Wellington Province


BATLEY, Robert Thomson

Page 1301

Batley, Robert Thomson, JP: Sheep farmer and storekeeper, Moawhango. The pioneer of this settlement, Mr Batley, who was born at Yarmouth, Norfolk, was educated at Portsmouth, and leaving Home as a sailor was wrecked on the coast of Hawkes Bay in 1863 from the ship `Royal Bride.' After five years' experience at sheep farming in Hawkes Bay, for the most part on Sir Donald McLean's estate, he went inland, and was for ten years in the employ of Messrs. A and W Birch, the latter part of this period as manager of their Erewhon Estate. Subsequently he established the large business which he still successfully conducts, wool-carting being an important part of it. Upwards of 1200 bales were taken to the nearest railway station [Mangaonoho] and 600 to Pipiriki, during the last season. At his sheds about 30000 sheep, belonging to Mr Batley and his clients, were shorn last season. As an employer he has twenty hands engaged permanently, the number being more than double during the summer. During his long residence inland, Mr Batley has acquired a very fair knowledge of the Maori language. In 1877 he paid a visit to the Old Country, where he was married to a daughter of Mr W A Snelling, of the Royal Yacht `Osborne,' and has five sons and one daughter.

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