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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. John Studholme

Mr. John Studholme is the second son of the late Mr. John Studholme, of Morton House, near Carlisle, Cumberland, and was born in 1829. He was educated at Sedbergh Grammar School and Queen's College. Oxford, was an exhibitioner of his college, and rowed in the college eight. Having purchased land in England from the Canterbury Association, he came out to the Colony in 1851 in the “Labuan,” accompanied by two younger brothers, Paul and Michael. Shortly after arriving, they took up runs on the Selwyn and Rakaia. In the following year, leaving their runs, they went over to Australia and spent some months on the Victorian goldfields. They returned from Australia in a ship which only went as far as Nelson, and seeing no prospect of otherwise getting back to Christchurch, they walked along the coast, a distance of about 350 miles. With the exception of Mr. Valpy, he and his brother Michael were the first overlanders between Christchurch and Dunedin, and they were also the first to bring cattle across the Waitaki river. In 1853, there was no bank in Otago, or any business transactions between the two provinces. Cheques on Christchurch were valueless; so, to get money to pay for the cattle they purchased, Mr. John Studholme walked to Christchurch and back, carrying his blankets and provisions, and crossing the rivers at great risk. In January, 1854, along with Dr. Menzies and Capt. Bellairs, he made an expedition to explore the Southland district,
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Mr. J. Studholme.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. J. Studholme.

page 372 which had recently been bought from natives by the Government; after a week's hard walking between the Mataura and Oreti Rivers, the others decided to go no further. Mr. Studholme then walked on by himself as far as the Waiau. The only Europeans at that time in Southland were an old sealer called Jack Tiger, at the Bluff, and Captains Stevens and Howell at Jacob's River. In 1854, the Studholme brothers took up the well-known Waimate run. In 1878, Mr. Studholme sold his share in this property to his brother, Michael, Mr. Paul Studholme having returned to England in 1858. Mr. John Studholme was also one of the earliest pioneers of settlement in the centre of the North Island. He is one of the oldest Canterbury magistrates, and was first member of the Provincial Council for the Timaru district, which at that time comprised all the province south of Ashburton, and, with the exception of some short intervals, represented various districts until the provincial councils were abolished. On every occasion he was returned unopposed and without addressing the electors. He was twice elected member for Kaiapoi in the General Assembly, and twice for Gladstone, unopposed each time except the last, when he was returned by a large majority. He was repeatedly pressed by the late Sir William Fox to join his Ministry. He is a director of the New Zealand Shipping Company, of which he was one of the promoters. Mr. Studholme was also one of the original directors and promoters of the Union Insurance Company (now the Alliance). He and his brother Michael in the sixties and seventies took an active part in racing matters, winning the Canterbury Cup twice with “Knottingley.” They also conjointly with Mr. Harris owned “Belle of the Isle,” “Stormbird,” “Magenta,” and “Nebula.” He was for several years honorary secretary of the Canterbury Jockey Club, and has for many years been a steward and a member of the committee. In 1862, Mr. Studholme married Lucy Ellen Sykes, daughter of the late Mr. William Moorhouse, of Knottingley House, Yorkshire, J.P. for the West Riding, and sister of the late Mr. W. Sefton Moorhouse, Superintendent of Canterbury, and has three sons and two daughters—namely, Mr. John Studholme, of Coldstream, married to Alexandra, daughter of the late Dr. William Thomson, D.D., Archbishop of York; Mr. William Paul Studholme, of the Kakahu, married to Mabel, only daughter of Mr. Henry F. Gray, of Walroa; Mr. Joseph Francis Studholme, of Ruanui; Lucy Ellen, married to Mr. William Barton, of White Rock, Wairarapa; and Florence Mary.