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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Canterbury Members Of The Legislative Council

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Canterbury Members Of The Legislative Council.

Members of the Legislative Council appointed since 1891 hold office for seven years only, but are eligible for reappointment. Former members were appointed for life. All are paid at the rate of £200 per annum, and actual travelling expenses to and from the seat of Government. If a councillor is absent more than five sitting days in any session, through causes that might be avoided, a sum of 25s per day is deducted from his honorarium. Any member who is absent without permission more than one session, loses his seat. The number of councillors for the whole colony must not be less than ten, but there is no maximum limit fixed by law. All subjects of the Crown are eligible for a seat in the Council except those disqualified by bankruptcy, felony, or treason.

There are at present (November, 1901) thirty-nine members in the New Zealand Upper House, and of these Canterbury claims nine; namely, the Hon. J. T. Peacock, appointed in October, 1877; Hon. E. C. J. Stevens, March, 1882; Hon. L. Walker, May, 1885; Hon. C. C. Bowen, January, 1891; Hon. W. C. Walker, October, 1892, and reappointed October, 1899; Hon. W. Montgomery, October, 1892, and reappointed October, 1899; Hon. J. E. Jenkinson, June, 1893, and reappointed in June, 1900; Hon. Jeremiah Matthew Twomey, June, 1898; and Hon. C. Louisson, December, 1900. The life members for Canterbury are thus the Hon. C. C. Bowon, J. T. Peacock, E. C. J. Stevens, and L. Walker, the other five being appointed for the regulation term of seven years.

The Honourable John Thomas Peacock, Member of the Legislative Council. is one of the small bapd of early colonists who landed at Port Cooper in 1844, some years before the Canterbury Settlement was Inaugurated. He is the eldest son of the late Mr. John Jenkins Peacock, was born in 1827 in the Hawkesbury district, New South Wales, and was educated at Sydney College. At the age of fifteen Mr. Peacock accompanied his father to this colony, and for twelve years was engaged in trading on the coast. Mr. Peacock commenced business in Christchurch under the style of J.T. Peacock and Co., as merchants and shipowners, and for seven years conducted a large and growing trade. Retiring in 1863, he built his handsome residence in Papanui Road, known as “Hawkesbury,” where he has since resided. He bears the reputation of being a most enterprising colonist, and has never hesitated to risk his energies and money in enterprises deemed to be of advantage to the country. He is one of the original promoters of the Kaiapoi Woollen Company, and to his enterprise in purchasing the plant of the original company, which would otherwise have been sold for export, is due the credit of saving for Canterbury the nucleus of this splendid industry. Mr. Peacock is chairman of the local board of directors of the Alliance Assurance Company, of London, and was one of the founders and continuously a director of the Union Insurance Company, which was acquired by the former society. He is a director of the Christchurch Meat Company and of the Permanent Investment and Loan Association of Canterbury, and is one of the largest proprietors of the Christchurch Tramway Company. Mr. Peacock was one of the promoters of the New Zealand Shipping Company, and continued to act as a director until it was decided to use steamships, when he resigned, as he considered the proposal premature. He was a member of the Provincial Council of Canterbury in the early days, and held the position of Secretary of Public Works for two years before the abolition of the provinces, the late Mr. W. M. Maskell being Provincial Secretary, Sir Craeroft Wilson, President of the Council, and the Hon. W. Rolleston, Superintendent. In 1869 Mr. Peacock was returned to the House of Representatives as Member for Lyttelton, which he represented for three years, and five years later was elevated to the Legislative Concil. Mr. Peacock is a Justice of the Peace, and has served on local governing bodies. He was the first mayor of the Borough of St. Albans, and filled the chair for two years; for nearly a quarter of a century he has held a seat on the Lyttelton Harbour Board, of which he was some time chairman.

Standish and Preece, photo.Hon. J. T. Peacock.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Hon. J. T. Peacock.

Hon. Edward Cephas John Stevens, Member of the Legislative Council, was formerly in the Atkinson Ministry. Mr. Stevens, who is a partner in the firm of Messrs, Harman and Stevens. Christchurch, and a prominent public man, is more fully referred to on page 85 of the Wellington volume of the Cyclopedia, and is also referred to in another section of this volume as a former member of the House of Representatives.

The Hon. Lancelot Walker was called to the Legislative Council on the 15th of May, 1885. He resides at Station Peak, in the county of Geraldine, South Canterbury. Mr. Walker sat in the House of Representatives for Akaroa from 1863 to 1865, and was returned as member for Ashley at the general elections of 1866.

The Hon. Charles Christopher Bowen, Member of the Legislative Council, was a Minister of the Crown in the Vogel and Atkinson Administrations, Mr. Bowen's biography is more fully given on page 75 of the Wellington volume of this work.

