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Richard Rundle

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Werrington, Launceston, Cornwall PL15, UK, Werrington, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand
Place of Burial: New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of John Rundle
Husband of Ann Rundle and Martha Rundle
Father of John Rundle; William Rundle; Richard Rundle; Ann Bayly; Hannah Pennington and 7 others
Brother of Mary Hamblyn and Mary Hamblyn

Occupation: Carpenter / Builder / Ship Owner
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Richard Rundle

Taranaki Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 9927, 12 February 1894

DEATH OF MR RICHARD

RUNDLE. Another of our oldest and most respected settlers passed away quietly from amongst us on Saturday night, at tho ripe age of over 87 years. Mr Richard Rundle, who, as a pioneer, colonial trader, and contractor, was made of the same stuff as those who founded the Republic of America. He was born in the village of Werrington, near Launceston, Cornwall, on September 26th, 1800, and had, therefore entered his eighty-eighth year. He learnt the trade of carpenter and wheelwright in the village of Claw ton, North Devon. Here, he married the eldest daughter of the late Mr John Veale, who was also one of the pioneers of this settlement. On March. 25, 1841, in company with his father-in-law, and a large number of Holdsworfchy folk, with the late Captain King, R.N., at their head, he sailed with his wife in the ship Amelia Thompson for their new home, iv Now Zealand, which was then a perfect terra incognita, and arrived off the Sugarloaves on September Ist, the same year. Immediately on landing, Mr Rundle started working at Ins trade, and, with Mr Oxenham, built for the late Mi- Richard Brown, the first wooden general store erected in New Plymouth. This store stood close under Mt. Eliot, about where the horso trough now stands. In 184.3,, Mr Rundle designed and built the Alpha flour mills.'" The remains, of the first flour mill erected in Taranaki, are still to be seen immediately below Mr Bauchope's residence, on the Carrington Road. On completion of the mill, Mr Rundle entered into partnership with the late Mr Samuel Oliver, as miller, the latter conducting the milling business, and Mr Rundle carrying on his trade as builder, &c. We next hear of him in the whaling trade, having entered into partnership with that historical personage Dickey Barrett, of Moturoa. Mr Richard Brown had also a whaling station there at that time. Mr Rundle was also engaged in farming, having about that period secured what is known as Barrett's reserve, near Ratapihipihi, on the Barrett-road. In April, 1855, the schooner Taranaki, the only vessel ever built in Taranaki was launched at Moturoa, and which was designed by the late Mr Geo. Outfield and built by Messrs Rundle and Clare. On the opening of the Bell Block, Mr Rundle purchased sections there which he occupied and farmed till the outbreak of the Maori war in 1 800, when he joined the mounted volunteers and served with them in all the ar^*>us work of despatch carrying and outpost duty. Some of his companions in the corps were Mr Robert Greenwood, Mr Yems, Mi' Looney, Mr Devenish, and other settlers who have joined the "great majority." Mr Rundle also represented the district of Bell Block in the Provincial Council, which seat he retained for several years, being returned without opposition on different occasions. At the close of the war Mr Rundle turned his attention to bridge building, and no greater credit can be given to the soundness of his work than to say that during the occasional floods which have visited the district where bridges have been constructed by l-ira that not one has given way. He built the Waitara, Waiwakaiho, Waiongona, Oakura, Tapuae, Timaru, and Patea bridges, and a number of smaller ones in this district. His last work in this direction was the erection of the railway bridge across the Wanganui river, which was built in partnership with Mr G. Bassett. Mr Rundle was one of the first members of the New Plymouth Friendly Society, of which he was President for many years. Mr Rundle was a man of untiring energy and industry, and had indomitable pluck, being a man who knew not the meaning of the word "fear." He never was cast down or dejected by adversity or disaster, and was blessed with a constitution of steel.'" He was genial and sociable in his habits, and was liked by all he came in contact with, being generous to a fault. He was a typical colonist of the old times, and we may say that Mr Richard Rnndle's name will ever be linked with the history of the founders of this colony. Death was the result of exhausted nature. Mr Rundle has been an invalid for a long time, and died quietly on Saturday evening, leaving a widow (his second wife) aud five sons and four daugfchers to mourn their loss. Two of his sons, William and Charles, are residents in New Plymouth, Samuel at Bell Block Richard at Waitara George, Palmerston North and John, is away from the colony. His daughters are Mrs Thomas Bayly, Mrs Arthur Bayly, Mrs Pennington of Waitara, and Mrs Harvey, of Wanganui.


Born in 1806.

Was a builder and ship owner.

1841: Richard Rundle was amongst the passengers arriving in New Plymouth on board the ship "Amelia Thompson". 'Amelia Thompson' arrived New Plymouth, New Zealand 3rd September, 1841 with 187 Devonshire emigrants. She sailed from London 25 March 1841 and arrived 5½ months later with a call at Salvador, Bahia, Brazil for four days then onward to Wellington, for a fortnight stop. The 447 ton vessel was named after the owner's wife.

New Zealand House, 5 Octagon, Plymouth March 15 1841. A list of persons whom the Plymouth Company of New Zealand have arranged to embark for the New-Plymouth Settlement in New-Zealand, as Steerage Passengers, per Ship Amelia Thompson, William Dawson, Commander, James Evans. Surgeon - Superintendent. William Brydges, Secretary. This list includes Richard's family as:

  • Richard 34 Carpenter
  • Ann 33
  • John 12
  • William 11
  • Richard 9
  • Ann 7
  • Hannah 5
  • Sally 4
  • Jane 8 months

1841: With a Mr Oxenham, Richard built the first wooden general store in New Plymouth for Mr Richard Brown.

