Country of Birth: USA
Original Area in NZ: Waikato
Details: A STRANGE WILL CASE – A ‘MIXED’ MARRIAGE IN NEW ZEALAND
A London correspondent sends us the following particulars of a singular case in Chancery, concerning the succession to property of children born in New Zealand of an English father and a Maori mother:- In Chancellor Wood’s court, on Saturday 24th Nov. in the case of Armitage v. Armitage, a curious point was raised. It arose under the will of Joseph Armitage, of Birkley Lodge, Huddersfield, who made a bequest in favour of the lawful children of his son James, ‘providing he should marry an English lady.” James Armitage marred Hannah Tahi-Tahi, a native of New Zealand and daughter of Samuel Randall and Taihi-Tahi, an aboriginal of New Zealand. The question was – whether there was a lawful marriage between James Armitage and Tahi-Tahi and of this there was no evidence except the affidavit of Samuel Randall himself, who described himself as a Rangoon Waikato, in the province of Auckland in New Zealand and deposed that he was sixty-five years of age, a British subject, born in Massachusetts in 1801, of parent who were British subjects, that he came to New Zealand in 1838 and in 1839 intermarried with Tahi-Tahi according to the laws, customs and usages then in force in New Zealand; that New Zealand was not then a British colony, and there was no Christian clergyman there at the time.”
Mr Gifford, Q.C. submitted that this evidence was sufficient. Mr Buchanan for the trustees, and Mr Yule for the person interested said that conditions were not fulfilled, referred to the decision of the Divorce Court, in which it was held that a marriage, according to the Mormon religion was not valid and submitted that that court could not recognise a marriage according to the laws, customs and usages of New Zealand before it was a British colony.