with a donkey to carry pro-visions and instruments, and a dog for company, he started up the mountainside. When he reached the saddle, it was only to see that the mountains stretched one beyond the other, and that there was no other side to be seen. He travelled, however, for some days, until all their provisions were spent, and reached a point still known as Starvation Gully. He then felt he must return, and tossed as to whether the donkey or the dog should he killed for food. The toss determined that the dog was to be the victim, but at that moment it caught a weka, and so saved its own life and its companions.
On their way down the mountain side they were met by a party of Maoris from the pa who had come out to rescue them." In his diary of January 1, 1849, Charles Torlesse wrote:
"S.W. Very Fine. The Big Fellow and I started at 6 a.m. from Cold-stream Pass and ascended the Otarama mountain. Arrived at summit at 4 p.m. not having rested or fed since starting. Warm on east side, bitterly cold on west, there being a strong wind from the snowy mountains. Drank deliciously cold snow water. Sketched plain and hills to the southward. Saw the Waipera and Rakahouri through a pass between low hills which skirt the north plain and the mountains. Descended by a shorter route and arrived at John Hay's house at Matariki at 9 a.m."
Papers Preserved
The diary and papers of Charles Torlesse were taken to Stoke-by-Nayland when Miss Frances Torlesse returned to live there and they later became the property of Rear-Admiral Arthur D. Torlesse, a grandson of Charles. "It was one evening in July, 1955 at the home of Mr K. A. Webster, a New Zealander now living in London, that I had the good fortune to see the journals and letters of Charles Torlesse for the first time," wrote Dr Peter B. Maling. Dr Maling was so enthusiastic about these papers that he edited them and has now published them in book form as "The Torlesse Papers." These papers, which make most interesting reading, are written in terse and vivid style similar to the writings of Lady Barker, Charlotte Godley, and Samuel Butler. They also fill an important gap in the history of Canterbury, in that they deal with the period before the arrival of the First Four Ships.
Just as many people think that the history of England begins with William the Conqueror, so some Canterbury folk consider that the history of this province starts with the arrival of the First Four Ships. The Torlesse papers prove that part of Canterbury history was made before that event.
South Canterbury
Charles Torlesse was also in South Canterbury long before the arrival of the Strathallan. the hundredth anniversary of which is taken as the starting date for the South Canterbury Centennial. Charles Torlesse made a trip to South Canterbury in 1849, and his diary entry of March 7 records: "Crossed the Rangitata a wide and tolerably rapid stream, somewhat similar to the Rakaia, but between higher banks at the beach. Jim bogged the horse in a creek near it, then walked on beach or sandy dunes to the pa at Horowhenua. Fine rich land, clay subsoil, flax, grass and tutu for strong growth"
Mar 9 NE Very fine. Up at 5.30am and got breakfast and commenced salting the pig. Salt obtained from Mrs Tarawata. I and Johnny, with Charlie started at noon after salting the pig and went to Tarawata's house. South bank of Opihi, where we stowed away some pork and biscuit and procured some potatoes.
Excellent wheat and potatoes grown upon the open plain here. "The party continued their journey southward, and caught 16 paradise ducks in the Pareora River lagoon. They "saw some old fishing stations on the beach and the bay where vessels have anchored when fetching oil off, also where Whalers have anchored." Three days later they came to the Waihao where they received hospitality from Huruhuru, the noted South Canterbury chief, who welcomed most of the early visitors to these parts and who was well spoken of by all of them. Almost all the downland stretching from Geraldine to the Waihao was named by Torlesse the "Agilonby Downs" in honour of a Director of the New Zealand Company.
