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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. William Thomson

Mr. William Thomson occupied a seat in the House of Representatives, as member for Avon, from 1862 to 1865. He was also a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council, and subsequently became Provincial Auditor, which he continued to be to the date of his death. Mr. Thomson was born in Edinburgh on the 26th of March, 1818, and was the son of an old Scottish printer. He was educated at the Edinburgh Southern Academy, where he won the medal for arithmetic. After gaining an experience in commercial life, as an accountant in Glasgow, he left for New Zealand in the ship “Hampshire,” which arrived at Lyttelton in May, 1853. During the same year he purchased a property from Mr. A. A. Dobbs, at Governor's Bay, where he engaged in dairy farming and in supplying Lyttelton with firewood. These pursuits not proving sufficiently lucrative, he disposed of his property to Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse, and removed to Papanui. Mr. Thomson then commenced business in Christchurch as an auctioneer and accountant, and erected the first auction mart in the city, on the site where Inglis' Buildings now stand. Subsequently he retired from this business, and became associated with Mr. Willis in the proprietorship of the Canterbury Standard” newspaper. He also took up, and was part owner of, the Lochinvar station, on the river Esk, which he stocked with cattle. Mr. Thomson took a very active part in forming the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, in which he always evinced a lively interest. He was also a member of the Canterbury Jockey Club, and one of the promoters of the old stone grand stand. Having been a member of the Glasgow Yeomanry Cavalry, he naturally was much interested in the formation of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, and was one of the first captains of that corps. Mr. Thomson married Miss Scott, only daughter of a page 94 Glasgow merchant, and had a family on four sons and four daughters. He died at Papanui, on the 26th of April, 1866.