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Alice Grey Nicholls, daughter of William, and her husband, Charles John Dearle

Alice Grey Nicholls was the ‘half-caste’ daughter of a Pakeha Maori, William Nicholls. She would marry a Pakeha and have several children, losing her only son but bringing up a family of daughters, who all received a Pakeha education. Having a moko emphasized her Maori heritage, and she was on good terms with many Maori. Charles John Dearle, a Londoner, after some involvement in gold mining spent most of his life working for the government. At the request of Maori landowners, from 1883 until 1895 he allocated goldfields revenue amongst them, a challenging task. He was also involved in land purchases both on behalf of the government and for personal gain. They farmed her land at Mangaiti, near Te Aroha, Alice continuing to farm it profitably after his early death, assisted for a time by her daughters. She purchased more land, and to enable her to sell some portions of it she had it declared European land, an illustration of her astuteness in business; her family obtained a good financial position from her farming and land dealings. When she died, aged 81, her Pakeha friends fondly remembered her.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). Alice Grey Nicholls, daughter of William, and her husband, Charles John Dearle. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 43). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart

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