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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Hon. Alfred de Bathe Brandon

The Hon. Alfred de Bathe Brandon, M.L.C., was born at London in the year 1810. He was educated for the law, and came to Wellington in December, 1840, per ship “London”—one of the New Zealand Company's chartered vessels. He at once commenced the practice of his profession, and soon gained the confidence of the public. When the Constitutional Association was formed, with the object of obtaining representative institutions for the Colony, Mr. Brandon was found among its most active members. His first public position of importance was that of Provincial Councillor for the Porirua district; and when Dr. Featherston was elected Superintendent in 1853, Mr. Brandon joined his Executive as Provincial Solicitor, retaining that position throughout the whole of Dr. Featherston's superintendeney—some eighteen years. His seat as a representative for Porirua he continued to occupy until the abolition of the provinces in 1876. For the last eighteen years of his time Mr. Brandon sat continuously in the House of Representatives for the Wellington Country District, and he continued that representation until 1881, winning at every election. In 1881, however, he did not seck re-election, and two years later his services to the country were acknowledged by a call to the Upper House. In the early days Mr. Brandon was Crown Prosecutor for a good many years. His unimpeachable integrity was universally admitted, and that, in conjunction with his well-known kindness of disposition, gained him many and substantial friends. During his legal career, Mr. Brandon admitted partners to his business. The first was Mr. Moore, who was afterwards Acting Chief Justice during the absence of Sir George Arney; and the other was Mr. W. H. Quick, still well known and in practice in Wellington. page 258 Up to within a few weeks of his death, which occurred on the 22nd of September, 1886, Mr. Brandon continued to take an active part in the business; but for several years his son, Mr. A. Brandon, had been in partnership with him, and the business is still carried on by him in conjuction with the Hon. T. W. Hislop, under the title of Brandon and Hislop. When the Hon. Mr. Brandon arrived in the Colony he was accompanied by his wife and an infant son. Mrs. Brandon died soon after their arrival; and the son, who was well known as Mr. Eustace Brandon, artist, died a few weeks before his father. In 1854 Mr. Brandon married Miss Poole, and their family consists of three sons and four daughters. Mr. Sydney Brandon, of Meanee, Hawkes Bay, is a brother of the late honourable gentleman, At the time of his death, Mr. Brandon was a Justice of the Peace, a local director of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, a director of the Colonial Insurance Company, president of the Wellington Club, and chairman of the Board of College Governors. He took a great interest in educational matters, and was the first chairman of the Wellington Board of Education. In all these positions, as in his own profession, Mr. Brandon was most highly respected. For nearly fifty years he exerted a beneficial influence on all with whom he came in contact; and many were those who had cause to mourn the death of one who had helped them most unostentatiously by advice and more practical assistance. Mr. Brandon's eldest surviving son Mr. Alfred de Bathe Brandon, was for some time a member of the Wellington City Council, and occupied the position of Mayor of the City for the year 1893–4.