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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. Leonard Stowe

Mr. Leonard Stowe, Clerk of Parliaments, Clerk of the Legislative Council, and Examiner of Standing Orders on Private Bills, has for thirty years been an officer in the Parliamentary Buildings. Born at Trolly Hall, Buckingham, Mr. Stowe was educated partly at Iffley, near Oxford, and later at the celebrated Rugby School, when Dr. Goulburn was headmaster. Coming to the Colony in 1858, per ship “Lady Alice,” to Nelson, he had some years' experience of station life under Mr. A. P. Seymour, of the Wairau. In 1863 he was appointed secretary to Mr. Thomas Carter, then Superintendent of the Province of Marlborough, and afterwards acted under Mr. Seymour when that gentleman was raised to the Superintendeney. Mr. Stowe was clerk to the Provincial Council of Marlborough in 1864. A year later he was appointed clerk of the Legislative Council, a position which he has filled from that time. On the retirement of Major Campbell, in 1889, Mr. Stowe was appointed clerk of Parliaments, and the position of examiner of Standing Orders on Private Bills was conferred in 1888. Mr. Stowe has filled many other offices during his career. In the days of Provincial Councils he was returning officer for some of the the Wairau districts, and in 1894 he held the important position of Secretary to the first Postal Conference held in New Zealand. Though occupied with his important public duties, Mr. Stowe has invented a very ingenious machine, which is known as “Stowe's Patent Calculating Machine.” This was exhibited at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1881, and received honourable mention. There is reason to believe that the totalisator and page 98 other machines are based upon the principle of Mr. Stowe's invention. In 1871 he married Miss J. Greenwood, daughter of Dr. Greenwood, late Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives, and formerly headmaster of Nelson College. His family consists of two sons and two daughters.