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The two Speedy families were recruited by New Zealand Company agents McEwen and Miller on 2 November 1840.

Speedy, Wm. Agri. Lab., Stormont Field by Perth M 29/28

Speedy, David, agri. Lab. Methven by Perth, M 36/35, B 12, 8, 6, 4 G 10, 2

Speedy, Elizabeth, sempstrefs, Methven by Perth, S 14 

The Speedy family arrived in Wellington on the Lord William Bentinck on 19 May 1841, the ship having left London on 1 January of the same year. The ship was under the command of Captain Crow, and was listed as weighing 444 tons.

Speedy            David 36                     Agricultural Labourer

                        Hellen 35                                                                               

                        Elizabeth 14                Sempstress

                        John 12                                                                                                                                   

                        Mary 10 

                        William 8 

                        Graham 6 

                        David 4 

                        Margaret 2 

Speedy            William 29                  Agricultural Labourer

                        Anne 28

David Speedy had married Helen Speedy at Methven, Perthshire on 12 March 1826. Their family were all baptised at nearby Fowlis Wester. 

Elizabeth bapt. Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, 4 January 1827

John bapt. Fowlis Wester, 5 October 1828.

Mary, bapt. Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, 13 June, 1830.

William bapt. Fowlis Wester, Perthshire; 26 July 1832.

Graham bapt. Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, 3 January, 1835.

David, bapt. Fowlis Wester, Perthshire, 17 September 1836,

Margaret bapt. Fowlis Wester, 15 September 1839. 

Peter Speedy died in Lower Hutt in 1924 at the age of 82, so he must have been born shortly after the family arrived in New Zealand.

James Speedy died   in 1927 at the age of 82, which would put his year of birth at about 1847, just before civil registration commenced. 

William Spidey (sic) married Ann Hutton at Methven on 30 June 1833.

David and William appear to be the sons of John Spiedy and Janet Dier, who married at Methven on 30 August 1795. 


St. Beans Church in Fowlis Wester. Dates back to the 13th century.

In the 1845 Juror’s List, David Speedy of Kai Warra is listed as a labourer.

On the 1847 Electoral Roll for Port Nicholson, William Speedy of Thorndon Quay is listed as a carter.

The first land farmed by the Speedy family was part of Section 37 in the Hutt, which was on the western side of the Hutt River, close to where Wairere Road joins the SH 2.

Grants under purchases from the New Zealand Company. 1852 David Speedy, 8 acres 1 rood. (1 December 1852, Wellington Independent)

Deed No.875 (folio 1003) Country Section 48 Hutt District.     Plan in Deed: Yes

Conveyance dated 10 October 1857. Deed registered 12 October 1857. George Scott of the Valley of the Hutt, farmer to David Speedy of the Hutt, farmer. Bounded towards the south by Country Sections 37 and 185, towards the west by Country Sections 185 and 184, towards the north by Country Sections 184 and 51 and towards the east by Country Sections 49 and 46. Signed by George Scott in the presence of John E. Smith of Wellington, solicitor and A. Pringle, Hutt, farmer.

Deed No.876 (folio 1004) Country Sections 48 and 49 Hutt District.    Plan in Deed: Yes

Mortgage dated 10 October 1857. Deed registered 12 October 1857. David Speedy of the Valley of the Hutt, farmer to George Scott of the Valley of the Hutt, farmer. [Section 48] Bounded towards the south by Country Sections 37 and 185, towards the west by Country Sections 185 and 184, towards the north by Country Sections 184 and 51 and towards the east by Country Sections 49 and 46. [Section 49] Bounded towards the north by part of Country Section 52, towards the northeast by the River Hutt, towards the south by Country Section 46 and towards the northwest by Country Section 48. Signed by David Speedy in the presence of John E. Smith of Wellington, solicitor and A. Pringle of Hutt, farmer.

 This transfer of land occurred ten days before David Speedy Snr died on 20 October 1857. He was buried at Blackbridge Cemetery in Lower Hutt, one of the first two burials there. It would appear likely that it was David Speedy Jnr who was purchasing the land.

This section appears to be immediately north of the original eight acres, and was situated where Belmont School now stands. Speedy Creek flows through the area, and just off SH 2 is Speedy’s Reserve. 

Life was not always straightforward on those days, particularly for a property so close to the Hutt River, as this newspaper report shows:

Wellington Independent, Volume X, Issue 1319, 9 October 1858,

Again, we say, pity is a mere insignificance, when nothing is done to prevent, but rather, to lay the foundation of a greater and more telling calamity than the mere losing of a fence and come that calamity will, most assuredly, despite the piling of the banks, &c, if nothing else is done but the patching up of the old bridge. But in regard to the cause in chief of such heavy inundations, we know that when the river has found a shorter, course above, by Mrs. Speedy's and through Mr M'Hardie's lands, it must come done with greater rapidity and greater force, and of course requires a freer escape below. Why could the hydraulic engineer not observe this, when brought to pronounce upon the subject? Well now, sir public, look below the bridge, and see what an accumulation of sand and mud is there—a complete dam-dyke, preventing the free passage of water; and certainly when a torrent is disallowed to pass in one direction, it must be kept back until it forces a passage elsewhere, to the hazard of every thing superficial lying in its way. (extract only)

David Speedy appears as a member of the Committee for the Hutt District in 1857

Elizabeth Speedy married Thomas Caverhill in Wellington on 2 March 1848. The marriage ended tragically when Thomas drowned in the Wairarapa later in the year.