He was "delighted with the Agilonby Downs upon which there is an excellent growth of grass and abundance of bush in patches for sheep and cattle stations." Torlesse walked up the Waihao River bank for 15 miles in search of a coal seam about which Huruhuru had told him. He then "came to that part where the river runs between precipitous cliffs and over a rocky bottom\emdash deep water\emdash and seeing no coal in the riverbed, we returned and arrived at camp at 9 p.m. Very much disgusted, but reconciled to the not having found the coal by finding that it must be in an inaccessible place, if it exists at all, as at 10 miles from the beach, the hills close in to the river and no road could be formed to lead to it.
When we returned to the Old man's (Huruhuru) camp, he told us that we had been within a mile or so of it, and described it at being similar to the specimen I picked up in the river-bed." Huruhuru was speaking truly when he said this. From the description, my guess is that Torlesse came to the Waihao Gorge, just about where the bridge crosses the river. The coal mine that Huruhuru spoke of was worked for many years, and at one time it was proposed to use this coal for the development of electricity to supply Waimate, similar to the Mercer coal scheme in the North Island.
Tengawai Valley
In fact I found it a most pleasant pastime trying to pin-point the place about which Torlesse writes. He later went up the Tengawai Valley in his search for coal in company with an aged Maori. From the Te Waiatiruati pa, near Milford, he and his guide "walked up the river bed for six miles, when my old guide (Getewarri) said that we must camp, so we did so at a small bush west of Horowhenua bush. Supped on quail Johnny's dog, Fiddle, caught."
Next morning at 8 they continued the journey up the river-bed, until 1 p.m. when they came to "the hut of old E. Turiu, where we pulled up and were glad to feast on fern root and wild cabbage, fresh and preserved. In the evening E. Turu's wife arrived with potatoes from their garden, and ducks of which I made a considerable feed."
At 10 o'clock next morning they were again on the trail and camped at 4 p.m. On the next day, it rained, but cleared up the following day when "I and Getewarri started up the river-bed where he said the coal used to be. I proceeded a few miles further up the river and climbed a hill to obtain a view. Fine stretch of downs to the foot of the Snowy Mountains. On my return very much disgusted at seeing no coal; and just as I struck up 'What's the use of sighing, when time is on the wing' spied a vein of coal cropping out of the river bank." My guess is that Torlesse climbed a hill at the back of Albury. What is your guess?
Vale of Journals
Has more to say about his South Canterbury exploration, but I shall leave that for you to read for yourself. The reading is made easier by the pains that the author has taken in amplifying the text with notes. but I found myself reading these footnotes and then losing my place in the context. May I humbly suggest that it would have been easier for the reader if these notes were placed, in brackets, immediately after the particular diary entry. This would have saved him the bother of having to jump from context to footnote then back again. Few people can resist the temptation of reading a footnote and then thinking that it was not worth the trouble. I am sure Dr Maling will forgive me for this slight criticism, for I feel he must be congratulated for his time, effort, and generosity in making these records available to the public. Both for reference and for reading purposes, I shall always treasure my copy and may I congratulate the publisher, an ex-Timaruvian, on his excellent workmanship.
In his preface, Dr Maling writes: "The value of these journals and letters lies in the fact that they are primary source material for a period of Canterbury Settlement, which has been greatly neglected, that is, the two years preceding the arrival of the so-called 'First Four Ships'."
Jessie Mackay had similar thoughts when she wrote:
"Be Laurel to the victor,
And Roses to the fair,
And asphodel Elysian,
Let the hero wear;
But lay the maiden lilies
Upon their narrow biers
The lone grey company,
Before the pioneers."
From "The Torlesse Papers"
Edited by W (Bill) Vance. Historian Timaru NZ (1899 - 1981)

