Captain Henry Cain
Captain Henry Cain (1816 -1886)
One of Timaru's earliest residents, was born in England in 1816, went to sea at age thirteen, was trading between Australia and New Zealand for twenty years in the 1840s and 1850s probably was trading via Melbourne. There is an H. Cain listed in the Melbourne arrivals. The vessels were Fly (15/1/1853), Ocean (six trips between 1853 and 1855) The Ocean on its first arrival to Melbourne then sailed for Auckland. Capt. Cain was master of the schooner 'Thomas Lord', 70 tons, which sailed from Auckland on 10 Sept. 1849, arrived Honolulu 15 Nov. departed Honolulu 27 Nov. for "Frisco" (San Francisco), with twelve passengers, probably gold miners. He owned a bar in California about 1850. Cain was also master of the schooner 'Pauline' 150 tons, which he owned and was in New Zealand with this vessel in 1851. Capt. Cain sailed from Lyttelton to Timaru aboard the Royal Bride and settled in Timaru in 1857, in 1858 managed the first landing service. Married Jane Espie in Melbourne in 1860. Jane died in 1878. In 1864 wool was being directly exported from Timaru to London. In 1866 the Government took over the landing service. The Timaru Landing Service and Shipping Co., was started at the foot of George St. in 1867 or 1868 by Frederic LeCren with Henry Cain as secretary and treasurer. It did not do well and the plant, buildings and lease were sold to Cain at auction in 1870 for 975 pounds. In 1868 Cain had purchased the ship Susan Jane in the US. Capt. Cain owned stores in Cain's Terrace, Timaru, was a former mayor of the town from 1870-1873 and saw the establishment of the Timaru-Washdyke railway and harbour pilot. He died at his home, Woodlands (between Cain and Harper sts.), Timaru on 28 January 1886 at the age of seventy after being murdered , poisoned by Thomas Hall. Hall married Kate Emily Espie, a stepdaughter of the reputedly wealthy Captain Henry Cain, in Timaru on 26 May 1885. Cain disapproved and refused to go to the wedding. She was Capt. Cain's obituary appears in the Timaru Herald 2/2/1886. There is a probate for Henry Cain, filed 5 Feb. 1886. Copy at the NZ Archives Christchurch. Capt. Cain was buried in the Timaru Cemetery on the 30th Jan. 1886.
Timaru Herald 2 February 1886 Page 3 OBITUARY. CAPTAIN HENRY CAIN
It has fallen to the lot of few seafaring men to pass through the same hardships as Captain Henry Cain did and yet be allowed to spent the remaining thirty years of his seventy-one years' life in the peacefulness on ashore. He took to the sea at the early age of thirteen, and did not relinquish it, till he settled down in Timaru, about thirty years ago. As a boy he came out to Sydney, and for some time afterwards was engaged m vessels trading to the South Seas, China, and Auckland. His reminiscences of Heke's war in 1843-45 were very interesting. After a period he went to Sacramento, California, where he opened a saloon. Becoming unsettled, he sold out, and bought a schooner called the Pauline, with which he arrived at Lyttelton, via Auckland, in 1851, with a cargo of kauri pine, consigned to Mr H. J. LeCren. While there a heavy S.W. gale sprang up and drove the schooner on shore. In a few days she was got off, but only to be again wrecked, and this time Captain Cain had to abandon her, having spent all his means. He returned to Auckland, and brought down the cutter Kuka, which traded to the Heathcote. In 1852 the Victorian diggings induced him to purchase an old Wellington trader, called the Fly, of 30 tons, which he took to Melbourne. Subsequently he traded to Auckland in a brig called The Ocean, owned by himself. On March 8th, 1857, he anchored in Timaru in the Royal Bride, this being we believe his first trip to the port, and from that date to the time of his decease he was intimately connected with the place. He was one of the first pioneers of our shipping trade, and to him has been due in no small measure the wonderful strides which our shipping trade has made in the face of outside opposition. He was always to the fore when the battles of the port had to be fought, and for years, as many of us know, it was a very hard fight indeed. Captain Cain, however, had all confidence in Timaru, and to Timaru he nailed his colors from the first day he landed here. To one be well known as he was by all classes of the community it is unnecessary to allude in highly eulogistic terms. From first to last he was a solid and in every way honorable citizen. He was for years Mayor of Timaru, and was at times connected with various other public bodies. It may be also worthy of record that Mrs Cain turned the first sod at this end of the Timaru-Christchurch railway. In conclusion we may say that were we to search the whole community through, we doubt if we could find a man who has been more thoroughly identified with the rise and progress of Timaru particular, and South Canterbury in general, than Capt. Henry Cain.