A melancholy and fatal accident occurred to Mr. Thomas Caverhill, the Manager of Mr Clifford's station at Warekaka, Wairarapa, on Saturday last. Mr. Caverhill was engaged with some other persons in driving cattle across the river Ruamahunga, which at that place is about fifty yards wide, at a ford near Mr. Gilles' station he entered the river on horseback below the ford, and on arriving at the opposite bank the horse sprang up the steep bank, but missed its footing and fell, and it is supposed must have kicked Mr. Caverhill and stunned him, as both horse and rider sank to the bottom of a deep hole in that part of the river. After dragging the river the body was recovered and was found to be much bruised about the face the body was buried at Wairarapa. The deceased had only been married eight months.      

20 December 1848.

We regret exceedingly to state that a melancholy accident has occurred at Wairarapa, involving the loss of a very intelligent and respected man, Mr. T. Caverhill He was crossing the river on Saturday when, from some unknown cause, both horse and rider foundered and did not rise again. On Sunday the settlers collected around the spot where Caverhill had been last seen, and after dragging for some time his body was recovered. The unfortunate deceased was buried on Monday, and all the neighbouring residents paid their last tribute of respect by attending the corpse to the grave.          (Wellington Independent 20 December 1848.

Although it is not recorded in Births, Deaths and Marriages, Thomas William Caverhill was born in 1849, and it is almost certain that he was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth, born after the death of his father.

Elizabeth died in 1880 at the age of 53, and is buried in Blackbridge cemetery in Lower Hutt.

John Speedy married Diana Bruce in 1860.

At Fountain Hall. Te Aro, Wellington, on the 8th. November, by the Rev. W. Kirton, Mr. John Speedy, to Miss Diana Bruce, both of the Hutt. (Wellington Independent, 7 December 1860)

Their children were: 

David John 1862,

Helen Duthie 1864,

Keren Happuck 1866,

Jessie Bruce 1868,

Diana Bruce 1869,

Mary Margaret 1871,

Catherine Annie 1872,

Peter Bruce 1874,

Lionel John 1877,

Fanny Beatrice 1879,

Marion Florence 1881,

Olive Ruth 1883,

Rachael Alexandrina Irene, 1884,

John and Duncan Stanley 1886.

The birth of the eldest, David John, is recorded in Wellington, but the other births are all registered in the Porangahau district of Hawkes Bay, so the family must have moved to that area in the early 1860s.

John took up land at Herbertville, near Cape Turnagain not long after he arrived in Hawkes Bay. He obviously succeeded in farming in this district, as the following four advertisements show.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5313, 21 February 1879, Page 1. For sale sixty good Merino Rams for Sale; cheap. Whole flock, young and old. Apply to John Speedy, Wainui.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5956, 26 April 1881, Page 1. FOR SALE, 80 HEAD OF CATTLE, one, two and three years old. Steers and Heifers, ten Cows, with or without calves, 400 fat merinos, 400 full-mouth ewes, merino. Apply to JOHN SPEEDY, Wainui.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6528, 12 April 1883, Page 2. Mr John Speedy, Wainui, has for sale about 1000 merino ewes and wethers.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6999, 30 October 1884, Page 1. FOR SALE, 1500 wethers and 500 ewes (merinos) JOHN SPEEDY, Wainui.

He was also very involved in local affairs. He was a JP, a member of the Patangata County Council and very involved in the affairs of the local rabbit board, as rabbits were considered a major problem in the area by the early 1880s.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 3063, 21 April 1881, Page 2. WILD RABBITS.As conflicting reports of the continued spread of wild rabbits along the coast towards Hawke's Bay were of daily occurrence, and expressions freely indulged in as to the callousness of the Hawke's Bay settlers in paying so little attention to the certain inroad of these pests, Mr John Speedy, with the approval of the settlers of Wainui, wrote to and asked Mr Murray, who is in charge of the stations held by the late Mr Armstrong, if he would kindly name a day upon which he could attend a meeting of the settlers in the neighbourhood.

Other references in the newspapers of the time are:

[FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT. August 26, 1893. We have had a rather big fire since last I wrote. Mr John Speedy had an eight-roomed house destroyed. The origin of the fire is one of those mysteries that the police cannot solve, but they have certain suspicions, which may turn out correct some day. The house was insured for £350, but the contents were uninsured. They were valued at £200 at least, and nothing was saved.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5159, 22 August 1878, Page 1. NOTICE. ANYONE found hunting with or with out dog or gun on my property will be prosecuted, JOHN SPEEDY. Wainui, July 24, 1878.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 11199, 15 April 1899, Page 3. NOTICE. SHOOTING Strictly Prohibited on Burnview. JOHN SPEEDY.

Manawatu Standard, Volume XLI, Issue 9849, 16 July 1914, Page 5. The death occurred at Burnview, Herbertville, on Monday, of Mr John Speedy, the oldest settler of the Herbertville district, aged 86 years. Mr Speedy was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and arrived in New Zealand when about 12 years old on the "Lord William Bentinck." His youth was spent in the Hutt district, and the first land he took up was at Puketitiri, near Napier. After that he went to Herbertville, where he has resided for the last 50 years. Deceased leaves nine daughters and three sons. Three of the former and Messrs Norval and Stanley Speedy are at home, the others being Mesdames Nicholls (Kumeroa), Pillans, J. A. Riddell and J. Armstrong (Dannevirke), F. Armstrong and P. V. Smith (Akitio) and Mr Bruce Speedy (Featherston). Deceased's wife predeceased him about four years ago.

