Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

First Maori War (1845-47)

15 images of drawings & watercolours by
Cyprian Bridge (1807-1885) & John Williams (-1905)


John Williams : The War Dance 1859

Extended Title from:- Thomson, A. S., The Story of New Zealand, Vol. 1 frontispiece, (Spottiwoode, London, 1859). This book in two volumes is the first comprehensive published history of New Zealand. Its author Dr. Arthur S. Thompson was the 58th Regiment surgeon. He arrived in NZ on 23 Jan 1848 and left with the regiment to return to England on 18 Nov 1858. The above work depicts a group of Maori men performing the haka or war dance - simultaneously jumping in the air, grimacing, with rifles held diagonally across the chest with their right hands. It likely depicts the War Dance performed to welcome Lieut. Governor Grey when he first visited the Bay of Islands on 24 Nov 1845 which would have been witnessed by the original artist John Williams.
B&W art print 150 x 230 mm from a wood engraving after a sketch by 58th Regt. Lance-Sergt. John Williams. The permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. PUBL-0144-1-front.


 John Williams : H.M.S. North Star, destroying Pomare's pa, Otiuhu, Bay of Islands (1845)

The sacking and burning on 30th April 1845 of Pomare's pa near the mouth of the Kawakawa River, Bay of Islands. In the foregound with furled sails is the 28-gun frigate H.M.S. North Star commanded by Sir Everard Home, Bart. Depicts the moonlit scene of small boats returning soldiers from the beach landing place to the squadron. The emabarkation was not completed until after 9 p.m. On the promontory further soldiers are silhouetted against the flames and black smoke. Formerly attributed to Major (later Colonel) Cyprian Bridge of the 58th Regt. who served in New Zealand from April 1845 to October 1850. Reproduced as one of the Turnbull Prints under Bridge's name. Now attributed to 58th regt soldier Sgt. John Williams. Watercolour 205 x 275 mm. The permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-032

Puketutu Pa - 8 May 1845


John Williams : Okaihou May 8th, 1845

The attack by British and friendly Maori allied forces on the Puketutu Pa at Okaihou/Okaihau on 8th May 1845. Scene on the banks of Lake Omapere (to the  right) with the attack in progress around the outer perimeter of the Puketutu Pa (centre left in the  middle distance). Seated Maori allies and some British soldiers in the foreground, two groups of soliders in formation, and others lying at the crest of a rise in the middle distance firing towards the pa. Watercolour 242 x 325 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-029.


Cyprian Bridge : Sketch of the action at Mawe, New Zealand, on the 8th May,
1845 by the forces under command of Lt Colonel Hulme 96th Regt.

The British forces at this action comprised troops of the 58th and 96th regiments, and marines & sailors of H. M. Ships  North Star and Hazard, against the combined forces of the rebels Heke & Kawiti. Shows the attack on the Puketutu Pa at Lake Omapere, near Okaihou, between the Bay of Islands and Hokianga Harbour, with Royal Marines in the right foreground firing a rocket launcher, ranks of soldiers,  Maori in the distance, and the pa surrounded by the smoke of gunfire in the background at the foot of wooded hills, and shore of the lake to the right. Compare with  virtually identical engraving after this watercolour "Attack on Okaihou"  published in A. S. Thomson The Story of New Zealand, vol.2, p.111 (John Murray, London, 1859). Watercolour with Chinese white and scraping out, 187 x 259 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-008

Kapotai Pa - 16 May 1845


Cyprian Bridge : View of the landing of the troops under Major Bridge to
attack the pah of the Waikadi tribe, on the morning of 16th May 1845.

Waikare Inlet: Shows seven canoes of British soldiers paddling or punting up the inlet towards low hills with some buildings of the Kapotai Pa in the background. Flax grows along the water's edge. Some disembarked soldiers stand on the bank in groups on the right. The rebels fled the pa on the approach of the soldiers and fighting ensued outside. Compare with  virtually identical engraving after this watercolour "Waikare River Expedition"  published in A. S. Thomson The Story of New Zealand, vol.2, p.111 (John Murray, London, 1859), and a  simplified monotone copy of this watercolour of same name by John Williams  ( ATL  ref. A-079-011). Watercolour, 189 x 260 mm.  Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-001.


