Mr. Frederick John Litchfield
was elected the first Mayor of the Borough of Blenheim in the
year 1869, and was one of the most public spirited men associated with the early history of Blenheim. He gave many years to the public service as a member of the chief local bodies, and in other ways not so widely known, he exerted himself in the interest of the public welfare. Mr. Litchfield was born in the year 1820, at Cambridge, England, where he was educated. He afterwards learned the drapery trade in London, and subsequently conducted business on his own account with considerable success at Deal and Ipswich. In the year 1853, Mr. Litchfield came to New Zealand by the ship “Admiral Grenfell,” one of the smartest trading vessels of her day, and landed in Nelson. After farming for a few years, he became a schoolmaster at Motueka. Later, Mr. Litchfield was commissioned by the late Mr. John Symons to open a branch store in Blenheim, which he conducted successfully for two years. In 1860, he started on his own account as a general merchant. As an energetic and shrewd business man, Mr. Litchfield soon established a large connection, and in the course of a few years, owing to his increasing business, he erected what is still one of the first commercial houses in the
town. The firm subsequently became known as Messrs F. J. Litchfield and Sons, and for over twenty years conducted an extensive and prosperous business. Mr. Litchfield withdrew from the firm in the year 1880, and shortly afterwards went to the Old Country, where, until his death in 1902, he lived in retirement at Hastings, England. In 1839, he married Miss Ellen Palfrey, of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and left four sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Mr. Alfred John Litchfield, is further referred to as a member of the Marlborough Education Board.