betty guard

Personal details

Full Name:

  • Elizabeth Guard


  • 3 Dec 181416 Jul 1870

Betty Guard is believed to be the first European woman to settle in the South Island. In 1834 she was taken hostage by a group of Taranaki and Ngati Ruanui Māori before being rescued several months later by her husband Jacky and a detachment of 60 men from the 50th Regiment.

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Events In History


A frontier of chaos?

  • A frontier of chaos?

    In the years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, relations between Māori and Europeans were marred by a number of high-profile incidents.

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  • Page 6 - The Harriet affairThe rescue of Betty Guard and her two children from Ngāti Ruanui in the spring of 1834 involved the first use of British troops on New Zealand soil.
  • Main image: Betty Guard's comb

    This tortoiseshell hair comb belonged to Betty Guard, the wife of whaler Jacky Guard. She was allegedly wearing it when she was attacked by Taranaki Māori after the ship on which she and her husband were returning from Australia was blown ashore.

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