Mathew Underdown Farley

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Mathew Underdown Farley

Maori: Matiu Pare
Birthdate: (41)
Birthplace: St Laurence, Thanet, Kent, England
Death: circa 1845 (36-44)
Omakiwi Cove, Te Rawhiti, New Zealand
Place of Burial: Te Rautawa Urupa, Omakiwi Cove, Te Rawhiti, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of John Farley and Elizabeth Sanders
Husband of Riperata Maumau Te Tupua
Father of Heni Jane Farley; Erihapeti (Rerepeti Peti) "Elizabeth" Farley; Susan Huhana Marella Farley; James Farley and Makere Farley
Brother of Mary Farley; Ann Farley; John Farley; William Farley; Matthew Farley and 2 others

Occupation: Ships Carpenter, Master Mariner, Boat Builder
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mathew Underdown Farley

'Following History written by Christopher Leonard Patterson, where possible sources have been noted for any further information contact the writer.'

The family tradition about MATTHEW as having come from Kent is quite strongly held

It is now proven from his father JOHN FARLEY'S will of 1835 in Maidstone Court Archives, Kent, England.

The name UNDERDOWN is also a surname in Kent, and it is the surname of his Maternal grandmother MARGERY UNDERDOWN. MATHEW UNDERDOWN FARLEY was named in his father's will. Will of JOHN FARLEY of ramsgate kent in 1836. MATHEW was in NEW ZEALAND before 1835 as HENI (JANE) was born in 1835.

MATTHEW UNDERDOWN FARLEY is recorded as being Christened and born in Kent in FEB/MARCH 1804.

MATHEW FARLEY seems to have been an an illusive character, according to family tradition he has been described as a Master Mariner, a Boat builder (HARE HONGI) and a Wheelwright (MAIOHA). However time and the telling may have embellished his memory either way.

A SHIPS CARPENTER with the name MATTHEW FARLEY was a crew member on board the Brig "DART" in HOBART TASMANIA bound for PORT JACKSON SYDNEY, ON 5th October 1828.(Tasmanian State Archives).\

MATTHEW was also on the GENSEEK MARINERS INDEX list of seamen on ships cleared to depart Hobart Town in the year 1828. ..source: original Port Master's Ledgers (Archives Office Hobart) MATHEW FARLEY is named in an old land claim in the national archives- OLC 395 of JOHN REID of KORORAREKA 40 acres TE KARAKA at MANGONUI, dated 23 SEPTEMBER 1839. This was gazetted on the 16 October 1843. Witnesses were ALEX MCGIVER, DON MCKAY, STEPHEN RATHALL and MATHEW FARLEY. MAORI People mentioned are WIREMU MAHARA (WI HAU), TEDIRRA, KAWEA (PUSS)?

In 1839 MATHEW FARLEY was involved in a land purchase from the KORAREKA chief TE WHARERAHI and his WHANAU family and this was the land centred on MAIKI HILL in RUSSELL. Also in 21 december 1839 the same land was sold again to Bishop Pompallier.(record from Auckland Catholic Diocesan Archives)

MATHEW FARLEY married the daughter of a MAORI family of highly connected Northern Maori tribes. The NGAPUHI, NGAI TAWAKE and the more northern TE RARAWA.

In the early days of the colony of NEW ZEALAND it was quite often the policy for the chief of a tribe to give his daughter in marriage to a well connected well meaning european, in order to facilitate trade with the europeans. It was also a custom to enrich the bloodlines of the Chiefs & ARIKI of the tribe by intermarrying with new people, this custom was quite widely practised throughout polynesia.

MATHEW and MAUMAU had four daughters who were given both English and Maori names, born between 1835 and 1845;. Jane(Heni) 5/8/1835, Elisabeth(Reripeti) 13/6/1838, Susan(Huhana) 15/5/1839, Margaret(Makereti) 25/7/1844.

According to family tradition he named his four daughters after his four sisters back in KENT, ENGLAND. Again according to family tradition the family came from MAIDSTONE or FOLKSTONE. MATHEW was said to have come out to NEW ZEALAND with another apprentice in the ship building trade. Again according to family tradition his father was quite wealthy and supposedly owned a FARLEY BANK (FARLEIGH?), and a FARLEY (FARLEIGH?) Street was named after them. Also from family tradition MATHEW,s four sisters never married.