Images Courtesy of Rangiora Museum and Early Records Society 2012.

Ref: Torlesse Papers, Beyond the Waimakariri D N Hawkins, Rangiora D N Hawkins, Early Canterbury Runs, by D.N. Hawkins.


bullet  Other Records

1. Charles Obins Torlesse, !850's, Rangiora Canterbury NZ. Charles took up land in and inland of Rangiora Nth of Christchurch his house built in April 1851 was the first recorded in Rangiora.

2. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter to Priscilla Catherine Torlesse his sister, Mon 31 Jul 1837, Rhine Germany.
Bygone Days Page 261 See Books section

"MY DEAR PRISCILLA, " I have got three Purple Emperors, and have seen several more, they are not very rare in Germany, and not very shy, they come into our carriage and even into the steam-boat. . . . . I have sent you a smelling bottle for your use on Sunday. . . . . I should like you to write to me when I am at school when you can. I will describe to you our route. From London to Antwerp, Brussels, Namur, Liege, Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Coblenz, Mayence, Wiesbaden, Schwalbach ; return Coblenz, Cologne, Rotterdam, London . . . . I think the butterflies here are the same as in England, but some flies which are Spanish flies I do not know whether they are to be caught in England. I shall not be sorry when I get into a bedroom at England, for I have generally slept on the sofa, with mamma's dressing gown and cloak for my covering.
"Believe me your affectionate brother,
" C. 0. T."

3. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter to Charles Martin Torlesse his father, Aug 1837, Stanmore LND.
Bygone Days Pages 261 - 262 See Books section

(aged 12)

" . . . I have taken the medicine but it does not do me any good, I do not care about feeling sick, but perhaps it will go off soon. I hope you are better and how is mamma ? We have had very wet days for some time. We have begun to read Keith with Mr. Barron on Sunday. I get on pretty well in Greek, and I think that I am getting on better in Calculation ; we very often have our questions taken out of Mr. Mosely's Arithmetic. I shall be very glad of the opportunity of sending a parcel to you. Shall I send the book, which you bought in Germany, of six languages ? I have got the book for mamma ; I have got the book which we left behind at Wiesbaden.
Page 262
" Sept. 9. Last Wednesday I went to Miss Martin's and I rode in the carriage to Highwood Hill, Totteridge, East Barnet, Barnet and Elstree, and I am to go again soon. We have begun the verbs in M. and I think that they are very easy. I am getting on better in Latin and Calculation. I am very happy in the work-shop, and spend most of my play hours there. Give my kind love to all my sisters and Henry and Naomi, I hope you have recovered from your illness. If you have a Keith on Prophecy, will you please send it because we have not all got one, and some have to look together. Mrs. Barron is very kind to us, especially our class; she gives us some fruit almost every Sunday. We have begun to wear Winter clothes. I went on the rail-road last Saturday, which was a whole holiday, and the big boys went to Hampstead. I went from Harrow to Watford station, the third class is less expensive, it is, I believe, 2/6 from London to Harrow. How does Priscilla like going to school, I do not think she will mind it much as it is near cousin's and home. What became of the caterpillars which George kept for me, and his great caterpillars ? I have made some boards for sticking them on. I wish I could see dear little Catherine gleaning. . . .
"Your affectionate son,
" C. 0. T."

4. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter to Catherine G Torlesse his mother, May 1839, Stanmore.
Bygone Days Page 263 See Books section

" I am very much obliged to you for the nice parcel you sent me and in return I think I am fully indebted to you to fag well, and behave myself towards my masters. I thought it extremely kind of both you and Mrs. Barron to send it, I am extremely obliged both to you and papa and my dear sisters. Be sure to give my best love to Miss Archer and to all at home. May I have a cricket jacket made as it is so hot ?
"Your affectionate son,
" C. 0. T."

5. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter to Catherine G Torlesse his mother, 1838, Stanmore.
Bygone Days Page 262 See Books section

" I am very sorry indeed to hear that dear Anna is so dangerously ill, I shall be very glad to hear every day how she is. I should have written directly that I heard of her illness, but I thought it was not of much consequence. I am invited to go to Miss Martin's tomorrow, but I do not know whether I shall go because I want to hear the news. If God pleases to take her away, I shall be very sorry, yet He always works every-thing out for the best. If I was at home I would make every possible exertion for her recovery. I suppose that Priscy is at home to wait upon her, if not, I know that Louisa will, most willingly.
"Your affectionate son,
" C. 0. T."

