[taken from Chapter 9 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

ROBERT QUAYLE KERMODE, The Hon. (b. 1812, d. 1870),

the only son of William Kermode and Anne Quayle Moore, was born in the Isle of Man, being educated in Castletown, but, when quite a boy, he went out to Tasmania, where, except for two short visits to the " old country," he spent the rest of his life. Of the many public services which he rendered his adopted country perhaps the greatest was his share in bringing about the cessation of the transportation of convicts to it. In acknowledgment of this, he was made a member of the Governor's Legislative Council. Under his careful management the fine estate of "Mona Vale " was much enlarged, and he erected a mansion on it which was considered the finest private residence in Australasia. Distinguished men from all parts of the world visited him. Among them we may mention the Prince de Joinville and the Duke of Edinburgh. R. Q. KERMODE also, in common with his brother-in-law, GEORGE MOORE (a Manxman and a brother of the late Thomas Moore of Billown), owned one of the largest properties in New Zealand, and was, at that time, said to be the wealthiest Manxman. His life was one of great activity, and he was regarded with affection and respect by all classes. This is well shown by the following extract from a Tasmanian newspaper at the time of his death: "All who know Tasmania know the name of Robert Quayle Kermode, and have been accustomed to associate with it the ideas of spotless honour, affectionate kindness, warmth of heart, and unsparing benevolence. . . It will be remembered by prince and peasant, by the rich and poor ; for by the lowest beggar as well as by the prince of the blood royal, he was known as a Christian gentleman." (Information from his son, Mr. L. Q. Kermode.)

The following taken from an excellent web-site devoted to Cemeteries of Christchurch, New Zealand - http://library.christchurch.org.nz/Guides/Cemeteries/UpperRiccarton/graves.asp - throws a more disreputable light on the above George Moore:

Under Row B: No. 248

Annie Quayle Townend, only daughter of George Henry Moore of Glenmark, died 16 May 1914

George Henry Moore of Glenmark, 10 December 1812-7 July 1905

G. H. Moore, son of Catherine Currin and her husband, Thomas Moore of Billown, Isle of Man, emigrated to Tasmania with his friend, Robert Quayle Kermode, working at 'Mona Vale', the sheep run of Robert's father, William. On 9 July 1839 Moore married William's daughter, Anne. The couple had four children before they separated.

In the 1850s Moore established Kermode and Co., his partners including brother-in-law, Robert Kermode and Dr. John Lillie. Moore's senior partners put up the bulk of the money; Moore was the manager. The company bought large tracts of land in North Canterbury, especially at Glenmark. Sixty thousand acres were freeholded and, by 1864, the flock stood at 64,000 sheep. At its peak, Glenmark would carry 90,000 sheep.

Robert Kermode died in 1870, the property was put up for auction, Moore secured a huge mortgage from the Union Bank of Australia (ancestor of the A.N.Z. Bank) and bought 38,935 acres, to which was attached 78,470 acres of leasehold. The Return of the freeholders of New Zealand shows that, in 1882 Moore owned, in the Ashley County, 75,769 acres worth 339, 960 pounds. In Ashburton he had 1718 acres worth 14,320 pounds. In Christchurch he had land worth 8500 pounds. His property was worth, in total, 362,780 pounds and had the highest value of any estate in the country.

In 1857 Moore discovered moa bones in the Glenmark swamp. Eventually Sir Julius von Haast arrived and Moore loaned him workmen so that the bones could be excavated. Von Haast gave moa bones to overseas museums and extracted from them valuable curiosities. Thus were established the collections of Canterbury Museum whose free-standing building was opened in 1870.

There were found, in the Glenmark swamps, the bones of the creature which fed on the moa and sometimes died with it - the largest bird of prey ever to have existed, the New Zealand eagle, harpagornis moorei. Von Haast named the eagle in honour of the Glenmark magnate.

There was an ugly side to Moore's character. An intriguing Lyttelton times entry of 7 July 1868 points to some dubious sexual activity:

Legal: We understand that the case McKay v. G. H. Moore (action to recover damages for seduction) will not go for trial, a settlement having been come to by the parties concerned.

When asked about his duty to his neighbours, Moore replied: "What do I care for my neighbours?" He allowed his sheep to suffer from scab, being known as 'Scabby' Moore. In 1864 he was fined more than 2400 pounds for having scabby sheep. Dr. David Macmillan would one day theorise - probably correctly - that after Moore purchased the bulk of the Glenmark property

… he still had large areas of leasehold which he could not, at the time, find the cash to buy … He kept his sheep scabby to frighten off intending freeholders who would not be keen to buy with Moore's scabby sheep all around them.