Cyprian Bridge : View of the attack on the pah of the Waikadi tribe on the morn of the 16th May, 1845.

Several armed redcoats by a clump of bushes in the foreground, other soldiers and "friendly" Maori firing from behind a line of bushes in the middle distance towards the fenced pa site set against hills. A European house outside the fencing on the right has other Maori around it.  John Williams' pastel sketch of the same view  (ATL ref.  A-079-025)  possibly was the field sketch, with this Bridge watercolour perhaps worked up from that Williams' view. Watercolour & Chinese white with scratching out 187 x 258 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-004

Ohaiawai Pa - 1 July 1845


John Williams : Ohaiawai [i.e. Ohaeawai], N.Z., at the moment
of retaking the hill on the morning of 1st July, 1845. [1845].

Attack on Hone Heke's pa at Ohaeawai defended by his allay Kawiti. The hill at the right being retaken by a detachment of the 58th commanded by Major Bridge, depicted charging up the hill. Earlier the British picket atop the hill had been overcome by a party of rebels who obtained possession of a British flag, which when flown later in the pa so infuriated the British forces commander Lt. Colonel Despard that at 3 p.m. he ordered the storming of the pa without knowing for certain whether his artillery had breached the walls. The complete failure of the assult on the unbreached walls and ensuing large toll of dead and wounded soldiers, with one third of the storming party killed within the first 5 to 7 minutes, led to the action being regarded as the New Zealand equivalent of the Crimean War Charge of the Light Brigade. In the 1859 published history The story of New Zealand it is said it was rumoured in London military clubs that after the Duke of Wellington read the despatches he was so annoyed as to remark that had NZ not been so far away he would have ordered Despard face a court-martial! Watercolour 25.5 x 43.2 cm. National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection NK1265.


John Williams : Ohaiawai 1st July 1845, 3 pm, N.Z. [1845]

Basically same view as above, but later in the day.  Shows view from British camp of the 3 p.m. assault on the Heke pa. A collection of circular tents (one rectangular at right), stands around a campfire in the foreground, with the top of a larger tent visible in right foreground. A group of soldiers crouch behind camp fence in middle distance at left. Eight grass huts are close to the tent group at right, in front of the Puketopic hill, topped by picket (group of British troops) surveying the attack taking place in left background. British troops attacking the palisades of the pa in two places. A flag-pole in the pa carries two flags, one a Union Jack captured earlier in the day by the rebels from the hilltop (later retaken by the 58th - see above watercolour by Bridge). For description of action see: Barthorp, M. To face the daring maoris (London, 1979). Watercolour on paper, image 205 x 318 mm, on sheet 265 x 362 mm.  Artist attributed according to style and circumstantial evidence. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-028


John Williams : Ohaiawai, N.Z. 1 July 1845.

Extended Title In: Maori war sketches, 1845-1850 (Original sketchbook) at at E-320-f. Shows the attack on Heke's pa at Ohaeawai, 1 July 1845 and repluse of the storming party. In the foreground is a line of British  soldiers seen from the back, standing in a trench behind a earthen barricade. To left and right of this are other soldiers at the edge of forested areas. The group on the left contains 2 gentlemen in top hats and frock-coats. In the distance, soldiers are attacking the outer palisade in two slightly separate places, and an amount of gunfire can be seen beyond the fence from within the pa. In the distance are rolling hills. Compare with similar engraving after this drawing "Repluse of Storming Party at Ohaeawai" from a sketch by same artist Lance-Sgt. J. Williams published in A. S. Thomson The story of New Zealand, vol.2, p.116 (John Murray, London, 1859).  In: Maori war sketches, 1845-1850 (Original sketchbook) at ATL ref. E-320-f.  A ink and wash drawing 207 x 306 mm.  Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. E-320-f-002


Cyprian Bridge : View of the left angle of Heke's pah at Ohaiawai that was
stormed on the 1st July, 1845, from a breastwork adjoining our right battery.