6. Letter from Catherine G Torlesse: to Charles Obins Torlesse her son enroute to NZ, 24 May 1841, Stoke By Nayland SFK.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 212 - 213 see Books Section.

" Priscilla is playing and singing Little Bo-Peep to Frances, who is sitting on her knee in her night-shift, as she is just come in to wish good-night. Frances sings and says more, more.' They have all been working in the garden this evening, as there are more weeds than the boy can clear away. The garden, however, looks pretty well, and we have plenty of asparagus and spinach. Miss Archer arrived at Aberdeen this day week, she had a very quick passage, but I have not heard from her since she got to Ellon, where she is to reside, 15 miles from Aberdeen. She spent a day here three days before she went to London, and was much out of spirits at leaving. Your uncle Edward is gone to America, so I can hear no private news, but the New Zealand Journal gives a letter from your uncle William, dated December 12th, 1840, which seems to speak of things going on pretty well at Port Nicholson ; by the report, too, of the persons who had been to examine the Tomnaki country, it seems that the natives are preparing for the English, even going so far as to build houses upon speculation for the Pakekas.' I have, however, no answer to a letter I wrote your uncle last August, but it will not do to think of the time. Yesterday was the fifth Sunday since you sailed, fancy pictures you to me Page 213
till I get miserable, and try and forget you, but no, my dear boy, this plan never answers, there is no forgetting you or the cruel distance which separates us. My only refuge is prayer, and this soothes me into submission, and faith bids me see you happy in serving God, and being useful to your fellow creatures. I then go on to hope that you are progressing in your profession, and fitting yourself for independence by diligence and good conduct. Everybody says you have a good field put before you, and my sanguine hopes keep me up, but you, too, have suffered dearest boy ; many a pang I know you have suffered. May this your first trial have led you to a Throne of grace, to Him who will hear the feeblest prayer, who will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax. Stoke has lost its charm for me, and if it pleases God to point out the way I am ready to leave it for New Zealand. "Last week we had the fair, and on Friday gave tea bread and butter, buns and pies, to 125 children who did not go to the fair. This was in the park where they all enjoyed themselves, playing till past 8 o'clock. One evening last week Priscy walked to Nayland with Papa, they were all well. Mrs. Harrold was buried on Wednesday, and Mr. Harrold talks of going to live with Mr. H. Liveing, and of selling Horkesley
" Good-night precious boy, "
Your dear mother, "

7. Letter from Catherine G Torlesse: to Charles Obins Torlesse her son in Nelson NZ, 25 Jun 1842, Stoke By Nayland SFK.

Ref Bygone Days Pages 213 - 215 see Books Section.

