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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Right Hon. Sir James Fergusson

The Right Hon. Sir James Fergusson, Bart., P.C., was Governor of New Zealand from June, 1873, to December, 1874. Born in Edinburgh in 1832, he received his education at Rugby School, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father in 1849. Having determined to follow a military life, he entered the Grenadier Guards, and, rising rapidly in his profession, obtained a captaincy in 1854. Dissatisfied, however, with military life, he retired from the Army in the following year, to seek honours in the House of Commons. He sat for Ayr in the Conservative interest from 1854 to 1857, and again from 1859 to 1868. From June, 1866, to July, 1867, he held the office of Under-Secretary for India, and in the following year that of Under-Secretary
The Right Hon. Sir James Fergusson

From a photo kindly lent by Mr. E. Tregear.

for the Home Department. In 1868 he was appointed Governor of South Australia. At the same time he became a member of the Privy Council. In 1873 he was promoted to the governorship of New Zealand. This position he did not long occupy, however, as he resigned in the following year. In 1880 he was appointed Governor of Bombay. During the short time that Sir James was in the Colony, he made himself well acquainted with the country in all its phases. He travelled frequently into the interior, although in those days it was a matter of some difficulty, and the native troubles were barely over. In this way he gained much valuable information, and, in the opinion of many, it was unfortunate that Governor Fergusson did not remain longer in his position. He was well liked by all classes, and is remembered with kindly feelings.