W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso


Heyck TW 1982. The transformation of intellectual life in Victorian England. The world of the man of letters. London, Croom Helm, p.42



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52 Heyck TW 1982. The transformation of intellectual life in Victorian England. The world of the man of letters. London, Croom Helm, p.42.


53 See Colenso’s Autobiography. Although members of the Neho whanau based in Northland claim Colenso as a forebear, there is no evidence that he was. “It was the practice of the early missionaries to name newly baptised converts after their baptismal sponsors or godfathers…. These surnames persisted in later generations. One (Neho forebear) took the baptismal name William Colenso = Wiremu Koreneho in the same manner. After a disgrace such names were sometimes dropped …(and that) is likely to have occurred with the dropping of Koreneho among Ngati Kahungunu converts after 1852. That would explain why Neho persisted in Northland only.” (pers. comm. Parkinson P, July 2009).

54 Colenso’s 1842 He Kupu Wakatupato, Na te Aroha Pono. "A ki atu ana a ihu, ka mea atu ki a ratou, kia tupato ra kei wakahekia koutou e te tangata" related the service used by the Bishop of London for the reception of three priests from the church of Rome. His Ko te Tuarua o nga Pukapuka Waki; Hei wakarite atu i nga Henga a te Hahi o Roma continued his comments on the church of Rome, being 3 dialogues dealing with six further errors.

55 As a correspondent “Anti-quack” wrote to the Hawke’s Bay Herald on 1 March 1883, “No one will wonder at Mr Colenso avowing himself a philo-Maori. Those who have lived in Hawke's Bay tor any length of time know well that he has a leaning towards the darker race, which has, as he himself points out, been manifested on more occasions than one.”

56 http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz. Hori Niania had written to McLean (24 July 1852), “Mr. Golenso has committed adultery with a native woman of our tribe. Her name is Ripeka. If anybody should say it is false, don't you believe them. It is quite true. I could not make a false oath; and since because it is true, I have written you this letter, that you may hear. If any white people should bring the report, don't disbelieve it. Our thoughts are yours in reference to this matter. If you choose to make a great matter of it; or if, on the contrary; well. Our own thoughts however, are inclined towards making a great matter of it; and to distinguish between right and wrong; and because he also has endeavoured to keep us down, and he to raise himself up.”
(http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1000056&l=en).

57 29 November 1865: A few notes made in going through Dr. Hooker’s “Hand Book of N. Zealand Flora”: see Colenso’s collections.

58 1880 On some new and undescribed New Zealand Ferns. Trans. N.Z.I. 13: 376–384.

59 i.e., “I dont allow the opinions of even very influential friends to deflect me from what I know to be true”.

60 For some of the nastier jousts, see Give your thoughts life in this series.

61 Colenso had intimated to Hooker (29 November 1867), “I have written, more for (& to) Kirk, during the last 2 years, than I have for any other priv. person—he too being wholly unknown to me. I have named a large lot of N.Z. scraps he sent me, & encouraged him in every way. (He is very poor & struggling.)” See Colenso’s collections.

62 Kew Directors’ Correspondence; ATL Micro-Ms-Coll-10.

63 Kew Directors’ Correspondence; ATL Micro-Ms-Coll-10.

64 Colenso to Hooker 27 February 1884; see Colenso’s collections.

65 see Colenso’s collections.

66 GM Thomson and T Kirk certainly; TF Cheeseman, C Knight perhaps.

67 Sir William Fox, KCMG 1812–1893 was Premier of New Zealand on four occasions in the 19th century. He was known for his support of Māori land rights, his contributions to establishing the University of New Zealand, and his work to increase New Zealand's autonomy from Britain. He has been described as determined and intelligent, but also as bitter and "too fond" of personal attacks. (Wikipedia).

68 Kew Directors’ Correspondence; ATL Micro-Ms-Coll-10.

69 Kew Directors’ Correspondence; ATL Micro-Ms-Coll-10.

70 Thomson GM 1891. Recent additions to the fern flora of New Zealand. NZ Journal of Science 1(4, July): 166-169.

71 Hoare M. The tactless philosopher. The Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1976.

72 Colenso to GM Thomson, March 1882.

73 1877 Manibus Parkinsonibus sacrum. Trans. N.Z.I.10: 115.

