College – Issue 34

on 23 March 1862 on board the Ravenscraig with his sister, Miss Broughton (and a Miss Briggs, who would, through later investigation, turn out to be his aunt), than he was faced with the death of his brother. iii Reginald Broughton had come to take the position of Headmaster of Nelson College. iv Born in 1836, he was Senior Classical Scholar at Cheltenham, and played in the completed a BA degree in Classics and Mathematics in 1859, a MA in 1861 and returned in that same year to Cheltenham as an Assistant Master. Some sources say he had Cricket XXII and Football XX. At Balliol College, Oxford, he learned Hindustani as he was planning to be posted to India. Nelson College, in 1862, was on the Waimea Road and, according to a travel writer of the time, was “decidedly the most extensive institution of the kind in the colony ... Large and well ventilated School Rooms, Masters’ & Matrons’ apartments, Class Rooms &c., occupy the ground floor. In the Upper story are situate the pupils’ bed rooms and those of the officials of the institution.” v Broughton’s testimonials were published in the Nelson College Prospectus of 1862 and he was heartily recommended as “one of the most elegant classical scholars in England” vi with an “adroitness and tact in the management of boys”, vii and a “simplicity and uprightness of character”. viii Yet Broughton resigned and there is some conjecture in letters written by the Richmond family that Mary Anne Briggs had a part to play. An unmarried man in Nelson attracted some attention and he was soon engaged to Annie Smith. According to Maria Richmond, a cousin, the engagement lasted for ten days. Its demise she conjectured was due to Miss Briggs. ix Mary Richmond writing to Charles William Richmond on 2 January 1863 commented, “He has thrown up his appointment here through the combined urgent demands of his

Reginald Broughton photographed after his ordination in 1868.

Aunt, whose heart is set upon spiting the Governors [of Nelson College] for their unpardonable offence of shutting her out of the College … Her tyrannical strength of will seems to take all the strength out of him, and render him limp and indolent”. x By July 1863 Reginald Broughton was at Christ’s College, following in the footsteps of Henry Jacobs. But this had been preceded by more bad news. Another brother, Midshipman Thomas Henry (William in some sources) had drowned on 7 February. He was on the corvette HMS Orpheus that had foundered at the Manakau Heads with the loss of 189 lives of the presumed 259 on board. HMS Orpheus was a Royal Navy vessel that had come via Nova

Scotia and Sydney carrying supplies for New Zealand Naval Ships. xi No sooner had Broughton arrived at Christ’s College on the Prince Alfred with the redoubtable Miss Briggs, xii than he was advertising for boarders for the Headmaster’s House at 50 guineas per year from 1 October. xiii By December he was offering a Christ’s College Mathematical School which was open to former pupils. Held twice a week from 7–8pm it offered instruction in book-keeping, land surveying and mensuration. xiv Christ’s College during the years that Broughton was Headmaster had a roll of 74 at the beginning of 1863 (59 by the end of the year) and 72 in 1864, and a staff of eight Masters. xv

College Issue 34 2018


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