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Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Cecil Arthur Whitney: Birth: 13 AUG 1863 in Argylshire, Scotland. Death: 7 FEB 1956 in Auckland, NZ

  2. Asa Norman Whitney: Birth: ABT 1866 in Ireland. Death: in Australia?

  3. Allan Cadurcis Lionel (Robin) Whitney: Birth: ABT 1870 in Ireland. Death: 15 FEB 1891 in Auckland, N.Z.


Sources
1. Title:   papers of HCGray
2. Title:   Dictioinary of New Zealand Biography

Notes
a. Note:   NI0082
Note:   In 1852-5, visited Australia with parents and sisters. In Melbourne, he was one of the witnesses to his sister Jane's marriage to David Gray.
There is a brass wall tablet in St. Nicholas Church in Herefordshire to John Whitney who died September 6, 1932, age 96, in Auckland, NZ, (Information found at www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/HEF/NortonCanon/minrtcan.html). The memorial also lists names of his three sons of wife Harriet Sarah Musters.
(From letter to HSGray from W.C. Whitney, 31 Bassett Rd., REMUERA SE2, Auckland, NZ August 8, 1966)
"... When my father was about 28 years old, his father, John Whitney, came with family to N.Z. Here he started the Colonial Ammunition Co., with his two sons, Asa and Father. Asa was older than my father but was somewhat erratic (not to be quoted). They then founded the Colonial Ammunition Co., Melbourne. This is now the (hih?) Australian Government Arsenal. CAC here in N.Z. has been sold to ICI (Imperial Chemical, Inc.) Until the time of the sale, I was managing director, having taken over from my brother, who in turn took over from Father. All this is not what you want, but it gives you the present setup. About Calverhill, I do not know much, but remember that Father often talked about it. Major John Whitney, I believe, lived at Clifford in Hereford, that is, when he was a boy. At the age of 19, with his father, James Whitney, they went to Australia. Here James Whitney died, and the boy was stranded until he could get help from England??? Clifford was burnt to the ground and all the documents lost, so that John Whitney lost a large part of his inheritance. Some funny business appeared to have gone on, because 50 years after, the Whitney silver, which was supposed to be lost in the fire, appeared on the market.... My sister is sending your letter to my nephew, John Asa W. in England, and he will tell you all he can. He is the only son of Asa Whitney, my father's brother. There were also five daughters. Asa is a little like his father (not to be quoted), but he should be able to help you. His wife, Lizette, is quite smart and well up in family, so she would be a help. However, she knows more about the other side of the family, i.e., John Whitney's wife, nee Harriet Musters. This is more by the way and just a matter of interest. Harriet Musters' great-grandmother was Mary Chaworth of Colwick Hall. Lord Byron was in love with her, and it appears in his poems, however she did not marry Byron but John Musters of Annesly Hall in Nottingham. The Musters still own Annesley Hall. In 1914 and again in 1917, we visited Annesley and stayed a few days. It is one of the old homes of England and is very beautiful. Under the terrace is an oak door. This has been reinforced to preserve it because Lord Byron used to fire his pistol at the door and the holes made by the bullets are still there. The terrace is quite a feature and is well-known in England. The grounds are very extensive and the main road from Nottingham goes through Annesley Park. Sherwood Forest used to be just near by. (that is of Robin Hood fame.) The Musters say there was such a person as Robin Hood. I hope you can read this. No Whitney could ever write or spell so I must be excused."
1836�1932
Soldier, ammunition manufacturer By Garry James Clayton Biography
John Whitney was born on 27 June 1836 at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, the son of James Whitney, a chemist, and his wife, Sophia Caroline Carline. After attending school at Shrewsbury, he obtained a commission in 1858 in the British Army, serving mainly in Ireland. On 18 April 1860 John Whitney married Harriet Sarah Chaworth-Musters at Colwick, Nottinghamshire. They were to have three sons and three daughters. On the death of his father John inherited the Whitney estates of Calver Hill in Herefordshire, which he sold. In 1884 he and his family emigrated to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland on the Waihora at the end of the year. Soon after Whitney's arrival in New Zealand the Pendjeh crisis � the Russian occupation of northern Afghanistan � caused a major war scare which affected the whole of the British Empire. He immediately volunteered to serve in the colonial forces. Whitney was given the rank of captain and command of the battery in 1885 at Point Resolution, Auckland, and was appointed assistant aide-de-camp to the commander of the colonial forces, Major General Sir George Whitmore. This crisis highlighted the lack of an imperial ammunition reserve. Britain, forced to retain all munitions manufactured, ceased to export small arms ammunition to New Zealand. With supply suspended and stock low, the minister of defence, John Ballance, urgently sought a New Zealand manufacturer. Recognising the opportunity and utilising his military experience, in 1885 Whitney formed a partnership to produce munitions with W. H. Hazard, a gunsmith from Auckland. However, their lack of experience led to a dismal initial attempt to manufacture cartridges. Hazard quit the partnership, leaving Whitney heavily in debt. That same year Whitney established a private company, Whitney and Sons, to manufacture ammunition in New Zealand. His first task was to arrange for the local production of all the tools, appliances and machinery necessary for ammunition manufacture. He then recruited 25 workers, mostly children, and commenced production. After the introduction of the Factories Act 1891, which banned children from working in factories, he employed mainly women. The first delivery of about 5,000 Snider ball cartridges was made to the government within 12 months. Despite the large number of complaints about the unreliability of the cartridges, demand became so great that by the end of 1887 about two million rounds had been produced. The revenue generated by these orders enabled Whitney to expand his Mount Eden premises and purchase more modern machinery from Britain. To help finance this rapid expansion, Whitney transformed his private company into a limited liability, the Colonial Ammunition Company Limited, in 1888. Realising that further opportunities existed on the Australian mainland, Whitney established an ammunition factory at Footscray, Melbourne, in 1890 and quickly secured the contracts for the supply of ammunition to all the mainland Australian colonies. On 23 September 1897 an explosion killed three women workers and destroyed part of the factory. By 1917 the Colonial Ammunition Company had a staff of over 2,000 and was considered important not only for the defence of Australia and New Zealand but also for their economies. In addition to supplying military ammunition to the governments of Australia and New Zealand, the company diversified into sporting ammunition. Whitney himself was described by Whitmore as a 'good sportsman and a wonderful shot'. By 1900 the Colonial Ammunition Company satisfied demand in Australia and New Zealand for quality, quantity and competitive pricing of sporting cartridges. A further diversification for the company involved research and development of ammunition. In 1903, for example, Whitney invented and tested a sharp-pointed .303 bullet which had a flatter trajectory than was otherwise available. This antipodean achievement was several years ahead of developments at Woolwich, Britain's leading arsenal. The Colonial Ammunition Company was easily able to meet the demands of the First World War when both Australia and New Zealand required millions of rounds for their expeditionary forces. In 1921 the Australian government negotiated a lease for the Melbourne factory (and subsequently purchased it in 1927). At the same time Whitney re-established the New Zealand holding as a private concern; he operated under the same name by purchasing its assets from the parent company. After John Whitney's retirement his second son, Cecil, became managing director, while one grandson became general manager and another became manager. Harriet Whitney died at Wenderholm, Waiwera (their home for over 30 years), on 6 February 1917, and John died aged 96 at Remuera, Auckland, on 6 September 1932. Whitney was a prominent and devout Anglican. He built a church at Waiwera and provided its endowment, and gave funds for the upkeep of the Clevedon cemetery, where he was buried.
The Whitneys of Wenderholm By Ruth Olsen