74 Benjamin Jowett 1817–1893, theologian, Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, Master of Balliol College, Vice-Chancellor of the university.

75 1888 Hawke’s Bay Philosophical Institute: Anniversary Address.

76 1878 Contributions towards a better Knowledge of the Maori Race. Trans. N.Z.I. 11: 77.

77 Perhaps here referring to Darwin’s “False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long” (The descent of man, Ch.XXI).

78 Friedrich Max Müller 1823–1900, German philologist and Orientalist, a founder of the discipline of comparative religion.

79 1878 Tracts for the times; No. 1, On the Sabbath and its due observance. Dinwiddie, Morrison & Co., Napier. pp.34-35.

80 1889 Ancient tide-lore and tales of the sea. R.C. Harding, Napier.

81 1868 On the Maori Races of New Zealand. Trans. N.Z.I. 1: 48.

82 The “theory of everything” purports to explain and link all known physical phenomena.

83 1878 Contributions towards a better Knowledge of the Maori Race. Trans. N.Z.I. 11: 77.

84 1868 On the Maori Races of New Zealand. Trans. N.Z.I. 1: 29.

85 1878 Contributions towards a better Knowledge of the Maori Race. Trans. N.Z.I. 11: 81.

86 Colenso to Balfour 13 July 1886.

87 Quoted in Colenso’s In memoriam.

88 1888 Hawke’s Bay Philosophical Institute: Anniversary Address by the President, William Colenso, F.R.S., F.L.S. R.C. Harding, Napier.

89 We are dwarves, placed upon the shoulder of giants (ie, and only thus can we see further than they). After Isaac Newton, who was in turn paraphrasing Bernard of Chartres.

90 Attributed to William Colenso.

91 Blechnum nigrum (Colenso) Mett.

92 Blechnum penna-marina subsp. alpina (R.Br.) T.C.Chambers et P.A.Farrant.

93 Blechnum vulcanicum (Blume) Kuhn.

94 Blechnum fluviatile (R.Br.) Salomon.

95 Twice in this paper Colenso referred to drawings, but they were not, apparently, published.

96 Stet.

97 Pneumatopteris pennigera (G. Forst.) Holttum.

98 Colenso later wrote (letter to the Hawke’s Bay Herald 16 September 1898) that the Tasmanian paper had been “published under the kind auspices of the lamented Sir John Franklin, then Governor of Tasmania”.The text of the 1843 paper, reprinted by Professor Owen in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History the following year, also forms Part I of Colenso’s 1879 “On the Moa”. Trans. N.Z.I. 12: 63-108. There are only minor textual differences among the three versions, so the latest, 1879 version is preferred here (q.v. below).

99 This is Colenso’s revision of his “Journal of a naturalist in some little known parts of New Zealand”. London Journal of Botany 1844; 3: 1–62 (completed in September 1842: see Colenso’s collections, p.151). Colenso later wrote to Sir William Hooker that a “more elaborate account of that Ramble (was) subsequently published in the Tasmanian Journal vol. ii, p.210” (letter 22 January 1851).

100 The paper begins with a note from the editor to the effect that publication was delayed by a year, and that in the meantime the material had appeared in the London Journal of Botany (it had also appeared in booklet form, printed by the Launceston Examiner—see Introduction above). He reprinted WJ Hooker’s introductory essay at the beginning.

101 WC: R. M’Cormick, Esq., H.M.S. Erebus, when looking over my cabinet, expressed his astonishment at my having similar specimens of wood stone to those collected by him at Kerguelen’s Land; assuring me that they were perfectly alike.

102 WC: It is, perhaps, worthy of remark, en passant, that such supposed impressions of footsteps are to be found in all countries. The writer has seen one in Cornwall, on the summit of a perpendicular and lofty crag, gravely asserted to be the last impress of his Satanic Majesty! None, however, has attained such celebrity as that on the summit of Adam’s Peak, in Ceylon, of which a modern traveller states— “Boodhoo, when one foot rested on the Sree Pada (Adam’s Peak), and left its impression there, stepped across to Makoona, situated, the priest gravely and seriously assured me, in Siam!!”

