Harbottle is a village and a township in Holystone chapelry, Northumberland, England. Harbottle Castle crowns a lofty, isolated, green mound, above the river Coquet. Harbottle, in the English Saxons’ tongue Herbottle, is “whence the familie of the Harbottels descended”. (Vision of Britain)
The castle, built in 1155-89, now of shattered and leaning walls, had formerly an outer moat crossed by a drawbridge. (Vision of Britain) The building’s most famous hour came in October 1515, when his Lordship played host there to the pregnant Queen Margaret of Scots and her (second) husband, the Earl of Angus.
At Harbottle, the lady gave birth to a daughter, also Margaret, the future mother of Lord Darnley (husband of Mary, Queen of Scots and father of James VI). (Britannia)
In the Pacific, Captain Brown’s three vessel trading squadron collecting furs, hides, and whale oil in the American Northwest and trading with China included the ‘Butterworth’ (under Captain Brown,) ‘Prince Lee Boo’ (under Captain Sharp) and the ‘Jackal’ (under the command of Captain Alexander Stewart.) John Harbottle served as mate on the Jackal.
They were “one of that numerous group of commercial adventurers who flocked into the north Pacific Ocean in the wake of Cook, drawn thither by the chance discovery, as one result of the last expedition led by that great navigator, of the possibilities of wealth in the fur trade between China and the coast of America.” (Kuykendall)
The Jackal “had English colors and shew a teir of ports fore and aft the greatest part of which were false or only painted yet they made a good appearance at a distance that for some time we concluded she was a Kings Cutter or tender to some of the men of war on the coast.” (Ingraham; Kuykendall)
The squadron spent the trading season of 1793 on the northwest coast and at the end of the season all of them went to the Hawaiian Islands for the usual refreshments. During this visit to the islands Captain Brown was given an opportunity of performing a useful service for his friend Kahekili, and later Kalanikūpule.
From there Captain Brown sent the Butterworth on her way toward England, by way of Cape Horn, ‘with directions to fish for whales and seals in passing through the Pacific Ocean, and at Staten Land, where Mr. Brown had formed a temporary establishment.’ Captain Brown himself with the Jackal and Prince Lee Boo sailed to Canton.
Returning to the Islands, in November of 1794 the harbor of Honolulu, known to early Hawaiians as Ke Awa o Kou, (The harbor of Kou) was discovered by Captain Brown, of the British ship Butterworth, and called by him “Fairhaven.” Honolulu was first entered by the schooner Jackal, her tender. (Thrum; Maly)
Brown died in 1795 and Harbottle later sailed as Second Officer with Captain Bishop on the Nautilus. They sailed from Canton in June 1797, only to meet a series of devastating storms. (Journal/Letters of Captain Charles Bishop)
“That it was not until Thursday 29 June (1797) we had crossed the China Sea and reached the South point of the Island Formosa where we anchored in a Sandy bay for the purpose of fitting up the Empty water Casks …”
“… and the boat was dispatched with an Empty Cask to a Proper place, which they did about one and a half miles from the Ship. there being however a considerable Surf the boat was Anchored just within it and about 50 yards from the Shore, the People were not enabled to carry any Arms on Shore dry, and not seeing any Native, took only the Cask with Bucketts to fill it …”
“… they had began on their business when they were Suddenly attacked by a Party of Indians, who fired many Musketts and persued the people into the water – Captain Bishop being near the boat soon got on board her, and with the boat-keeper fired on the Natives and covered the retreat of the boats Crew, who all reached the boat …”
“… but Mr John Harbottle second mate was wounded … two Indians more daring then the rest, rushed into the water to catch hold of Mr Harbottle who was the hindmost of our people, being wounded by an arrow in the back and his thigh bone broken by a Gun shott, happily however he got within reach of one of the oars and we Saved him by timly wounding his assailants”. (Bishop, Memoranda on the Ship Nautilus)
Next, the Nautilus sheltered at Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. Russian Commander Schmaleff, “readily offered us every assistance, the settlement could afford. The artificers and People were ordered to do any thing for us we requested and …”
“… our wounded officer (Harbottle) was placed by his directions in the house of the 2d in Command whose Wife and daughters were his kind nurses and Attendants”. (Journal/Letters of Captain Charles Bishop)
“The Nautilus then sailed south into further tempests, which did not even allow a return to Kamchatka. Instead Bishop made again for the Sandwich Islands”. There, Harbottle stayed and “joined Kamehameha’s ring of European aides; Harbottle’s was indeed a happy progress from that grim day at Formosa.” (Journal/Letters of Captain Charles Bishop)
Harbottle was one of the first foreign residents in Hawai‘i (arriving around 1799) and became Kamehameha I’s port pilot. He was called Keaka Habatala. He married High Chiefess Pāpapa‘upu (also called Hanepu,) the hānai granddaughter of Kamehameha I. (Quigg)
Reportedly, he fathered 13 children: William Hepala Harbottle; Sarah Ulukaihonua Harbottle; Mary Ilikealii Harbottle; Charlotte Oili Harbottle; George Nahalelaau Harbottle; John Waihinepio H. Harbottle; Edwin Edward Ailueni, Harbottle; Isaac Kewalo Harbottle; Edwin Harbottle; Issac Kewalo Harbottle; Edward Ailueni Harbottle; William He Pala Harbottle and Winship Reynolds.
In 1809, Harbottle, generally acted as Honolulu harbor pilot. (Greer) Under his direction, hawsers would be run from the ship to rows of canoes, and paddlers would warp the ship into harbor. (Daws)
Likewise, Harbottle was made captain of the Lelia Bird and was involved in the sandalwood trade to China, making two or three voyages and finally ending her days by sinking at Whampoa. (Thrum)
For his service, Harbottle was given land by Kamehameha, including the ahupua‘a named ‘Waipi‘o’ at Hāmākualoa on Maui, “he resided peacefully there until his death.” (Land Commission Testimony) He died June 26, 1830.
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