1876. The Rev. James Preston diaries - a South Canterbury circuit preacher.

His diaries are like a census of the Geraldine District.

Typescript of extracts from diaries 1871-1879 by Nancy McLaughlin, 1984. Canterbury Museum Folder 1093 2/85.
1871     1872      1873      1874      1875

83.
3rd January 1876 —
31st December 1876


Sunday 3rd Jany ( 1876) I administered the Holy Communion at Geraldine at the 11 am service. At 3 I held service at the Waihi Crossing; also administered the Holy Communion. At 6—30 I held service at Temuka. I baptized Klee's baby.
Sunday 10th I held service at Temuka 11 am. Baptized 5 children, Mrs Dunn's & others. At 3—30 I held service in the Schoolhouse Kakahu. At 6—30 I held service in the Church Geraldine.
Sunday 17th I held service at Geraldine, the Valley & Kakahu Bush. Mr Walter Harper assisted me at Geraldine & the Waihi Bush (sic).
Sunday 23rd I held service at Temuka 11 am; Holy Communion, 15 communicants. I visited various people in Temuka & went to the Point for evening service. Staid all night with Mr Acton, I was nearly devoured with bugs & fleas. I slew about 20 bugs & 25 fleas, but could get no sleep. Kept my candle lighted all night.
Monday 24th 1 baptized W. Rayner's baby, Worthington's, and a man of Worthington's, child. Called at a good many houses & returned home after looking up 7 confirmation candidates.
Sunday 30th.... I held service at Scotsburn 3-30. Mr Walter Harper took my service at Mount Peel.
At 6—30 1 held service at the Waihi Bush.
Sunday 6th of Feby 1876 I held service at Geraldine 11 am, at Winchester 3-30, at Temuka 6-30.
Sunday 13th I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Kakahu 3 0 clock, at Geraldine 6-30,
Sunday 20th I held service at Geraldine 11 am, at the Valley 3—30 pm. Rain. Could not go to Waihi Bush.
Sunday 27th of Feby I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Pierce's house, Waitui Flat 3-30 pm, at the Point Schoolhouse 6—30 pm. Baptized Baxter's baby at Pierce's,  Administered the Holy Communion at the 11 o' clock service in Temuka. Present abt 20 communicants.
Sunday the 5th of March I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine; administered the Holy Communion to 15 communicants. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. At 6-30 I held service
at Temuka.
Tuesday the 7th March.... I started to Burkes Pass Church & McKenzie Country. Staid at Capn Clogstoun's all night.
8th March Wednesday. I went over the Pass. Called at Clayton. Baptized Weavers' baby. Went afterwards as far Rain's station. Staid with them all night.
Thurs 9th March I staid at Mr Rain's, not being well.

84. 1876
Friday 10th.... I went to Alberry station. Called on my way at Guillingham's & other places. Had service at Alberry.
Saturday 11th I left Ålberry & got as far as Mr Kimbell's station.
Sunday 12th I held service at the Church Burkes Pass. Administered the Holy Communion to 9 communicants. Baptized two children and went after service to Mr Smith's house. Staid with him all night. Had short service on Sunday night & also on Monday morning.
13th Monday. I left Mr Smith's & went over the Pass. Called upon Tindall, also McIntosh at Dr Fisher's station. Got as far as Mr Brown's, Staid with him all night. As I could not cross the river I returned home through the McKenzie Pass. Staid all night on Tuesday the14th at Mr John Rutherford's. Mr Spenser & Mr R. Rutherford were from home.
15th Wednesday I called again at Alberry to get my own horse which I left with a sore back. On Wednesday night I slept at Mr Rain's station.
16th Thursday Was stormy & wet.
17th Friday.... I started home through the Four peaks Pass. Miss McPherson accompanied me. We were about 6 hours in getting to Four Peaks Station. About dusk I reached Geraldine again.
19 Sunday.... I held service Geraldine 11 am, Valley 3—30, Waihi Bush 6-30.
Sunday 26th March The Bishop held confirmation services in St Marys and St Saviours Churches.
The day was very fine & the Churches were crowded. There were in all 49 candidates as follows -
(Two-thirds of a diary page has been left blank, but a list of the candidates was included between diary entries for 13 Feb & 27 Feb. This list now follows)
Geraldine
Eliza Berry, Lavinia Hunt, Charles Morris Weavers, William Fifield, Emily Stephens, Rosanna Weavers, Mary Burborough, William Burborough, Edward Salter,  ? Rogers, Agnes Dyke Åc1and, Frances E. Tripp, Robert Gillingham, Joseph Wooding, William Rogers Weavers, Edward Hardcastle, Charles Hardcastle