"MY DEAREST BOY', "Since the 15th, on which day a packet of letters went to you by the Olympus,' cousin Susan has been staying here, and has written you a letter. Since she married she has not stayed so long with us before, but it is a farewell visit, as they are going very soon to Rotherham, near Sheffield in Yorkshire, to which living Mr. Mosley has lately been presented by Lord Effingham. I shall miss cousin very much, she has been a valuable friend to me for many years, and even now I shall
Page 214
hope to see her sometimes if our lives are spared. She has two dear little girls whom you would like very much. " Priscilla is going to stay with her schoolfellow, Ellen Faulkner, and Susan is at Felixstowe. We should seem a small party did not Louisa's spirits and movements create some variety. We employ the mornings industriously, and this makes the holidays more pleasant. Louisa is improved much in French and music. I hope Henry will go after the holidays to Mr. Fennel's, where Edward Liveing has been since Christmas. Mr. F. is a cousin of papa's, and takes to or 12 little boys, and we are told has much skill in managing them. Henry much wants a companion, and when George Liveing goes away, as he will after the holidays, he will feel it still more, besides he is not doing enough in the way of lessons. Kate is a dear, tractable child, and gives very little trouble, and Frances is the pet of the house, and the people in the village say she is the best of the lot.' Yesterday I received three New Zealand Gazettes, the 5th, 8th, and 12th of January, judge of my vexation at receiving no letters, when I tell you that the newspaper states that a ship, the ' Look-in,' had just arrived from Nelson Haven and spoke well of the progress making in the colony. Oh, my dear boy, never grieve me by allowing any ship to go away without a letter. All my seven children left to me here seem nothing in comparison with yourself, but if I could have regular communication with you I should not feel so desolate. " Mr. Mangles, one of the directors has put papa on the Church Committee for New Zealand, and we are trying to collect some funds, but they will be small. I comfort myself now that you have a clergyman settled amongst you. Oh, that my beloved boy may have grace to listen to the voice of God, and early give himself to His service. I wonder whether you have`begun to build your church. Three evenings ago I walked to Nayland to see Mr. Liveing, who has been very ill from a large swelling at the back of his neck, indeed, he has been obliged to have a surgeon from Nayland, but he is getting better. Mrs. Liveing has another little girl, to be named Ellen, about a fortnight old. Fanny Liveing looked rather tired with nursing her father and attending to the little one, as Miss Stratford, Mary, and Sarah Ann are away. To please
Page 215
Henry we went a little way up the river in the new boat. Henry rows much better than you would expect, it is a nice safe deep boat ; Henry also bathes with George, and likes it extremely, he is much more manly than he was. And now, dearest boy, goodbye, God bless and keep you,
"Your very affectionate mother,

8. Letter from Catherine G Torlesse: to Charles Obins Torlesse her son in NZ, 25 Mar 1843, Stoke By Nayland SFK.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 215 - 217 see Books Section.

I am told that Mrs. Young employed a great part of every day in writing to her son, and so one of her great sufferings must now be the missing of this occupation. My pleasure, dear boy, in writing to you is certainly much diminished by my not knowing whether you have received any of our letters. Certainly the pang of separation by death could hardly be greater, for I can hardly realise your being alive and my not knowing anything about you, but time is passing away, and we are quickly hastening to a rest from all trouble and cessation from all anxieties. Our dear friend Mr. Liveing has entered upon that eternal state. When I last wrote to you he was very ill, and on Friday, the 10th March, he was released from extreme suffering. His complaint was an uncommon one and called pharingitis, or inflammation in the swallow ; his agonies were extreme from a sensation of suffocation, but three days before his death his throat was better, and hopes were entertained of his life, though he himself did not expect to recover. He sunk at last from the breaking of a blood vessel in the bowels. During the first part of his illness he was in miserable spirits, and could not perceive the salvation of the Gospel as applicable to himself; but it pleased God to remove all his doubts and fears, and he died in perfect peace. Papa had the privilege of administering the Sacrament to him just before he died, and almost the last words he said were, I am thankful,' in reference to the words used in that service in giving the wine. Though he had led such an exemplary and useful life, he felt no comfort in reflecting on his good deeds.
Page 216
Every man who is enlightened by the Spirit of God, and views his life compared with the requirements of God, finds that he has come very short of what he ought to be, and must flee for safety to a better righteousness than his own. So our dear friend, he expressed his firm reliance on the merits of Christ and his utter rejection of any other source of comfort. Papa preached his funeral sermon at Nayland last Sunday afternoon to a crowded congregation of attentive weeping people ; his text was from Acts : John fulfilled his course He spoke of John as a remarkable person in his birth, life, and death, which was sudden, and according to our judgment undesirable, for he was cut off in the prime of life, in the midst of usefulness, but still he fulfilled his course. So we have all a course to fulfill. God has given us all talents to use, work to do, and you, beloved one, may enquire whether you are fulfilling your course and doing God's will. I remember Mr. Liveing's talking the last night of your being at Stoke. You walked to the door with him, and he said it would always give him pleasure to hear of your doing well ; you returned to the dining room and said, The words of such a man were enough to make anybody work.' He is gone and our loss is immense. You would think that the father of the country was removed, his exertions in his profession were so great and so successful, his character so large, his principles so great and honourable. I feel that I have suffered a great loss, and my children a greater. But God's will must be submitted to, and it is our wisdom as well as our duty to be silent. Dear Fanny sinks daily ; she is so unlike herself, that she has taken but little notice of her father's death. Mrs. Liveing talks of living in the house where Mrs. Cook lived at Thurton Street, so we shall have the comfort of having them in our parish. Mr. Charles and Mr. Wm. Liveing have been down here, and we have shared with them the anxiety of intense watching while life lasted, and since, the sorrow of no common character, for such a loss. "Last week I heard from your aunt Chapman, who had had a letter from uncle Arthur dated 29th August, in which your name was mentioned, but this is the only intimation we have about you. I have blessed God indeed for allowing me to hear of the arrival of the Bishop. Louisa says in her last letter, I
Page 217
am very glad to hear the Bishop is at Nelson, now perhaps dear Charles will have an opportunity of hearing God's holy word.' Yes, dear boy, I can think with intense delight of your listening to the word of life, and earnestly pray that you may have grace to follow in the ways of holiness. Through mercy we are all well at this time ; Susan's eyes remain finely. Louie and Henry are very happy at school. God bless you my ever beloved one, your very affectionate mother.

9. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter to Edward Wakefield his grandfather, 30 Dec 1847, NZ.
Bygone Days Page 263 - 264 See Books section

I have read attentively the Parliamentary paper which you mentioned, and I have from the perusal of it and from the other recent intelligence, come to the opinion that G. Grey's1 day is over. " He seems to have established as a basis for all his proceedings in the administration of New Zealand affairs, the doctrine that the Aborigines of that country are at once to be admitted into all the rights and privileges of civilized nations, as if indeed they had the qualification for those rights which the inhabitants of civilized countries possess. On the mistaken, because abused, principle of universal brotherhood, he admits the N.Z. natives, mere children in the knowledge of the affairs of the civilized world, into the position of the colonists, members of that civilized world. " I am very much afraid that his acts of (false) humanity in letting Rauperaka go and in sparing the 700 natives at Wanganui will cost a deal of blood and money. " Could we have had a stronger instance than the late one of the mischief of governing New Zealand from Downing Street mode more mischievous by a pretence of giving large powers to G. Grey ?
Page 264
I am very anxious to hear what your plans are to be. I hope you will not cease to use your valuable exertions in the cause of New Zealand. Such exertions make the country in spite of (as they seem at this present) inextricable difficulties. " Do you adhere to your intention to go to Scotland ? Your whaling scheme has some encouragement in the facts that already a colonial whaler of 150 tons (the size you propose) has been launched at Wellington, and that the harbour of Otago afforded shelter to 7 or 8 whalers at one time not many months ago. " Knowing your extreme punctuality, I am led to suppose that you did not receive a note from me wherein I stated that I had already commenced looking out for the furnishing of a colonial bookshelf, and asking if you would let me have the spare volume of the Emigrant's Handbook. " My thoughts are now entirely upon the colony, or colonial subjects, as I think that in order to become a useful colonist, the subject of colonization, both in theory and detail, ought to be really studied. What a lesson to us on this side the line, is the failure of those on the other. And the (but too true) proverb comes in, `crossing the line changes a man.' . . .
"Ever your affectionate grandson, "
" Kindest love to Aunt."


10. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter of thanks for appointment, 15 Oct 1851, Ref NZ Nat Archives. Lyttelton,
11th October 1851.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 27 Sept in which you inform me that His Excellency Sir George Grey has been pleased to appoint me Surveyor of Crown Lands and Clerk to the Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Middle District of the Middle Island, and request you to convey to his Excellency my warmest acknowledgement of his kindness in entrusting to me the performance of duties which it will be my earnest endeavour to fulfil to the satisfaction of His Excellency and the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

And have the honour to be,
your obedient Servant,
Charles O Torlesse

The Honourable
The Colonial Secretary,
New Munster.

