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Harry Louis MOFFATT

Harry Louis MOFFATT

Male 1839 - 1913  (74 years)

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  • Name Harry Louis MOFFATT 
    Gender Male 
    Born 1839  Westminster, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 20 May 1913  Motueka, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • FAM (NZ)
    Person ID I12690  Clan Moffat UK
    Last Modified 3 December 2016 

    Father John Andrews MOFFATT,   b. 1814, Hoddom, Dumfriesshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 August 1888, Crondall, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Eliza Anna BOSQUET,   b. 27 May 1813, York, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 January 1892, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Family ID F313  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Theresa BROWN,   b. 10 May 1837, West Cowes, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 December 1914, Cheviot, Canterbury, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 20 December 1865  Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • FAM(NZ), Nelson Examiner XXV 5 11.1.1866 p5
    Children 
    +1. Walter John MOFFATT,   b. 5 October 1866, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 May 1938, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     2. Miriam Eliza MOFFATT,   b. 23 April 1868, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 December 1944, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
    +3. Percy George MOFFATT,   b. 15 March 1870, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1939, Motueka, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     4. Louisa Mary MOFFATT,   b. 30 June 1873, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 June 1939, Motueka, Nelson, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
    Family ID F4582  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Picture of Harry Moffatt as part of a sign at Nelson, New Zealand
    Picture of Harry Moffatt as part of a sign at Nelson, New Zealand
    Picture of Harry Moffatt as part of a sign at Nelson, New Zealand
    Descriptive part of Sign about Harry Moffatt
    Descriptive part of Sign about Harry Moffatt
    Descriptive part of Sign about Harry Moffatt

  • Notes 
    • Mariner, Gold miner, Harbourmaster at Motueka. Wrote "Adventures by Sea and Land", An autobiography by Harry Louis Moffatt (1839-1913) - His adventures from the age of twelve to his seventieth year. Nelson Historical Society, 1979. Harry Louis Moffatt was born in London, England, probably in 1839. His father was John Anderson Moffatt, a Scot, who joined the British Army during the Napoleonic wars and became batman to Lord Aylmer; he married Eliza Ann Bosquet, a French orphan, who was Lady Aylmer's personal maid. Harry was the eldest of their four children. He went to sea at the age of 12. Although Harry can have had little formal education, he was an avid reader, especially of sea stories. In 1858 and 1860 he attended two courses at a navigation school in London, and qualified as a mate. His early experience at sea included being robbed of his clothing and equipment, a shipwreck and a South American revolution. He received no nautical instruction in spite of his parents' having paid a premium for his apprenticeship. Harry Moffatt visited New Zealand in 1859 and returned in 1860. After a short spell on coastal vessels he and a friend decided to try gold-digging at Collingwood, near Nelson. In 1861 he was with a small party at the mouth of the Buller River when news came of the spectacular finds in Otago. After a short spell there, the claim his party was working was swept away in a flood and he returned to Nelson. His party then tramped to the Mangles and Matakitaki goldfields, where a number of diggers were working. After another brief trip to Otago they returned to prospect the Matakitaki. When news came of the Wakamarina find, they joined the rush and 'struck it lucky' for the first and only time. On the proceeds Moffatt was able to sail to England, this time as a passenger, in late 1864. He returned to Nelson on the Magna Bona on 21 March 1865 and married Theresa Brown, whom he had met on board, in the Wesleyan Chapel at Nelson on 20 December 1865. They were to have four children, two girls and two boys. After about six years on coastal steamers, Moffatt took a shore job as a storekeeper on the Collingwood goldfields. In 1877 he became wharfinger and harbourmaster at the small port of Motueka, in the Nelson province. He remained there until he retired in 1911. Moffatt's varied career is comparable to that of many early goldminers. He made no important discoveries and no fortune, but he remained in New Zealand and was a good citizen. However, he is distinguished by his writings. In 1896 he wrote a series of articles for the Nelson Evening Mail. These were subsequently published in a small booklet called A Nelson digger, under the pseudonym 'Kiwi', and have been used extensively by historians of the South Island goldfields. After his retirement he wrote the story of his life. Harry Moffatt died at Motueka on 20 May 1913. The manuscript of his autobiography was lost for many years, but Adventures by sea and land was eventually prepared for publication by his grand-daughter. Margaret C. Brown, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, 1990.


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