Sarah Ann Clark 1840 – 1908

Sarah Ann Clark was the eldest daughter and second of five children of Charles John Clark and Dinah Jowett. The Clark’s were close neighbours of John. Sarah was born on 19 April 1840 in Otley, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.

The Clark Family - Seated Charles and Dinah, L-R George, Hannah, William and Sarah

The Clark Family – Seated Charles and Dinah, L-R George, Hannah, William and Sarah

Charles, Dinah, William and Sarah Ann left Gravesend, 1st October, 1842 on the Barque “Indus” of 425 tons with 240 immigrant passengers plus some others arrived in Nelson on 6 February 1843. Charles Clark’s occupation listed as “Sawyer”.

 The Clark’s made their way up from Nelson to eventually settle in the Kaipara, on the Waiora River. Their house was named Whakahara, and overlooked the river and was to the north of Tokatoka, the homestead no long remains.

Clark Home 01 reduced

The Clark Family home at Whakahara.

 A full history of the Clark family has been documented elsewhere by the Clark family, but it is worth mentioning that all five children of Charles and Dinah had more than twelve children each!

Much of Sarah’s early life is not known but being the eldest daughter we could expect that her time would have been split between helping her mother, chores and possibly home schooling. There is a chance that Sarah and Mary Ann Stanaway were friends, there being only a number of similar aged European girls in the entire Kaipara area.

On 22 September 1858, aged 18, Sarah gave birth to a baby girl she later called Elizabeth Heath Clark. The father of the child was thought to be William Collier.

From Ada Clark’s family records chapter seven entitled “THE ARAPOHUE SETTLERS AND A SECRET SORROW” we have the following account of John James’s fourth wife;

“On June 9th 1861 at Otamatea, the Clark’s eldest daughter Sarah Ann, aged 21, married Captain John James Stanaway, aged 46. The service took place at the Wesleyan Chapel, Waigohe.

John James Stanaway was old enough to be Sarah’s father and was a man in middle age who had experienced a life of adventure. Born on 16th July 1813, possibly near the village of Stanaway, near Colchester, Essex, he was a seasoned sea-farer who had once been a naval rating.

Captain Stanaway was described as a kindly man, very fond of his young wife, but the difference in their ages made it impossible for them to be real companions. However, the marriage of Sarah Ann Clark must have been reasonably happy for she had seven children by him. The last child was born in 1874, the year of Stanaway’s death.”

The fact is John was even a few years older in age than Sarah’s father, however, he was well established and offered Sarah a secure future, there being not a large selection to choose from and the fact that, in those times, as she had already had a child there would have been a social cost, which a younger man may not have been able to live with.

As mentioned they do go on to have seven children between 1862 – 1874, which means of the 12 years they were married she was with child for almost half that time.

Sarah with Sarah on lap
Sarah Ann with her daughter Sarah.

Sarah was only 34 years old when John passes away. She has seven children under the age of 13, one, Frederick, being a new born baby. A saving grace for Sarah was that her family were not far away and that John had a barman/store manager in place before his death.

The Daily Southern Cross reported on November 12, 1875, a case where a worker from the Te Kopuru mill stole a cheque to the value of £5 and proceeded to the Tokatoka Hotel and purchased liquor on a Sunday, the thief was tried and convicted, however to get the conviction Mr Saunders had admitted suppling the liquor on a Sunday.

The story continues in the New Zealand Herald 12 November 1875, as a result of the case of the stolen cheque Sarah Stanaway was charged with a breach of the Licensing Act.

“…by supplying a bottle of brandy to Frederick Whitehouse of Te Kopuru, on Sunday, the 17th day of October, 1875, he not being a lodger or traveller. Defendant (Sarah) pleaded “not guilty”.

This charge arose out of the recent case of robbery tried at this court. G E Saunders, on being sworn, said: I am manager of the Tokatoka Hotel. I supplied a man with a bottle of brandy on that day. The man was not a lodger: I supposed him to be a traveller, but I did not ask him. I knew him to come from Te Kopuru. I identify the man as the witness; I consider him a traveller, or I should not have supplied him with a bottle….

The Bench considered the case proved and ordered the defendant (Sarah) to pay a fine of £5, and costs.”