Evening Post, Volume LXXVI, Issue 135, 7 December 1908, Page 7. DANNEVIRKE, This Day. The death is announced of Mrs. John Speedy, of Herbertville. Deceased was on a visit to her son-in-law, Mr. James Armstrong, of Glengarry. She had been in failing health, and expired suddenly last evening. The late Mrs. Speedy was 68 years of age, and had resided at Herbertville for 45 years. The interment takes place at Herbertville.

In a report in the Manawatu Standard on 20 January 1912 following the death of Janet (Jessie) Saunders (nee McHardie) there is the following report (extract only) “There is another incident worthy of notice of which the deceased lady was the only remaining eye witness. It appears that Mr John Speedy (an old veteran who still resides at Blackhead, Hawke's Bay) performed a very courageous act as a young man serving in the militia in the early forties. Amid a shower of bullets, young Speedy rushed out, picked up a wounded sergeant, and returned to safety with him on his shoulder. Medals for bravery were not bestowed indiscriminately in those days as they are now, and the brave rescuer received no recognition for his noble deed in rescuing Sergt, Palmer. Mr Speedy's claim on his country for a medal was brought forward a few years back, and after considerable inquiries it was found that the late Mrs Saunders was the sole surviving witness of the incident. At the time in question she, with her parents, was hurrying away to the stockade for protection.”

Mary Speedy married Alexander Pringle in 1851. Alexander had arrived in Wellington on the London on 13 August 1840, having been recruited in Perth a month earlier. He is described as a dyer and scourer, aged 17.

Their children were:

Helen 1852,

N R 1855,

N R 1857,

James Baird 1859,

John 1862,

William Birrell 1864,

Graham Speedy 1867,

NR 1869,

Arthur Henry 1871.

William died in 1866 aged one year. 

In 1859 Alexander purchased a block of land from Edward Gibbon Wakefield, and at the same time took out a mortgage to the same person. The acreage is not given. This land is described as part of section 38, bounded on the east by Joseph Fry, and in the south by Stephen Fagan, so was probably near what is now Connolly Street.

In the 1872-73 Electoral Roll for the Hutt, Alexander’s address is recorded as “Camp Ground” which would indicate that it was close to Boulcott Farm.

Alexander died on 16 August 1900, and Mary on 17 November 1912. Both were buried at Blackbridge cemetery in Lower Hutt.

William Speedy married Fanny Groves, 1859.

Their children were:

William Groves 1862,

David Graham 1864,

John Frederick 1866,

Helen Florence 1868,

Hector Albert 1871,

Emily Annie Edith 1875,

Fanny Groves 1878.


William’s birth was recorded at Ahuriri, David’s in Wellington but the other children were all born in the Porongohau district from 1866, so William must have followed his brother John to Hawkes Bay.

When his youngest daughter was born on 5 May 1878, his address is given as Wainui. His wife died the following day. Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5085, 25 May 1878, Page 2. SPEEDY.—At Wainui, on the 6th May, Fanny, the beloved wife of William Speedy; aged 36. Deeply mourned.

Later that year William re-married.  On 22 November 1878 he married Matilda Helena Thorn Campbell. There were five children of the marriage; Paul Douglas 1879, Elsie Rebeckah 1881, Philip Gordon 1882, Annie Florymel 1885, Heber Campbell 1887. William was farming Pippibank station.

The following extracts from local newspapers give some idea of the activities of William Speedy over the years.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 13, Issue 1011, 6 January 1869, Page 3. The following, among other promotions, appointments, &c, are notified in a New Zealand Gazette dated 31st ult. In the Armed Constabulary. William Speedy to be Ensign. Date of commission, 2nd Dec, 1868.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5024, 5 March 1878, Page 3. I hereby Give Notice that any Person infringing my Patent for a Wool Press will be proceeded against, according to law, without any further notice. WILLIAM SPEEDY.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 3554, 29 November 1882, Page 3. WANTED— For the country, a good General Servant, must be strong, wages £1 per week. Apply by letter to Mrs William Speedy, Wainui, Cape Turnagain.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6932, 11 August 1884, Page 4. On Saturday evening the nucleus of what I trust will eventually become a volunteer company, in the form of some thirty residents, formed themselves into a rifle club, Mr William Speedy, an old and respected resident, being unanimously elected as president of the club, with Mr Edward T. Coppen (schoolmaster to the township) as hon. secretary, and Mr Pillans, of Tautane, treasurer.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 5539, 31 May 1889, Page 3. WANTED A Governess or Tutor. First-class English and Music required, also Elementary, French, Latin, and Drawing.: Good salary given to a competent teacher., Apply with references to William Speedy, Pipi Bank, Wainui, Cape Turnagain.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 8827, 18 November 1890, Page 2. GOOD ON BOTH SIDES.

ln June last the Union Steamship Company's Tarawera lost a lifebuoy through heavy weather on the coast, and it found a resting place at Cape Turnagain. Constable Lawless reported the finding of the buoy to Inspector Kiely, who communicated with the Union Company, and it was ordered to be sent on to Napier, where it only arrived by the Kiwi a few days ago, with a note stating that it had been doing duty at the landing shed since it was found, and had proved very useful. On receipt of this information the local manager of the Union Steamship Company immediately returned the buoy as a present to the people using the landing shed, in case of accidents, and the residents of Herbertville acknowledged the gift in the following address: - To K. Puflett, Esq., Agent of Union S S. Company of New Zealand, Spit. We, the undersigned residents of Herbertville, Tautane, and surrounding district of Cape Turnagain, being all more or less interested in the landing and shipping of goods at Cape Turnagain, hereby acknowledge and tender our sincere thanks to Mr Robert Puflett for his handsome and useful present of a life-boat to be kept at the landing sheds, Cape Turnagain in case of accidents. J. E. Riddell, Thomas Avison, Geo. Somerville, John Speedy, Arthur Herbert, Hugh Handyside, Thos. Woods Herbert, Ernest F. Levy, George Balsillie, Patrick M'Nalty, George Cripps, William Speedy, Elizabeth Cittadini, J. C. Pascoe, Henry G. Hirtzeh, Ed. Field, W. and C. Hales Charles Herbert, W. C. Turner Robt. J. Sidwell, John Patterson, Daniel Davies, John F. Speedy, E. J. Lawless, John A. Munro.