Temuka
Hannah Elizabeth Klee, Lilly Maria Taylor, Emily Budd, Emma Walker, George Washington Taylor, Alberta Young, Elizabeth Young, Henry Smith, Mary Ann Heigheray Watkins, Richard Marshall, George Marshall, Henry Gerken, John William Stonyer, Walter Stonyer, Mary Ann Smith, William Braddick, David Radford, John Henry Walker, James Cheshire Walker, Gordon Parker Wood, Lucy Agnes Wood, Nicholas Charles Nicholas, Jane Chapman, Ann Frederika Kohn, Hermine Johanna Kohn, Charles Chapman, John William Pelvin, Louisa Bessie Rowe, Mary Amelia Parke, Richard Joseph Guy, Lydia Emily Cullis

Sunday 2d April 1876
I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine. Administered the Holy Communion to all 22 communicants.
Baptized Mrs Foxe's baby. At 3-30 I held service at Winchester;

85. 1876
administered the Holy Communion to about 10 communicants. At 6—30 I held service in St Saviours Church Temuka. Baptized Ward's baby.
Sunday 9th of April I held service in Temuka 11 am (offertory in aid of Sunday School) At 3-30 I went to the Kakahu, but it rained & no one came to the School house. At 6-30 I held service in the Church Geraldine. Not many present owing to rain. My eye was very painful owing to a piece of gorse sticking in the edge of the pupil. My eye very painful for 10 days when the piece of gorse came away.
Sunday 16th I held service in Geraldine Church (Easter Sunday) at 11 am. Present a large congregation. Offertory for clergyman ($25). At 2 there was a distribution of children's prizes for the Sunday School. At 6-30 pm I held service in the Church Temuka. Present a large congregation. Offertory .$4-16-6.
On Monday I went into Timaru to look after Archdeacon Harper's duty for a few days. Visited a sick baker, some private people, the Hospital patients. Baptized a baby & returned on Thursday evening with Mrs Preston who came into Timaru that morning.
Sunday 23d Apl 1876.... I held service at the Church Temuka; present a large congregation. Baptized a baby. Administered the Holy Communion to about 21 communicants. At 3-30 1 held service at Pleasant Point. Baptized 4 children. Administered the Holy Communion to 15 communicants. Staid all night with Mr Acton.
24th Wet day. Called on people in Temuka, among others Mr Rayner who had just returned from Dunedin.  I do not feel atall well having had a bad influenza cold for 10 days or so.
Friday 28th Apl... I went up to Orari Gorge Station. Staid all night with Mr Tripp.
29 I went to Mount Peel. Baptized Sowerby's baby on my way. Called upon Griffin, Ray, Goodwin & others. Lunched at Mr Cooper's. Called upon all the people in the Bush after lunch & Mr Cooper then drove me on to Mount Peel.
30th.... I held service in the Church Mount Peel. Administered the Holy Communion to 9 communicants. At 3 o'clock I held service in the Bush; present about 50 people. I could not go on to Waihi Bush owing to my illness & the rain.
May 1st I returned home. Called upon Salt & Wharton(?), also Palmer. Administered the Holy Communion to Mrs Fox & called upon Mills & Grimmer.
May 7th I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine; present about 10() people. Administered the Holy Communion to 23 communicants. At 2 I read the funeral service over Mrs Fox. At 3—30 1 held service at Winchester; present about 29 people. At 6-30 pm I held service in St Saviours about 150 people.
May 14th I held service in Temuka 11 am; present about 80 people. In the afternoon I held service in Kakahu Schoolhouse; present about 20 people. At 6-30 I held service in St. Marys.

