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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Hon. Thomas Russell

The Hon. Thomas Russell, C.M.G., was a member of two consecutive ministries in the early “sixties.” He first sat as a member of the Executive Council in the Domett Government from the 6th August, 1862, to the 30th of October, 1863, and from the 22nd of July in the latter year he was Minister for Colonial Defence. In the Whitaker-Fox Administration that succeeded he took the portfolio he was holding previously, and retained the office till the resignation of his Government on the 24th of November, 1864. Mr. Russell was born in 1830 at Cork, Ireland, and when nine years old came with his parents to the Bay of Islands. After studying the law he was admitted a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court, and entered into partnership in Auckland with Mr. (afterwards Sir) Frederick Whitaker under the style of Whitaker and Russell. Mr. Russell took a prominent part in the foundation of the Bank of New Zealand, the New Zealand Insurance Company, the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, and the New Zealand Land Mortgage Company. He has been largely interested in mining on the Thames goldfield and in pastoral properties in the Waikato district. He was created a C.M.G. in 1877. For many years past he has resided in England.