On Wednesday 7 March 1860, a 'dreadful wet night', Moore denied hospitality to an elderly swagman, one Davis. He was to state subsequently: "I have given my hutkeeper orders not to take in any person without my orders as I have been imposed upon too often". The man went off and shot himself, the runholder then refused to allow his carpenters to construct a coffin ("It was the Sabbath") and obstructed the police in their attempt to remove the body. A coroner's jury stated:

We are of the opinion that the deceased died by his own hand, there being no evidence to show the state of his mind at the time. And the jury cannot too severely reprobate the conduct of Mr. Moore for denying the deceased shelter, and committing him in an exhausted state to the inclemency of the weather in a dark tempestuous night with an almost certainty of his not being able to find any other accommodation.

The Lyttelton times waxed lyrical:

A man … [who] was not strong in health and had little or no money … went on foot as best he could trusting that the spirit of hospitality, for which our settlers are famed, would shelter and forward him on his way … None refused a sick and weary fellow creature what help lay in their power but one - that one was Mr. Moore of Glenmark. It seems to have been … [Mr. Moore's] object, besides the growth of wool, to keep as far removed from him as possible the society and sympathies of his fellow creatures. Inside his boundary humanity has no rights; he has bought them up with the freehold at so much an acre.

So when a man, fatigued, sickly and hungry, came to him on a wet, bitter night and prayed first for work and then for shelter, Mr. G. H. Moore felt he was exercising an undeniable right in uttering a blank refusal and shutting his door upon him. The door was shut - and not only the master's door but the servant's, by the master's repeated command; the man was left outside in a bitter night; and whether from hunger or from having lost himself in the darkness or from the effects of the storm, or from all together acting upon a diseased frame to the injury of the mind … he took the means of speedy death which lay within his grasp, and killed himself but a mile away from the food and shelter which he had failed to obtain.

Shame - a thousand times shame - to the individual who sent from his door into the waste a famished, footsore man … What man with a spark of feeling would serve a dog so? … When a constable came up on Sunday, he found the body … lying where it had fallen… not a human hand having been moved to rescue the remains … from being literally a prey to the beast of the field and the bird of the air.

He [Moore] gave no help to the constable for one reason - because it was the Sabbath. Mean, hard-hearted, barbarous blasphemous man. We cannot say with certainty that Mr. Moore's offence is within the letter of the law … But this we do know - that no hand of a Christian man should clasp that of Mr. Moore till he has done penance for his deep crime against the laws of God and man.

With the Liberal Government in power and threatening to 'break up the big estates', Moore sold off large chunks of his land, leaving only about 11,000 acres. He stored half a million pounds in the bank account of his daughter, Annie.

Moore, 92, died at Sumner, Christchurch on 7 July 1905. He left an estate of 253,000 pounds. Annie was left as trustee and main beneficiary of her father's estate. The Tax Department took the estate to court, arguing that it had been trying to evade death duties. The judge stated that an attempt to evade the penalties of the law did not necessarily mean that a penalty should be imposed. None was imposed on this occasion.

Moore's grand house at Glenmark, designed by S. C. Farr, was destroyed by fire in 1890. Moore's only son, William, died young [died 1901] and estranged. Moore tied his daughter to him but, on 15 September 1900, when he was blind, the 55 year old spinster married widowed physician Joseph Henry Townend. Townend died two years later.

After her father's death, Annie Quayle Townend bought 'Karewa' which had been the home of Frederick Waymouth and his family. She renamed the property 'Mona Vale', the Tasmanian birthplace of her mother. She added the lodge which can be seen from Fendalton Road. In a dispute with the Sumner Borough Council, she had a large Sumner house uplifted, hauled by two traction engines up the embryonic Dyers Pass Road and established as two properties in Macmillan Avenue. She dwelt in one house which was called 'Glenholme'.

Annie gave 30,000 pounds to the Anglican diocese to acquire land for a church and vicarage and to pay for the stipend of a vicar at Glenmark. St. Paul's, a memorial to 'the King of scab', was consecrated on 10 October 1907 'in the presence of a large number of visitors, many of whom had come by special train from Christchurch'.

Annie bred sheep, was a supporter of the Canterbury Agricutural and Pastoral Association and loved flowers. She left the city a large orchid house and conservatory. Originally it stood at 'Holly Lea' in Manchester Street but was moved to the Botanic Gardens. The first Townend House was eventually replaced by the present structure.

Annie died at 'Glenholme', in May 1914. The interment was private. Her will, 'perhaps one of the most interesting bits of local news ever published', appeared in all the papers. Charities who were left money included the Prison Gate Society, Dr. Barnardo's Homes, the Salvation Army and the New Brighton Children's Convalescent Cottage. Individuals benefited, including servants, solicitors, Anglican clerics whom Annie had known (among them Frederick Richard Inwood and Cecil Alexander Tobin), Isle of Man relatives and Dr. Townend's children, one of whom was the Countess of Seafield.



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