86.   1876
Church Geraldine; present about 90 people.
21st Sunday.... I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine; present about 90 people. At 3—30 I held service in the Valley Church. At 6—30 I held service in the Schoolhouse Waihi Bush; present about 50 people.
Sunday 28th of May.... I held service in the Church Temuka; present about 60 people. Administered the Holy Communion to17 communicants. At 3 o'clock I held service at Pleasant Point; present about 60 people. Baptized some children.
Sunday 4th June Whit Sunday. I held service in St Marys Geradine ; present about 50 people. Administered the Holy Communion to 16 communicants. Baptized a child. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. At 6—30 I held service in Temuka. Offertory in all the places of worship for Melanesian Mission. Baptized a child in the Church Temuka.
8th of June I started for the McKenzie Country. Called upon J. Bell & the Kakahu people. Staid all night with Mr Wigley.
9 Friday I left Mr Wigley's station. Called at Raincliff, Brittin's, Gould's & others. Got to Mr Spenser's. Held service
that night. About 12 people present.
10th.... Called upon R. Rutherford's & J. Rutherford's, at Alberry Station. Got to Guillingham's at night.
11th Sunday I held service in Gillingham's house; present about 14 people. I administered the Holy Communion to 7 communicnts. At 2—30 I held service in the Church Burkes Pass; present about 25 people. Administered the Holy Communion to five communicants. Returned to Mr Kimbell's house for the night.
12th I called upon all the people in the Pass & went over as far as Castle Hall station. Called upon the people at the
Ferry. I held a short service at Castle Hall Station in the evening.
13th Tuesday. I went to the Wolds. Called upon Colson at Patterson's station on my way. Had a long conversation with Mr Dark, who has a station over the Pukaki River. Staid all night with Mr Saunders. Mrs Saunders not visible.
Baptized Annis' baby & held a short service. Mr Saunders very kind but awfully queer.
14th Wednesday.... Mr Saunders put me over the Tekapo river. I called in at the Pass Township. Saw an old man (Mrs Burgess' stepfather) who is not likely to live very long. Left the Pass with Mr Kirnbell. Staid at his house for the night.
'15th.... I returned home. Called upon the people at the township near Firth's. Crossed the hill with Mr Smith. Baptized Gould's baby. Called upon Carter & staid the night at Mr Wigley's. He was in Wellington.
16th Friday.... I reached Geraldine. Called upon the people in the Kakahu Bush on my way. Also Boucher, Gapes, Cook, Speechley.

