The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Mr. Francis Christopher Tabart
Mr. Francis Christopher Tabart, an old resident of Canterbury, and well known in Christchurch for many years as an auctioneer, was the son of F. G. Tabart, R.N., who retired from the Royal Navy with the rank of paymaster. Mr. F. C. Tabart was born in London in 1830, and eight months later accompanied his parents to Tasmania, where he was educated and brought up. On the death of his father, he went to Victoria, where he became manager of large cattle and sheep stations in the Murray and Riverina districts. During that period Mr. labart was considered one of the best riders in Australia, and in 1855 he won the Melbourne Grand National Steeplechase, on a horse named “Triton.” Mr. Tabart was also the first man in Australasia to swim a racehorse for exercise. He was married in 1858, and returned to Tasmania, where he managed a station and bought a farm. About 1863 he sold out his property and came to New Zealand, and entered into partnership with the late Sir Richard Dry and Mr. J. Meredith, in the Highfield station, in the Amuri district. However, the heavy snowstorm of 1869 depleted the flocks, and the property was sold, and the partnership dissolved. Mr. Tabart then went to Hokitika, purchased the auctioneering business of Mr. Mark Sprott, and carried it on till he returned to Christchurch in 1877. While at Hokitika Mr. Tabart was three times elected mayor of the borough. On his arrival in Christchurch he joined the firm of Messrs Robert Wilkin and Co., as a partner, in the business of auctioneers and general merchants. When Mr. Wilkin died in 1886, Mr. Tabart formed the firm of Messrs F. C. Tabart and Co., of which he was the head up to the time of his death. He was a familiar figure at the Addington market, where he was most popular, as indeed he was with all classes of the community. Mr. Tabart was for some years honorary judge for the Canterbury Jockey Club, and upon his retirement from that position the club made him a handsome presentation and elected him a life member. He died at his residence, Opawa, on the 12th of February, 1901, leaving a widow, two sons, and six daughters, and a wide circle of friends to mourn him.
Standish and Preece photo.
The late Mr. F. C. Tabart.