Reginald ORTON -
A Canterbury Settler
22 March 1839 - Reginald ORTON, born at Villiers Street, Sunderland, County Durham, England; parents Reginald ORTON, surgeon, and Agnes Caroline, nee BRADLEY.
24 March 1839 - Baptised St Thomas’, Bishopwearmouth Parish, County Durham.
31 January 1841 - Death of his mother in Sunderland.
1851, Census Return:
24 Villiers Street, Sunderland –
Reginald ORTON Head 40 Marr. MRCS & LAC, general practitioner East Indies, British Subject
Reginald ORTON Son 12 Scholar Durham, Bishopwearmouth
Thomas DAWSON Assistant 20 Druggist Durham, South Shields
Jane SPRAGGON Servt. 22 House servant Northumberland, High Calleston
Ann WATSON Servt. 23 Wid. House servant Durham, Usworth.
12 December 1860 - Arrival of the ship "Harwood" at Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand, with cabin passengers including Reginald ORTON, and James PRESTON and his wife Anna (nee BRADLEY), the latter a cousin of Reginald’s deceased mother.1860
30 January 1861 – Having found employment with the Rhodes Brothers, (of Purau and the Levels), Reginald Orton was mentioned in the Journal of George Rhodes of the Levels : "Mr ORTON and Mr CROSBIE arrived with horses from Purau".
20 March 1862 - "Mr ORTON breaking in horses" [Journal of George RHODES].
16 June 1862 - " T. WOOD, Mr ORTON, and RAIN started for Port with 3000 wethers." [Journal of George RHODES".
21 December 1865 - Marriage of Reginald ORTON, 26, stock-owner, bachelor, and Jeannie MANSON, 21, spinster, the first marriage to be performed at St Cuthberts, Governors Bay; officiating minister R. R. BRADLEY; witnesses: James I. ORTON, Marion MANSON.
30 July 1866 - Land Application Books - show that on this date Reginald ORTON of Hartley Farm, Avonside, farmer, paid cash in full, £262, for 130 acres, Rural Section 10453, situated in the district of Timaru.
Mortgage of the same date, 30D/335, Orton to Rhodes.
Same date - £140 paid for Rural Section 10454, 70 acres.
6 September 1866 - Birth of son Reginald, at Hartley Farm, Avonside, Christchurch.
2 January 1868 – Birth of daughter Caroline Agnes, at Christchurch.
March 1868 - Settled on his land in the Pleasant Point District, near Timaru, South Canterbury.
The "Timaru Herald", 2 May 1928, printed some details of their journey south in its "notable Pioneers" supplement of that date:
"The long journey from Horse Shoe Lake [Avonside] to Pleasant Point was made with horse teams over the then roadless and bridgeless plains. In crossing the Rakaia River one of the drays containing some furniture and personal effects, capsized; and although the party extricated themselves without physical hurt or material loss, the clothing and boxes sustained damage from immersion in the river…….."
Further children born to Jeannie and Reginald Orton were Marion Jeannie 1869, Malcolm 1871, Bessie Annie 1873, Mabel Ada 1875, Bruce 1877, Jeanette Mary 1879, Ethel Linda 1882, Allan 1884, and Cora Evelyn Modlin 1885.1870
11 July 1895 - "Lyttelton Times"…..
An old identity at Pleasant Point, Reginald Orton, was drowned while crossing the Opihi River, on horseback, last night. One of the oldest settlers at Pleasant Point, Mr Reginald Orton lost his life in the Opihi River on Tuesday evening. After attending the Temuka Stock Sales he was returning home by the Waitohi Flat Road, and was last seen by the Saleyard Crossing, just below the Point. Not long afterwards, his wet and riderless horse was found on the further side of the river. Constable Stanley and a number of volunteers searched the river for some time in vain. Yesterday morning the search was renewed at daylight, and eventually the body was found in the river about two miles below the Crossing. The horse was a young one, and it is surmised that it stumbled in the deep water and deceased was washed off before it could recover its footing. Deceased’s face was bruised, as if struck by his horse’s hoof. Mr Orton was one of the best horsemen in the District. He leaves a numerous family.
12 July 1895 - From the Diary of James Preston, his shipboard companion of 1860:
"……………….Heard of Reginald Orton’s death. He was drowned when crossing the Opihi River near the Point. Poor man, what a sad ending."
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