Mar 12, 2009

The Early Days Of Canterbury


Canterbury Heritage is pleased to announce the Internet publication of a revised edition of The Early Days Of Canterbury.

A Cashel Street Ironmonger, Alfred Selwyn Bruce (1866-1936) collected stories of the pioneers, many of which were published in The Star evening newspaper. In 1932 they were brought together and published as The Early Days of Canterbury - something of a misnomer as the work mainly concerns the city of Christchurch and the surrounding area.

Subtitled A miscellaneous collection of interesting facts dealing with the settlement’s first thirty years of colonisation, 1850-1880, there are many brief, but entertaining pen portraits of early personalities.

The original type fonts and pagination have been retained, but where the subject matter deviates, the chapters have been re-paragraphed. Punctuation, abbreviations and grammar have also been slightly amended in accordance with current conventions, but beyond that, this revised edition remains faithful to the original text. The index has been expanded and the Editor's occasional annotations are parenthesised in blue.

Links to the chapters open in new tabs or windows.

   Frontis, Dedication, Introduction and Foreword

1 The Selection of Canterbury by Captain Thomas     11

2 Port Lyttelton and our Infant Town of Christchurch     19

3 The Growth of the New Settlement     30

4 Christchurch Grows Apace     40

5 Early Business Thoroughfares     53

6 Sumner and Lyttelton     61

7 Old Identities     75

8 Place Names and Early Settlers     88

9 The Presbyterian Mother Church of the Canterbury Province: St. Andrew's     100

10 Round About the Town     109

11 More Old Identities     118

12 Some More Old Identities     130

13 More Old Identities     139

14 Our Public Squares     150

15 Red Letter Days     158

16 Olla Podrida     167

17 Schools of the Sixties: Pioneer Women     182

18 Early Horse Racing     190

    Synopsis of Contents     198

    Index     202


kuaka said...

What a delight! Thanks for making this available, will have fun reading it.

Found entry in ch. 2 amusing: early Lyttelton gaol - prisoners are given half a crown each to go to the races but with stern instruction to return by closing time or they'll be locked OUT for the night! Enough to make Rodney Hide's blood boil... grounds sufficient to call for privatisation of the prison system backdated to the 1850s.

Canterbury Heritage said...

Back in those supposedly unenlightened times they already knew that treating prisoners with respect and dignity was a successful path to rehabilition. Perpetuating low self-esteem by sustaining an outdated ethos of imprisonment for punishment instead of as rehabilition inevitably leads to the levels of recividism that have ensured Godzone's status as a world leader in imprisonment statistics.

But enough pontificating. In the archives is a circa 1861 photograph of the Lyttelton Stocks. Situated in Oxford Street, they allowed only for the legs of the wayward to be restrained. Perhaps their restoration would not only provide a touristic photo opportunity, but also provide a suitable venue for the opportunistic Rodney Hide and his ilk of knee-jerk red-necks to be obliged to hear the liberal opinions of Lyttelton's increasingly trendy populace.

Jayne said...

Will enjoy reading through this ;)

Sarndra said...

Glad to see you put it on your site to share :-) .... it contains such lovely gems of the ordinary person from that era also....those are the bits and pieces that get lost in time :-). I feel lucky to have found a hard copy!