Guard's Bay

Guard's Bay

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

John (Jacky) Guard arrived in Sydney as a 22-year-old convict in 1815. After completing his sentence in 1820, he became a sealer, sea captain and trader. In 1827 he set up New Zealand's first shore whaling station at Te Awaiti on Tory Channel in the Marlborough Sounds. During a trip to Sydney in 1830, Guard married 15-year-old Elizabeth (Betty) Parker. Upon their return to Te Awaiti she gained the distinction of being the first European woman to settle in the South Island.

In October 1831 Betty gave birth to a son, John, who also gained fame as the first European child born in the South Island. Jacky Guard later moved his whaling station and residence to Kakapo Bay, Port Underwood, and in late 1833 Betty gave birth to a daughter, Louisa.

On 29 April 1834 the Guards were returning from Sydney aboard the barque Harriet when it was driven ashore in a gale near Rahotu on the Taranaki coast. Betty and her children were taken hostage. Jacky returned to Sydney and notified the authorities as to the plight of his family. A rescue mission was organised, and this involved the first use of British troops on New Zealand soil, in September 1834. 

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5 comments have been posted about Guard's Bay

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Posted: 04 Jul 2013

My husband is the son of Ivan Guard,who I think was the grandson of Betty guard although not positive.Not sure of the family tree.

michael guard sheehan

Posted: 27 Jul 2011

Does anyone know the family or tribe that "MARIA" , John "Jacky" jnr. married ? I have heard she was Maria from Port Underwood, but nothing more specific than that..Aloha, Michael Guard Sheehan, Hawaii


Posted: 16 Dec 2008

Thanks very much for this, Narelle - I've changed the age now. It looks like it was an error in the 1966 Encyclopaedia of NZ (which has him born c1800). Regards, Jamie Mackay Web Editor

Narelle Guard

Posted: 16 Dec 2008

My husband John Guard, is the great grandson of the above John Guard.. John (Jacky) Guard was born 1792..that makes him 22 in 1815..not 15yrs!