The next son of John Macky to arrive in New Zealand was Thomas. He was born at Coshquin on December 30, 1827. Destined for a commercial career he was educated, as were all the other sons, in a manner and to a degree which must be considered as remarkable for the times. Scottish descent probably played a large part in the determination of John Macky in this direction.
Thomas was subsequently, at the age of 15 apprenticed to William Thompson, a merchant of Derry. At James' invitation he left there at the age of 20 to join him in Auckland.
In his first letter to Catherine Cochrane (Kitty) written from London, he gave an intimate and descriptive account of the commencement of his journey. Here also was the first record of his attachment with Kitty, a fact of which William, his brother and confidant in all things, and the Reverend John, were the only persons aware. John Macky later wrote with some indignation at this secrecy and lack of confidence.
Thomas treated the voyage lightly and seemed to be impressed more by the beauty of his surroundings than by any discomforts he may have experienced. The fact that the ship lost all her topmasts off the Cape of Good Hope was, in his own words, a matter of "variety" and not a calamity.
The Duke of Portland arrived in Auckland after an otherwise uneventful voyage on January 15, 1849. Thomas had turned 21 on the voyage (in December). James (Jimmy) was delighted to see his brother whom he had not seen for many years. However, Thomas' doubts as to whether he would recognise him were groundless.
Received in James' family he made his home with them until Kitty arrived two years later. All expectations of prospects were realised. James was doing excellent business, altogether wholesale and very extensive. Of Ann, he said that she was greatly changed for the better. He found the children "a stirring, noisy lot" and he did not change his first impressions on this subject.
Business engaged him at once and he was kept as busy as he could be. He was very optimistic of his prospects and left his fate, willingly, in the hands of Captain Dacre and James. In such a strain he wrote to Kitty, contemplating being able, in a short while, to send sufficient money to pay her passage out.
On arrival he joined St Andrew's Church where his fellow passenger, Mr Panton, was now installed as a minister. Later, he became an active member of the Sacred Harmonic Society connected with the church and derived great pleasure from attending the meetings. Also he took an active interest in the church Sunday school.
Notwithstanding his delight in the country and its evident opportunities he did, at first, sound a cautious note in writing about his father and mother coming to New Zealand. But he never did so again and was consistent in his desire that all should come.
By the time Thomas arrived in Auckland the news of the California gold rush of 1849 had already reached there.
Many left New Zealand to go to California and as a consequence, news of the great scarcity of foodstuffs quickly developed a trade, the volume of which was little appreciated at this date. It should also be remembered that the colony was then only in its infancy and Auckland less than ten years old. Nevertheless, the early settlers had so progressed as to be able to take advantage of this market and export foodstuffs, timber, etc. In February of 1849, James and Captain Dacre had already exploited the opportunity by sending the schooner Deborah with a cargo. Results had been so satisfactory that they ventured deeply into the business. Thomas, in place of Captain Dacre, who was originally to have gone, left Auckland in November in the chartered brig Pilgrim, to supervise the sale of the cargo consisting of houses in sections, timber and general produce. He arrived there on February 4, 1850. The sales of the houses and timber resulted in a loss of $400, but with the other cargo of general merchandise from the Pilgrim, and with other goods sent on later by the Inchinnan and other vessels, he was able, after five months stay in San Francisco, to show very creditable results. He bought the barque Daniel Webster for Captain Dacre and James and after clearing everything up was able to bring back to Auckland £1,000. When it is considered that Thomas had just turned 21, it was quite a creditable performance. The disappointment to him and to others was that he did not proceed to England as was intended when he set out. He arrived back in Auckland on August 20, 1849. It was again proposed that he should represent the partners in San Francisco but in his stead R S Graham acted as factor. This is the Graham who later became one of the firm of Owen & Graham.
Thomas then devoted himself to the business of the firm with a remarkable keenness, spurred on by the necessity of making money to bring Kitty out to New Zealand. He urged his parents again and again to come also. "Sell everything at what you can get for it and invest every fraction in goods". But at this time he had made John Macky frantic by lack of news. It was demanded of James that "if you have any regard for us you will immediately inform us about Thomas, if he be alive".
On February 14, 1851, Thomas at last enclosed a bill for £70, drawn on San Francisco, in favour of Kitty. This left by their own ship, the Helen Page. In a later letter Thomas wrote at length giving advice on any subjects. "Bring a good faithful servant with you". "Take plenty of exercise, walk about the deck as much as possible". "A water filter and some raspberry vinegar". "Be kind to the steward, these gentlemen generally expect something". "Be sure to come in the cabin".