A case of unpaid goods was before the Courts in January 1876, the New Zealand Herald on January 21, 1876 reported;

Our Justices have not been allowed to be idle lately. They have been occupied for several days on a case that was finally disposed of at the Resident Magistrate’s Court on January 13, when William Brown, commonly known as Dr Brown, of Aratapu, was charged by Constable Madill, of Te Kopuru, with having, on the 3rd of December, 1575, unlawfully and knowingly obtained, by certain false pretences, of and from one G. E. Sanders, of Tokatoka, one bottle of brandy, one bottle of whiskey, two bottles of gin, one flask of brandy, and other drinks to the value of 3s 6d (all value for £1 16s), the property of S. A. Stanaway, with intent to cheat and defraud her of the same.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty. G. E. Saunders, manager Tokatoka Hotel, sworn. He stated that the prisoner came to the Tokatoka Hotel on December 3, 1875, and had sundry glasses of spirits. He took, some bottles of liquor away with him, handing a cheque from his pocket-book for £10 in payment. The cheque was passed through a firm in Auckland to be presented, at the bank, and returned dishonoured.

Police Constable Madill deposed that he apprehended the prisoner on the eve of the 22nd December last, charging him with the offence. After giving him the usual caution, he said he did not present the cheque to last witness. He also said that he always had some balance to his credit in the Bank of New South Wales. He said he got the goods from Saunders before giving him the cheque, and that he got no goods on the strength of the cheque.

I J. S. Eckford, a clerk in the Bank of New South Wales, deposed that he did not know the prisoner, and never saw him before. He remembered the cheque now before him being presented at the bank on December 15th, 1875, in the name of Wm. Brown. He had an account at the bank. The amount to his credit was one penny. It has been that amount since 1870, and never exceeded it since then. The cheque was dishonored. There was no other cheque presented on that account. The bank had never received any money from Fiji or W. Brown’s account. Witness could not swear that the cheque was presented on Brown’s account. A farthing constitutes a bank account.

Other witnesses were called, but their evidence was not material.

In defence the prisoner said that at the time he gave the cheque he had a balance at the Bank of New South Wales to his credit; that the said balance he believed to be now about £5, and that it had not exceeded that amount during the last five years. He also stated that he gave Saunders a coat as security for the goods supplied.

The Bench, after a short consideration, found the prisoner guilty, and sentenced him to six months imprisonment in Mount Eden Gaol. The prisoner was taken to Auckland next day by the constable, in the steamer “Lily”, to serve his term of imprisonment. The Justices who sat in this case were T. S. Webb and J. A. Walker, Esqs.

During 1876 a large public push was made to have the Bush Licences refused for the Kaihu, Mangawhare and Tokatoka Hotels. The New Zealand Herald on 8 June 1876, Page 3 reads as follows;

THE QUARTERLY LICENSING COURTS. KAIPARA. [Before Captain’s Symonds, E.M., and Messrs. Weir, Coates, and Bond, licensing Commissioners.]

 The Quarterly Licensing Court for the district of Kaipara was opened at noon on Tuesday last, in the Helensville Court-house, before the above-named gentlemen. In our yesterday’s issue we published a general outline of the business telegraphed to us by our reporter, but as great interest is taken in the matter by the public, we give it today in detail.

 Edward Downing, Joseph Raynes, and Sarah Ann Stanaway applied for renewals of licences for the Mangawhare, Kaihu, and Tokatoka Hotels respectively.

 Mr. Brookfield appeared for Mr. Downing, Mr. Rees for Mr. Raynes, Mr. Armstrong for Mrs. Stanaway, and Mr. Hesketh for the Rev. Mr. Baker and Mr. Monk, the objectors to the licences being renewed.

 Two petitions in reference to the hotels were handed in.

The one praying that the licences might be refused, signed by 273 males and 89 females, was published by us yesterday the other is as follows:-

 To the Hon. the Licensing Commissioners for the district of Kaipara.

This petition humbly showeth that a meeting has been held and petitions have been prepared, having for their object the taking away of the whole of the licenses from the hotels carrying on business on the Wairoa River. We beg to submit to your notice the following facts, which we trust will tend to disabuse your minds from any misapprehension likely to be conveyed to you by such petitions :—

 1st. That since the erection of the hotels, drunkenness has been on the decrease on the river and, moreover, the deaths by drowning is traceable in the remotest degree to strong drink have been less in proportion to the inhabitants than they were prior to their existence.

