Extracts from a Diary Kept by the Rev. R. Burrows during Heke's War in the North, in 1845
By: Robert Burrows (1812-1897)
An eye-witness account of the so-called Flagstaff War, fought between Maori warriors, led by Hone Heke, and British troops between March 1845 and January 1846 in and around the Bay of Islands. Ostensibly triggered by the cutting down of the flagstaff above Kororareka (now Russell), Heke's attack on the town was a consequence of festering grievances following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and annexation of New Zealand by the British Crown in 1840. The Reverend Robert Burrows had charge of the mission station and school at Waimate, inland from the Bay of Islands. His day-by-day account paints a vivid picture of the conflict, in which his chosen role was to mediate between the two sides.