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1-147 (Text)

Item metadata
Speaker:
author,male,Broadside*,un addressee
ns1:discourse_type
Newspaper Article
Word Count :
1590
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Public Written
ns1:texttype
Newspapers & Broadsides
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/New_South_Wales
Created:
1815
Identifier
1-147
Source
Ingleton, 1988
pages
55-56
Document metadata
Extent:
9313
Identifier
1-147-plain.txt
Title
1-147#Text
Type
Text

1-147-plain.txt — 9 KB

File contents



THE REMARKABLE NARRATIVE of George Bruce THE NEW ZEALAND CHIEFTAIN
George Bruce, son of John Bruce, foreman and clerk to Mr. Wood, distiller, at Limehouse, was born in the parish of Radcliffe-highway, in 1779. In 1789 he entered on board the ROYAL ADMIRAL East Indiaman, Capt. Bond, as Boatswain's boy. Sailed from England for New South Wales, and arrived at Port Jackson in 1790, where, with the consent of Captain Bond, he quitted the ship, and remained in New South Wales.
At Port Jackson, Bruce entered into the naval colonial service, and was employed for several years under Lieutenants Robins, Flinders, and others, in exploring the coasts, surveying harbours, head-lands, rocks, &c. During this time Bruce experienced various adventures, which do not come within the design of this narrative. After being thus employed for several years, in vessels of survey, he was turned over to the LADY NELSON, Captain Simmonds, a vessel fitted up for the express purpose of conveying Tippahee, king of New Zealand, from a visit which he made to the government of Port Jackson, to his own country. The king embarked, and the LADY NELSON sailed on her destination.
During the passage, Tippahee was taken dangerously, ill, and Bruce was appointed to attend him; he acquitted himself so highly to the king's satisfaction, that he was honoured with his special favour; and on their arrival, the king requested that he should be allowed to remain with him at New Zealand, to which Captain Simmonds consented, and Bruce was received into the family of Tippahee.
Bruce spent his first few months in New Zealand, in exploring the country, and in acquiring a knowledge of the language, manners, and customs of the people. He found the country healthy and pleasant, full of romantic scenery agreeably diversified by hills and dales, and covered with wood. The people Were hospitable, frank and open; though rude and ignorant, yet worshipping neither images or idols, nor aught that is the work of human hand; acknowledging one Omnipotent Supreme Being.
As the king proposed to place the young Englishman at the head of his army, it was a previously necessary step that he should be tattooed, as, without having undergone that ceremony, he could not be regarded as a warrior. The case was urgent, and admitted of no alternative. He therefore submitted resolutely to this painful ceremony; and his countenance presents a master specimen of the art of tattooing. Being now tattooed in due form, Bruce was recognized as a warrior of the first rank, naturalized as a New Zealander, received into the bosom of the king's family and honoured with the hand of the Princess Aetockoe, the youngest daughter of Tippahee, a maiden of fifteen or sixteen years of age, whose native beauty had probably been great, but which was so much improved by the fashionable embellishments of art, that all the softer charms of nature, all the sweetness of expression, were lost in the bolder impressions of tattooing.
Bruce now became the chief member of the King's family, and was vested with the government of the island. Six or eight months after his marriage, the English ship INSPECTOR, the FERRET, a South Sea whaler, and several other English vessels, touched at New Zealand for supplies, and all of them found the beneficial influence of having a countryman and friend at the head of affairs in that island. They were liberally supplied with fish, vegetables, &c. &c.
Our Englishman and his wife were now contented and happy, in the full enjoyment of domestic comfort, with no wants that were ungratified, blessed with health and perfect independence.  Bruce looked forward with satisfaction to the progress of civilization, which he expected to introduce among the people with whom, by a singular destiny, he seemed doomed to remain during his life.
While enjoying these hopes, the ship GENERAL WELLESLEY, about twelve or fourteen months ago, touched at a point of New Zealand, where Bruce and his wife then chanced to be. This was at some distance from the king's place of residence. Captain Dalrymple applied to Mr. Bruce to assist him in procuring a cargo of spars and benjamin, and requested specimens of the principal articles of produce of the island, all which was cheerfully done. Captain Dalrymple then proposed to Bruce to accompany him to North Cape, distant about twenty-five or thirty leagues, where it was reported that gold dust could be procured, and Captain Dalrymple conceived that Bruce might prove useful to him in search for the gold dust.