1843: Once in New Plymouth, Richard Rundle went into partnership with a fellow voyager on the Amerlia Thompson: the miller Sam Oliver. They built the Alpha mill, the first flour mill in New Plymouth. Rundle did the building and Oliver did the milling. (Ref W.S. Skinner and others.)

1844: Built and lived in house which later became the White Hart - leased it from F.A. Carrington for 10 years. This was later moved and replaced with what is known as The Snug, The White Hart Hotel, 122 Devon St W New Plymouth, Taranaki.

Went into the whaling trade with Dickie Barrett of Moturoa

Mr Rundle also engaged in farming, having about that time, purchased what was known as Barrett's reserve, near Ratapihipihi, on the Barrett-road.

1854: Involved in building the first schooner built in Taranaki which was launched at Moturoa in April 1855

On the opening of the Bell Block, Mr Rundle purchased sections there which he occupied and farmed till the outbreak of the Maori war in 1860, when he joined the mounted volunteers and served with them in all the area of despatch carrying and outpost duty.

Mr Rundle also represented the district of Bell Block in the Provincial Council, which seat he retained for several years, being returned without opposition on different occasions.

At the close of the war Mr Rundle turned his attention to bridge building. He built the Waitara, Waiwakaiho, Waiongona, Oakura, Tapuae, Timaru, and Patea bridges, and a number of smaller ones in this district.

1859: Involved in building the first bridge over the Waiwakaiho River. "A British army sapper and miner named Jones received £200 for his successful design, which involved a 35-metre span. Rundle, Brooking and Clare's successful tender of £2200 was duly signed in June 1857, with the puriri timber construction to be completed by the end of 1858. Clare and Rundle, who were living at Bell Block, oversaw the felling of large puriri trees growing on land mainly around the Smart and Egmont road areas. Once felled, the trees were pit sawn. Then William Rundle, son of Richard Rundle, and R Street hand-adzed the 8m by 1m by 1m logs into shape. Rundle's men included Joseph Street, James Harvey, Richard Rundle and Samuel Rogers, while Clare's crew comprised Thomas Wheeler, John Lander, E Shaw, Bill Jones and a man called Smythe. Brooking undertook the laying of the foundation walls, while Street did the blacksmithing. It was finished on time and officially opened in early February 1859, but lasted only four years, before a heavy flood washed it away to a downstream island.

Rundle then secured the contract to replace it with a design change using cylinder supports. During construction, contractors had to send to Australia for the ironwork, because foundries in Auckland and Wellington could not make what was required.

1860: The bridge was opened just before the outbreak of the land wars on March 3, 1860, but the army lost control of it for a week, when Maori had control of Fitzroy. The commanding officer in New Plymouth, worried that the bridge had been burnt down, signalled volunteers from the Bell Block stockade to check the rumours. A small party of men rode into Fitzroy from Bell Block as far as the Mangaone hill and returned with the news the bridge was safe.

In 1867, however, a heavy flood washed the entire structure away. It was carried down as it stood, close to the cliffs some distance away. It was dismantled and transferred back, but the flood had made the river 10m wider, so additional foundations were needed to fill the gap. That structure served until it was replaced in 1907 by a ferro-concrete bridge, which was opened by Mr Brown, chairman of the county council. Many of the old settlers who had helped erect the old bridge were present.

The new bridge was designed by county engineer J Skinner. Clerk of works was H Clare and J Goller was foreman for the contractor, L G Spencer. The structure comprised four arches, two of 10m span and two of 20m, with a 7m iron carriageway and two footways. The iron weighed 20kg a metre. More than 32 tonnes of steel were used in the construction. A display by cabinet-makers Riddle and Johnston included a beautiful large sideboard made of puriri taken from the old bridge. Some decorative, inscribed walking sticks were fashioned from the timber and given as souvenirs to those still living, who had been involved in the building of the old bridge. These included J Lander, J Harvey, R Street, William Rundle, S Rundle, H Faull, T Inch and William Brooking.

His last work in this direction was the erection of the railway bridge across the Wanganui river, which was built in partnership with Mr G. Bassett.

Mr Rundle was one of the first members of the New Plymouth Friendly Society, of which he was President for many years.

He is reported to be a man of untiring energy and industry, with an indomitable pluck, a man who knew not the meaning of the word "fear." He never was cast down or dejected by adversity or disaster, and was blessed with a constitution of steel.'"

He is described as genial and sociable in his habits, and well liked by all he came in contact with, being generous to a fault. He was a typical colonist of the old times, a founder of this colony.

Death was described as "the result of exhausted nature". Mr Rundle was reported to have been "an invalid for a long time, who died quietly on a Saturday evening, leaving a widow (his second wife), five sons and four daughters to mourn their loss. Two of his sons, William and Charles, are residents in New Plymouth, Samuel at Bell Block, Richard at Waitara George, Palmerston North and John, is away from the colony. His daughters are Mrs Thomas Bayly, Mrs Arthur Bayly, Mrs Pennington of Waitara, and Mrs Harvey, of Wanganui.

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Richard Rundle's Timeline

1806
September 26, 1806
Werrington, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
1828
July 8, 1828
Age 21
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
1830
April 17, 1830
Age 23
Clawton, Devon, England, United Kingdom
1832
January 28, 1832
Age 25
Clawton, Devon, England, United Kingdom
1833
December 22, 1833
Age 27
Clawton, Devon, England, United Kingdom
December 22, 1833
Age 27
Clawton, Devon, England, United Kingdom
1836
September 2, 1836
Age 29
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
1840
1840
Age 33
1843
October 19, 1843
Age 37
New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand
1848
1848
Age 41
New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand