Henry Bentley (1819-    ) Photograph from Wairarapa Times-Age 11th May 2002



                 (c) James Bentley (abt 1797-    ) married Unknown (    -    )

                         (b) Henry Bentley (1819-1902) married 1841  Caroline Cornford (1821-1896)

                                (c) Henry James Bentley (1842-    )

                                (c) Thomas William bentley (1846-    ) married  Fanny Swan (    -    )

                                (c) Charles Bentley (1848-    ) married  Barbara Mutrie (    -    )

                                (c) George Bentley (1851-    ) married  Alice Worth (    -    )

                                (c) Elizabeth Bentley (1854-    ) married  J T Duffy (    -    )

                                (c) Mary Ann Bentley (1858-    ) married  R Andrews (    -    )

                                (d) Francis Bentley (1860-1914) married 1881  Ernest Samuel Styles (1861-1924)

                                        (e) Francis and Ernest children under Combined Styles Trees


           The following information was obtained from an article in the Wairarapa Times-Age 11th May 2002 by Gareth Winter from the Wairarapa Archives;


              Henry Bentley was born in 1819 in Scotland. He trained as a Seaman and was engeged to work on the 'Lord William Bentinck', bringing settlers to the New Zealand Company settlement of Port Nicholson.

              When the ship arrived in the port Henry and five ship mates resolved to desert and try their luck in the new colony. What motivated the others is uncertain, but Henry Bentley was soon to marry one of the passengers on the ship, Englishwoman Caroline Cornford aged 20. They married on the 11th december 1841. Caroline was the born 17th September 1821 to parents Joseph Cornford and Mary Sawyer.

              Henry and his ship mates were caught and taken to the justice department and charged with desertion. They were found guilty and sentenced to serve on a coastal ship stuck in the harbour. The men were delighted with this sentence and further delighted to learn that they would be paid while working off their punishment. Henry then secured a position on the government brig and made a number of trips up and down the country on official business witht he brig, mainly to Auckland and New Plymouth. Arriving in Wellington at the end of one trip the crew learnt of the Wairau Affray and were promptly sent south to pick up some of those wounded in the fight. Shortly after this Henry Bentley joined the Customs Department, working for some years in the main Customhouse in Wellington. During his time at the Custonhouse there was another Military scare and the Wellington Militia was called out. Henry enrolled, but there was apparently little to do except obligatory drilling and watches at the barracks.

            Henry then joined the Armed Constabulary - forerunner of the modern police. Before long he was involved in the Battle of Pauatahanui. For his part in this Henry Bentley was awarded the New Zealand Medal. Henry was stationed at Waikanae and spent some time commanding a small boat in the area. When his service in the Armed Constabulary was nearly finished Henry was sent back to Wellington to see out his time and upon leaving the service lived in Karori, where his family, the Cornfords, were well established.

           In 1853 Henry decided to try his luck in the Australian Goldfields for a year and uponhis return he joined the many other Karori settlers who had joined Joseph Master's Small Frams Association. Henry moved to Masterton in 1854 to check out his allotted bush glad blockwhich run from Opaki Road, towards Waipoua River, down to what later became Perry Street. He regarded as having the best land in the settlement. Caroline and his four children had joined Henry in Masterton by 1855 and Henry set about working as a Sawyer. He also worked on his land and was also known to have worked on the newly- established roads.

          Henry became well established in the newly formed settlement of Masterton and was a keen Congragationalist. He acted as a lay preacher in the church and was involved in establishing the first bands in the town. He was part of a deputation to opposed to the granting of licences to the Masterton Hotels arguing that the people did not want drunks in their town. He served on the Masterton Borough Council for a short time and was involved n the Masonic Lodge for many years.

         Henry spent his last years living with his married daughter Mary Ann Andrews and died in April 1902. One of his grandchildren Maud Hanley (nee Bentley) lived to be 105 years old. Maud had lived with Henry when she was a small child and she died in April 2000.


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