|dc.description.abstract||When the first settlers departed for Otago from Britain in 1847, the leaders of the settlement envisioned a class based society populated by law abiding, Scottish Presbyterians. The founders had proposed that the settlement be based on the economic and social principles of “systematic colonisation,” developed by Edward Gibbon Wakefield during the first half of the nineteenth century. A key feature of these principles was the emigration of young married couples or an equal number of young men and women, who were to have sufficient children to provide the colony with its future source of labour. In addition to these principles the settlement was supported by the Free Church of Scotland, with the expressed desire that emigrants would be selected for their adherence to Presbyterianism, preferably the Free Church. This combination of marriage, procreation and Presbyterianism meant that the settlement was based on strict ideas about the regulation of marriage and sexual intercourse in order to adhere to the Church’s teachings about sex and systematic colonisation’s principles regarding procreation.
This thesis examines the regulation of sexual behaviour in Otago in light of the various values that influenced its settlement. Consideration is given to the role of the church, its ministers, and the church courts in regulating the celebration of marriage within the settlement, and in punishing illicit sexual behaviour. This thesis also examines the role of secular authorities, including the police and local and supreme courts, in regulating and punishing illegal sexual activities. Finally, more informal methods of regulation are looked at, including the role of members of the community, especially women, in establishing and maintaining standards of behaviour. The findings of this research illustrate the limited effectiveness the church had in regulating behaviour, tensions between church and state when their roles intersected, and the difficulties of imposing a single, accepted sexual morality within the settlement.||