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Nathaniel RANDELL 1850

The following extract is from Cyclopaedia of New Zealand.

Nathaniel Randell
Mr Nathaniel Randell occupied a seat on the Newmarket Borough Council for a term of three years. He was born in Cromer, Norfolk in 1850, the son of Mr Thomas Randell and was educated at Goldsmiths School. His father was a plumber and he also followed that calling for four years. After spending several years in Guildford he came to New Zealand on the Dorette in 1874. For some time he worked as a journeyman at his trade in Auckland before establishing his present business in Newmarket.
Mr Randell was one of the promoters of the Newmarket Brass Band. As a member of the Newmarket School committee he discharged the duties of secretary and treasurer. Mr Randell is a Freemason.
When Lord Onslow left New Zealand Mr Randell took an active part in the arrangements for the send off given to the nobleman. He was acquainted with him as he had worked on Lord Onslow's estates in England.

Cyclopaedia of New Zealand ~ page 518.

Nathaniel Randell, born 4 August 1850 was the son of Thomas Ere Randell and Judith Anne Mayes. He was brought up in Cromer and Holt but travelled to New Zealand on the Dorette, arriving in Auckland 14 April 1874. The same year that his sister, Honorine, left for America. The clipper ship Dorette's arrivial was recorded in the New Zealand press because of both the speed of the passage 83 days and an outbreak of scarlet fever on route. The Auckland Star noted the Dorette 'brings no cabin passengers being full up with immigrants', and the Daily Southern Cross wrote 'The passage compares very favourably with that of the Himalaya, which arrived today after a run of 105 days'.
In Auckland, Nathaniel lived at the intersection of York Street and Khyber Pass Road in Newmarket. Intriguingly he lived next door to John Randell Caston, a Painter & Decorator who had travelled with him on the Dorette. J R Caston was a year older than Nathaniel and was related to the Randells of Cley in Norfolk.
Nathaniel, J R Caston and Nathaniel's original business partner, James Stark Angus, were all Newmarket Borough Councillors and Freemasons at Manuka Lodge. Nathaniel was additionally a member of the Newmarket School Board. The Auckland Star reported extensively on the elections of councillors and school board members over a period of years, with Nathaniel first appearing around 1889.

Nathaniel Randell
Newmarket Brass Band Uniform

Cyclopaedia of New Zealand


Nathaniel worked as a contracting plumber and had a partnership with Scottish immigrant, J. S. Angus, which lasted around five years but ended in 1888 when a Public Notice in the Auckland Star stated 'the partnership of Nathaniel Randell and James Stark Angus, has this day been DISSOLVED by mutual consent', and 'Mr Nathaniel Randell having bought the interest of Randell and Angus, will discharge all liabilities, and receive all due to the firm. Dated this third day of December, 1888.'
Nathaniel first appeared in Wises NZ Trade Directory in 1883 as 'Randell & Angus, Plumbers, Gas fitters &; Sheet Metal Workers, Khyber Pass'. In the issue of 1885 'Randell Angus - Ironmongers. Khyber Pass' are included but without any reference to plumbing. By 1890 Nathaniel appears for the first time without Angus as, 'Nathaniel Randell, Plumber, Khyber Pass'. His entry remained the same until the Great War.
According to the biography of J. S Angus, in 1887 his company implemented a significant upgrade of the Newmarket Council Water System. The improvements saved thousands of gallons of water and resulted in a significant long term saving for the community. This major civic development was undertaken when James and Nathaniel were in partnership.
In 1892, an action in Christchurch against a Wellington plumber claimed a patent infringemnet on self-adjusting roofing nails. The defence offered Nathaniel as a expert witness and affirmed that several plumbers in Auckland, viz., 'Nathaniel had been manufacturing and using similar nails for several years'.
Nathaniel Randell married Ellen Brennan sometime early in 1880. They went on to have seven children together. Lawton, their first, was born 20 October 1880. Ultimately, they had four girls and three sons who all became plumbers.
The Employment section of the Auckland Star maps out the progress of Randell Plumbers in a series of ads for 'good general hand, constant to suitable man', 'plumber and 2 pipe fitters', 'plumber's boy', and a series of 'smart lads' etc.
In 1912 the following appeared - 'LOST, Child's Buttoned Boot, with sox - between Randell's plumber's shop and Blair's Hotel, Newmarket. Finder please leave at Randell's shop.' Would anybody today advertise a lost shoe?
Lord William Hillier Onslow was the thirteenth Governor of New Zealand, 2 May 1889 to 24 February 1892. He served at a time when Governors, were all extremely wealthy members of the House of Lords. Typically they had no previous experience of diplomatic or vice-regal office and would spend large sums of their own money to maintain an appearance of grandeur, importance and social standing.
Nathaniel and Onslow were similar ages and presumably having met in England were reunited in New Zealand. All this despite Nathaniel being in Auckland and Onslow in Wellington. Nathaniel was also acknowledged in an 1886 address to Sir George Grey a previous governor of New Zealand.
Two issues of the Auckland Star, place Nathaniel at the centre of 'after hours drinking' at the Royal George in Newmarket. The first case 30 June, 1891, found Nathaniel and John Randall Carston not guilty of purchasing and drinking liquor after hours. Their defence ran the rather convoluted case that Nathaniel and his friend had been in the bar after midnight to buy 'medicinal Rum' for Casten's unfortunate sickly son. Nathaniel denied hiding a pewter beer mug under his chair and maintained it was nothing to do with him. Case dismissed.
In the second instance, 6 October the same year, Nathaniel, J R Casten and Thomas Woods found themselves in a similar situation. On this occasion it transpired, Thomas Woods, an upright citizen and fireman hadn't paid for any drinks, as the captain of the Fire Brigade had left drinks at the hotel for him.
The defence submitted 'he saw nothing improbable in the idea that landlord should give liquor to the members of the Fire Brigade on a special occasion'. Again case dismissed.
Nathaniel also turns up as the star witness of an assault case, 13 August, 1885 under the headline 'Throwing Stones'. The copy I have is difficult to read but in essence Nathaniel was close to home, when a group of boys threw stones at him. They had been 'continually annoying inhabitants' and Nathaniel had expressed his dissatisfaction. In the ensuing 'discussion' somebody received 'a clout' which escalated the argument to stone throwing.
Constable Graham said the conduct of the 'Newmarket Boys' was unbearable. The Bench imposed a fine of 20 shillings on a boy called Albert.
When not drinking or acting as a spontanoeous crime fighter Nathaniel seems to have enjoyed playing bowls on Saturday afternoons at the Newmarket Green, rink one. His successes are again listed in the Auckland Star.
A death notice in the Auckland Star, 11 January 1915 announced the passing of Nathaniel - 'RANDELL - On January 10 January at the Auckland Hospital. Nathaniel Randell, of Newmarket aged 64 years. Interred this day at Purewa Cemetery. 'Private interment'.
On the annversary of his daughther Honorine's death 24 December 1915, a 'In Memoriam' entry reads 'RANDELL. In loving memory of our sister, Honorine Mary Randell who died on 25th December. 1901; aged 19 years 5 months; also our father, Nathaniel Randell, who died on 10th January, 1915, aged 64 years. -'Rest in peace.' Inserted by Joe and Freda Francis, Union Street. Newmarket'.

