Story: Northland region

The death of Marion du Fresne

The death of Marion du Fresne

Early contact between Māori and Europeans was usually friendly, but not always. When French navigator Marc Joseph Marion du Fresne called at the Bay of Islands in 1772, a series of misunderstandings led to violence. Marion du Fresne and 24 of his crew were massacred by Māori. In retribution the surviving Frenchmen destroyed three villages and killed or wounded several hundred Māori. This depiction of Marion du Fresne’s death was drawn by Charles Meryon in the 1840s.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-824-3
Crayon, pencil and chalk by Charles Meryon

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Claudia Orange, 'Northland region - First Māori–European encounters', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/7573/the-death-of-marion-du-fresne (accessed 10 December 2019)

Story by Claudia Orange, updated 1 May 2015