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Gordon Browne

Arrived: 1820's
Country of origin:
Area in New Zealand: Bay of Islands
Source: NLA Austrailan newspapers.

Captain Dacre, a site by the NZ government?
In 1832 Dacre entered the timber trade on a larger scale. He arranged with Gordon Davis Browne to superintend a station for cutting timber on the Mahurangi inlet (now Warkworth) and some 15 men were established there, with their tools and huts, to start work. Soon after this, the station was removed to Mercury Bay (now Whitianga), as, according to Dacre, the H.M. ship “Buffalo” came in to Mahurangi and took forcible possession of the standing trees, placing the broad arrow on them (def: Chiefly British.  A wide arrowhead mark identifying government property). Although Dacre says that he had begun squaring spars and preparing masts, as well as having had his land surveyed by Mr Florance, he was obliged to leave the station in 1834. He declared:
“I remonstrated with the Admiralty but never got any redress. In consequence of this, I judged it necessary to remove the station, and I accordingly determined to send Mr Browne to take possession of my old station at Mercury Bay. Thither, accordingly, in the year 1836, I removed the whole party from Mahurangi, then numbering thirty Europeans. I went down to Mercury Bay myself with the party. Upon this, I instructed Gordon Browne to make as large purchases as he could, to secure the timber, and to buy other land to form a cattle station”. (Gordon Browne had been connected with a timber yard in Sydney and this town was always the headquarters, the selling place, and supply station - for all the New Zealand timber trade).
The Mercury Bay settlement was a success - at least, it did produce a great deal of good timber, especially some fine masts, which could be prepared in the summer and got out in the winter, when the steams were in a fresh. In 1835, Browne wrote to Dacre that he had upwards of 400 new hands to work, “who have not a blanket amongst them”. He thought masts should be fairly plentiful, on account of the ravenous nature of the country..

In 1836 Gordon cut a water race to give easy access to timber at Ounuora Creek. A water driven mill was in use here, description by John Carne Bidwell in 1841 and a wharf was constructed.

Sydney Herald 22 December 1836
Captain Davies of the Sir David Ogleby after visiting Kawia reported that Mr Gordon Browne, an old resident on the Island had been drowned on his passage to the Bay of Islands in an open boat.
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