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Betty Guard

Personal details

Full Name:

Elizabeth Guard


3 Dec 1814 – 16 Jul 1870


Betty Guard
Betty Guard is believed to be the first European woman to settle in the South Island. In 1834 she was taken hostage by a group of Taranaki and Ngati Ruanui Māori before being rescued several months later by her husband Jacky and a detachment of 60 men from the 50th Regiment.

Events In History

21 September 1834

The family of the whaler Jacky Guard were among a group of Pākehā captured by Māori in May 1834 after the barque Harriet ran aground on the Taranaki coast.


A frontier of chaos?

In the years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, relations between Māori and Europeans were marred by a number of high-profile incidents. Read the full article

Page 6 - The Harriet affair

The rescue of Betty Guard and her two children from Ngāti Ruanui in the spring of 1834 involved the first use of British troops on New Zealand soil.

Main image: Guard's Bay
Watercolour of Guard's Bay, Port Underwood by William Fox (1848)

Images and media for Betty Guard