Nelson’s parents were apparently people of some substance. At any rate they were well-connected, for Jane Williams,* wife of the missionary William Williams, was William Nelson’s
cousin. Thus on his arrival in New Zealand, Nelson had the advantage of possessing relatives who were already influential members of the colony’s society. While he was in Auckland he met William Williams’ son, J.N. Williams i.e. his second cousin. This was the beginning of a life-long friendship which culminated in their joint commercial venture of 1880,*
* Vide supra p.
and which was further cemented be [by] Nelson’s second marriage to Williams’ sister, Caroline, in 1884. No doubt it was due to the influence of J.N. Williams that the Nelson brothers finally settled in Hawke’s Bay – but not before William had visited Nelson, Christchurch, and Rangiora, and examined the surrounding country.*
* Nelson, op. cit., 23 July to 21 August 1863, passim.
Nelson arrived in Napier in September 1863,* and for a
*ibid., 9 September, 1863.
few months he stayed with Williams on his station at Kereru. He worked on the estate, visited neighbouring properties and met some of the Province’s most prominent pastoralists, including J.L. Herrick, the MacLeans [ McLeans ] and Samuel Williams,* son of Henry Williams.
*ibid., 9 September to 29 December, 1863, passim.
Thus Nelson’s connection with the Williams family proved very valuable: it gave him an immediate entry to a select social group – that of the Province’s leading pastoralists.
Early in 1864 the Nelson brothers purchases from Joseph Powdrell a property adjoining Kereru, which the named “Brown’s Lodge” -* now known as Poporangi.
*ibid., 17 January, 1864.
After farming “Brown’s Lodge” for a year William returned to England to marry Sarah Newcombe Bicknell, the daughter of Henry Bicknell, Bangor, North Wales.* With his wife he
*Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. VI, p. 388.
sailed again for Napier in March, 1867.*
*Nelson, op. cit., 8 March, 1867.