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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Firth, Josiah Clifton

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Firth, Josiah Clifton, was born in Yorkshire in 1826. In 1854 he settled in Auckland, N.Z., and was formerly a member of the House of Representatives. In 1869, at the height of the Te Kooti trouble, Mr. Firth, who had been a great friend of Wiremu Tamehana, the "king-maker," and was acknowledged by the Maoris as a friend, negotiated with Tawhiao, the Maori king, for a cessation of hostilities, and subsequently had an interview with the notorious Te Kooti himself, in order to try and arrange a general amnesty. Te Kooti was willing, but the Government, being confident of his capture, refused the terms, and the war went on. On the occasion of Tawhiao's visit to Auckland, early in 1882, Mr. Firth entertained him and his chiefs. Mr. Firth was the owner of a model farm of fifty thousand acres at Matamata, in the Auckland Provincial District. He is the author of "Our Kin across the Sea," with a preface by Mr. Froude (Longmans), and "Nation-making" (Longmans, 1890).