Bush Advocate, Volume IX, Issue 699, 8 November 1892, Page 3. ALLEGED ROBBERY FROM A DWELLING. (by telegraph.) (from our correspondent.) Herbertville This day. A police information was heard this day before Messrs W. S. Speedy and S. Franklin, J.P.'s, that Daniel Connor did on or about the 5th November 1892, at Woodbank, Herbertville, feloniously break into the dwelling house of one Graham Speedy and steal therefrom current coin amounting to 33s. Accused was committed to stand his trial at the next sittings of the Supreme Court at Napier.

William died 1894 aged 62.

Graham Speedy married Emily Groves in 1862.

Their children were:

David Henry 1863,

Albert John 1864,

Annie Elizabeth 1866,

James Groves 1868,

N R 1870,

Emily Mary and Louisa Ellen 1871,

Fanny Helena 1874,

Margaret Pringle 1875,

Lillian Carsehill 1877,

Graham McHutchon 1882,

Harold Colin 1885. 


The eldest son, David Henry, had his birth registered in Wellington, but all the others were born in the Porongahau district. Clearly the family moved to southern Hawkes Bay at about the same time as John’s and William’s families.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 4554, 8 March 1886, Page 2. The Porangahau licensing election was compromised. The Wainui people wished for a share of representation on the committee and so nominated two strong men from their locality, and being numerically much stronger than Porangahau were able to carry them. When this became known the latter place chose three of its best men and a poll was avoided. Messrs Graham Speedy, C. Herbert, A. H. Price, P. Hunter, and the Rev. Mr Simcox therefore were declared elected, and are to hold the first meeting for the election of chairman on Saturday next.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 7458, 31 August 1895, Page 3. The Rev. Dr. Sidey desires to tender his warmest thanks to the following persons who have kindly contributed to the scholarship fund that is being raised by the Presbytery of Hawke's Bay for the education of a student at the University for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand,— Messrs James Anderson £5, John Chambers £5, Rev. Dr. Sidey £5, Dr. Todd (Waipawa) £3, Messrs Robert Todd (Kaikora) £3, Graham Speedy (Wainui) £3, Mrs Bryson (Napier) £1, Mr John Begg £l

Graham too became very involved in the affairs of the local rabbit Board, as these newspapers extracts indicate.

Bush Advocate, Volume V, Issue 346, 29 July 1890, Page 2. The Board met at Porangahau, on Saturday. Present—Messrs H. Handyside (chairman), J. H. Coleman, A. H. Price, Thos. Crosse, and Graham Speedy.  Mr Price said that until a majority of the stock-owners had expressed approval of the introduction of stoats and weasels, the Board would not be justified in spending public money on importing them. Mr Speedy also spoke against the motion, which was then put and lost, Messrs Price, Coleman, and Speedy voting against, and Messrs Handyside and Crosse for their introduction. Accounts totalling £117 6s, were passed for payment, and the Board adjourned.—Telegraph.           (extracts only)

Daily Telegraph , Issue 5234, 24 August 1891, Page 2. At the Resident Magistrate's Court this morning the case of Graham Speedy (on behalf of the Rabbit Board) versus the Hon. J. D. Ormond, for a breach of the Rabbit Act, was called on for hearing. The complaint was that Mr Ormond had neglected to eradicate rabbits from his run at Wallingford. The Clerk of the Court, Capt. Forster, said the summons had been sent to Wellington for service on Mr Ormond, but he would not accept it, pleading privilege during the time the Legislative Council was in session. Mr Cornford, who appeared for the Rabbit Board, said this was a matter that was altogether within the discretion of the Court. The case was one of misdemeanor, and was a criminal proceeding. He quoted Russell on Crime," and said this was just as much, a crime as any other statutory offence punishable by the Court. The word misdemeanor was applied to all those offences for which the law had not provided a particular name. The privilege question was for the Court to consider, but he thought if Mr Ormond accepted service and applied for an adjournment, that was the proper course for him to have taken. Mr Cornford said he did not know under what advice Mr Ormond had acted; the matter had been brought under his notice, and his refusal to accept a piece of paper was another matter. The R.M. perused the Act under which members were privileged in this respect, and said it seemed to him that a misdemeanor was an indictable offence—one on which a person could be committed for trial. The present charge appeared to be neither a felony nor a misdemeanor, but he thought the constable should have handed the summons to Mr Ormond and have done with it. Mr Cornford concurred. It was eventually decided to adjourn the matter for a fortnight, the summons to be re-issued.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXXV, Issue 11510, 16 April 1900, Page 2. DEATH.

SPEEDY.On April 9th, 1900, at his residence, Woodbank, Herbertville, Hawke's Bay, Graham Speedy, aged 65 years.

Daily Telegraph , Issue 9915, 12 November 1900, Page 4. The wills of the following deceased persons have been finally certified for the amounts stated: Graham Speedy, Napier, £17,183 16s 3d.