87. 1876
Cameron. Went to see Williams the carpenter who is dying.
17th Saturday I heard that Williams was dead. Called upon his wife. Also Colvill who lost a baby in my absence.
18th Sunday I held service 11 am Geraldine, 3—30 the Valley, 5-30 Waihi Bush. Baptized a baby in the Valley, also another at Woodberry.
25th Sunday.... I held service in St Saviours Church. Administered the Holy Communion to 14 communicants. At 3-30 I held service at the Point; present about 60 people.
Staid all night with Mr Acton.
26th Monday.. I called upon people at the Point & staid with Wood, Milford all night.
27th Tuesday, Called upon Xmas, Craig, Wm Bill, Roberts, Young, Tarrant, Inwood, Barker & others.
28th Wednesday At home.
29 Thursday I called upon Speechley, Tagg, Wells, Rook, & presented an application to the Kakahu School Committee for 2 hours on the Sunday to use the School House for a Sunday School, viz. from one to three.
2nd of July Sunday, I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine; present 50 people (about). Administered Holy Communion to 21 communicants. Baptized Ward's baby. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. Administered the Holy Communion to 6 communicants. At 6—30 1 held service in St Saviours Church Temuka; present about 120 people.
On my way home at night I baptized W. Taylor's baby & churched his wife.
On Wednesday the 5th of July 1876 I presented to Miss Mary Fish of Geraldine a gold watch (value $25) on behalf of the Choir & members of St Marys Church Geraldine.
Went to Temuka at night to a Vestry Meeting.
Sunday 9th July 1876. I held service in Temuka 11 am, at the Kakahu 3-30. Baptized two children. At 6—30 I held service in the Church at Geraldine.
Monday. I was very ill. In bed until Saturday the 15th with congestion of the liver.
Sunday 16th. I could not leave my room to hold service. Got Mr Hardcastle in the Valley, Sir T. Tancred at Waihi Bush & Mr Postlethwaite & Dr Fish at Geraldine.
Monday & Tuesday Getting much better.
Sunday 23d  I held service Temuka 11am, Pleasant Point 3-30 pm.
Sunday 30th. I held service at 11 am Peel Forest, at 3 Scotsburn. Heavy rain, owing to the rain. Did not hold service at the Waihi Bush, but returned home.
Sunday Augst 6th I held service in the Geraldine Church; present about 60 people. Administered the Holy Communion to 15communicants.

88.  1876
Baptized Burridge's baby. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. At 6—30 I held service in the Church Temuka. Baptized Turner's baby,
Sunday Augst 13th.... I held service 11am Geraldine, 3—30 Pleasant Valley, 6—30 Waihi Bush.
Sunday Augst 20th.... I held service 11am Temuka, 3—30 Kakahu rain, no congregation; — 6—30 Geraldine.

Sunday Augst 27th.... I held service 11 am Temuka, 3-30 Pleasant Point. Gave notice about preaching & holding services in future in the Presbyterian Church at the Point.
Sepbr 3d 1876, Sunday.... I held service 11 a.m. in the Church Geraldine; present about 120 people; 28 present at the Holy Communion. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. Baptized William Hawke's, Thomas Hawke's and Blisset's babies.  At 6—30 I held service at Temuka; present about 130 people. Staid all night with Mr Rayner.
Monday I baptized Edgler's baby. Visited Tavender, C. Gosling & others.
Thursday 7th of Sepr...I went to Burkes Pass.  Staid to see Archdeacon Harper until 1 o'clock. Called at some places in the Kakahu. Staid the night at Mr Wigley' s.
8th Friday I started from Wigley's station. Called upon Wilson & got as far as Mr Rain's, Sherwood Downs. Staid there until 1 o'clock on Saturday, then went in company with R. Orton as far as Firth's, & got to Mr Gillingham's house. Staid with him all night.
Sunday 10th.... I held service in Mr Gillingham's house & administered the Holy Communion to 8 people, and went on to Mr Kimbell's afterwards to hold another service in the Church Burkes Pass. Mr Kimbell drove me up in his conveyance. About 50 people present in the Church. Baptized two babies, Collier's and Freme's. Administered the Holy Communion to 7 communicants. Returned to Mr Kimbell's house. Staid with him all night.
Monday 11th I called upon Mr Grey, Smith of Rollesby, all the people in the Pass township, and rode to Mr Brown's, Greys Hills, a distance of about 35 miles. Staid all night with Mr Brown.
Tuesday. I got as far as Holdon. Found Mr Dennistoun at home. Held service in the evening.
Wednesday 13th.... Rain. Staid at Holdon.
14th Thursday.... I started from Holdon in company with Mr Ostler. Went through the McKenzie Pass to Alberry Station. Held service there in the evening.
15th Friday I started to return home for the weather looked very unfavourable. Rain in the morning. Got off about 1 o'clock. Went over the hills passed Brittin's, and reached home about dusk.
17th Sunday I held service in Geraldine Church 11 am, in the