ANCESTRY ~ Clement / Thomas / Thomas / Nathaniel

Ellen BRENNAN 1853

Nathaniel's wife, Ellen Brennan, was born 10 June 1853 in Onehunga, New Zealand. She was the daughter of Michael & Mary Brennan who were pioneer settlers in New Zealand. Ellen was the youngest child of Michael & Mary and the second of their children born in New Zealand. Ellen's brother Thomas, born 1850, appears to be their first child born in the colony but her parents arrived in New Zealand with five other children.
Michael Brennan was a 'Fencible'. He sailed from London on 'The Berhampore', departing 7 March, 1849 and arriving Auckland 16 June, 1849. He was accompanied by his wife, identified on the passenger list as 'Mary Brennan (Furlong)' and five children who were not named.
The Fencibles were discharged British soldiers, selected on the basis of good character and a minimum of 15 years service. They enrolled for 7 years and were offered free passage for themselves and their families, a pension, an acre of land and a cottage. The Fencibles were expected to be ready to engage the Maori should the need arise but they were essentially a reserve force. Their military duties required them drill two weeks a year and attend a church parade every Sunday in full military kit. Their remaining time was their own. Under these conditions the Fencible communities flourished.
According to the passenger list of The Berhampore, Michael Brennan was born in 1806 Horseleap, County Westmeath, Ireland. His army record includes his enlistment application in the 21st Foot Regiment, 28 June 1826 at Tullamore confirms 'Horslip'. The attestation form states a recruit had to be eighteen to join the army. Michael who signed the form with a simple cross 'claimed to be eighteen', 'is believed to be eighteen' and 'appears to be eighteen', all of which suggests boys under eighteen joined regularly for the two shillings and sixpence up front and three pounds on discharge. His physical description on enlisting was 5 feet 6 inches, light blue eyes, fresh complexion and fair hair.
He served 6 years in Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) and 9 years in the East Indies (India) before being discharged after 22 years and 9 days military service. His discharge took place in Chatham, Kent, England, 8 August 1848, the site of several nineteenth century naval dockyards, forts and army barracks.
Private Michael Brennan was disqualified from military duty due to 'chronic rheumatism and impaired constitution - attributable to climate and service - not aggravated by vice, intemperance or misconduct'. Despite his apparent good living his description at discharge was grey eyes, dark complexion and brown hair. He had also grown and was recorded as 5 feet 7 inches.
Nothing in his military record identifies 'next of kin', parents or wife but it seems possible he married Mary Brown on 14 July 1845 at Kamptee, India and that both Michael and his bride were widowed at the time of their marriage. Presumably Mary was 'nee Brown formally Furlong' but this is not absolute. The consensus opinion is that Mary Ann, born 1842 and Rosetta, born 1847 were two of the five children who arrived on the Berhampore.
The New Zealand Gazette, 24 February 1863 posted a 'Notice to Claimants under the Pensioner Land Act, 1861' which outlined that Michael Brennan of Onehunga would received £50 following his application at the Auckland Sheriff's Office.
Michael lived a long life and died aged 78 years. The Auckland Star, 28 September 1887 reported in Deaths; 'On the 27th inst., at Onehunga, Michael Brennan, late H.M.'s Royal North British Fusiliers. Funeral Thursday afternoon at'
Michael Brennan left a Will which was granted probate 11 October 1887.
Ellen's mother is more complicated, she was named as Mary Furlong in both the birth register and the ships manifest but according to several independent sources Mary could have been obscuring her true identity. Mary Furlong, may in fact be related to Matthew Furlong and Lord Edward FitzGerald both prominent activists who gave their lives in the movement to free Ireland from British rule. However, Mary much to the dismay of her family, eloped with a British army officer, assumed to be named John Brown.