David Speedy married Elizabeth Caroline Fagan in 1862.

Their children were - Eliza Caroline 1863, Emily Christine 1865, N R 1866, Marion Clara 1869, Edwin 1870, N R 1873, Stephen 1874, Sylvia Winnifred 1879.

Peter remained in the Hutt Valley, farming part of the original Speedy holding at Belmont. He was very involved in local affairs, as these newspaper reports show.

To make the bill of fare however complete, the following three horses entered for a Hurdle Race, we did not witness the running ourselves but the following was the issue. Once round and a distance.

Mr. Speedy's               Quay                            1

Mr. Serancke’s            Gay                             2

Mr. Ames'                   Clear the Way              3

This concluded the Hutt Races for 1860. The weather was throughout all that could be desired and the course was visited during both days by His Honor the Superintendent and others the elite of Wellington, Wanganui and elsewhere, and we cannot but here again express our highest commendation of the management of all who have in any way been instrumental in promoting these sports.           (Wellington Independent 16 March 1860)

HUTT VOLUNTEERS - At two o'clock the same day, 55 of the Hutt Rifle Volunteers, with their band, met on the parade ground. This company went through the manual, platoon, company, and light infantry drill under Captain Speedy, proving company drill, &c. by Lieutenant a Hall and Ensign Mason. Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2789, 26 January 1869, Page 3.

The nomination of candidates for election as representatives of the Epuni riding in the Hutt County Council took place at the Court-House at noon on Thursday. There were three nominations for the two seats required to be filled. Mr. David Speedy, Western Hutt, was proposed by Mr. John Ross, Taita, seconded by Mr. William Buick, Petoni. Mr. James Knight, Lower Hutt, was proposed by Mr. George M'Ilvride, seconded by Samuel Sanson. Mr. Thomas Mason, Taita, was proposed by Dr. Wilford, seconded by Mr. John White. The show of hands was for Mr. Speedy six for Mr. Knight, nine; for Mr. Mason sixteen. A poll was demanded by Mr. Speedy, and was appointed to take at the Court-House Lower Hutt, on Friday, the 22nd instant. (Evening Post 15 December 1876)

The monthly meeting of the Hutt County Council was held yesterday, and was attended by Councillors Taylor (chairman), Perkins, Falkner, Speedy, Brown, Jones, and Monaghan. On the motion of Councillor Monaghan, seconded by Councillor Speedy, it was decided to endorse the resolution of the Bruce County Council, affirming the principle that County Councils should support their own poor, and that the contributions to the Hospital be in proportion to the cost of each patient and to request the member for the district to place the matter before Parliament. Notice was received from the District Land Registrar that unless a caveat were lodged, seven acres of section 35, Hutt district, would be brought under the Land Transfer Act. It appeared that some encroachment had been made upon the road by settlers at this point. The Council empowered the Chairman to lodge a caveat objecting to any portion of the main road being enclosed within Mr. James Groves' boundary.            (12/1/1887 Evening Post)

The monthly meeting of the Wellington District Road Board was held at the Board's office yesterday, at noon. Present - D. Speedy, in the chair, Messrs. Perkins, Jones, and Wakeham. In the absence of the Chairman, Mr. Speedy was voted to the chair. Mr. Perkins was instructed to obtain the signatures of Messrs. Gorrie and Burrell to the agreement and plan of sale of certain pieces of land required by the Government for a railway crossing at Parkes' line, Mungaroa. The Chairman was authorised to sign a plan of Hutt Park, Petone, allotments, being part of section 10, Hutt district, if required for the purpose of registration under the Land Transfer Act. Accounts were passed for payment, amounting to £103 0s 10d, and the meeting closed. (4 November 1886, Evening Post)

A meeting of the Lower Hutt School Committee was held in the Schoolhouse yesterday. Present - Mr. David Speedy in the chair Messrs M'Nab, Cudby, Jones, and Damant. The Inspector's report of the late examination was received and read. It showed good general results, the percentage of passes being 87. Accounts amounting to £2 15s were passed for payment. The Chairman reported that the amount collected for children's treat and prizes was £17 14s, and that the expenditure in connection with the treat (including £6 6s for books and £2 2s given for prizes in the paddock) was £l5 15s. It was resolved, that the Committee desire to express their satisfaction at the manner in which the prizes were awarded at the breaking-up of the school.       (Evening Post 12 January 1886)

Evening Post, Volume XXXI, Issue 82, 8 April 1886, Page 2. Resignation of a School Committee. A meeting of the Lower Hutt School Committee was held in the Schoolhouse, Hutt, on Tuesday evening last. Mr. David Speedy was in the chair, and there were also present Messrs. Knight, Cudby, M'Nab, Jones, Caverhill, and Damant. A letter was received and road from the Education Board, enclosing a copy of the Board's decision, acquitting Mr. Richards, the headmaster, on the charges brought against him. The following resolution was then unanimously passed. “That this Committee being dissatisfied with the decision arrived at by the Education Board on the charges brought against Mr. Richards, the headmaster of this school, they therefore tender their resignation as a Committee, and that the clerk be instructed to forward the same to the Chairman of the Education Board at once."

