1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maning, Frederick Edward

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MANING, FREDERICK EDWARD (1812–1883), New Zealand judge and author, son of Frederick Maning, of Johnville, county Dublin, was born on the 5th of July 1812. His father emigrated to Tasmania in the ship “Ardent” in 1824 and took up a grant of land there. Young Maning served in the fatuous expedition which attempted to drive in the Tasmanian blacks by sweeping with an unbroken line of armed men across the island. Soon afterwards he decided to try the life of a trader among the wild tribes of New Zealand, and, landing in the beautiful inlet of Hokianga in 1833, took up his abode among the Ngapuhi. With them the tall Irish lad—he stood 6 ft. 3 in.—full of daring and good-humour and as fond of fun as of fighting, quickly became a prime favourite, was adopted into the tribe, married a chief’s daughter, and became a “Pakeha-Maori” (foreigner turned Maori). With the profits of his trading he bought a farm of 200 acres on the Hokianga, for which, unlike most white adventurers of the time, he paid full value. When New Zealand was peacefully annexed in 1840, Maning’s advice to the Maori was against the arrangement, but from the moment of annexation he became a loyal friend to the government, and in the wars of 1845–46 his influence was exerted with effect in the settlers’ favour. Again, in 1860, he persuaded the Ngapuhi to volunteer to put down the insurrection in Taranaki. Finally, at the end of 1865, he entered the public service as a judge of the native lands court, where his unequalled knowledge of the Maori language, customs, traditions and prejudices was of solid value. In this office he served until 1881, when ill-health drove him to resign, and two years later to seek surgical aid in London, where, however, he died of cancer on the 25th of July 1883. At his wish, his body was taken back to New Zealand and buried there. A bust of him is placed in the public library at Auckland. Maning is chiefly remembered as the author of two short books, Old New Zealand and History of the War in the North of New Zealand against the Chief Heké. Both books were reprinted in London in 1876 and 1884, with an introduction by the earl of Pembroke.