The Timaru Landing and Shipping Service building at the foot of George St. was purchased by NZ Loan and Mercantile Co. in 1879 from McRae. In 1903 Dalgetys, another stock and station firm, acquired the George St. sections and built a facade with office space on the ground floor and mainly storage out the back for wool and merchandise. In 1984 the Timaru City Council acquired the property and the Historic Places Trust stepped in to save the buildings from demolition. The facade was removed exposing the bluestone building with the three bays which has been overhauled over the last decade and a sprinkler system installed. The back bay was upgraded and turned into the Loaded Hog, a very successful bar/micro brewery since November 1992. The remainder of the building was upgraded and houses the Timaru Visitor Information Centre and the "Alexandra." The renovations have been wonderful keeping the buildings intact - inside and out.
Outside the Loaded Hog, at the north end of the building is a courtyard with two flag-poles, built in the style of ships masts. Seated underneath these, on a trunk, is a bronze casting of Captain Henry Cain, life size and very very good. The man behind the sculpture, Christchurch's, Donald Paterson has been producing artwork on a commission basis since 1993. He has focused on recreating historic community figures. "I have developed a unique production process using industrial materials to produce lifelike and long-lasting representations," said Paterson. His sculptures have a realistic appearance and aim to attract attention by drawing the audience into the space to take part in the scene. "The works become a community asset as well as attracting visitors."
"The sculpture was created by former Pleasant Point artist Donald Paterson. He used a copper finish for the hands and face, and dressed the figure in real clothes, soaked in resin to give a lifelike look. "He was the first here in 1857, he occupied one of the three houses in the town. He had the original landing service at the end of Strathallan Street, and ultimately, ended up managing the George Street landing service, so he really had a hands-on contact with that building. Also appropriate in that Cains Terrace - named after the Captain - linked George Street with Strathallan Street, the site of his original landing service. " Timaru Herald 20 March 2000
"He is life size......rather weather-beaten." Photos taken November 2nd 2002. Courtesy of Han Freeke. Don Paterson made the copper and fibreglass statue in 1999. It gets a coat of paint about every two years.
From plaque.....All in caps
CAPTAIN HENRY CAIN
HENRY CAIN WAS BORN IN 1816 AND WENT TO
SEA AT THE AGE OF 13. AFTER 30 YEARS OF
SEAFARING HE SETTLED IN TIMARU IN MARCH
1857 AND OPENED A GENERAL STORE. THE TOWN
GREW AND BEFORE LONG HE WAS OPERATING
THE FIRST LANDING SERVICE AT THE FOOT OF
STRATHALLAN STREET. CAPTAIN CAIN BECAME A
PROMINENT BUSINESSMAN AND SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC
FIGURE SERVING AS MAYOR FROM 1870-1875.
HE DIED IN 1886 HAVING BEEN POISONED BY HIS
SON-IN-LAW. FOR MANY HENRY CAIN REPRESENTS
THE PIONEERING SPIRIT THAT MADE TIMARU
ENGRAVED BY ROBERT J. BUTLER AND SONS --TIMARU
Donald Paterson was born in Timaru in 1955, and developed an interest in art as a teenager. He has been producing sculpture on commission since 1993. His public sculptures by Paterson may be seen throughout Canterbury. e.g. at the Fendalton Public Library in Christchurch, the Akaroa Harbourside Park in Akaroa. He has made more than twenty statues throughout NZ including the Bushman on Waimate's main street which is made from marble-based filler, resin-coated clothing which are painted with military heavy-duty paint and has antique copper hands, head and hat was unveiled on Waimate' s main street on November 24. 2006. After the unveiling, Pro-Ject Waimate chairman Duncan Walker officially handed the artwork to the mayor of Waimate, John Coles. Project Waimate raised the $30,000.
The Landing Service Building had to be earthquake proofed in the 1980s -1990s and a few new blocks are the consequence of that work- it is very clear (when you know where to look) what blocks are more recently placed.