WA History

The Māori Whaler

It was the people who knew him best who, after he had passed, recounted the early years of William Parr, also known as Butty. While it was likely that they knew these details because he had told them the tales of his life, it was also possible that there were some inaccuracies due to the second-hand nature of the telling of the story.

Butty was born circa 1813 and was said to be from Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) in Aotearoa (New Zealand). He was the son of a Māori chief and was given the names Pah or Putty, which later became Butty. In the 1820s, during the musket wars, he was captured by another Māori tribe from the Bay of Islands. He lived with them for many years until, at age 16, he joined a church mission and sailed on their schooner Columbine.

…his face and chest were scarred with tatoo markings.

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954); 22 July 1933; Page 4; Old Colonial Days
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