103 WC: I intend, at some future day, giving a descriptive account of this very elegant and useful, and very distinct, species of Phormium.

104 WC: Vide Tasmanian Journal, vol. ii, p. 81, for an account of, and remarks on, the Moa.

105 WC: These images, like those of the Lares of the ancient Romans, appear to have been made in commendation of their ancestors; and may, I think, be not improperly classed as Lares domestici et familiares. It does not appear, however, that they were ever worshipped.

106 WC: Red, appears to have been a colour used for similar purposes from very ancient times. Herodotus states, that, “according to ancient custom, all ships were painted of a red colour (lib. iii. Thalia, s. 58); and, speaking of the inhabitants of Western Libya, he says— “The Ausenses stain their bodies with vermilion” (lib. iv. Melpomene, s. 191). From Pliny, we learn— “this (red) was much used by the Romans in his time as a paint, and formerly applied to sacred purposes (Nat. Hist., lib. xxxiii. c. 7.). The writer of the Apocryphal book of Wisdom, represents the carpenter fashioning a piece of wood into an image, laying it over with vermillion, and with paint colouring it red (ch. xii). And, in Holy Writ, Ezekiel, the prophet, reproving idolatry, says— “Aholibah increased her idolatries; when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermillion” (ch. xxiii. 15). Whether this anciently-used red pigment was, in every case, obtained from native cinnabar, I have not the means of ascertaining; but, from the red oxide of iron being a substance very generally distributed throughout the world, I think there is plenty of room for supposing that such might, with some nations at least, be commonly used.

107 WC: Patella Solandri; Shell, oval, anteriorly truncated, much depressed, faintly striated longitudinally, diaphanous, fragile, covered with a thin epidermis; inside, smooth, glossy; vertex, very much anteriorly inclined, sub-acute, produced, slightly recurred; margin, entire, obsoletely crenulated within; colour, bluish-green, concentrically streaked with brown, beautifully blotched, or tortuously undulated, with same colour towards margin; 5-7 lines long, 4-5 lines broad. Hab. Adhering to the wider side of large smooth stones; Tokomaru (Tegadoo) Bay, E. coast, N. Island, New Zealand. W.C. MS., ined.

108 WC: Vide, “Filices Novæ. A Classification, &c.;” Tasmanian Journal. Vol. ii, p.161, for a description of these ferns, and of several other new species discovered in this excursion.

109 WC: W. Yate (An Account of New Zealand, 1835, p.65) used this word for the longtailed cuckoo, as have others since—but it does not have an “attenuated body and tail”, nor could its harsh screech be called a “very sweet note”.

110 WC: Both the botany and conchology of Auckland Island, appears not only to be closely allied to those of the New Zealand groupe, but to consist of the very same genera, and, in many instances, the same species.

111 WC: Since penning the above, I am happy in being able to add, that I have obtained (subsequent to my return to the Bay of Islands) fine living specimens of this plant, through sending a native from Turanga to procure some roots. These have flowered since they have been in my possession. Its corolla is monopetalous, labiate and quinquefid, with didynamous stamens, and superior unilocular ovary. It may probably rank under the Natural Order Cyrtandraceæ; which order has, hitherto, been only represented in New Zealand by a solitary species

112 WC: The leaves of the species of Fagus detected at Wangarei, are, ovato-cordate, serrate nearly to base, truncate, sub-tridentate, serratures in each leaf 15–21, petioles slightly villous, leaves larger and broader than in the species found at Tapatapauma; which are, rhombic-ovate, upper half of leaf serrate or sub-laciniate, much more truncate, tridentate, and attenuated at base, serratures acuminate or mucronate, 11–13 in each leaf, petioles and whole upper surface of leaf, tomentose.— W.C., MSS., ined.

