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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Hon. Edward Richardson

The Hon. Edward Richardson, C.M.G. M.L.C., who was born in London in 1831, was educated at the City of London School. He was brought up to the profession of a civil engineer on the London and South Western Railway, and as mechanical engineer on the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland. Mr. Richardson came out to the colonies in 1852, arriving in Melbourne, where he at once entered the service of the Victorian Government as engineer of the roads and bridges department. In 1865 he retired from the Government service, and commenced business on his own account as a contractor. In this capacity he carried out many large and important works very
The Hon. Edward Richardson

Photo by Kinsey.

successfully, several railways having been constructed in Australia under his superintendence. Subsequently Mr. Richardson joined the first volunteer corps raised in Victoria, and rose from the ranks to the position of captain of the Horse Artillery. In 1861 he left Victoria, and entered into an engagement to carry out some important railway contracts in New Zealand. In partnership with Mr. George Holmes, he constructed the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway, including the celebrated Moorhouse tunnel. Mr. Richardson was, in 1870, elected a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council, for Lyttelton, and remained a member till the abolition of the provinces in 1876. In 1871 he was returned as a member of the House of Representatives for Christchurch city. In October, 1872, Mr. Richardson occupied a seat in the Ministry, and held the portfolio of Public Works, which he retained during the administration of the Waterhouse, Fox, Vogel, Pollen, and Atkinson Governments; all of which Ministries reigned successively from 1872 to 1877. Mr. Richardson was then compelled by ill-health, brought on by overwork, to relinquish office. In recognition of his services to the Colony in the carrying out of the Public Works Policy of Sir Julius Vogel, he was created a C.M.G. in 1879. The honourable gentleman was again appointed a Minister of the Crown under the Stout Vogel Government, and held the portfolio of Public Works from September, 1884, to October, 1887. He remained a member of the House of Representatives until 1890. Since that time, Mr. Richardson has not sought re-election. He has been a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in England since 1862.