11. Charles Obins Torlesse: Letter of resignation, 25 Dec 1851, Ref NZ Nat Archives.
25th of Dec1851.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date.
In accordance with the request contained in it, I have to beg that you will accept my resignation of the Offices of Surveyor and Clerk to the Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Middle District outside the block of the Canterbury Association.
I have the honour to be,
your most obedient servant,
Charles O Torlesse

Col Campbell,
Commissioner of Crown Land.

Letter from Col Cambell Commissioner of Crown lLnds.
Commissioner of Crown Lands Office
Christ Church
December 26, 1851.
In reference to your letter of 13 November last, respecting Mr Torlesse, and my reply to it, dated the 25th of the same month, I beg to submit, as no successor to that gentleman in my department has been as yet nominated, and apprehending that the delay may have been occasioned through some informality in the proceedings, or perhaps from Mr Torlesse not having officially sent in the resignation of his appointments. I therefore wrote to him upon the subject, and have now to request that you will do me the favour to lay his answer before his Excellency the Governor in Chief.
Mr Torlesse not having performed any of the duties of Survey and Clerk in my Department, I beg leave to suggest that his appointments may be cancelled, and that the Sub Treasurer at Lyttelton may be authorised to pay to Mr Boys, who has been so efficiently performing the duties of Surveyor and Clerk, the amount of salary from the date of Mr Torlesse's appointment (27 September 1851) up to the date of the appointment of whoever his Excellency may be pleased to nominate as his successor.
I have the honour to be
your most obedient
humble servant
Jas Campbell
Commissioner of Crown Lands.

The Honourable
The Colonial Secretary

Note on the bottom of the letter
Mr Boys was informed of his appointment Captain Campbell also, and the Sub Treasurer authorised to pay Mr Boys salary, on 11 December. The letters went by the Torins?. The vessel sailed about a week ago.
Dec 3/?
Signed ?