 2nd. That a large sum of money has been expended in the erection and furnishing of adequate accommodation for the requirements of the district, and for the carrying on of the trade of licensed victuallers, in accordance with the requirements of the law and we consider that to take away the licenses from such places would be an injustice to those who have expended largo sums in their development, and, moreover, would prove an aggravation rather than diminish the evils.

 3rd. That, in the event of the hotels being closed in this particular district, it would not have the effect set forth in the counter-petition, inasmuch as liquor would still be .obtainable in surrounding districts and we further aver that it would have the effect of encouraging illicit distillation and the illegally vending of the same.

 4th. That all present publicans are under a penalty of £20 if they supply drink to an intoxicated person, and should such person meet with death under such circumstances, they are held responsible by law, and their licences are liable to be cancelled for such offence, whereas, should drink be supplied from other districts in wholesale quantities, and accidents occur, no one can be held responsible, and consequently less discretion would be exercised in its sale.

 5th. That the taking away of the licences would be the means of annihilating vested interests, and the means of livelihood of a portion of law-abiding and enterprising subjects.

 6th. That only one conviction has occurred against any publican, extending over a period of many years.

 Under these circumstances your petitioners pray that the licences be renewed, and the existing hotelkeepers court the fullest investigation into all cases affecting their fitness and capability, and also desire that the strictest supervision be exercised over them by the representatives. And your petitioners will ever pray.”

 [Signed by 195 adults.]

Mr. Rees pointed out that the copies of the first petition sent to the applicants were not true copies, inasmuch as it was prayed that the license was applied for the Tokatoka Hotel by Drummond, or Mrs. Sanders, whereas, in the original document, to which the names had been signed, there was no mention made of these persons, Mrs. Stanaway being set down as the applicant. Thinking they were wrong, the objecting parties, in making copies of the petition to serve upon the applicants, had taken the liberty of altering them, a proceeding that amounted to perjury. It was simply disgraceful. The fact was that they had learnt that Drummond was likely to apply for a transfer of the licence of the Tokatoka Hotel to himself, and had accordingly altered the petition. It had been declared before Mr. Dargaville, though not one of the petitioners had signed against Mrs. Sanders.

 Mr Brookfield made the following objections to the petition being received:—

 1st. That the copies of the petition served upon the applicants were not true copies of the original document

 2nd. That they were not filed with the Clerk of the Court in due time-vix., seven days before he on which the Court was to sit

 3rd. That no copies of the memorial had been served on the applicants, those they had received not being copies according to the Act.

 4th. That the memorial was not drawn up in the form required by the Act, no description being given of the premises of the applicants, so as to identify them.

 5th. That no notice of objection, or grounds thereof, had been given.

 As a further objection, Mr. Armstrong said that the original memorial did not contain Mrs. Sanders’ name as being one of the persons objected to.

 Mr. Rees contended that Mr. Hesketh could not appear on behalf of the Rev. Mr. Baker and Mr. Monk, as they had not given seven days’ notice, in accordance with the Act, that they were objectors.

Mr. Hesketh rose to answer the objections. He said that if the applicants had not received notice of the objections from the Clerk of the Court (Mr. Clendon), they had through other channels. If the terms of the Act in that respect had not been strictly complied with, he thought that the fact of their having received notice, and the Court having accepted it, was sufficient for all purposes. With respect to the objection made to the copies as containing the name of Mrs. Sanders, he would leave it in the hands of the Bench to decide whether they were copies of the original or not. In reference to the objection as to no notice being given by the clerk, all he had to say was, that if the clerk had not given notice, other parties had. As to the fourth objection, he submitted that the description given of the applicants’ premises,—”house or houses situated at Kaihu, Mangawhare, and Tokatoka, within the said district”—was sufficient to identify them, as there was not more than the one house at each of the places stated neither did he consider the fifth objection fatal. It virtually amounted to this If the Bench supported it, it would bind itself not to hear any objections which might be made to the granting or renewing of licences if they were not filed in due conformity to the provisions of the Act, and unless sufficient grounds were given for making them. Full power was given the Bench, under the 6th and 31st sections of the Act, to hear any evidence and take into consideration any objections they may think proper in respect to the case before them.

