Jane Maria Atkinson

Jane Maria Atkinson

Jame Maria Richmond (later Atkinson), with sewing basket and needle, and her mother Maria Richmond. Photograph taken by Byrne Richmond in London, about 1852, before they left for New Zealand.

At the time of the Waitara dispute Maria’s brother William was Native Minister. In private correspondence she criticised what she regarded as her brother's over-cautious attitude. She was confident that what she interpreted as Māori 'anarchy' would be unable to withstand British law backed by British bayonets.

During the war Maria's letters expressed exasperation at the mismanagement of the British commanders. She was especially scathing of Colonel Gold who she described as 'so touchingly dense in his stupidity that you can view him as a gigantic baby.’

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