In the 1881 census for RAMSGATE there does exist a FARLEY PLACE, 1 Farley Place was uninhabited, 2 Farley Place was inhabited and there are a number of dwellings with the address of Farley Place. As well as some unnamed, unnumbered dwellings, these are Lewis Cottage, Ada Cottage and Rose Cottage in FARLEY PLACE(in 1881). Rose Hill, Ramsgate, is said to be named after roses planted by a member of the Farley family who brought them from Australia after a voyage with convicts to New South Wales. Presented to the Ramsgate Public Library by the family of the late Mrs E.M. Powles, (nee Farley). April 1963.

Opposite Coleman's Yard once stood Farley's Boat Yard, a name retained unbtil about 1866 when it was superseded by Leopold Street. Farley Place was then the name given to a small area parallel with Leopold Street and only disappeared when the whole area was demolished inn 1938. Rose Cottage and a small Baptist Chapel bearing the date 1724 were pulled down under this clearance scheme."

Further family tradition also states; MATHEW FARLEY and RIPERATA MAUMAU TE TUPUA were married in 1840 by Rev JEAN BAPTISTE PETITJEAN a FRENCH CATHOLIC missionary, at RUSSELL, BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, this has not been proven as the original records have not been found and must be lost.(Though records were said to be transfered to the Catholic Church at MITIMITI, which needs to be followed up.) Some also say that they MATHEW and RIPERATA were married by JEAN BAPTISTE POMPALLIER.

MATHEW FARLEY's father was said to have been of FRENCH HUGUENOT descent.

Most our lineage back through him is related to us by HENRY MATTHEW STOWELL, in his many writings and genealogies. Henry Mathew Stowell who also went by the Native Maori name of HARE HONGI as he was a Quarter maori being the son of MATHEW FARLEYS daughter SUSAN MARELLA FARLEY (HUHANA) and JOHN SHEPPARD STOWELL an AMERICAN.

Amongst our family tradition some stories have been embellished and some Romantic fantasy added, however there always is a STRONG scent of the fact in these stories.

HENRY MATHEW STOWELL also writes that MATHEW was buried at TE RAWHITI, just after HONE HEKE attacked RUSSELL in the BAY OF ISLANDS. A family letter of H.M. STOWELL (HARE HONGI) written to EDWARD ARTHUR FULLER tells us that he was buried at OMAKIWI ; an obscure place, which is a little cove and bay/beach on the road from RUSSELL to TE RAWHITI, at this place is also a private hidden burial ground and an old burial ground with some ROMAN CATHOLIC traditions.

The catholic priests and others were sent to RAWHITI to MOKA'S marae at OMAKIWI for safety during the wars of 1845. One of MOKA'S daughters HOKI from RAWHITI was the first maori nun in the country. Our gg fathers MOKA, REWA and TE WHARERAHI were closely associated with Pompallier and the catholic church.

There was still a strong Catholic settlement at OMAKIWI in 1889 as the Very Rev DR MACDONALD visted there in 1889.(July 1889 Colonial Notes NZ TABLET.) HIRAMAI PIRIPO gave evidence at the Investigation of title to the Rawhiti lands in the Bay of Islands. He talked about his father being from Wanganui or Taranaki and about Ri maumau his mother and her rights to Rawhiti and Waimate north. Also about Mathew Farley who was buried at the urupa at Omakiwi, Moka's marae. This urupa is now under water. Those that could be were interred in the new urupa up the hill during the eartly 1900's. Te Rautawa looks toward Kororareka and Waimate North.

I have been to this Urupa with a local Kaumatua and visted the actual graves.

Some of the descendents of MARGARET FARLEY also say that MATHEW returned to ENGLAND, (about 1845?) these same descendents say that he was a wheelwright by occupation, and that he sent trunks of clothes back for his GIRL'S and family back in NEW ZEALAND.

It is possible that MATHEW deserted left his family and his MAORI WIFE behind NEW ZEALAND and did go back to ENGLAND or AUSTRALIA that a story of his death was created by the local MAORI for reasons of MANA and honour and dignity or also to satisfy the curious and the authorities. War had just broken out between MATHEW'S MAORI wife's tribe and the europeans. (HONE HEKE's attack on RUSSELL).(1845)

During the Maori Wars MATHEW was unable to honourably fight against his own countrymen or his wife he was allowed to sit out the hostilities on an Island, possibly Motukaraka Island.(Not sure where this story originated)

Some of the descendents of SUSAN FARLEY have included the second name BROMLEY as a second given name, which could have some significance if MATHEW,s mother was a BROMLEY, or if MATHEW's parents once came from BROMLEY, part of the greater London Area and Kent. A Ship's carpenter with the name Matthew Farley was a crew member on board theBrig "DART" in Hobart, Tasmania bound for Port Jackson, Sydney, on 5th Oct1828. (Tasmanian State Archives).