Mr. Rees considered that Mr. Hesketh’s arguments simply came to this: If the objections could be made in a rough-and-ready way, the law needn’t be adhered to in order to attain the end in view. He quoted from, the Licensing Act, 1873, to show that the applicants for renewals of licences need not have appeared before the Court unless notice of opposition had been there filed and served on them by the Clerk of the Court. But no notice had been given them. So much noise, however, had been made in the newspapers about the intention to oppose the granting of the renewals of the licences, that the applicants had attended, and were then present. After some more discussion, the Bench decided that the memorial was informal and illegal, and, therefore, could not receive it.

Mr. Dargaville said that, as one of those who were instrumental in having the memorial drawn up, and in obtaining signatures to it, he desired to state that they were aware that the terms were not being complied with. The Act could not be conformed to, because, after the memorial was drawn up, they had to obtain signatures to it. They simply put in the petition for what it was worth, as showing the wishes of the residents.

Mr. Hesketh urged that he might be allowed to offer evidence as to the evils brought upon the district by the hotels. In doing so he said that, if the Commissioners granted the licences, they would be responsible for any accident that might accrue.

 Mr. Rees said that if evidence was to be heard, it should be first decided that the objectors would have to pay the necessary costs, as not having complied with the terms of the Act. No one could accuse him of under-valuing the lives of the residents, but it should be distinctly understood beforehand that if evidence was to be taken, the applicants were not to be saddled with the contingent costs.

 Mr. Dargaville said that as regards the costs, he would take all responsibility upon his own shoulders.

Mr. Hesketh said that he was prepared to prove that during the last four years, eighteen persons suffering from the effects of strong drink had been drowned in the Wairoa River. Eight of these persons had been drowned within the past twelve mouths. Therefore, it would appear that in proportion to the number of the population, the deaths were increasing. If the houses were closed, he was prepared to prove that there was sufficient accommodation for travellers in the district.

 Captain Symonds: We think it would be better to adjourn the hearing for fourteen days, in order that the necessary forms of law should be complied with.

 Mr. Brookfield: Then the question of costs crops up.

 Mr. Hesketh said if the Bench, considered the objection serious enough to cause the Court to be adjourned, it had no power or right to order the objectors to pay the necessary costs.

 A lengthy discussion ensued, eventually terminating by the Court being adjourned for half an hour.

 On resuming, the Bench stated that it had decided to adjourn the Court for fourteen days, in order to allow Mr. Hesketh to bring forward any evidence he might have. Each party was to pay its own costs.

 The following renewals of licences were then granted without opposition :—Mangawai Hotel, Mangawai; White Horse Hotel, Kumeu (designation now changed to Railway Hotel); Railway Terminus Hotel, Harkins’ Point; Riverhead Hotel, Riverhead and Railway Hotel, Waimauku. The packet licence for the steamer Minnie Casey was also renewed.

The evidence which it is proposed to advance as grounds for refusing the applications made for renewals of licences for the Kaihu, Mangawhare, and Tokatoka Hotels will go to support following points:-

1. That the above houses are principally frequented by bushmen, mill-hands, and gum-diggers, who periodically attend these hotels for the purpose of drinking, and who, after having obtained such drink, show little or no regard for their personal safety, and yet they are obliged to return to their homes by boats upon the Northern Wairoa river.

2. That during the last 4 years a large number of the class above-named have lost their lives by drowning in the said river while suffering from intoxication and the effects of drinking.

 3. That there is no reasonable doubt that the drink obtained by the said deceased persons was obtained at the said hotels, or some or one of them.

 4. That the sale of intoxicating liquors at the above houses, situated as they are so near the bank of the said river, cannot be carried on even under ordinary careful restrictions without human life being sacrificed, inasmuch as the persons frequenting said hotels are obliged to approach and leave the same by boat’s on the river.

5. That all necessary and suitable accommodation will be provided in the district for travellers and others, when the hotels; as such, shall have been closed.

 6. That apart from the actual loss of life above-mentioned, great distress and pecuniary loss have been caused to the families of those whose lives have been sacrificed.

