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Capt William Butler

Arrived: 1837
Country of origin: 
Area in New Zealand: Mangonui (Mongonui)

Captain Butler had run away to sea when he was 14, preferring a life at sea to following his reverend father's and grandfather's footsteps, and eventually he became the magistrate here. In 1838 he bought the 640-acre Paewhenua Island from its Maori owners for 47 pounds and 10 shillings and two years later came to live here.

Butler Point Whaling Museum

Headstone says: Born 9th of January 1814, died 4th of March 1875 

Sydney Morning Herald 13th Oct 1849
Captain M'Leod speaks in the highest terms of Manganui, at the head of Doubtless Bay, latitude 35*6 south, longitude173'38 east. There is no hidden danger near it, it is now a port of entry and a police station, and Captain Butler, long resident there, boards all vessels wishing to enter the port, to pilot them in.

Auckland Public Library has good information concerning Captain Butler such as these snippets not fully explored by me.
  • Capt. William Butler and his wife Eliza Merrit Butler lived in Mongonui for 50 years from the 1840's onwards.
  • William Butler sues Thomas Flavell for board and lodging of Flavell's wife, Elizabeth Merrett, in 1846. Flavell denies that Elizabeth Merrett is his wife, but evidence is given that a marriage ceremony was performed at Mongonui in 1842.
  • Obituary of Mrs Eliza Merritt Butler who arrived in Bay of Islands in 1839.
  • Notes Elizabeth Merritt was Capt. William Butler's mother-in-law.