With great reluctance, and after many entreaties, Bruce consented to accompany Captain Dalrymple, under the most solemn assurances of being safely brought back and landed at the Bay of Islands. He accordingly embarked with his wife on board the GENERAL WELLESLEY, representing, at the same time, to Captain Dalrymple, the dangerous consequences of taking the king's daughter from the island; but that fear was quieted by the solemn and repeated assurances of Captain Dalrymple, that he would, at every hazard, re-land them at the Bay of Islands, the place from which they embarked. Being at length all on board, the WELLESLEY sailed for the North Cape, where they soon arrived and landed. Finding that they had been entirely misinformed as to the gold dust, the WELLESLEY made sail, in order to return to New Zealand but the wind becoming foul, and continuing so for 48 hours, they were driven from the island. On the 3d day the wind became more favourable, but Captain Dalrymple did not attempt to regain the island, but stood on for India. Bruce now gently remonstrated, and reminded him of his promises; to which Captain Dalrymple replied, "That he had something else to think of, than to detain the ship, by returning with a valuable cargo to the island. Besides he had another and better island in view for him."
On reaching the Feejee, or Sandlewood Islands, Captain Dalrymple asked Bruce if he chose to go on shore, and remain there? which he declined, on account of the barbarous and sanguinary disposition of their inhabitants. Captain Dalrymple desired that he would choose for himself; and then took from him several little presents, which he himself and his officers had given to him at New Zealand; these now were given to the natives of the islands, in the boats then alongside the vessel.
Leaving the Feejee islands, they steered toward Sooloo, after visiting two or three islands in their passage. After remaining four or five days at Sooloo, they sailed for Malacca; Captain Dalrymple Bruce went on shore. The latter was anxious to see the governor or commanding officer, to state his grievances, but as it was late in the evening when he landed, he could not see him till the following morning, by which time Captain Dalrymple had weighed from Malacca roads, leaving Bruce on shore, and carrying off his wife on board the WELLESLEY to Penang. Bruce acquainted the commanding officer Malacca with his case, and expressed his wish to regain his wife, and to return with her to New Zealand. The commanding officer endeavoured to console him; desired that he would patiently wait at Malacca for a short time, as some ship might probably touch there on their passage from Bengal to New South Wales, by which he would procure a passage for himself and his wife; and that, in the mean time, he would write to Penang, desiring that his wife should be returned to her husband at Malacca. After waiting for three or four weeks, accounts were received of Captain Dalrymple's arrival at Penang; upon which, Bruce obtained the commanding officers permission, and left Malacca in the SCOURGE gun-brig for Penang, where, upon arrival, he found that his wife had been bartered away to Capt. Ross. On waiting on the governor of Penang, he was asked what satisfaction he required for the ill treatment he had experienced? Bruce answered, that all he wanted was to have his wife restored, and to get a passage, if possible to New Zealand. Through the interference of the governor his wife was restored to him. With her he returned to Malacca, in hope of the promised passage to New South Wales; but as there was no appearance of the expected ships for that port, he was now promised a passage for himself and his wife to England, in one of the homeward bound Indiamen from China. By getting to England, he hoped from thence to find a passage to New South Wales; but the China ships only anchored in Malacca Roads for a few hours during the night, so that he had no opportunity of proceeding by any of the ships of that fleet. He then entreated the commanding officer to get him a passage in the SIR EDWARD PELLEW to Penang, where he hoped to overtake the Indiamen. A passage for himself and his wife was accordingly provided on board the PELLEW; and, on arrival at Penang, he found the Indiamen standing still there; but he could not be accommodated with a passage to England without the payment of four hundred dollars. Not having that sum, and without the means to raise it, he came on with the SIR EDWARD PELLEW to Bengal, where he and his wife, the affectionate companion of his distress, were hospitably received. An opportunity having occurred in the course of a few months, of a passage to New South Wales, they found no difficulty in regaining New Zealand.

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