113 WC: The first part ends in Vol. II. No. viii, p.235; the second part begins in No. ix, p.241.

114 WC: Terebratula Tayloriana (Fossil.); Shell ovate, ventricose, very solid, smooth, concentricafly and absoletely striated, lamellar; margin. apparently entire; summit of larger valve much produced, arcuated, subdeflexed, thick, very truncate; perforation large; horn, or light mouse-coloured; length, 2¼ inches; breadth, l½ inches.
Hab. In a mass of indurated deposit of sand and mud, forming the cataract on the river Wangaroa, at the base of the mountain Wakapunake, near Hawke’s Bay, E. coast, N. Island of New Zealand. W.C. MSS. ined.
Obs. This fine species of former days has been named after the Rev. R. Taylor, of Waimate, New Zealand; whose assiduity in both geological and conchological research is too well known to require comment.

115 WC: I am much gratified, in having a fine young plant of this very graceful shrub now living, from seed sowed by me, on my return from my journey.

116 WC: Unio Waikarense; Shell, oblong or oblong-ovate, concentrically and irregularly sulcated, sub-diaphanous, inflated; anterior side produced, obtuse, slightly compressed; posterior slope keeled, sharp; base, slightly depressed; umbones decorticated, flattish, much worn; primary tooth, large, crested; epidermis, strong, overlapping at margin, wrinkled on anterior slope; colour, brownish-yellow on posterior side, shading into dusky green on anterior, with alternate light-coloured lateral stripes; 8 inches broad, 21 inches long.
Hab. Waikare Lake, mountains, interior of the N. Island of New Zealand.—W.C. MSS. ined.

117 WC: Ixerba Brexioides, Cunningham’s plant, is, in these particu1ars, thus described by him:— “Antheræ ovatæ acuminatæ. Stylus, 1, angulatus, continuus, versus apicem attenuatus. Flores, corymbosi, pedunculis (uncialibus) plerumque trichotomis. Folia, elongato-lanceolata acuminata, 4–5 uncialia.” [5–6½, W.C.] “Arbor elegans viginti pedalis et infra. A tree of very rare occurrence.”—A.C. in Ann. Nat. Hist. Vol. iii., p. 250.

118 WC: This, however, is quite in keeping with the national character of the New Zealander. Prompted incessantly by an ever-restless and indomitably independent principle of doing some capricious work of supererogation, whilst their defined duties are left undone, they often sadly try to the utmost the patience of those with whom they have to do. In their own language they have a word (pokanoa) which, while it fully conveys the force and meaning of the foregoing remark, is, from the frequency of the occurrence of such conduct, in daily if not hourly use by every native of New Zealand. Nor is such a capricious way of acting confined to those who are still in their novitiate, on the contrary, those who may have been for years in your employ, are equally, if not more, prone to such conduct.

119 WC: H. pusillum, is thus described .— “Caule debili prostrato, foliis ovatis obtusis, calyce lanceolato,” &c. D’Cand., prodr. I. p. 540); and is mentioned by Cunningham, in his “Precursor,” as being found in New Zealand. Vide, Ann. Nat. Hist.., vol. iii. p. 317.

120 WC: I have a large pipe now by me, made of pumice, which I obtained at Wareponga, on the E. coast, in 1838. The native from whom I received it, was smoking from it when I came up. Of necessity it was very thick, but a reed was introduced as a mouth-piece. The owner gladly exchanged it for a common clay pipe of European manufacture.

121 WC: This alleged act of the Ngapuhi army, reminds us of what we read in the Sacred Writings, of the ancient custom of sowing the city of the enemy when taken with salt.—Judg. ix. 45. And, in more modern times, “the city of Milan was burnt, razed, sown with salt, and ploughed,” by the exasperated Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.—Comp. Sys. Geog. v. p. 822.

122 WC: I will just mention the direction of the river, for the first ten miles below the village, as I took it down from observation with my compass: N.E., N., N.W. 1 mile, S.S.E., S., S.S.W., S. ½ mile, S.S.W., W., W.N.W. ½ mile, W.S.W., W. 1½ miles, W.N.W., N.W., N., N.N.E. ½ mile, N.N.W. Those bearings without distances, I supposed to be under a half-a-mile.

123 WC: The natives made places of defence for themselves, when attacked, of these hills, before the introduction of fire-arms. Some of them bear evident signs of having been long inhabited.

