The Flagstaff Cup: Hōne Heke 1-1 Grandpa

Hone Heke warBay of Islands, New Zealand:

The image of Hōne Heke chopping down the British flag on Maiki hill above Kororāreka in 1845 is the enduring symbol of the Northern War. This conflict has also been called the ‘Flagstaff War’ and ‘Hōne Heke’s Rebellion’.



Marriage: ARKELL – HULME On April 30th, 1913 at the Church of St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London by the Rev. Hamilton Rise, Herbert J Arkell of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, England to Effie Constance, third daughter of Mr and Mrs C F Hulme of Tauranga, New Zealand. [Bay Of Plenty Times, Volume XLI, Issue 5970, 11 June 1913, Page 4]

They had 4 children: John, Mildred Constance, Lawrence Claude, and Edith Helena.

Mildred, called Jane, married Anthony Earle and had 2 boys: Richard and yours truly, Peter J. Earle.

R.D. Okaihau. New Zealand.

31st May, 1965

Dear Edith,

Enclosed is a front page from N.Z Herald. The Victoria League prepared a model of the old Hulme Court which is at the top of Parnell rise in Auckland City. My sisters went to see the floral festival. They have known the old historical home all their lives, as have I…

…Hulme Court was the home of Colonel William Hulme (1788 – 21 August 1855) who led the British soldiers at the first battle of Okaihau when New Zealand was being secured and colonised in Queen Victoria’s reign; the early 1840s.

When we go along the road now we pass over the ground which was the battlefield against the Maoris under Hone Heke – a very historical place.

The Anglican clergyman, Rev. Robert Burrows, watched the battle from a hillside nearby.

Colonel Hulme’s son, Charles Francis Hulme, married Rev. Robert Burrows’ daughter. They were both your great grandfathers…

…I know the old St. Stephen’s cemetery in Parnell where Burrows’ gravestone still stands…


Aunt Daisy.

Thanks be to the team for the following, and for more detail about the Northern War, or Flagstaff War

Lieutenant Colonel William Hulme (1788 – 21 August 1855) was an officer in the British Army, and commanded the 96th Regiment of Foot, raised at Manchester.

His military career was most notable for his involvement in the “Flagstaff War”, also known as the First Anglo-Maori War, which took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1846. Lt Col Hume was in command of the colonial forces at the attack on Heke’s Pa at Puketutu on the shores of Lake Omapere (sometimes called Te Mawhe Pa). In May 1845 Heke’s Pa was attacked by troops from the 58th, 96th and 99th Regiments with marines and a Congreve rocket unit.

The colonial forces arrived at Heke’s Pa at Puketutu on 7 May 1845. Lieutenant Colonel Hulme and his second in command Major Cyprian Bridge made an inspection of Heke’s Pa and found it to be quite formidable. Lacking any better plan they decided on a frontal assault the following day. Te Ruki Kawiti and his warriors attacked the colonial forces as they approached the pa, with Heke and his warriors firing from behind the defences of the pa. There followed a savage and confused battle. Eventually the discipline and cohesiveness of the British troops began to prevail and the Maori were driven back inside the pa. But they were by no means beaten, far from it, as without artillery the British had no way to overcome the defences of the pa. Hulme decided to disengage and retreat back to the Bay of Islands. Lieutenant Colonel Hulme returned to Auckland and was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Despard, a soldier who did very little to inspire any confidence in his troops.

Later life

In 1846 he purchased a house in Parnell, Auckland, which became and is still known as Hulme Court. While not open to the public, this is on the New Zealand Historic Places register and is one of the oldest documented houses in Auckland still standing. Hulme Court was built in 1843 for Sir Frederick Whitaker later to become Premier of New Zealand. It is in the Regency style and features a hipped roof, elegantly trellised verandahs and shuttered sash windows. The house has 300mm thick bluestone walls which have since been plastered over, and a slate roof. Its architect is unknown.

Hulme Court, Parnell Auckland

Hulme Court – Parnell, Auckland, NZ.

Despite some interior alterations over the years Hulme Court remains as one of the best examples of Regency architecture in New Zealand, and almost certainly the finest built in permanent materials.