The Hon. William Montgomery was called to the Legislative Council on the 15th of October, 1892, and re-appointed on the 16th of October. 1899. He was born in London in 1821, and was educated at the Belfast Royal Academical Institution, where his uncle, the Reverend Dr. Henry Montgomery, L.L.D., was the head English master at the time. On leaving school Mr. Montgomery went to sea, and two months before he was nineteen years of age he was in command of a vessel trading in the Mediterranean. After spending twelve years at sea he migrated to Australia. In 1860 he arrived in New Zealand, and page 84 settled in Canterbury. He was elected to the province's first Road Board—the Heathcote— in 1864, and became its chairman. A year later he was returned to the Provincial Council for Heathcote, which he represented up to 1870. During the Superintendency of Mr. Rolleston he held the office of Provincial Treasurer for the two years preceding his retirement from the Council. In 1872 he was re-elected to the Provincial Council without opposition, and for a year and a half was President of the Executive Council. Mr. Montgomery was elected to the House of Representatives for Akaroa in 1874, and represented that district for many years. He refused the office of Colonial Treasurer in the Grey Ministry of 1877, but when Major Atkinson became Premier Mr. Montgomery was put forward as the leader of the Opposition. On the formation of the Stout-Vegel Administration he became Colonial Secretary and Minister of Education. Mr. Montgomery's political views were in favour of manhood suffrage, triennial parliaments, and representation according to population, and on all occasions he voted on these questions with the advanced Liberal party. He was chairman of the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce in 1867, and was also a member of the Canterbury Board of Education from 1866 to 1875, and was its chairman in 1867. In 1877 he was elected a member of the Board of Education under the New Zealand Education Act of that year. He was appointed by the Provincial Council as a Governor of Canterbury College in 1873; and was elected chairman in 1876, a position he continued to hold till the year 1885. Although Mr. Montgomery was for many years actively engaged in private business, he made the subject of education one of the main studies of his life. During his career, he has done a large amount of public work for the colony, and especially for the Province of Canterbury, in which he has lived so long.

Hon. W. Montgomery. (About 1885.)

Hon. W. Montgomery.
(About 1885.)

The Hon. William Campbell Walker, M.A., C.M.G., Minister of Education and Immigration, was called to a seat in the Legislative Council in October, 1892, and re-appointed in October, 1899. He became a member of the Seddon Government in February, 1896, as Minister of Education and Immigration, shortly after the retirement of the Hon. W. P. Reeves. Mr. Walker began his public life by serving in the Provincial Council of Canterbury, and in 1877 he was elected first chairman of the Ashburton County Council, which position he held until 1893. He sat in two Parliaments as member for Ashburton, and as Minister was instrumental in passing an act which provided for the separation of the Lincoln Agricultural College from Canterbury College, and in 1901 an Act entitled “The Public School Teachers' Salaries Act, 1901.” Mr. Walker was for a considerable time a member of the Board of Governors of Canterbury College, and ne was also a member of the Land Board of Canterbury. He is further referred to in the Wellington volume of this work.

The Hon. John Edward Jenkinson, Member of the Legislative Council, is a son of the late Mr. John Hartley Jenkinson, who arrived in Dunedin in the early forties, and was the first jettykeeper at the harbour of that city. Subsequently he removed to Balclutha, where, at various times, he was chairman of the road board, school committee, and county council. Mr. J. E. Jenkinson was born in Dunedin in 1858, educated at various schools in Otago, and completed his studies under the late Mr. J. B. Park, of the South School, Dunedin. On leaving school in 1875, he entered the service of Messrs Sparrow and Co., at the Dunedin Foundry, and served an apprenticeship of five years to boilermaking and iron shipbuilding. Mr. Jenkinson occupied rooms in the Octagon at the disastrous fire at which thirteen lives were lost, in 1879, and after barely escaping with his life he returned to the burning building, fought his way through fire and smoke, and was successful in rescuing several people. Three months after joining the Dunedin Boilermakers' Union he was elected president of that body, and visited Australia to represent New Zealand at a conference with New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian representatives, concerning the formation of an Australasian Federation of Boiler, makers' Unions. After returning to New Zealand in 1884, Mr. Jenkinson turned his attention to farming, and later on to gold digging. Subsequently he went to Wellington, where he engaged in his trade, and assisted to form the first Wellington Boilermakers' Union. On returning to his old employers in Dunedin he was re-elected president of the Dunedin Boilermakers' Union, and assisted in forming the Trades Council. In 1886 he accepted employment in the Addington Railway Workshops, but left in the following year as a protest against the system of piecework, which was shortly afterwards abolished. Mr. Jenkinson returned to the Addington Workshops in 1888, and took an active part in the formation of the Christchurch Boilermakers' Union, of which he was secretary for several years, and afterwards president and also treasurer. He advocated and inaugurated scientific lectures under the auspices of the Union, and was successful in having the study of poilermaking promoted in the Canterbury School of Engineering. Mr. Jenkinson assisted in forming the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, and was a delegate from the Canterbury branch, at the first conference. He was one of the founders of the Canterbury Trades Council, and was successively its vice-president, president, and treasurer. Mr. Jenkinson. helped to form the first Labour Day Demonstration Committee, of which he was treasurer for many years, and is now a trustee. He was the first president of the Kingsley Club, which was formed for social unity, and he is president and honorary life member of the Tailoresses' Union, Mr. Jenkinson was called to the Legislative Council in June, 1893, and was re-appointed for a second term in 1900. He is a Justice of the Peace and also an Official Visitor to the Sunnyside Asylum. Mr. Jenkinson resides in Wellington, where he owns the New Zealand Cycle Works. He was married in 1890 to Annie, daughter of Mr. James Eaton, of Christchurch.

