1848 let­ter is found

Central Leader - - News -

A let­ter writ­ten by Al­lan Kerr Tay­lor, the orig­i­nal owner of Al­ber­ton House, has been re­dis­cov­ered in Welling­ton’s Alexan­der Turn­bull Li­brary archives.

It was writ­ten for a fam­ily friend in 1848 when Mr Kerr Tay­lor was 15 years old and de­scribes his voy­age to New Zealand, says Al­ber­ton man­ager Ren­dell McIn­tosh.

Mr Kerr Tay­lor ar­rived in Auck­land in 1849 to join his broth­ers Richard and William near Glen Innes and es­tab­lished him­self by buy­ing land in Mt Al­bert.

By 1863 he’d built the orig­i­nal farm­house, which was later ex­tended and trans­formed into Al­ber­ton.

His let­ter was found among the Kerr Tay­lor fam­ily pa­pers in the man­u­script col­lec­tion of the li­brary, al­most 40 years af­ter it was ac­quired in Lon­don, and has helped Mr McIn­tosh fill in the gaps of knowl­edge about Al­ber- ton’s orig­i­nal owner and builder.

“The let­ter shows Al­lan to be well ed­u­cated, ad­ven­tur­ous, in­tel­li­gent and also a lit­tle bit vul­ner­a­ble,” says Mr McIn­tosh.

“It gives us some fas­ci­nat­ing in­sights into the man.”

Nearly 400,000 peo­ple have vis­ited Al­ber­ton since it be­came a New Zealand His­toric Places Trust prop­erty in 1973.

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