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William Hendle (1831 - 1881)


William Hendle was born in London in 1831 and sailed to New Zealand in 1856, where he married Jane White. 100 

Hendle joined the Marine Board as the first Principal Keeper for Mana Island and was paid a salary of 190 per annum. He moved to the island in February of 1865 with his wife and 2 children, George Norton (born 1862) and Robert White (born 1864). They had a previous son, James White (born 1857) but he died in 1863. 100

While on the island, two more children were born, George (1867) and Alfred John (1869). Unfortunately George Norton died in February 1866. 100

After five years, the Hendle family left the island in July of 1870 and to moved to Cape Campbell lighthouse where William was Principal Keeper. 100

In 1871 another son, Ernest was born. 100

In 1872 William was transferred to Pencarrow lighthouse as an Assistant Keeper. He was to tragically lose his wife in April, 1875 when she slipped on the tower stairs and fell to her death.

The Evening Post on Wednesday April 21 1875 A very sad accident occurred at the lighthouse on Pencarrow Head the night before last, attended, we regret to say, with fatal results. Mrs. Hendle, wife of one of the lighthouse-keepers, had been taking some coffee to her husband, who was on the top of the tower. She had descended the stairs safely so far as the first landing, but just afterwards Mr. Hendle heard a scream and the sound of a fall and found his wife lying at the foot of the staircase. Her injuries proved so serious that she expired this morning from the effects.  100

William returned to Cape Campbell lighthouse in April 1878. He died of a heart attack in the lamp house on 30 March, 1881 at the age of 50. His body was transported back to Wellington for burial aboard the lighthouse tender Stella. 100

Jane and William were both buried in the Bolton Street Cemetery and later re-interred at the time of the motorway construction.  100


Another son, William Hendle Jnr. served at Akaroa, December 17, 1883 to September 30, 1884 as a Probationary Keeper but resigned.  22 


Mana Island  22   Principal Keeper  22  February 1, 1865  22  July, 1870  22 
Cape Campbell  22  Principal Keeper  22  July 5, 1870  22  1872  22
Pencarrow  22  Assistant Keeper  22  March 24, 1872  22 1878  22  100
Cape Campbell  22  Principal Keeper  22  April 16, 1878  22  March 30, 1881  22 



Additional Sources:

100. Friends of Mana Island David Cormick Lighthouse Keepers on Mana Island  




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Text and photographs. Copyright 1999-2013 Mark Phillips. All rights reserved.

If anyone has any information on these people please contact me.

Last Updated: November 24, 2013