Evening Post, Volume XXXIV, Issue 59, 7 September 1887, Page 2. Public Cemetery for the Hutt, Petone, and Taita. A meeting of residents of the above district was held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Lower Hutt, last evening, for the purpose of nominating trustees for the public cemetery for the districts of Hutt, Petone, and Taita, for approval by his Excellency the Governor. Mr. H. Damant, in the absence of the Chairman of the Hutt County Council, who convened the meeting, read the advertisement convening the meeting, and Mr. David Speedy was voted to the chair. The Chairman stated the object of the meeting, and said the land was situated at the Taita, but he was unable to say whether it was suitable for the purpose for which it was intended but it would be advisable to proceed with the nomination. Mr. Damant said the land was part of section 44, and, as far as he knew, it was all hilly land. About four years ago he had observed that the churchyards were getting crowded, and had foreseen the necessity for a public burying ground. At that time little interest was taken in the matter, but lately the Vestry of St. James', Lower Hutt, had taken action to get the Taita cemetery for the use of all denominations in the district, and they had made a report on the question to the Hutt County Council, and as a result the present meeting had been called. The section had been vested in the then Superintendent of the Province (the late Dr. Featherston) as long ago as 1857. Mr. Brown said there was another section adjoining the proposed cemetery, which it might be advisable to purchase. Captain Humfrey moved that two gentlemen from each denomination should be nominated. Mr. W. J. Kirk seconded the resolution, which was carried without dissent. The following gentlemen were then nominated Messrs. W. A. Fitzherbert and Henry Jackson (Anglican), James Knight and W. J. Kirk (Wesleyan), C. E. Bunny and Jno. Kavanagh (Roman Catholic), D. Speedy and G. M'Ilvride (Presbyterian) A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the proceedings.

DISTRICT PRIZE FIRING. The Hutt Rifle Volunteers met at the Taita target on Thursday last, to compete for the above prizes. The day was very fine, with a light breeze from the N.W. Only about half of the company competed, and the subjoined is the score:

Captain Mills                          20

Ensign Farmer                        35

Sergeant John Cole                 25

Sergeant D. Speedy                41

Corporal J. H Speedy              43       

Corporal Mason                      39

(Officer’s scores only recorded here.)

Looking at shipping records for the Wellington area over a number of years, it is obvious that David Speedy was very involved in producing potatoes.

Wellington Independent, Volume XVII, Issue 1735, 27 June 1862, Page 2. Exports:  In the Storm Bird, Duncan & Vermeil, Agents, 28 bags potatoes, Speedy: 1 horse, Captain Russell. June 24, s.s. Storm Bird, 105 tons, George Mundle, for Napier via Castle Point.         

New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume XIX, Issue 1998, 24 September 1864, Page 2. Exports - In the Wong Wonga, for Castle Point, Napier, and Auckland— 2 bags potatoes, Speedy.

Evening Post, Volume LIV, Issue 156, 31 December 1897, Page 6.

MR. DAVID SPEEDY. An old and well-known settler at Belmont, Mr. David Speedy, died at his residence. Methvyn, yesterday after a short illness. For many years he has been intimately connected with the affairs of the district, particularly as the representative of the Belmont Riding in the Hutt County Council. During the Maori troubles in the early sixties Mr. Speedy joined the first rifle company formed in the Hutt, and he eventually became its captain, which rank he held until the corps was disbanded. He was elected a member of the first Hutt Highway Board, and when this was merged into the Wellington District Road Board he was elected to a seat on that body, which he retained until the Board was merged in the Hntt County Council. Twice at least he has filled the office of Chairman of the County Council, and he was, as a matter of fact, its presiding officer at the time of his death, having been elected by the unanimous vote of his fellow Councillors only a few weeks ago. He has also at various times represented the county on both the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board and also on the Wellington Harbour Board, being first elected to the latter body in February, 1888, and re-elected again in 1890 and 1892, so that he sat as a member of the Board for six years. The cause of death was acute inflammation of the bowels. Mr. Speedy, who was widely esteemed both in and out of the Hutt district, was 61 years of age, and he leaves a grown-up family, and also, we believe, brothers who are farming in the Hawkes Bay district. He is to be buried at 9 o'clock on Sunday next.

The remains of the late Mr. David Speedy Chairman of the Hutt County Council, were interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery at the Black Bridge, Lower Hutt, yesterday. The Rev. Mr. Gray read the burial service. The deceased gentleman was respected from one end of the Hutt Valley to the other, and the funeral was the largest seen in the district for a long time           

(Evening Post, 3 January 1898)

DEATHS.     Speedy - On the 11th March, 1912, at Palmerston North, Elizabeth Caroline, relict of the late David Speedy, of Belmont, Lower Hutt, in her 71st year.         

(13 March 1912, Evening Post)

The farm was obviously named “Methvyn” after the village of Methven in Perthshire where David and Helen had married in 1826.

Margaret Speedy married Charles Samuel Barnes in 1864.

Barnes— Speedy— On the 20th October, in the Presbyterian Church, Willis Street, by Rev John Moir, Charles Samuel Barnes, Esq., of Hawke's Bay, to Margaret Speedy daughter of the late Mr Speedy. Hutt. (12 November 1864)

They appear to have only one child, Helen, who was born in 1868.

Charles Samuel Barnes died in 1885 at the age of 49. It is not clear as to whether Margaret re-married.

Peter Speedy married Matilda Milne in 1868.

Their children were;

Grace Milne 1869,

David 1871,

Ellen 1873,

Elizabeth Agnes 1875,

William Alexander 1880,

Mary Florence 1883,

John 1886,

Matilda May 1887,

Margaret 1889,

Hortense 1892.

There is little information available about this family, apart from two newspaper reports involving sheep, and two very comprehensive obituaries in the Evening Post in 1924 and 1931.

