Hawke’s Bay near Napier New Zealand.
On, 31st. October in 1863, ‘The Illustrated London News’ published a woodblock engraving of a meeting in New Zealand above the caption: “Large meeting of settlers and Maoris at a native village near Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.”
According to an article from Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Maori settled in Hawke’s Bay around 1250–1300, expanding both north and south and into the interior of North Island along rivers and waterways.
The first Europeans to see Hawke’s Bay were Captain Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour who sailed down the east coast of the North Island in 1769.
Cook named the bay after the Admiral of the Fleet Edward Hawke (1st Baron Hawke.)
Less than a century later European traders and farmers arrived and settlements emerged along the North Islands east coast.
Our antique print from the Frontispiece collection is dated 1863 and therefore places it at the time of the ‘New Zealand Wars’ which erupted between 1845 and 1872.
A war fought mostly between Maori tribes and the forces of the British and Colonial Government, Hawke’s Bay during this period featured most prominently during the East Cape War, also known as the East Coast War, fought between April 1865 to October 1866.