89.  1876
Valley Church 3 pm, in the Waihi Bush Schoolhouse 6 pm.
18th Monday I went to an entertainment to preside as Chairman, which was held in the Schoolhouse Kakahu. The roads were dreadful owing to heavy rain. At least about 60 people appeared & only abt half the performers. We did the best we could and it went off well. The proceeds amounted to15 pounds. It was in aid of a Library .
24th Sunday I went to Temuka. Held service at 11 am, Holy Communion; about 18 present. As the River Bs the River Opihi was very high
& a portion of the bridge washed away, I could not go to the Point. Staid in Ternuka and held evening service at 6—30 pm.
Sunday the First of October....I held service in Geraldine Church 11 am. Holy Communion administered; present 17. At 2 0'clock I baptized Stephen Taylor 16 baby in my own house, for it was very ill. At 3-30 I held service at Winchester. Administered the Holy Communion to 10 communicants. At 6-30 I held service at Temuka - a large congregation present.
Wednesday 4th of October I attended a Vestry Meeting in Temuka. Principal business was consideration of the division of the boundaries of the district in reference to the intended division into two separate areas.
8th Sunday.... I held service at Temuka 11 am, Kakahu 3—30 pm, Geraldine 6—30 pm
15th Sunday.... I held service at Geraldine 11 am; present a large congregation. At 3—30 I held service in the Valley. At 6—30 I held service in the Schoolhouse Waihi Bush.
22nd  I held service in the Church Temuka 11am, at Pleasant Point 6-30 pm.
23d I called upon the people in the neighbourhood of the Point .
Tuesday 24th. I went up to Chch. Got to the Synod in time to hear the Bishop's address. I started by the first train in the morning. Met Mr Paige at the Ashburton & we went together on reaching Chch in a cab to the Synod. After it was over I went to the Bishop's house to stay. Attended the Synod every day 
On Saturday the 28th I left Chch for my own district. Mr Cooper met me et the South bank of the Rangitata & took me up to Peel Forest. I held service at Peel Forest at11 am (Sunday), and in the old schoolhouse Scotsburn at 3-30 pm. Large congregation at both places.
On Monday morning I again returned to Chch. Arrived at the Bishop's about 2 o'clock. Went to make some calls in the afternoon. Staid at the Bishop's house until Saturday the 4th of Novr. Returned home by the early train, in the company with Archdeacon

90
Harper & his brother Walter.  Arrived home about 1—30 pm, Found all well.
I held service in Geraldine Church 11 am.
Sunday the 5th of Nov.... Administered the Holy Communion to about 15 communicants. Baptized 2 children after the service.
At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. Baptized one child during the service. At 6-30 pm I held service at Temuka; present about 160 people. Returned home the same night.
Nov 12th Sunday....  I held service at Temuka in the morning 11 am, at the Kakahu in the afternoon 3-30 pm, at Geraldine in the evening 6-30 pm.
Tuesday the 14th I called upon the people of Waihi Bush. Also upon Gould who is very ill.
19th Sunday I held service at Geraldine 11 am, the Valley 3.30 pm, Waihi bush 6-30  pm.
Novr 26th Sunday.... I held service at Temuka 11am (Holy Communion, present 14 people). At 6-30 pm I held service in the Presbyterian Church Pleasant Point. Baptized three children. called upon some people. Staid the night with Mr Acton.
Monday 27th.... I called upon French, Collett, Kee, Clarkson, Jones, Rayner, Dunnidge, Halstead, J. Pilbrow & others. Returned home & called on my way upon Re Sharp & J. Kelland.
Tuesday 28th.... 1 went to see Bray's child near Gapes Valley. Called upon Cameron, Boutcher, Cook, Gapes. Found the baby much better. Baptized it & returned home.
Decr 5th....I went to Mrs McDonald's funeral.
Decr 6th.... I went to Mr Kimbell's. On my way to Burkes Pass called  upon Wigley, McKay (Raincliff). Got to Mr Kimbelll's in
Decr 7th I married Miss Raine to Mr Cooke in St Patricks Church, Burkes Pass - a very nice marriage. Only a limited no of
relations & friends present. Staid the night with Kimbell.

(There has apparently been some alteration of dates at this stage. The above marriage may have taken place on 6th Dec.)
Dec 7th(sic)....I went to Mr McFarlan's, Alberry Station. Held service there & staid the night.
Dec 8th I went to Mr Spencer's station. Held service in his house.
Dec 9th.... I went to Mr McFarlan's of Alberry. Called on my way o t Mr J. Rutherford's. I held service at Alberry in the evening.
Dec 10th I held service at Mr Gillinghams' house. Came on rain. I rode after the rain to Burkes Pass. When I reached Mr Kimbell's I found he had gone on up to the Pass. Got to the Church by 3 o'clock having ridden 24 miles in 2 hours on my grey horse.

91  1876
Sunday night I went to Mr Smith's (Rollesby Station) Got wet through in a terrific storm of rain & hail. Rained all night & all the next day. Staid there.
Tuesday 12th.... I left Mr Smith's house & went as far as Grey's. Staid with him all night. Met Mr & Mrs Cook at his house.
13th Wednesday.... I called upon Mr Kimbell, Capn Ross & others & went to Raine's station. The weather was very stormy & wet. I staid with Mr Raine until Tuesday the 19th.
Sunday 17th I held service at Raine's station at 11 am. Started from the station at 11 am ( ? Tuesday 19th). Reached home at 5—30 pm,
going through Four Peakes Pass.
Sunday 24th.... I held service 11 am Temuka. Administered the Holy Communion to 15 communicants. Baptized some children. Went to the Point. Examined the S. School children for prizes; presented them. Howell assisted me to examine. Held service at 6—30 pm in the Church.
Preached for the Sunday School.
Monday 25th, Xmas Day.... I held service in the Church at Geraldine; present a large congregation.
Sunday 31st I held service at Mount Peel in the Church; present  about 20 people. At 3-30 I held service at Scotsburn. At 6—30
I held service at the Waihi Bush.

(Between entries for 1 May 1876 and 7 May 1876 are the following lists)

Churchwardens & Vestrymen
Temuka, Vestrymen Dr S. M. Cumming
John Talbot
H. D. Vincent
F. Tavender
Wm Wills
John Gifford
John Ackroyd
F. Barker
William Chapman
Mr Edward Lemon
John Meyers
James Radford
Fredk Hooper
John Webb Rowe
Arthur Brown
Chas. D. Fox
R. H. Pearpoint
Temuka, Churchwardens Mr R. Wood Mr E Pilbrow
Kakahu, District Wardens W.U. Slack
William Kelland
William Wells
R. Bell
John Kelland
E.S.T. Rogers
Winchester, Churchwardens Messrs Inwood & Derenzie  
Winchester, Vestrymen Messrs Young, Klee, Moor, Bass, Clark, McIntosh
Geraldine, Churchwardens Robertrt Fish
William Postlethwaite
Edward Cooper
C. G. Tripp,
E. FInch
F. Flatman
C. Tancred
R. Barker
W.C. Andrews
William H. Grimmer
Samuell Mills
H. Palmer
James Reed
J. Williams
J. Sirrl (?)
W.U. Slack
Mount Peel J.B.A. Acland  
Woodberry (Woodbury) Sir T. Tancred
C.G. Tripp
William Cooling
F. Flatman
C. Tancred
Josph Wooding (sic)
The Point, District Wardens William B. Howell Edward Acton
The Point, Vestrymen William Halstead
James Pilbrow
Mark Saunders
Burkes Pass. District Warden F.J. Kimbell  
Pleasant Valley, District Wardens E.L. Clogstoun Thomas Hardcastle

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