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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

The Hon. Thomas Henderson

The Hon. Thomas Henderson was intimately associated with the Province of Auckland for over forty years, and was senior partner in the well-known firm of Henderson and Macfarlane. He was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1810, and served his time as an engineer and machine maker. When he arrived in Auckland with his wife, in 1840, not a single house was erected. He built the Commercial Hotel at a cost of £2000, and it was at the time the most pretentious building in Auckland. During Heke's war Mr. Henderson did the colony good service by employing about 300 men in gumdigging and keeping them from joining Heke. The firm of Henderson and Macfarlane owned the Circular Saw line of vessels, which successfully traded to Australia, China and America. Mr. Henderson assisted in establishing the Bank of New Zealand, the Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, the New Zealand Insurance Company and the Auckland Gas Company. He was a member of the Provincial Council for some time, and represented the Northern Division in the General Assembly from 1856 to 1870, and the electoral district of Waitemata from 1871 to 1873. In the Fox Ministry of 1861–62 he was a member of the Executive Council without portfolio. He was called to the Legislative Council in 1878, at the instance of Sir George Grey, and as an old colonist who had served his country he well deserved the honour. Mr. Henderson died at the residence of Mr. George Graham, in Wellington, on Sunday, the 27th of June, 1886.