The wherewithal to hand, Kitty made her preparations to leave. It had been planned that William should accompany her, but this was not to be. The bearer of many letters from the family, and accompanied as far as London by her brother, Joseph Cochrane, she left Carnshanagh on October 1, 1851, for London. There she boarded the Catherine Stewart Forbes and, after an uneventful voyage, arrived in Auckland on March 12, 1852. On the 23rd of the same month, Thomas and Kitty were married at St Andrews' Church by the Cameronian minister, Mr Inglis. They made their home in a small house off Hobson Street where their first son, John, was born on July 25, 1853, but died on February 2, 1855.
Business continued to flourish and in 1854 James was one of the founders of the Auckland Steam Navigation Company which bought the William Denny for the trade between Sydney and Auckland-- this vessel ran the first regular steamship service between these ports. Thomas was appointed secretary and manager of the company, and in January of 1855 went to Sydney and Melbourne on business. He mentioned having called on Captain Dacre and it may be deduced that the captain had then ceased to have any business association with Thomas and his brother, James.
The short married life of Thomas and Kitty can best be judged by a perusal of the letters which passed between Rebecca and Kitty. Of not a strong constitution before leaving Ireland, her health did not improve in her adopted country. A change of home was made to a brick house in Hobson Street, opposite St Matthew's Church. Thomas and Kitty had four children but Kitty was not long spared to enjoy her husband and her children for she died on the December 1, 1859 at the age of 38. Kitty was six years older than Thomas.
The derelict family was then taken in hand by Ann Alexander, the widowed sister of the late departed Kitty. This dominant and forceful character was to wield her power and influence over Thomas and his young until her death. The dismay with which the bereaved husband then faced the world was largely solaced by his activities for the church.
By 1869 a serious depression settled down on the young colony. James became deeply involved and Thomas then parted company and for the remainder of his life traded solely under the firm name of Thomas Macky & Co. The nature of the business remained very much the same, that of general merchants and shipping agents and wine and spirit merchants. Insurance business, as agent for the Northern Assurance Company, was also conducted in conjunction.
But unlike James and due to a more solid perspicacity and greater balance, Thomas maintained a steadily growing business. In 1875 he again moved his home to a large new house built by him in Hepburn Street, Ponsonby. There he lived in some ostentation, the establishment being presided over by Ann Alexander, to whom the situation appealed strongly, after her struggles for many years as a widow with a young family and no protector.
He was one of the principal agents in the establishment of St James Church, contributing largely from his own funds to the construction and furnishings of the church. At this date his two sons, Joseph and Thomas, were approaching manhood and were respectively apprenticed for the firms of T H Hall & Co. and Owen & Graham.
He was constant in his attention and devotion to his parents, John and Eliza, and his especial friendship with his brother, William, was maintained by a frequent interchange of visits.
His position in the community of Auckland became one of respect and reverence-- in his home he was most hospitable. Relatives and others, especially ministers of the church, were constant guests. With the placing of Ann in charge of the household she naturally had brought her family there also, consisting of Sam, John, Joe and Mary Alexander.
In the 1880s, the second and most serious depression that the young colony had yet experienced was visited upon its inhabitants. The Thames gold rush at the latter end of the 60s and early 70s had been a great stimulant but the effect of this activity soon faded. Firm after firm became involved and the reading of the diary of Thomas junior gives a vivid idea of the despondency in which the community must have been plunged. Every firm of any standing seemed to have been involved. However, it is gratifying to know that Thomas weathered these years of depression which really did not end for ten years-- the early 90s.
In the life of the family much had happened. Joseph and Thomas junior had married and by 1892 were both living at Devonport. Indifferent health had been taking its toll of Thomas' vitality and a decision was made to leave the home in Hepburn Street and on November 16, 1891, Thomas made his last home in Domain Street, Devonport, where he was nearer his sons. This entailed the breaking of his close association with St James Church. He had been an elder of St Andrew's before the formation of St James in 1862 and thereafter was an elder of that church. The church, throughout his life, had received great benefit from his active support and bounty.
In July of 1896, serious symptoms developed. Before a full diagnosis had been made he paid a visit to his brother, William, which seems to have had all the portents of a final parting of these two brothers. Upon return, it was decided that he must give up active work and Thomas junior assumed charge of the business. The end was not long delayed and on September 3, Thomas departed this life.