[New Zealand; Maoris; Admiral David Robertson-Macdonald.] Autograph transcripts of 3 documents (defence of Kororarika, NZ, against an attack by 'natives' during the Flagstaff War). With 88 (eighty-eight) newspaper obituaries and other biographical matter.
At the outbreak of the Flagstaff War, Robertson-Macdonald was serving as Commander of HMS Hazard. On 11 March 1845 he was severely wounded while leading the defence of the town of Kororarika (now Russell) from 'the attack of an overwhelming body of natives', resulting in the loss of six of his men. The three transcripts that form Item One below relate to this action, and were presumably made out by the Admiral himself towards the end of his life, in a shaky hand and with a number of errors. (They are in a contemporary shaky old man's hand and in the residue of the family papers.) Of particular interest is the first of the three transcripts, which unlike the other two does not appear to have been published. The original has not been traced, and it may be that only the present copy survives. This item, together the rest of the collection described below, derives from the papers of the Admiral's son David Macdonald Robertson-Macdonald. ONE: Autograph transcripts (4pp., folio) of three documents relating to the defence of Kororarika. All three on a bifolium of ruled Britannia paper by Waterston & Sons of Edinburgh (where the Admiral was resident at the end of his life). In good condition, lightly-aged. The first of the three transcripts is a letter (2pp.) addressed 'To David Robertson Esq | Acting Command of H.M Ship Hazard', and dated from 'Auckland New Zealand | 26 March 1845'. The Admiral notes in pencil that '213 signed' the document. The first paragraph reads: 'We the undersigned Inhabitants of Auckland and we the late Residents of Kororarika are desirous of expressing our gratitude to you for your gallant exertions in the late affair at the Bay of Island [sic] and our lively and sincere sympathy with you under your present sufferings from the many and severe wounds by which your life has been seriously endangered, whilst defending the wives and children and the lives and property of British Subjects from the attack of an overwhelming body of well armed and determined Savages in open rebellion against the authority of British Law and the Majesty of the British Flag'. The second paragraph refers to 'the Hazards Officers and Crew who accompanied you in the Malava Pass when you so resolutely and completely repulsed a band of upwards of 400 natives'. In the third paragraph the authors state that they 'trust with confidence to the justice of the Rulers of our distant Mother Country'. In the second transcript - 'From The New Zealand Spectator | April 5th. 1845' - 'the Settlers' conclude by stating 'That Mr Hector and other Civilians at the Bay of Islands set an example we hope all other Colonists will follow'. The third transcript is from an undated letter (1p.) 'To Acting Commander David Robertson | H.M.S. Hazard', from 'The settlers of Nelson who had signed the Memorial', praising 'the promptitude with which on a strange element you threw yourself almost single handed between your defenceless Fellow Countrymen and the hord [sic] of armed savages that was pouring down on them, of the gallantry with which you acquitted yourself in the personal encounter, and of the personal courage with which you continued to rally your small force, till with a broken sword and many musket balls in yr. body, you were carried from the field of battle'. The third transcript was published in the Wellington Independent, where the original was said to be 'lying at the Examiner office for signature'. TWO: White card (13 x 8 cm) with rounded corners, carrying printed notice of the Admiral's death from The Times, 18 May 1910. An unusual item, presumably printed by The Times itself, with the notices of six 'DEATHS', beginning with the Admiral's, beneath the newspaper's banner and the date 'LONDON, WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 1910.' In very good condition, lightly-aged. THREE: 88 press cuttings of obituaries of the Admiral, 74 of them attached to printed slips of three London cuttings agencies (68 from the Temple Press Cutting Offices, four from Woolgar & Roberts, and one apiece from T. B. Browne, Ltd, and the General Press Cutting Association Ltd.), the others loose. The cuttings are from the following national and provincial papers: Aberdeen Daily Journal, Aberdeen Evening Gazette (2), Aberdeen Free Press (2), Army & Navy Gazette (4), Bath Herald, Belfast News Letter, Bien Public [Dijon], Broad Arrow, Christian World, Church Union Gazette, Daily Graphic (2), Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily News, Daily Telegraph (3), Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, Edinburgh Evening News, Edinburgh Weekly Scotsman, Evening Dispatch, Evening Express, Evening Standard [& St James Gazette] (5), Glasgow Daily Record, Glasgow Herald (3), Glasgow Weekly Herald, Glasgow Weekly Mail, Globe (2), Gloucester Citizen, Hampshire County Times, Hampshire Telegraph, Inverness Courrier, Irish Times, Leeds Mercury (2), Morning Advertiser, Morning Post (3), Naval & Military Record (2), Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle Journal (4), Northern Whig, Patrie [Paris], Portsmouth Evening News, Portsmouth Times, Scots Pictorial, Scotsman (8), Southern Daily Mail, Star, Sussex News, Times (2), Truth (2), Weekly Echo, Weekly Free Press, Weekly News, Western Evening News, Westminster Gazette, Yorkshire Herald (2), Yorkshire Post (2). FOUR: Two autograph biographical notes relating on the Admiral by his son David Macdonald Robertson-Macdonald, both written on envelopes postmarked 1918; together with an Autograph Card Signed to him from S. R. Macdonald, postmarked 25 February 1918; with anonymous manuscript transcriptions of biographical entries on card with letterhead of the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall. FIVE: David Macdonald Robertson-Macdonald's printed funeral service ('Entered into Rest, Sunday, 13th July, 1919.'), 2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Printed in purple. Worn and aged. With manuscript (1p., 4to) setting out his service in the First World War, in 'the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, for the Anti-Aircraft Corps': 'He came into action with the gun on 8th. Sept 1915 against a Zeppelin dropping bombs in the City and fired 5 shell at her scoring one hit but with little effect - in actrion fm. 10.53 1/2 p.m. to 10.56 p.m. [...] Whilst on duty he saw a Zeppelin (L.32) falling in flames at Billericay on 23rd. Sept: 1916 and another viz L31 falling in flames from a height of 11000ft. at Potter's Bar on 1st. Oct: 1916.'