12. Charles O Torlesse: Will, 9 May 1860.
This is the last Will and Testament of me Charles Obins Torlesse of Rangiora in the Province of Canterbury in New Zealand Esqire I hearby revoke all former or other Will or Wills by me heretofore made I give devise and bequeath unto Crosby Ward of Lyttleton in the province aforesaid Esq and The Rev Henry Torlesse of O'Kains Bay in the Province aforesaid Clerk in Holy Orders and to their heirs executors and administrators respectively according to the nature and tenure thereof respectively All and singular the estate property and effects of what nature and kind soever and wheresoever situate of or to which I shall at the time of my decease be seized possessed or entitled and over which I shall have an absolute disposing power. Upon trust as soon as conveniently maybe after my decease to pay and satisfy out of my personal estate all my just debts and my funeral and testamentary expenses. And subject thereto and to the payment thereof Upon Trust to pay to my Wife Alicia Torlesse during her life and so long as she shall continue my widow the annual or other rents issues and profits of one third part of my said estate property and effects. And upon the second marriage of my said Wife to pay to her for her sole use and benefit out of such rents issues and profits as aforesaid in case the same shall produce so much an annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds Sterling such annuity in case the same shall become payable to be paid to my said Wife by half yearly payments. And I direct that my said Wife shall not have power to alienate anticipate or incumber the provision hereby made for her and that her receipt in writing shall alone be a good discharge to my said Trustees for any such payment to her as aforesaid. And upon further Trust while all or any of my children shall be under the age of twenty one years to pay and apply from time to time out of the remaining two third parts of my said estate property and effects such sum or sums of money as shall be necessary and sufficient for their his or her maintenance and education. And upon each of my said children attaining the age of twenty one years in the lifetime of my said Wife Upon Trust to divide between them the said remaining two third parts of my said estate property and effects and all accumulations thereof in the proportions following that is to say in case but two children being a son and a daughter shall survive me and attain the said age of twenty one years to pay and handover to such son two third parcels or shares thereof and to such daughter one third parcel or share thereof will And in case more than two such children shall survive me and attain the aforesaid age then to pay and handover to such children the said remaining two third parcels of my said estate properly and effects and all accumulations thereof in such proportions that the share or shares of such of them as shall be a Son or Sons shall be greater in amount or value by one half that the share or shares of such of them as shall be a Daughter or Daughters. Provided that in the event of the decease of my said Wife during the minority of my said children the whole of my said estate property and effects and all accumulations thereof shall be divided between and among such surviving children as aforesaid shall be paid and handed over to them by my said Trustees upon their respectively attaining his said age of twenty one years in equal shares and proportions but upon the decease of my said Wife after all or any of my said children shall have attained the aforesaid age the said one third part of my said estate property and effects which I have heretofore given to my said Trustees for the use of my said Wife shall be divided by my said Trustees between and among such of my said children as shall be then living and shall be paid and handed over to them in the same shares and proportions as I have heretofore declared respecting the division of the said two third parcels of my said estate property and effects during the lifetime of my said Wife. And in case but one of my said surviving children shall survive my said Wife then I direct that the whole of the said third part of my said estate property and effects which I have given as aforesaid for the benefit of my said Wife shall go and be paid and handed over by my said Trustees upon the decease of my said Wife to such child absolutely. And in case but one of my said surviving children shall live to attain the said age of twenty one years then I direct that the whole of my said estate property and effects subject to the life estate of my said Wife in one third part thereof shall go and be paid and handed over by my said Trustees to such one child absolutely. And I give desire and bequeath the same accordingly I empower my said Trustees at any time or times during the minority of my said children and in such manner as they shall think proper to sell and absolutely dispose of such parcels of my real estate as are at the date of this my Will subdivided and laid out for the purpose of sale but it is my Will and desire that no other part of my real estate shall be sold or otherwise disposed of except as herein directed I further empower my said Trustees from time to time during the minority of my said children to demise or let for any term or terms of years not exceeding twentyone years and at the best rent or rents that can reasonably be had for the same the whole or any part or parcels of my said estate property and effects I further empower my said Trustees from time to time during the minority of my said children to invest upon such real or personal security in New Zealand as they shall think proper all such surplus monies (if any) as shall be in their hands after satisfying for the time being the trusts of this my Will and any such investment from time to time to vary or transpose as to them shall seem expedient without being responsible for any loss or damage which may be thereby occasion and to accumulate the resulting income of any such investment or investments as aforesaid by way of compound interest by investing the same in manner aforesaid. And I direct that over and beside reimbursing to themselves out of the trust monies which shall from time to time be in their hands all costs and expenses which they shall incur or sustain in and about the execution of the trusts aforesaid my said Trustees shall have power from time to time to make to themselves liberal compensation for their trouble in executing the aforesaid trusts I constitute and appoint the said Crosby Ward and Henry Torlesse Executors of this my Will and jointly with my said Wife guardians of my said children during their infancy
In witness whereof I have here unto signed my name this ninth day of May one thousand eight hundred and sixty
Charles O Torlesse
Signed by the said Charles Obins Torlesse the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence in the presence of each other and at his request have hereunto subscribed our names and witnesses
Thomas J Joint. Articled Clerk Christchurch
Philip C Birtewed. Writing Clerk Christchurch.

13. Death of Charles Obins Torlesse, 14 Nov 1866, Witham Lunatic Asylum ESS.
It would appear that Charles illness and perhaps some of his behaviour may be attributed to his mental health


Charles married Alicia TOWNSEND [1682] [MRIN: 553], daughter of James TOWNSEND of Lyttleton [9302] and Alicia BURGES [24584], on 27 Dec 1851 in Christchurch NZ. (Alicia TOWNSEND [1682] was born on 12 Oct 1827 in Wandsworth SRY, died on 18 May 1909 in Farrancleary Ventnor. and was buried in Stoke By Nayland SFK.)

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