View from a breastwork adjoining the British right battery. A group of six red-coated soldiers (with part of a seventh on the far right) and one "friendly" Maori in the foreground, behind a low shelter, loading and shooting towards the extensive palisades of Hone Heke's pa at Ohaiawai. The palisades are shown with rifle holes continously along the base to enable firing from behind protection; the English soldiers and their companion, on the other hand, are having to raise their heads above the earthworks to fire, with the exception of those on the far right, who are behind a Maori-style palisade. There is a flag flying to the far left of the pa. Watercolour, 156 x 235 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-005.

Ruapekapeka Pa - 11 January 1846


John Williams : Ruapekapeka, N.Z., the British camp and friendly pa in
the foreground, the rebel pa in the distant wood on the left. [1846].

Ruapekapeka Pa, N.Z., January 1846.   Left foreground the heavy guns used to bombard  the half mile distant rebel pa surrounded by woods. Original drawing by Major Cyprian Bridge. Watercolour  20.1 x 30.1 cm.  National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection K1262.


 John Williams : Ruapekapeka, N.Z. [January, 1846].

Ruapekapeka Pa 11 Jan 1846. The pa in the distance on a hillside, with the smoke of gunfire around it. In the foreground on a plain are British redcoats, some standing in line, some moving amongst the raupo whares of the lower pa. On the right a cauldron is boiling on a fire and the palisades of the pa are visible. On the left, bullocks are hauling supplies (of timber?) into the flat area and the artillery is firing upon the pa in the background with much gunsmoke.  Watercolour, 206 x 328 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. A-079-030.


John Williams : Ruapekapeka after taken possession of on 11 Jany 1846- at noon /
drawn by Lance Sergt Williams 58th Regt from a sketch by Lt Col. Wynyard C.B.

British redcoats entering through the broken pa palisades, with smoke inside the pa. Several soldiers and two marines firing towards the bushes in front of the pa. One dead soldier on the ground beside this latter group. Heavy bush on both sides and in the foreground, with Maori hidden and firing on the left.  Watercolour on wove paper 187 x 280 mm, glued into sketchbook with cover title "John Williams d.1905?". Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image - reference No. E-320-f-010.


Cyprian Bridge : View of the pah at Ruapekapeka from the lower stockade at the time it was entered and
captured by the allied force of friendly natives and troops, under Lt Colonel Despard, 11th Jany, 1846.

View of  the Pa from the lower of the two stockades constructed by the British troops for artillery deployment - at the time of entry and subsequent occupation by the force of friendly natives and troops, under Lt. Colonel Despard on 11th Jan. 1846. Shows the pa as seen from about 150 metres away from behind a row of low trees. Two lines of red-coated soldiers, about 10 in each line are about to enter the pa through a breach made in the palisade. As yet there are no soldiers lying on the ground. In the foreground, a soldier sits watching the action from a fallen tree trunk, two Maori sit together near right and two others walk separately nearby. At right, a sailor dressed in blue, with a sword hanging from his belt, peers, at the action below from behind a tree-trunk which forms the end of a wooden palisade. Through at hole in this palisade at far right, either a 12 or 18-pounder on wheels aims towards the pa manned by two others watching the action. Watercolour on paper 180 x 255 mm. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mätauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image  - reference  No. A-079-007.


Cyprian Bridge : The pah at Ruapekapeka in flames, from the 32 Pr. Stockade. Jany. 12th, 1846.

The burning of the Ruapekapeka Pa after possession was taken on 11 Jan 1846 - as viewed from the second most distant of the three artillery locations - viz. the 32-pounder battery stockade located approx. 370 meters from the pa. Watercolour 19.5 x 24.2 cm. National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection  NK227.

Additional to the above images, several First Maori War period works by the two artists are held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ ; Hocken Library at the University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ ; and National Library of Australia. They can be identified in their respective online pictorial catalogues linked to below:

NLNZ Timeframes   at "Search" enter either: "Williams, John d.1905" or "Bridge, Cyprian"
NLA Picture Catalogue  select "online images" & enter either: John Williams or Cyprian Bridge
1845-46 newspaper transcripts     despatches,  editorial content etc.  from   The New Zealander

Alexander Turnbull Library images by permission of the National Library of New Zealand
Rex Nan Kivell Collection images by permission of the National Library of Australia

Page compiled by John Raymond, Brisbane, Australia - November 2002