Country of origin: Scotland
Areas in New Zealand: Bay of Islands, Kapiti, Kaikoura
Source: Paperspast, Rootsweb, National Library
Details: Born Edinburgh 1817, died 21st of May 1904. Married Kokoroiti Rewhaunga born 1820, Te Kopi, died 4 Jan 1882, Kaikoura.
Son John Stenton Workman born 1842
Son Joseph Workman born 1844
Son William Workman born 1846
Son Thomas Stanton Workman born 1849
Son Richard Stanton Workman born 1853
Dau Sarah Stanton Workman born 1855
Son Henry Stanton Workman born 1858
Son Robert Stanton Workman born 1861
Son Frederick Stanton Workman born 1864
Obituary at the Evening Post 1904. John Stenton Workman
One of the last of the sturdy old whalers who hunted the huge denizens of the deep of these shores when New Zealand was the land of the Maori "crossed the bar" on Saturday. Tho career of Mr Stenton Workman, who passed peacefully away at the residence of his daughter, Mrs Davidson, at Petone, in his 87th year, was brimfull of interesting and exciting incident, and the pity of it is that only a comparatively few scraps are now available. Almost, to the last Mr. Workman enjoyed the best of health and many a stirring yarn could he tell as his thoughts wandered back to the early days. He left England in his uncle's ship, and reached New Zealand in 1834. His uncle, a stout old Puritan sailor, traded Tower muskets and such like things with the Maoris in return for dressed flax, pigs, and potatoes. They saw Kororareka when that historic place was a great whaling station and the "hell upon earth" described by some historians. There, too, Workman rode the first horse ever landed in New Zealand and won the first race in this land of racing and the totalisator. When the animals were landed, an old sea dog mounted one horse with shot belts round his waist to make up weight. Young Stenton became the competing jockey. The horses whent off over the hard wet beach, and the younger rider was victorious. The young man left his uncle's ship to join a party of shore whalers, and was one of a hundred men who were engaged under one Peterson. Their station was on a small island adjacent to Kapiti, off the West Coast of this Island. It was rented from Te Rauparaha at the rate of £5 per year, and that redoubtable chief gave the occupants his protection. Life at such stations was full of adventure and excitement. The subject of this notice was bad as they have been painted by some writers.
Whilst at this station Mr. Workman married Rewhanga, the daughter of a Wairarapa tribe who predeceased her husband. After leaving Kapiti, he went to Port Underwood and followed whaling pursuits there and at Kaikoura, where he subesquently lived for many ears and became very well knowu all along the coast. Mr. Workman used to tell how on one occasion tho whalers made an expedition to Wellington expecting to find a similar party there. But they found ships in the bay and immigrants ashore. There was a grog shanty and a restaurant, but their doors were guarded by armed sailors; armed men stood around piles of goods on the beach, and wherever they went they were treated like hostile visitors. At last they found a man who was bold enough to speak to them, and they asked him why they were received as enemies. "Why," said he, "those people from England have been told such terrible stories about you that they expect you to rob and murder everybody you come across. They heard you wero coming up the harbour, and made preparations as you see." The second time Mr. Workman went to Wellington he found a large town there, and saw for the first time in his life the inside of a steamship and took passage in it for the South, and at Christchurch saw a railway for the first time in his life. A Canterbury writer who happened to meet Mr. Workman at Kaikoura some 14 years ago wrote of him: He is a grand old sea-king, whom Charles Kingsley would have loved to describe ; open-faced, frank of speach, stately in bearing and honest as the day. If his story could be written it would make a book of strange adventure and eventful life.
The late Mr. Workman has lived in Petone for some three years.. He leaves a family of six, with nearly 70 grand children and great-grandchildren. The interment will take place at Kaikoura.