Admiral Sir Joseph Nias 1793 - 1879
Admiral of the ship bringing Governor William Hobson (1793-1842)
to New Zealand to negotiate and sign The Treaty of Waitangi.

Research note: He was involved in a law suit with Captain James Scott (Debbretts Peerage).

Admiral - Sir Joseph Nias at The National Portrait Gallery, London. About The Treaty of Waitangi and British annexation of New Zealand.

Some historical details - from National Register of Archives and Manuscripts - New Zealand - Canterbury Public Library - Reference A271 - personal papers 1839 - 1844; 1 Volume unpaged. Collection.

Typescript copies of official correspondence, despatches and other records relating to the career of Captain, later Admiral Nias, R.N., with particular reference to his rift with Governor William Hobson while commander of H.M.S. 'Herald' in New Zealand, 1840-1841, and a subsequent libel case involving the 'Sydney Morning Herald', 1843-1844, copied between 1934 and 1936 from sources in the Public Record Office, London, the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and the National Archives, Wellington, by Nias's daughters, Miss Caroline Nias and Mrs Isabel Baynes.

These papers were collated, along with annotations in the hand of Miss Nias and her correspondence with the New Zealand High Commission in London and New Zealand's Prime Minister, G.W. Forbes, 4th February 1937, to clear the name of Captain Nias and to justify a complaint made against T. Lindsay Buick's rendering of the incident and Nias's conduct towards Governor Hobson in the 1933 (2nd) edition of Buick's work, 'The Treaty of Waitangi'.

These papers were accessioned into the Canterbury Public Library, 7 March 1969.

Typescript - access not restricted - originals located at Public Record Office, London; Mitchell Library, Sydney; National Archives, Wellington.

1819 Voyage of H.M.S. HECLA - second attempt to discover the N.W. passage.

In 1818, William Edward PARRY, as commander of the ALEXANDER brig had accompanied Capt. John R0SS to the Arctic; this time,(1819) the expedition was under the sole direction of Lieut. PARRY, who was consulted on the choice of both ships and officers.

Recounted as -

The officers and gentlemen in HECLA were Lieut. Frederick BEECHEY; Capt. Edward Sabine, Royal Artillery, astronomer; Mr John EDWARDS, surgeon; Mr William H00PER, purser; Messrs. Joseph NIAS, William Justin DEALY, Charles PALMER, James Clark R0SS, and John BUSHNAN, midshipmen; Mr Alexander FISHER, ass. surgeon, and Mr James HALSE, commander's clerk. Two master mariners, John Allison and George Fife, with long experience of the Greenland whale fisheries accompanied the expedition. The total number aboard the two vessels was 94, most of whom had sailed with R0SS the previous year. They all received double pay. At the same time Lieut. John FRANKLIN was sent on a land expedition to explore the coast to the east of the Copper Mine River and Lieut. PARRY was instructed to leave markers whenever he touched the mainland to keep Lieut. FRANKLIN informed.

With H.M.S. GRIPER, commanded by Lieut. Matthew LIDD0N, HECLA sailed on 11 May, rounded the 0rkneys on the 20th, and reached the Davis Strait at the end of June to find unusual numbers of icebergs. When they crossed the Arctic Circle on 3 July at least 50 bergs were passed during the day. No bottom could be found with a 110 fathom line. 0n the 4th the wind dropped as HECLA entered a pack of loose ice and she was in danger of being swept on to a berg by the swell. It took two hours hard pulling by the boats to tow her back into clear water.

PARRY reached Lancaster Sound on 28 July and the two ships ran up the sound in a fresh gale, the mastheads crowded with officers and men. sailed across the 'Croker Mountains' which Ross had fancied he had seen at the end of a bay the previous year and named after the Secretary of the Admiralty. Barrow's Strait, Wellington Channel and Melville Island were discovered and named. 0n 4 September 1819 they crossed 110 deg. west of Greenwich which entitled them to an Admiralty reward of 5000. A nearby headland on Melville Island was named Cape Bounty.

From the 26 September they wintered in the ice off Melville Island where the temperature fell to -55 degrees on 16 February. At first they attempted to saw away the ice around the ships, which reached 23 inches in thickness, but this had to be abandoned in the middle of November. By 17 December the water in the ship's well froze and the pumps could no longer be used.

At about the same time they had a more serious problem when the bottles of lemon juice burst in the frost; this gave additional value to the few gallons of concentrated vinegar which had been taken along as a trial. 0n 15 January they saw the only display of the Aurora Borialis that occured during their stay.

The sun first appeared on 3 February and some of the snow on the ship's upperworks melted on 7 March. 0n 17 May the operation of cutting away the ice was completed and the ships were afloat but no open water was seen until the early part of July 1820 and they were unable to stand out to sea until 1 August.

They returned to England at the end of 0ctober and Lieut. PARRY landed at Peterhead on the 29th. Both ships entered the Thames in the middle of November and were paid off at Deptford on 21 December. Lieut. PARRY was promoted to commander on 4 November. The midshipmen were all promoted when the ships paid off.

The 5000 bounty was divided to give Capt. PARRY 1000; Lieut. LIDD0N 500; Lieuts BEECHEY and H0PPNER, Capt. Sabine and Messrs Allison and Fife, 200. The remainder was divided among rest of the officers and men according to rank and rating.