The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Mr. Stewart Shirley Blackburne
Mr. Stewart Shirley Blackburne, who is a Member of the Christchurch Licensing Committee, and a Justice of the Peace, was born at Sydenham, London, in 1857, and was brought to New Zealand when he was two years of age. His father, the Rev. S. Blackburne, M.A., was attracted to New Zealand by Bishop Selwyn in 1859, and was for ten years Principal of St. John's College, Auckland, having charge of the theological and scholastic departments. The Rev. S. Blackburne returned with his family to England in 1869. After receiving a sound education at the Warrington Grammar school, the son studied for the law, and was admitted as a solicitor in 1881. During the six subsequent years he practised his profession in Doncaster, Yorkshire, latterly in partnership with Mr W. E. Shirley, who held several of the principal legal appointments in that town. Between 1884 and 1886 Mr. Blackburne was engaged in severe political work as Liberal organiser and manager of elections on behalf of his cousin, Mr. Walter S. Shirley, B.C.L., who was twice elected as a Gladstonian Liberal for Doncaster, against such strong opponents as the Hon. A. E. Gathorne-Hardy and the Hon. H. W. Fitzwilliam. The severity of his duties at these elections was such that, at the close of the second contest, Mr Blackburne, broken in health, was ordered by his physician to New Zealand. After recruiting for a few months in the North Island, he was offered, and accepted, an important business agency in Christchurch. Since then he has been engaged in commercial pursuits, and is now senior partner in the firm of Messrs Blackburne and Smith. During his residence in New Zealand Mr. Blackburne has taken a deep interest in philanthropic and religious organisations, and is at present a member of the Anglican Synod of the Christchurch diocese. Whilst he was in England he helped to establish the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association, the first County Association in England; and occasionally represented Doncaster in cricket and football, and frequently in lawn tennis matches. In 1898, Mr. Blackburne succeeded the late Mr. H. Hookham as chess editor of the “Canterbury Times.” He is a successful chessproblem composer, and has won prizes in several international chess-problem competitions. His articles have been frequently quoted and reproduced in the principal chess publications of England, America, and Australia. In a review of his pamphlet on “Problem Terms and Characteristics,” the London Times (weekly edition) spoke of the author as one of the best living authorities on the subject. Mr. Blackburne was married, in 1896, to Miss Lamphier, second daughter of Dr. Lamphier, of Alford, Lincolnshire. Mr. Blackburne has several brothers in the colony, one being Nautical Adviser to the New Zealand Government, another the Vicar of Prebbleton, near Christchurch, a third the Vicar of Rotorua; and the eldest brother is senior partner in the firm of Blackburne and Bendall, accountants and sharebrokers, Wellington.
Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. S. S. Blackbuene.