In the Wellington Independent, of 26 November 1870 there is a report concerning the number of sheep in the wider Wellington district, and the state of them. The number of Sheep returned for the year ending 31st May, amount to 75,928

Peter Speedy is recorded as having 550, sheep, valued at £1  2   11. They are described as being clean, which means they did not have problems with scab.      



Thursday, February 20. (Before J. C. Crawford, Esq., R.M.) Sheepstealing. Charles D….. was charged with having stolen eleven sheep from J. and H. Barber, and also with stealing three sheep from Peter Speedy, all the parties being sheep farmers at the Hutt. Mr J. G. Allan appeared on behalf of the accused. The Inspector of Police prosecuted. It having been agreed to proceed with the charges separately, that of stealing Speedy's sheep was gone into. Peter Speedy deposed that on the 6th of the present month he missed some sheep, and went to prisoner's place in search of them under the impression that they might have strayed away. Saw prisoner, and told him he had come to see if any of the missing sheep had got amongst his flock. Asked him to muster his sheep. He promised to do so next day. On going the following day when the sheep were mustered, did not find any of the missing sheep amongst the mob. There were between 50 and 70 sheep altogether, but witness could not recognise his mark on any of them. Asked prisoner if these were all he had, and he said they were. Went and found a pen about 300 yards from the first one, and alongside of a furze hedge found eleven sheep with their legs tied and covered over with furze. Witness said, "There is something wrong here; the sheep look like mine." The prisoner came up and asked him what he was doing there, as the sheep did not belong to him. Witness said, "Let us pull off the furze and examine them," and at once commenced to do so. Witness, on examination, found that they resembled his sheep very much, but he missed his brand a nick in the top of the ear— as he noticed the half of the ear was freshly cut away, some of them being bleeding then. Said to prisoner, “These look like my sheep, are they not?” He denied it, and said "They're mine." Afterwards, however, he confessed that the sheep belonged to witness, and that he had taken them. He professed to be sorry, and said he would pay for them. By Mr Allen “I sold prisoner ten sheep about a fortnight before that. I had not missed all the sheep. Prisoner did not tell me he had marked sheep by mistake. When the prisoner admitted the sheep were mine I partly agreed to let him have them but afterwards thinking I had done wrong I took them away. I had no knowledge of the existence of the second pen until the day before. I don’t think the second pen had been long made. The sheep were of all ages. I don't brand my sheep. Some remarks being made by counsel about sheep straying, the Inspector of Police answered, “Sheep don't stray with their legs tied." On the application of Mr Allan, both charges were remanded till Tuesday next. (Wellington Independent, 21 February 1873)



The recent death of Mr. Peter Speedy at Belmont removes one of the earliest settlers of the Hutt district. A son of the late Mr. David Speedy, who arrived here on the Lord William Bentinck in 1840, Mr. Speedy was born near Pipitea pa in 1841. He went as a child with his parents to live at what has been known for many years now as Belmont about 1844. His earliest days were passed under conditions associated with the early settlers in the outlying districts. During the Native troubles this family, with many others, were compelled to withdraw to the vicinity of the Hutt stockade. The family grew with the development of the district. The facilities for education were few; but young Speedy received sufficient tuition from the. Rev. Mr. Dron, at the Presbyterian Church at the Hutt. At quite an early age Mr Speedy did his share of the work on this selection in the Valley, assisting in felling the timber, and took his turn in the sawpits. As the ground was cleared he helped in the growing of wheat on the natural terraces on the hillside just below the Belmont station. In 1868 Mr. Speedy married a daughter of the late William Scott Milne, himself a well-known early settler, who arrived by the Lady Nugent in 1841. Mr. Milne then lived at Taita, on the opposite bank of' the Hutt river. Mr. Speedy confined his attention to sheep, as being the most suitable to the land. During the later troubles with the Natives, Mr. Speedy joined the local volunteers. The neighbourhood of Mr Speedy's residence is of particular historical interest, is situated almost opposite the site of Boulcott's stockade, the scene of the attack by hostile Natives in 1846, and at the mouth of the gully through which the “Pari-rahoo" track runs by which those Natives came from the vicinity of Pahautanui. It will be remembered that this was the route followed by the friendly Natives, and. some of the local militia, when a move was made to attack Rangihaeta in the Pahautanui pa. The late Mr. Speedy, who was a man of retiring disposition, and took no part in local affairs, is survived by his widow and a family of ten children. There are seven daughters—Mrs. T. M'Ivor, Featherston; Mrs. J. M'Leod, Palmerston North; Mrs J. D. Skinner, Feilding; Mrs V. Farquhar, Palmerston North; Mrs. J. Keir, Seatoun; Mrs. F. Mason, Belmont; and Miss H. Speedy - and three sons—Messrs. D. Speedy, of Whakaronga; W. A. Speedy, Home-Mason, Belmont; and Miss H. Speedy; Belmont. There are nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.          (Evening Post 19 January 1924)

