John Treweek

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John Treweek

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Tregony, Cornwall, England
Death: August 23, 1896 (82)
Greatford, Bulls, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Place of Burial: South Taranaki, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Treweek and Margaret Andrews
Husband of Honor Treweek
Father of John Treweek; Samuel Treweek; Richard Treweek; Thomas Treweek; William Treweek and 8 others
Brother of Mary Ann Treweek and Samuel Treweek

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About John Treweek

Treweek, John.—A "cousin John" to the backbone, and one of the right sort, too, well-known, and one of the very best settlers that Wanganui ever possessed, came out to Taranaki from Cornwall in 1840 or ’41 in one of the N.Z. Company's ships along with a number of immigrants from Devonshire and Cornwall in charge of the late Mr. John Tylston Wicksteed. Mr. Treweek, a first-class West of England farmer, laboured away with the assistance of his wife and some of his family on his farm in Taranaki until about 1850 or ’51, when he was persuaded to shift to Wanganui, the inducement being, I imagine, that he could get a much larger area of land here than in Taranaki, the settlers there being much hampered and circumscribed at that time owing to the hostile attitude of the natives and their obstinate unwillingness to sell any more of their land to the Government. (The purchase of land from the natives by private individuals or companies was, at that time, absolutely prohibited). Mr. Treweek was fortunate enough to meet with a Wellington gentleman, Mr. Ashton St. Hill, brother of the late Mr. Henry St. Hill, for many years Stipendiary Magistrate for Wellington, who was willing to sell his splendid property of about 1500 acres at Kai-iwi, nine miles from Wanganui, and skirting the coast—a most valuable property and consisting for the most part of rich arable land. The bargain was struck, and Mr. Treweek became the fortunate owner of this splendid estate for a very moderate sum, about £2000 or £3000. In connection with this transaction, it is worth mentioning that Mr. Henry St. Hill, upon hearing that his brother had parted with this fine property was very wroth; but it was too late; the bargain was completed and the purchase money handed over. To resume—Mr. Treweek was not long in getting to work on his new place, which in the course of a few years he greatly improved, making it one of the best farms, if not the best farm, in this district, for Mr. T. was a thoroughly practical farmer and knew exactly how to till the splendid land—clear, plough, plant, sow, reap and store the fruits of the earth; raise stock of the best kinds, and generally turn to good advantage all that was at his command. All went well with Mr. Treweek, his wife, and fine stalwart sons and one daughter until the war broke out in Taranaki in 1860, and subsequently, when military operations were carried on in this district and quite close to Mr. Treweek's farm at Kai-iwi. Mr. Treweek stuck to his place like a true Britisher for some time, risking his life on several occasions, and proving the stern stuff that he and his sons, then fine, strong young men, were made of. But his wife (very naturally, no doubt) got alarmed, indeed panic-stricken, and at length prevailed upon her husband to leave the place and come into town for safety. They did so; but poor, honest, hard-working John Treweek was almost brokenhearted over it all, and in the end he sold his beautiful property to Peat and Alexander, of this place, for £10,500, equal to £7 per acre including stock, buildings, farm implements, etc. Soon after this poor John Treweek left Wanganui and went to Otago, and speculated a good deal, I fancy. Disaster seemed to pursue him for, in addition to money losses, etc., two of his fine sons were carried off, one by drowning, the other by fever contracted on the Otago Goldfields. After some years, with broken fortunes and broken health, John Treweek returned to this district and got on to a small piece of land somewhere near Hawera, and died about three years ago at a good old age, about 80, I imagine. Poor old John Treweek! Behind a somewhat rugged exterior there was the kind heart, bursting, so to speak, with good nature, generosity, and native goodness; ever ready to assist, a man of boundless hospitality, good humour and joviality, whose ringing, cheerful laugh it did one good to hear; in a word, a true Englishman and typical Cornishman.

Source: Wanganui old settlers by James Garland Woon (1902)


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John Treweek's Timeline

Cornwall, England
Age 22
Cornwall, England
October 23, 1838
Age 24
Cornwall, England
Age 24
September 6, 1840
Age 26
Cornwall, England
April 24, 1843
Age 29
Taranaki, New Zealand
July 27, 1845
Age 31
Taranaki, New Zealand
July 2, 1847
Age 33
Taranaki, New Zealand
April 1, 1849
Age 35
Taranaki, New Zealand