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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. Henry Thomson

Mr. Henry Thomson, J.P., who was a Member of the House of Representatives for Christchurch North during 1882–1884, was born in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, in 1828, and was educated at Wigton, Galloway. He entered the service of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1846, and six years later came out to Victoria, where he was clerk-in-charge of the office of the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay railway during its construction. He was afterwards superintendent of the wharf and railway station at Sandridge. In 1856, Mr. Thomson came to Wellington, and a year later removed to Nelson. Two years after this he had a short experience on the Otago goldfields, and in 1865 settled in Christchurch, where he was employed by Messrs. Coates and Co., jewellers, and afterwards became a partner in the firm. On the death of Mr. Giles Coates he became the sole proprietor until 1891, when he retired from business. In 1868, Mr. Thomson was manager of the Canterbury section of the New Zealand railways. which then extended from Lyttelton to Selwyn. He was returned to the House of Representatives as a supporter of the Atkinson Government in November, 1881. Mr. Thomson was for several years a member of the Christchurch City Council, and filled the office of mayor for one year. For over eight years he was chairman of the old Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, retiring from the position on the inauguration of the present system. As a member of the Masonic Order, he is attached to Lodge St. Augustine, of which he has been it member since 1865, and has held the highest offices in connection with the order, having been elected the first Grand Master under the New Zealand Constitution. Mr. Thomson was married in 1859 to a daughter of the late Mr. Giles Coates.