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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Government House

page 1

Government House.

His Excellency The Governor, the Right Honourable Sir William Lee Plunket , K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., fifth Baron Plunket. Governor in and over the Colony of New Zealand and its dependencies, was born on the 19th of December, 1864. He is the son of the fourth Baron, who was Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, and of Annie Lee, eldest daughter of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, and sister of Lord Ardiiaun and Lord Iveagh. The barony was created in the year 1827, and the first holder of the title became Lord High Chancellor of Ireland in 1830. The second Baron was Bishop of Tuam in 1839. His Excellency was educated at Harrow, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. At Harrow he was a member of the rifle team which represented his school, and while at Trinity he was captain of the College Rowing Club. Lord Plunket joined the diplomatic service in 1889, as Honorary Attache to the British Embassy at Rome, where he continued till 1892. During the succeeding two years he held a similar position at Constantinople, and retired at the end of that period. Subsequently he was appointed Private Secretary to Lord Cadogan, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In that position he had to arrange all the details in connection with Queen Victoria's visit to Ireland, and Her Majesty decorated him with the C.V.O. His Excellency was also Private Secretary to the Earl of Dudley, when that nobleman was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and had much work to do in connection with the two visits made to Ireland by King Edward the Seventh, who raised him to a higher grade of the Royal Victorian Order (K.C.V.O.). Lord Plunket is a Freemason, and was a member of the Grand Lodge of Ireland until he came to New Zealand. The Grand Lodge of New Zealand has proposed him to the brethren for election as Grand Master at the next vacancy. His Excellency is a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, in England. In the year 1894 His Excellency married Victoria Alexandrina, youngest daughter of Frederick, first Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, and has two sons and four daughters. Lord Plunket was appointed Governor of New Zealand on the 9th of March, 1904, and assumed office on the 20th of June in that year. His residence is Old Connaught, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, and he is a member of the Carlton Club, and of the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Lady Plunket was born at Ottawa, while her father, then Earl of Dufferin, but afterwards Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, was Governor-General of Canada. She is a god-daughter of the late Queen Victoria, in whose personal favour she held a high place. As her ladyship's father was Governor-General of Canada from April, 1872, until October, 1878; British Ambassador at St. Petersburg from February, 1879, till 1881; then in the same position at Constantinople from May, 1881, till October, 1882; then in charge of British affairs at Cairo, in Egypt, from the 30th of October, 1882, till April, 1883, and Viceroy of India, for the usual term, from November, 1884, Lady Plunket has, naturally, seen many lands and peoples in her time. Besides being educated privately, her ladyship studied at Cheltenham College, in England, for two years.

Captain Francis Powell Braithwaite, Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency the Governor, was born on the 2nd of November, 1875. He was educated at Clifton College, and entered the Royal Military College, at Sandhurst, in 1894. On the 28th of September, in the following year, he was gazetted to the Northumberland Fusiliers. Captain Braithwaite served in South Africa during the Boer war in 1899–1900, obtained the Queen's medal with four clasps, and was promoted to his captaincy on the 1st of July, 1900. In the year 1902 he became Assistant Staff Officer to the Home Counties Volunteer Brigade, and in the following year Garrison Adjutant in Dublin. Captain Braithwaite was appointed to His Excellency's staff in May, 1904. He is a member of White's, and of the Junior United Service Club, London.

Captain The Honourable Arthur Maurice Robert Bingham, Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency Lord Plunket, is the eldest son of the fifth Baron Clanmorris, of Creg Clare, County Galway, Ireland, and of Bangor Castle, Belfast, Ireland. He was born on the 22nd of June, 1879, educated at Eton College, and gazetted to the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, in October, 1899. During the Boer war he served in South Africa from 1899 to 1902, and obtained the Queen's medal with five clasps and the King's medal with two clasps. He was appointed to His Excellency's staff in July, 1904, and was promoted to the rank of captain in May, 1905. Captain Bingham is a member of the Cavalry Club, London.

Mr. Horace Clare Waterfield , Private Secretary to His Excellency the Governor, was appointed to the staff in March, 1904. He is the second son of Sir Henry Waterfield, G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I., C.B., late Financial Secretary of the India Office. Mr. Waterfield was born on the 12th of April, 1876, and was educated at Westminster School, and at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, where he gained the Brown Scholarship, Diploma of Membership (M.R.A.C.) and the Haygarth gold medal. Subsequently, he took a first class certificate of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, and was elected a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institute, London. Mr. Waterfield then became a resident land agent, and in that capacity he successively held appointments on estates belonging to Lord De Saumarez, the late Marquis of Anglesey, and Lord Iveagh, before coming to New Zealand.

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