The passenger list of the Berhampore states she was born 1820 in Templescoby, Ireland but family stories place her in India and possibly Tasmania prior to her first husbands death. Following the death of 'Brown', Mary married Michael Brennan and finally sailed, aged 29, to New Zealand with a new husband and five children. Her family anxious to reconcile with her, assigned what resources they could to the search: 'Lord White and her uncle John Rossiter, Dean of Ferns, tracked her down in New Zealand but Mary would not return to society. She told them that she had a family and felt that she could not return to Ireland as she was in disgrace'.
Mary Brennan (Brown - Furlong) died at the home of her daughter and son in law, Valentines Day 1890. A notice in Auckland Star, 15 February 1890 read 'On February 14, at the residence of Mr N. Randell, Newmarket, the beloved wife of the late Michael Brennan, Onehunga; aged 77 years [born 1813]. The funeral will leave Newmarket for Onehunga to-morrow (Sunday), at 2.30 p.m.' A second notice a week later confirm the same details.
Michael and Mary's daughter Ellen married Nathaniel Randell sometime in 1880 and together they had seven children. Nathaniel was established at Khyber Pass Road when he met and married Ellen. It appears, they lived almost their entire lives at this address and certainly all the children were born in Khyber Pass Road. However, the 1914 Electoral Roll reveals Ellen and her youngest daughter Berenice, were not living in the family residence but at the home of daughter Coralie. Nathaniel, meanwhile, remained at Khyber Pass Road and died in hospital the following year. Ellen and Berenice continued to live with Coralie.
It's often difficult to find any information about females in the tree but Ellen turns up as Mrs E Randell dealing with a home in Trafalgar street 'a very commodious house, with 2 acres land, water and every convenience'. This property or another in Trafalgar was later sold, as were two other properties in Manukau Road, Newmarket. It seems likely that at least one of these properties may have been owned by her parents who are recorded at different times in both streets and Church Street in the electrol rolls.
Ellen died at the home of her daughter Coralie, 31 May 1920, aged 67 and was buried in Waikaraka Cemetery Auckland, sharing a grave with her daughters Berenice and Honorine. Inscription on the monument reads 'RIP In loving memory of Ellen Randell died 31 May 1921 aged 67 years. Also her daughter Honorine' and below this on a separate plaque 'Also her daughter Berenice died 26 December 1962 aged 69 yrs'.
A year later the Auckland Star, 31 May 1922, 'In loving memory of Ellen Randell, who died 31 May, 1921. Inserted by her loving family'. and again 31 May 1924, In Memoriam - 'A tribute of love to the memory of our dear mother, Ellen Randell, who died 31 May, 1921. Inserted by her loving family'.
As an interesting aside, by way of painting a picture of the Brennan family, Thomas, Ellen's elder brother was given an extensive obituary 6 October, 1915 in the 'Thames Star'. It recounts that Tom Brennan died from 'miners complaint' at Coolgardie, Western Australia. The obituary expansively praises 'Tom' as a man of letters, 'a philosopher and a great reader, a student of Omar Khayyam, Shakespeare and Burns - who knew the whole of Oceania, including New Zealand, Fiji, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia'.
The author reported that he visited Mr Brennan a week before his death and Tom, a man who's father once signed his name with a cross, recited verses from Omar Khayyam an eleventh century Persian philosopher and poet, interestingly made famous in translations by Edward FitzGerald.

Nathaniel and Ellen had the following children:

Lawton RANDELL 1880 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Honorine Mary RANDELL 1882 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Leon RANDELL 1884 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Freda RANDELL 1888 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Coralie RANDELL 1887 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Darcy Prestage RANDELL 1890 Onehunga, New Zealand.
Berenice RANDELL 1893 Auckland, New Zealand.

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