The Honorable Jeremiah Matthew Twomey, Member of the Legislative Council, was born on the 15th of August, 1847, at Inchee Farm, County Kerry, Ireland. At the age of eighteen years he entered the General Post Office, Cork, and was employed there until he resigned and came to New Zealand in 1874. Before leaving his native country, Mr. Twomey was an occasional contributor to the press and magazines, and soon after his arrival in the Colony joined the staff of the Wellington “Tribune,” of which Mr. W. Hutchison was proprietor and editor. Subsequently, he was employed on the Wellington “Chronicle,” “Evening Post,”
Hon. J. M. Twomey.

Hon. J. M. Twomey.

page 85 “Wanganui Herald,” “Timaru Herald,” and “Press,” Christchurch, and purchased the “Temuka Leader” in 1881. He married Mary Teresa, eldest daughter of Mr. Christopher Hughos, of Melbourne, in 1882, and has four sons and four daughters. In 1884, he contested the Gladstone constituency, but was defeated by Captain Sutter. In his maiden speech he advocated a state bank, cheap money for farmers, protection of local industries, the acquisition of large estates for close settlement, working men's homes, etc. In 1887, he again contested the same constituency with Mr. A. E. G. Rhodes, but was defeated by sixty-three votes. His address on the development of the industries of the Colony attracted a great deal of attention, more especially in Otago, where it was reprinted and distributed in tens of thousands for electioneering purposes. It was also published in several weekly papers and largely quoted by some of the daily papers. Mr. Twomey is a firm believer in party government, and has a great objection to more than one candidate of a party standing for a seat. For this reason he has stood aside for others on various occasions. In 1896 a section of the Liberal party in Christchurch invited him to stand for the city, but owing to the way in which the party was split up, he declined the invitation. Mr. Twomey was called to the Legislative Council in June, 1898, in recognition of his services to the Liberal party.

The Hon. Charles Louisson was born in 1842, in London, and educated at Gravesend. At the age of fourteen he arrived in Melbourne, and had experience of station life in the country such as stock-riding and horse-breaking; subsequently he went goldmining at Ballarat, and other places. He arrived in Canterbury in 1865, and shortly afterwards removed to the West Coast where he entered into business as a general merchant at Hokitika. Returning to Christchurch in 1871, he and his brother purchased the brewery, which he has since conducted as the Crown Brewery Company, Ltd. Mr. Louisson entered into local politics as a member of the Christchurch City Council, in which he served for six or seven years, and was mayor in 1888, 1889, and 1898 and 1899. During his first mayorship Mr. Louisson acted as one of the Commissioners for New Zealand at the Melbourne International Exhibition. He was afterwards a member of the Charitable Aid Board and the North Canterbury Hospital Board, and official visitor of the Deaf and Dumb Institution at Sumner, and deputyinspector of the Sunnyside Lunatio Asylum. Mr. Louisson's services as mayor were handsomely recognised on two occasions by the citizens of Christchurch, who presented him in 1889 with a fine silver epergne, and again in 1899, on his retirement from the mayoralty, with an address and a silver tea service, and on each occasion Mrs Louisson was presented with a diamond bracelet and star. With Mr A. Fergusson, of the National Bank, he is a co-trustee of the Marks Benevolent Fund, which supplied the main portion of the cost incurred in the erection of the Marks Ward at the Hospital, amounting to £10,000. As a Freemason, Mr. Louisson held office for many years as District Grand Master for Canterbury under the Scottish Constitution. While resident at Hokitika, he was associated with the Volunteers, as sergeant-major of the Westland Light Horse. He is a steward of the Metropolitan Trotting Club, and a member of the Canterbury Jockey Club. Mr. Louisson was married, in 1878, to a daughter of Mr Maurice Harris, J.P., of Christchurch, and has two sons and two daughters. He was called to the Legislative Council on the 22nd of December, 1900.

Standish and Preece, photo.Hon. C. Louisson.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Hon. C. Louisson.