They were married by the French Catholic Missionary Jean Baptiste Petit Jeanwho arrived on 6 Jan 1840. In the following "Memoir" there is much truth and solid fact. However caution needs to be exercised as there is also some romantic fiction. digression and modification of the facts.

It is not known where the idea that Matthew was the heir to the Farley fortune came from but his father was a mariner and certainly not a banker. It would be extremely unlikely to say the least that the sole son of a rich banking family would be sent off the New Zealand as a ship's carpenter so it is difficult to understand why this idea came about.

In the following MEMOIR there is some really good fact which is backed up by research and oral tradition, but also some romantic constructions and modifications to enlarge the writers objectives.


"Matthew was the son of Jean, or John Farleigh, a French Huguenot: who fled toEngland to escape the then reign of terror and massacre. He established himselfwell in Kent as a man of considerable wealth could do ("Farleigh Bank"). Herehe raised his family of four daughters and one son, Matthew. As a youth,Matthew was apprenticed to the ship builders. After serving a few years, he andanother apprentice took ship to New Zealand, landing at Koroaraka, Russell, Bayof Islands in 1837.

There he was united to Maumau and there four daughters were born to them. These he named, Seriatim, after his four sisters. The elder, Elizabeth (Riripeti);the next Susannah (Huhana); then Margaret (Makare), lastly Jane (Heni). In order to give these a recognised European status Farleigh prevailed upon Maumau and her people to allow him to be married to her by the first Missionary who happened along. By the irony of fate that was a Roman Catholic priest and aFrenchman, Father Jean-Petit (who is now buried in Wellington) of the faith from whose savagery the Huguenots had fled from France! So there at Kororareka,where Farleigh was plying his trade as a boat builder, he was united to Maumau,as he desired it- by Father Petit-Jean, in or about the year 1840.

As his daughters grew up, he himself started to train them in an Englisheducation. In the year 1845, when Hone Heke of Heke's War, who was my Grandmother's cousin, had decided to commence hostilities against the Pakehas,by cutting down the Russell Flagstaff (which he found to be diverting the Harbour dues "Customs" from his pockets to those of the Pakeha officials- it was the "Boston Harbour Tea Incident" over again. Heke spoke to Farleigh in the presence of Maumau, asking what attitude he would take in it. Farleigh replied that, while he would not take up arms against his wife's people; he could not join them against his own European people. Heke said to him that - those were the words of an honest man. So, when hostilities were imminent, Heke sent Farleigh, Maumau and the family under escort across to our Rawhiti home, just east of Russell. There they remained until the war was over, 1846.(See T.L.Buick's "First New Zealand War")

Then when Heke went across to Rawhiti to bring them back he found that Maumau was a widow, Farleigh having died in the interval, and he was buried there at Rawhiti. So Heke took Maumau and her girls back to Waimate, Whangai; ourancestral home for untold generations past. Under a Maori custom, which proved very unfortunate, all of Farleigh's papers, including his family bible were buried with him. Amongst the last which my mother, Huhana remembered, was a letter from the sisters, asking Farleigh to come back to Kent, as their father had died and Matthew being the only son, he was appointed under the Will, administrator of the estate. But Farleigh was then dead; and his sisters it appeared, had never married. As Farleigh left four girls, only' nothing at all was done about that estate for many years; and then very little.

We understand that a street and bank is or was named after our great grandfather Farleigh, but when I got my friend Mr J.C. Martin, Barrister andone-time Judge of the Supreme Court to look into it; he said that there would be a difficulty in satisfying the Ward-in-Chancery authorities that, ourgrandfather, Matthew Farleigh, was actually the son of John Farleigh and not an impersonator, as in the Tichborne case, Arthur Orton was. There I have left it." ......HARE HONGI STOWELL

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Mathew Underdown Farley's Timeline

February 10, 1804
St Laurence, Thanet, Kent, England
March 25, 1804
St Laurence, Thanet, Kent, England
August 5, 1835
Age 31
Waimate North, Northland, New Zealand

Bornn at Waimate Northland about 1835

June 13, 1838
Age 34
Waimate North, Northland, New Zealand
May 15, 1839
Age 35
Waimate North, Northland, New Zealand
November 7, 1842
Age 38
Northland, New Zealand
July 25, 1843
Age 39
Waimate North, Northland, New Zealand
Age 40
Omakiwi Cove, Te Rawhiti, New Zealand
Age 40
Te Rautawa Urupa, Omakiwi Cove, Te Rawhiti, New Zealand