The churches are numerous and some are particularly handsome; such as the First church, which overlooks the harbour, and is so named from its standing on the site of the church of the original settlers; St Paul's, Knox church and the Roman Catholic cathedral of St Joseph.
Each, granting to forty proprietors the choice of one of these on condition that they should take possession of it by the ist of February 1769, and the other four townships to 200 settlers on condition that they should follow by the ist of May.
From 1811 to 1818 Lord Selkirk's attempted colonization greatly increased the population; from the time of his failure till 1869 the settlers lived quietly under the mild rule of the Hudson's Bay Company.
After a bloody defeat at the hands of the neighbouring mountaineers (409) the Spartan governor quarrelled with the native settlers, whom he expelled in 399.
The colony of Otago (from a native word meaning ochre, which was found here and highly prized by the Maoris as a pigment for the body when preparing for battle) was founded as the chief town of the Otago settlement by settlers sent out under the auspices of the lay association of the Free Church of Scotland in 1848.