College – Issue 36

“act as they in their discretion shall think fit”. However, it was not until January 1858 that College actually acquired the land, the result of yet another delay. When the Canterbury Association was wound up, not all the legal requirements had been completed to convey the land they had chosen to the respective purchasers. That meant the legal power of disposing of the land reverted to the Queen. The Crown Grant in Lieu of Purchase of 19 August 1857 was followed by a Grant by Purchase under the Land Regulations of the Canterbury witnessed by Thomas Gore Brown CB Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Islands of New Zealand. The actual Deed of Conveyance was dated 4 January 1858 but not registered until 29 March 1859 at 10.35am, but this delay was not uncommon for the time. It had required the certification of

Thomas Quested Finnis, Lord Mayor of London, to certify that Edward Saxton was “well known and worthy of Good Credit” and able to make the Declaration by Maria Somes which followed. In summary, James Edward Fitzgerald, Octavius Mathias and Henry Barnes Gresson were appointed “her true and lawful attorneys” and the land was “To be held by the said College and their successors Upon trust for providing for and maintaining out of the rents issues and profit thereof from time to time a Scholarship or Scholarships so long as the said College shall continue in union with the Church of England as now by law established and shall possess and teach the doctrine of the same Church as set forth in her Articles of Religion”. In the background the Board of Governors had been working on those statutes and regulations which were required. By 18 January 1858 when it was reported that

the Crown Grant had arrived from Auckland, the attorneys had transferred the land to College and the regulations were ready to be sent to Maria Somes. They included the right of kin of both Maria and Joseph Somes to Somes Scholarships and the proviso that if those statutes and regulations were not forthcoming within six months the land reverted to Maria Somes and her heirs. The gift of land did not conclude Maria Somes’s interaction with Christ’s College. She expected regular updates on the Somes Scholars and from time to time individuals associated with the College visited her in England. This photograph was presented to her in July 1908 by William Guise Brittan. Research in the Christ’s College Form Lists indicates it portrays the 29 scholars from 1907. Although the boys cannot be individually identified, they are:

Christ’s College Canterbury


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