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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. Alexander Shepherd

Mr. Alexander Shepherd succeeded Mr Cooper, the first Colonial Treasurer, on the 9th of May, 1842, and held the office until the 7th of May, 1856. Born in Aberdeen he was the first Colonial Treasurer appointed from England, and came to the Colony from London per ship “New York Packet,” arriving in Wellington early in 1842. It may be interesting in these days of rapid communication to note that Mr. Shepherd was detained a whole month in Wellington awaiting a vessel to carry him to the seat of Government at Auckland. In 1856 he retired from the service on a pension, which however he only enjoyed for three years. He died in Auckland in 1859. The Auckland New Zealander of the 23rd of July, 1859, says:—“In our obituary of this day we have to record the death, after two days' illness of Mr. Alexander Shepherd, who filled the office of Colonial Treasurer up to the date of the establishment of Responsible Government in New Zealand. Though a Government official, the deceased ever pursued an independent course in the Legislature in support of what he believed to be right, and both before and since his retirement from public life took a warm interest in the advancement of the Province of Auckland. In connection with the Savings Bank and other local institutions. Mr. Shepherd rendered valuable services to our community, services none the less efficient for the quiet and unassuming manner in which they were performed. He was an old servant of the Crown before coming to New Zealand. The immediate cause of his death was, we believe, disease of the heart, symptoms of which disease had manifested themselves a year or so page 56 ago.” Mr. Shepherd was a brother of Mr. John Shepherd, formerly Chairman of the East India Company. His eldest daughter married Mr. Singleton Rochfort, Barrister of Auckland, the second became Lady O'Rorke having married the Hon. Sir G. M. O'Rorke, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The youngest daughter lives in Auckland with her sister Lady O'Rorke. Mr. Shepherd's step-daughter married the late Sir Frederick Whitaker, M.L.C. Two of Mr. Shepherd's sons, the eldest and the youngest, were in the East India Company's service. The elder joined as a Cavalry Officer, and was killed in India at the “Battle of Chillian Wallah.” The younger served his full time and retired on his pension, returning to Auckland where he recently commanded the Auckland Volunteers.