124 WC: Coprosma crassifolia. Foliis ellipticis orbiculatisve (3-5 lineas longis) obtusis fasciculatis lævibus carnosis petiolatis subtus paillidioribus, margine revolutis integerrimis rubescentibus, petiolus pubescentibus purpureo-coloratus. Fructus, solitariis ad apicem ramulorum sub-sessilibus glabris viridi-maculatis; sepalis, monophyllus circumsciptus seu 2-4 angulatis irregularitisve persistens. Ramis, brachiatis rigidis adscendentibus glabris W.C. MSS.—.
Hab. Scoria, and rocky spots, shores of Manukau Bay, western coast.
Obs. Closely allied to C. rhamnoides and C. divaricata. Flores nondum vidi [not yet seen].

125 WC: It is a very common practice with the New Zealanders in travelling (especially when passing through forests and over paths by which they will have to return), to select some noble Rata tree (Metrosideros robusta), or Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum), of giant size, having a hollow near the root. In this hollow they make a small fire, which burns slowly on for several weeks, eating its way upwards through the tree, even to the ends of the larger branches, ere the bark becomes injured or the leaves change their appearance. I have myself seen such a spectacle as the one just adverted to—a living tree on fire! the whole heart-wood of the trunk and main branches being entirely consumed, and smoke issuing from the ends of the largest limbs, at a height of 20 feet from the ground; the leaves being still green, and apparently not at all affected by the fire which had been for some weeks burning within. The natives do this, in order to procure fire for their tobacco pipes; or rather, to save themselves the burden of carrying a tinder-box and the labour of striking a light.

126 WC: Vide, mention made of this Fagus (a fine species discovered by W.C. in 1839), Note, p. 234.

127 WC: A. Hookeria, MSS., W.C., ined. A. linariifolia, is thus described :— “Foliis (uncialibus) lineari-lanceolatis acuminatis margine revolutis, floribus terminalibus solitariis aggregatisve, ramulis virgatis pubescentibus.”—A.C. in. Ann. Nat. Hist. vol. ii. p. 209.

128 WC: Mira undulata (MSS., W.C., ined.), foliis obovato-oblongis, acuminatis undulatis integerrimis. Arbusculis, 12–20 pedalis, et ultra.

129 WC: Coprosma arcuata foliis (parvis) obovato-oblongis sub-spathulatisve truncatis seu emarginatis basi attenuatis petiolatis glabris subfasciculatis, margine incrassatis; ramis valde arcuatis dependentibus, ramulis villosis; caulis arbusculus sesquiorgyalibus gracilis.—W.C., MSS., ined.

130 WC: Melicytus collina, W.C., MSS. ined, 1842.

131 The two publications use the same blocks and are almost identical.

132 WC: “If to this aggregate number of species thus got together and here enumerated sixty be added, as in all probability comprehending the remaining number of plants of the first voyage of Cook, which are preserved in the Banksian Herbarium and continue yet unpublished, seven hundred distinct plants may be said to be the number at present known of the flora of these islands.”—A. Cunn, in Comp. Bot. Mag., vol. ii., p. 230.