The house has very great historical significance having been occupied by a distinguished group of early New Zealanders including: Bishop Selwyn; Colonel Hulme, Commander of British Troops in New Zealand after whom the house is named; Governor Gove Browne who used it as a temporary Government House; and, later, Sir Francis Dillon Bell, Minister of Native affairs and advisor to Governor Grey.

It is the second oldest surviving house in Auckland and the oldest documented dwelling still standing on its original site.

William Hulme was later appointed by Governor Grey as the first Postmaster-General of New Zealand’s national Post Office. He died on 21 August 1855 in his 68th year. He was buried in Symonds Street Cemetery.

Rev. Robert Burrows, late secretary of the Church Missionary Society, was born at Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, in 1812, his father being Mr. T. Burrows, builder. He gained his primary education in his native county, and afterwards received tuition under the Rev. Dr. Williams, rector of Woodchester, Gloucestershire. In 1836 Mr. Burrows went to the Church Missionary Society’s College, Islington, for ministerial training as a missionary. He was ordained deacon in 1838, and priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1839, by the late Bishop Blomfield, of London. Leaving England for the Bay of Islands in September, 1839, he was the first missionary to arrive in the Colony after the signing of the “Treaty of Waitangi,” and laboured for some years chiefly in the Bay of Islands district.

Rev Robert Burrows 1812-1897

Rev. Robert Burrows

Revisiting England in 1853, he returned to New Zealand two years later as secretary of the Church Missionary Society for the Colony, supervising the affairs of the society until 1894, when he resigned in consequence of advanced age and failing health. The reverend gentleman, during his long and exciting career, was instrumental in bringing about a meeting between Hone Heke, the famous rebellious chief (who was responsible for the war of 1845), and Governor Grey. Mr. Burrows published an interesting diary, relating his experiences and interviews with Hone Heke and referring to one of the greatest crises in the early history of the colonisation of this country. It was printed at the suggestion of the late Sir William Martin, who suggested that its contents would form an interesting leaf for a future “History of New Zealand.” The Rev. Mr. Burrows passed away in Auckland on the 23rd of July, 1897, at the ripe old age of eighty-four.

Hulme Court, Dunedin

Hulme Court – Dunedin.

Interestingly, there is a Hulme Court in Dunedin, South Island, too – owned and run as a backpackers hostel by Mr. Wood, when I last heard – build for Dr Charles Hulme. He was born in Kent, UK, so I don’t know if the two families were related. There also seems to be no connection to the families of Denny Hulme, racing driver, and his famous father, Alfred Clive Hulme, VC, nor to the New Zealand poet, Keri Hulme.


Does anyone recognise this lady? Certainly a Hulme or Burrows…

About peterjearle

Writer of thriller novels. 4 Published: 'Purgatory Road', 'The Barros Pawns', and the Detective Dice Modise Series:'Hunter's Venom' and 'Medicinal Purposed Only', all from Southern Africa.
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2 Responses to The Flagstaff Cup: Hōne Heke 1-1 Grandpa

  1. Dr John Baker says:

    This is John Baker, also a descendant of Col. Hulme. There is a book written by Paul Moon (who is still alive) in Auckland on Hone Heke and the battles he fought with Charles Hulme in the Bay of Islands. At that time Hulme and the Rev Burrows both lived at Russell in the Bay of Islands. Colonel Hulme moved to Auckland only after he failed to subdue Hone Heke. Rev Burrows was also in Russell at that time as the minister and missionary at the first Anglican Church in NZ in Russell, called Christchurch, which still has bullet holes in it. The infant daughter of Rev Burrows and his wife is buried next to the church. They also moved to Auckland after the Hone Heke battles had failed. There is a small road near the Auckland Cathedral named after him (Burrows Avenue). I am the brother of the late Pat Baker, who I believe you met. His widow, Susan phoned me this morning to say you had been in touch with her. Please feel free to contact me directly on I have the bible that was owned by the Barnett family (Ruby Barnett was my maternal grandmother and married Arthur Hulme who was one of William Hulme’s sons and Colonel Humle’s grandsons (or was it the other way around – I cannot remember?) This bible has quite a bit of the Hulme family tree drawn inside the back cover.

  2. peterjearle says:

    Thank you very much for the contact, John. I’ll be in contact.

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