The death, occurred at her residence at Belmont recently of Mrs Matilda Speedy, who was in her 83rd year. She was among the oldest of the settlers of the Hutt Valley, and the eldest daughter of the late Mr. William Scott Milne of Taita. Born in the Hutt Valley in 1848, Mrs. Speedy was educated at the Rev. Mr. Dron's school, and later, at Wellington, was married to the late Mr. Peter Speedy, of Belmont, by the Rev. Mr. Moir. Her many friends will recall with pleasure her reminiscences of the early days of the Hutt Valley, which she lived to see pass through various stages of development to what it is today Among her reminiscences (which in these days of rapid-transport are of interest) she would tell of the laborious coach trip from Wellington to Belmont, which was undertaken when the late Mr. Speedy brought his bride home to the latter place, where she resided until her death. Mrs. Speedy was predeceased by her husband and one daughter, the late Mrs. F. A. Mason of Foxton, and is survived by three sons - Mr David Speedy (Palmerston North), Mr. William Speedy (Martinborough), Mr. Jack Speedy (Belmont), and six daughters, Mrs T M'Ivor (Featherston), Mrs. J. M'Leod (Palmerston North), Mrs. C. J. D. Skinner (Mahina Bay), Mrs. O. Farquhar (Palmerston North), Mrs. M. V. Keir (Seatoun), and Mrs. F. A. Stuart (Lower Hutt). There are nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.             (Evening Post, 16 June 1931)

Below is a photo of a memorial plaque which can be found at the foot of a large Wellingtonia tree close to Belmont Memorial Hall in Lower Hutt. Speedy Creek flows nearby.




James Hutton Speedy m Alice Ellerm in 1879. Alice Anne Ellerm was born in 1854, daughter of Henry Benjamin Ellerm and Mary Ann Ellerm. James and Alice had seven children, Alexander Pringle 1880, Olwin 1881, Wilfred Norman 1883, Eunice Hutton 1885, Norval James 1888, Bernice Edna 1890, Clarice Meta 1893.

Alexander was born at Waipawa, Olwin at Feilding (Sandon does not appear to be a registration district at time) and the other five at Sandon. There is still a Speedy Road close to Ohakea Air Force Base, just west of what is now known as Sanson.  

The Ellerm family had been farming in the Hutt, but their farm was advertised for sale in 1875, and by 1878 they were established in the Sandon area.

Evening Post, 5 March 1883, The wife of Mr. James Speedy, of Sandon, who recently gave birth to a son, discovered yesterday that the infant had a well-developed double-tooth in the back of his mouth. There were not the slightest signs of any other teeth coming. The occurrence is a very rare one, but cases have been known of children being born with a full set of teeth. This precocious infant is evidently speedy by nature as well as by name.

James Speedy died 1927 in Hamilton, aged 82.


MR. JAMES HUTTON SPEEDY. [BY TELEGRAPH. OWN CORRESPONDENT.] HAMILTON. Wednesday. The death occurred at Hamilton this morning of Mr. James Hutton Speedy, at the age of 82 years. Born at Hutt in 1845, Mr. Speedy saw service in the volunteer corps in the days of Te Kooti. Mr. Speedy took up land in the Manawatu district, and in 1902 he acquired a large block of land at Tuhikaramea, in the Waikato. He retired five years later and took up residence in Frankton. He was for many years a justice of the peace. He leaves a widow, four sons and one daughter.  New Zealand Herald, 21 April 1927, NOTE. Tuhikaramea Road still exists, a short distance south-west of Hamilton.

Alice Speedy died in 1938 aged 84

William Speedy, brother of David Snr also arrived on the Lord William Bentinck in 1841. He is described as an Agricultural Labourer, aged 29, together with his wife Anne, who was aged 28, daughter Susan and 14 month old son.

Another website records the birth of two more children - Ann Speedy b: 6 OCT 1848 in Wellington,New Zealand and William Speedy b: 10 AUG 1845 in Karori,Wellington.

In the list of all persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the District of Port Nicholson, for the year 1847, William Speedy recorded as living in Thorndon Quay, carter. (New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume III, Issue 160, 10 February 1847)

New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, 7 July 1852, DEPARTURES. July 3 Barque Napoleon, 400 tons, Collas, for Port Phillip. Among a number of passengers listed is W. Speedy.

New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 779, 19 January 1853, Page 2. Arrivals. January 16 Brig Spray, 141 tons, Scott, from Melbourne via Nelson. Passengers Mrs. Scott, Capt. Nicholson, Messrs. May, Roberts, Adams, Whyte, Aiken, Renwick, F. Bee, W. Saunders, J. Bailly, B. Ferrars, M'Dougall, J. Brodie, W. Badcock, J. Myles, T. Malmange, W. Speedy.

New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 814, 21 May 1853, Page 2. Departures. May 15— Brig Margaret, 186 tons, Halford, for Port Phillip. Passengers W. and J. Speedy.

Eighteen months later there appears the following newspaper item. “New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 887.  January 30 1854 Barque Belle Creole, 267 tons, Henton, for Melbourne. Passengers Mrs. Speedy and four children.”

1852 co-incides with start of the gold rush in Victoria. Did this family migrate to Australia once William became established there? The following entry appears which appears in the Victoria Government Gazette on February 12th 1864 may be a clue.

BALLARAT EAST GOLD MINING COMPANY “We, the undersigned, being a majority in number and value of the shareholders in the Ballarat East Gold Mining Company, do hereby express our consent in writing that our said company be placed be placed under the provisions of the Mining Partnerships Limited Liability Act 1860.” Among the twenty-one names listed is that of William Speedy.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand mentions the marriage of Susan Speedy, a native of Perthshire, and the daughter of William Speedy of Ballarat, to Moses Manuel, and their subsequent move to Coal Creek in Central Otago.


It is not clear which of the Speedy family owned this dog, but I am curious about what breed it was.

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXIV, Issue 8466, 13 September 1889, Page 3. LOST, a Fawn-colored Kangaroo Dog, answering to the name of "Joe." Several scars on both shoulders, also one scar on near hind leg; right fore foot partly deformed. Any person will be rewarded on returning same to John Speedy, Thompson road.

Image Copyright Peter Allen. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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