133 Polystichum silvaticum (Colenso) Diels.

134 Hypolepis amaurorachis (Kunze) Hook.

135 Anogramma leptophylla (L.) Link.

136 Stet.

137 Pneumatopteris pennigera (G. Forst.) Holttum.

138 Polystichum vestitum (G. Forst.) C. Presl.

139 Polystichum vestitum (G. Forst.) C. Presl

140 Lastreopsis microsora subsp. pentangularis (Colenso) Tindale.

141 Asplenium hookerianum var. colensoi (Hook.f.) Moore.

142 Asplenium hookerianum var. colensoi (Hook.f.) Moore.

143 Asplenium polyodon G.Forst.

144 Stet.

145 Histiopteris incisa (Thunb.) J. Sm.

146 Hypolepis dicksonioides (Endl.) Hook.

147 Stet

148 Blechnum procerum (G.Forst.) Sw.

149 Blechnum colensoi (Hook.f.) N.A. Wakef.

150 Blechnum nigrum (Colenso) Mett.

151 Blechnum penna-marina subsp. alpina (R.Br.) T.C.Chambers et P.A.Farrant.

152 Blechnum vulcanicum (Blume) Kuhn.

153 Blechnum vulcanicum (Blume) Kuhn.

154 Blechnum fluviatile (R.Br.) Salomon.

155 Stet.

156 Dicksonia lanata Colenso var. lanata and var. hispida.

157 Leptolepia novae-zelandiae (Colenso) Diels.

158 Hymenophyllum frankliniae Colenso.

159 Hymenophyllum bivalve (G. Forst.) Sw.

160 Stet.

161 Stet.

162 Stet.

163 Stet.

164 Hymenophyllum rarum R. Br.

165 Leptopteris superba (Colenso) C. Presl.

166 Three of the notes appended to this paper were censored (see introduction) and none were printed with the original; they are copied here from a manuscript held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney (ML reference A237: essay pp. 103–265, notes pp. 266–278).

167 Born to consume the fruits of the earth—born only to eat.

168 Attached to the soil (as serfs).

169 Naked.

170 WC: Commonly called “War Canoes” by the Colonists.

171 WC: Short cutting club.

172 WC: Posterity will be greatly indebted to Sir George Grey for the exertions made by him to obtain and record many of these myths, the recollection of which is fast dying out.

173 WC: By the writer, in 1835.

174 WC: The dialect of Rarotonga, one of the Hervey group, in 160° W. long., may also be here included.

175 WC: Vide Cook’s Voyages, 4to. Ed., vol. iii, p. 50.

176 WC: Erskine’s “Journal of a Cruise in the Western Pacific,” p. 103, ed. 1853: et. al. It may be noticed, by the way, that Dr. Thompson, in his elaborate compilation, “Story of New Zealand, London, 1859,” speaks of this view as being peculiarly his own!

177 WC: Turner says—“The duties of cooking devolve on the men; and all, even chiefs of the highest rank, consider it no disgrace to assist in the cooking-house.”—Nineteen Years in Polynesia, (p. 196.)

178 WC: Nineteen Years in Polynesia, p. 245, ed. 1861.

179 WC: Turner’s Nineteen Years in Polynesia, pp. 239, 240.

180 WC: In Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, vol. ii.

181 WC: Published by the Hydrographic Office, London.

182 WC: Blue Book, N.Z., 1859.

183 WC: Estimated.

184 WC: Government Gazette, January 14, 1862. Mr. W. Seed also gives, “Maories, 413, of whom 24 are children; Morioris, 160; Half-castes, 17.”

185 WC: Kindly furnished by Hon: Mr. Mantell, Native Minister: the Rotorua Return is officially said to be “incomplete.”

186 WC: Estimate in 1858.

187 WC: Prescott: Conquest of Mexico, vol. i, p. 144.

188 WC: Hard steel succeeded then;
And stubborn as the metal were the men.
Truth, modesty, and shame the world forsook;
Fraud, avarice, and force, their places took.
(Ovid: Metamorphoses)

189 As explained in the introduction, the notes to Colenso’s essay were not published, and the only known copy is among the Coupland Harding papers in the State Library of New South Wales (Mitchell Library), Sydney. It is an early draft of the paper, full of alterations, abbreviations, memos from Colenso to himself and partial quotations. It is a rough scrawl, difficult to read, and has been bound so that some words are obscured by the binding. Some notes appear to be complete, others simply outlines. The material printed here is as true a copy as I can make from the Mitchell Library manuscript, apart from notes 21, 22 and 29 which remain with, and are copied from the final manuscript copy sent to Dunedin, now in the Alexander Turnbull Library. I have expanded partial into full quotations from the available literature, but have left Colenso’s word abbreviations as they are.

190 WC: Cook’s V. v.iii pp 56, 57.

191 WC: From “Journal-entry” in sm. pocket book made & bound by me in brown calf.

192 WC: Cook’s V. vol.ii p.814.

193 WC: Nicholas, vol.I, pp. 354–355.

194 WC: Cook’s V. vol.iii, p.60

195 WC: “The N.Zers.” Liby. of Entertg. Knowledge p.197.

196 WC: Nicholas “The N.Zers.” v. ii, p.306.

197 WC: Forster’s “Observations,” p.189.

198 WC: See p.200, idem.
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