Couldrey House in Wenderholm Regional Park was originally built by Robert Graham in 1857. It had a succession of owners - including the Couldreys from whom the Auckland Regional Council acquired the house in 1973. One of the more colourful owners was Major John Whitney who bought the property in 1896, later buying a further 48 acres of foreshore. He served in the British army as a Captain and arrived in NZ in 1884, shortly before the Russian war scare when Russia occupied northern Afghanistan and Czar Alexander sent warships into the north Pacific at Vladivostock. Major Whitney volunteered for the Colonial forces and was appointed assistant aide-de-camp to the Commander, Major General Sir George Whitmore. However, there was a desperate shortage of ammunition. Britain needed all its armaments and ceased exporting munitions to NZ. Using his military knowledge, Major Whitney formed a company to manufacture ammunition at Mt Eden. After much trial and error, cartridges were developed which were later used by New Zealand and Australian troops in the Boer War and WW1. Major Whitney was known as "a wonderful shot" and personally introduced Mallard ducks to Wenderholm from his estates in England. The Major took a lively interest in local affairs, winning prizes for fruit and vegetables at the annual Waiwera show and later becoming its Patron. The local Boy Scout troop was also a pet project and the troop was invited to camp at Wenderholm, with the Major donating prizes for shooting competitions. He built an Anglican church in Waiwera which opened in January 1915 and is still in use today. During WW1 the infamous German sea captain Von Luckner was detained on Motuihe Island. When he and his crew made their bid for freedom, Major Whitney was in charge of one of the boats that searched the Hauraki Gulf for the escaping prisoners. His wife Harriet died in 1917 and shortly after that he sold the Wenderholm property. He died at Remuera aged 96 in 1932 and is buried at Clevedon. At Couldrey House the Whitney Room, originally a small chapel moved by barge from nearby Te Muri Bay, is dedicated to the Whitney family. It contains a collection of paintings, including two by Harriet Whitney. In 1884 he and his family emigrated to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland on the Waihora at the end of the year. Soon after Whitney's arrival in New Zealand the Pendjeh crisis � the Russian occupation of northern Afghanistan � caused a major war scare which affected the whole of the British Empire. He immediately volunteered to serve in the colonial forces. Whitney was given the rank of captain and command of the battery in 1885 at Point Resolution, Auckland, and was appointed assistant aide-de-camp to the commander of the colonial forces, Major General Sir George Whitmore. This crisis highlighted the lack of an imperial ammunition reserve. Britain, forced to retain all munitions manufactured, ceased to export small arms ammunition to New Zealand. With supply suspended and stock low, the minister of defence, John Ballance, urgently sought a New Zealand manufacturer. Recognising the opportunity and utilising his military experience, in 1885 Whitney formed a partnership to produce munitions with W. H. Hazard, a gunsmith from Auckland. However, their lack of experience led to a dismal initial attempt to manufacture cartridges. Hazard quit the partnership, leaving Whitney heavily in debt. That same year Whitney established a private company, Whitney and Sons, to manufacture ammunition in New Zealand. His first task was to arrange for the local production of all the tools, appliances and machinery necessary for ammunition manufacture. He then recruited 25 workers, mostly children, and commenced production. After the introduction of the Factories Act 1891, which banned children from working in factories, he employed mainly women. The first delivery of about 5,000 Snider ball cartridges was made to the government within 12 months. Despite the large number of complaints about the unreliability of the cartridges, demand became so great that by the end of 1887 about two million rounds had been produced. The revenue generated by these orders enabled Whitney to expand his Mount Eden premises and purchase more modern machinery from Britain. To help finance this rapid expansion, Whitney transformed his private company into a limited liability, the Colonial Ammunition Company Limited, in 1888. Realising that further opportunities existed on the Australian mainland, Whitney established an ammunition factory at Footscray, Melbourne, in 1890 and quickly secured the contracts for the supply of ammunition to all the mainland Australian colonies. On 23 September 1897 an explosion killed three women workers and destroyed part of the factory. By 1917 the Colonial Ammunition Company had a staff of over 2,000 and was considered important not only for the defence of Australia and New Zealand but also for their economies.



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