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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. Edward Brenchley Bishop

Mr. Edward Brenchley Bishop, who was Mayor of Christchurch for the year 1873, was also chairman of the Town Council in 1866. He was a resident of the colony for thirty-seven years, was very prominent in public affairs, and was one who put his whole soul and energy into any undertaking with which he was connected. Mr. Bishop was born at Somerfield House, near Maidstone, Kent, England, in 1811. After being educated in England and France he served twenty-one years with Messrs Swaine and Co., distillers, of London. He came with his family to New Zealand in the Charlotte Jane,” one of the first four ships, and landed at Lyttelton on the 16th of December, 1850. Mr. Bishop had purchased land from the Canterbury Association, and he and his family left Lyttelton with a tent and sundries packed on a horse, and camped near the place now known as Wilson's Bridge. After much inconvenience the party reached the selected piece of land. It struggled against hardships, and eventually succeeded in building a whare, with timber brought from Lyttelton and up the Heathcote in a small vessel. Mr. Bishop was one of the first members of the Farmers' Club, which was afterwards merged into the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, of which he became treasurer and afterwards secretary. When he resigned the secretaryship he was presented with a gold watch and was made a life member. He was associated with the earliest volunteer movement, and, having no rifles, the men used their ordinary guns in manual and platoon exercise. Mr. Bishop took an active part in the formation of the Rifle Association, was made treasurer, and in 1873 president, and he was also honorary treasurer to the No. 1 Company Volunteers. In 1872 he was made a Justice of the Peace. On the expiration of his office as mayor, he was presented with a valuable piece of plate, accompanied by an illuminated address. In 1870 he published an abstract of the Municipal Corporations Act. Mr. Bishop took an active part in the management of the Mechanics' Institute, being appointed its honorary treasurer, and one year was elected president, when the society's name was altered to that of the Literary Institute. Mr. Bishop died at his residence, Cranmer Square, on the 25th of April, 1887, aged seventy-six years.