 7. That considerable efforts have had to be made, from time to time, by residents in the district and others, to maintain and provide for the widows and orphans of those who have been drowned, by reason of the effects of drink, on the said river.

 8. That apart from the private efforts or the’ residents, the last instance of drowning upon the said river, on which occasion three lives were lost through the effect of drink necessitated au appeal to the Government of the province for aid, and involved that Government in a liability of £20 per annum for the support of two infants alone.

From this article it appears from when the petition was started Sarah was still a widow, during the collection of signatures she marries Edward Sanders and then it appears she looks as though she intends to sell the business to a Mr Drummond. Perhaps with the trouble she has been having she has decided to get out of the Hotel business.

The Licensing Court resumed a few weeks later – more argument was put before the court Mr Dargaville who opposed the Licenses had it pointed out to him that he infact was the first to establish a Hotel in the district, further he was opposing the renewal of the licence for the Mangawhare Hotel while making application for the renewal of the licences for his own house, the Kaihu. It was suggest there was some hidden motive for Mr Dargaville’s actions.

The New Zealand Herald dated 21 June 1876 reads as follows;

Mr. Armstrong said that under the Provincial Act, the Court would have to be assured that there was sufficient accommodation in a district for travellers before they could close any house that existed in it.

 There was no such accommodation at Tokatoka, nor in any of the other districts beyond that contained in the hotels. If the Court decided not to grant the licences, the evil would not be lessened, for they had granted packet licence to the steamer, where those desirous might obtain any amount of liquor.

The long and short of it was that the Court decided to grant the renewals of the licences.

From Ada Clark’s family records chapter ten entitled “EDUCATION, LAND MONKEYS AND SILKWORMS” we have the following account of the Northern Wairoa River;

Dorice Storey (nee Clark), another grand-daughter always remembered visiting her Aunt Sarah Ann at Tokatoka. This Aunt also had a pet monkey. The wretched creature bit her!

On April 1st 1876, Sarah Ann (Clark) Stanaway, a widow of not quite two years married for a second time, a bachelor George Edward Sanders (sometimes spelt Saunders). This incredible woman aged thirty-five, had seven children from her first marriage – 3 sons and 4 daughters – and went on to bear seven more children from her second marriage, also 3 sons and 4 daughters. George Edward Sanders later managed the Tokatoka Hotel.”

George Sanders was a settler in Tokatoka, and worked as the barman and store manager at the Tokatoka Hotel and was originally employed by John. He also appears as a witness on John’s Will in the amendment C section.

Sarah ClarkGeorge Edward Sanders

Above Left & Right: Sarah and Edward Sanders about 1876 – this could be their wedding portraits.

Sarah Anne Clark
Sarah in old age.
Sarah Grave2

Sarah Ann Sanders grave, Tokatoka Cemetery.

Sarah’s life after running the Tokatoka Hotel is largely unknown. No doubt she had her hands full with her full house of 14 children. By 1892 Sarah and George have sold the Tokatoka Hotel and perhaps they move to a farm they had purchased and leased to two of their sons – Charles Stanaway and George Sanders jr. in Raupo.

Sarah died on October 20, 1908 from influenza and heart disease in Dargaville and was buried at the Tokatoka Cemetery, Kaipara – her grave is located between her second husband George Sanders and her youngest son, Frederick Stanaway.

From Early Northern Wairoa by John Stallworthy on page 171 we read;

Mrs George Sanders was one of the best known and widely respected of the old settlers of the Tokatoka district. She arrived in the northern Wairoa when a girl, with her father, Mr. Charles Clark, in 1853, and resided first at Omana. In 1861, she was married by Rev. William Gittos to Captain Stanaway, of Tokatoka. By this marriage she had three sons and four daughters. In 1876, she was married to Mr. G. E. Sanders, also of Tokatoka, and the issue was three sons and four daughters. She died at Tokatoka, in 1908, leaving forty grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She was buried at the Tokatoka cemetery.

A copy of Sarah’s will has been uncovered (thank you Colleen Stanaway).

Sarah's Will - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Sarah’s Will – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

5 thoughts on “Sarah Ann Clark 1840 – 1908

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