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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Old Colonists

Old Colonists.

Mr. William Boyes Clarkson, J.P., is well known throughout New Zealand as one of the largest and most successful stockdealers in the colony. He was born in the town of Masham, Yorkshire, England, in 1853, and came to New Zealand in 1869, in the ship. “Hydaspes.” Having settled in Christchurch, he started dealing in 1875, and his operations have increased so extensively that he now passes over half a million of sheep a year through his hands, and 317,000 of his sheep were killed in one year at the Islington Freezing Works. As instance of the scope of his transactions, it may be mentioned that he once bought a line of 22,000 sheep in one deal, from Mr. Moore, of “Glenmark,” and that, in 1895, he had a mob of 4000 wethers, also from “Glenmark,” killed at Belfast of an average weight of 68 1/2 lbs, exclusive of 10 1/2 lbs of fat; one of the best lines of fat sheep ever produced in the colony. Although the bulk of Mr. Clarkson's business is done in Canterbury, he buys sheep in all parts of New Zealand. In the early days of the frozen meat trade the sheep were killed at Islington, and then sent to Lyttelton, where they were frozen on a hulk. Since the formation of the Christchurch Meat Company Mr. Clarkson has been under a contract with it for the supply of sheep for the freezing industry. In 1882 an article appeared in the “Yorkshire Post,” estimating the food supply of England for the next ten years. On seeing this article Mr. Clarkson noticed that the writer had omitted the supply from New Zealand in his calculations. Accordingly, he at once wrote to the paper stating that within the next ten years this colony would send at least a million sheep a year to London. Although this statement
Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. W. B. Clarkson and Sons.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. W. B. Clarkson and Sons.

was serevely criticised at the time, Mr Clarkson's estimate was under the mark, for, in one year within the ten years mentioned, as many as 1,900,000 carcases were exported, and the trade has since grown to such an extent that in the year 1900, 1,844,831 hundredweights of frozen meat were exported from New Zealand, the value being £2,123,831. A few years ago Mr. Clarkson was appointed a Justice of the Peace, but although several times requested to take an active part in public affairs, he has not yet been able to find time. While on a trip to England recently Mr. Clarkson purchased a number of valuable oil paintings, one of which, the work of the late Sidney Cooper, R.A., depicts a mob of sheep on a hillside. These works of ant now adorn his beautiful residence, “Swinnybeck,” at Lower Riccarton. Mr. Clarkson married in Chrischurch a daughter of the late Mr. J. Caygill, and he has a family of three sons and one daughter. The sons are associated with their father in his business.

Mr. John Edward Hanson has been settled in the Riccarton district since 1865. He was born at Leeds, Yorkshire. England, in 1840, and came to New Zealand by the ship “Brother's Pride,” which arrived at Lyttelton in December, 1863. On the voyage Mr. Hanson had been employed as a butcher, and soon after his arrival he leased ten acres of land at Riccarton from Mr. C. C. Bowen, and started a store and butchery, the foundation of his present business. Success attended his efforts, the premises were afterwards enlarged, a bakery was added, and Mr. Hanson developed a large was added, and Mr. Hanson developed a large export business in shipping bacon to Sydney. He also owned page 651 the Upper Riccarton flour mill. Mr. Hanson has been a member of the Riccarton Road Board for several years; and he was chairman, and for over twenty consecutive years a member of the Riccarton school committee. He was one of the first members of the choir of the Riccarton church in the days when they sang from the New Zealand Hymnal, and he also became synodsman, vestryman, and parishioners' and clergyman's churchwarden. Mr. Hanson was present at the consecration of Halswell church, with Bishop Harper and Mr C. C. Bowen. He was married in New Zealand to Miss Mary Hare, who came out in the ship “Canterbury.” Mrs Hanson died in 1902, leaving a family of three sons and two daughters. Two of the sons served with the New Zealand forces in South Africa; one as a sergeant in the Fifth Contingent, and the other as a farrier-sergeant in the Ninth Contingent.

Mr. James Jackson was born in Cheshire, England, in 1834. He arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Bangalore,” in 1851, and soon afterwards took up his present property, Four Ash Farm, Harewood Road, Riccarton. Later on he went to Wellington, and, on returning from that town, he left for the Collingwood goldfields, where he spent seven months. He had not long returned to Canterbury, when he heard that goldfields had started at Buller, and he, with twenty others, chartered a boat to take them to that place, with six months' provision. While there they met Mr. James Mackay, Government surveyor, who was buying land from the Maoris for the Nelson Government, and as the party had no luck at the digginges, Mr. Mackay advised them to return with him, as he said, that, after their provisions were finished, they would not be able to obtain more. The party, therefore, returned with Mr. Mackay, but five of the number took the sea coast, with their swags and provisions. It took the others fifteen days to reach Collingwood, while the five who went by the coast were twenty-five days on the road, and were almost exhausted when the search party, who had been sent to look for them, discovered them. Mr. Jackson also went to the Otago goldfields, but returned to Canterbury. In 1866 he opened the Seven Oaks butchery, at Papanui, which he carried on most profitably until 1895, when he retired to his farm. Mr. Jackson has been a member of both the Avon and Riccarton Road Boards, and he served twelve years on the Riccarton Licensing Committee. He was married in New Zealand, and has a surviving family of five sons and four daughters, and a great number of grandchildren.

A Pioneer's Carriage (Mr. J. Stanley, Riccarton), taken in Cathedral, Square Nearly Forty Years ago.

A Pioneer's Carriage (Mr. J. Stanley, Riccarton), taken in Cathedral, Square Nearly Forty Years ago.

Mr. Henry Nunweek, Harewood Road, Riccarton, was for thirty-two years a member of the Riccarton Road Board, and for twenty-six of these he never missed a meeting. He also served on the Riccarton Licensing Committee for ten years, and was a member of the Harewood Road school committee for eighteen years. Mr. Nunweek, who was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1830, arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Joseph Fletcher, in 1856. He worked at road-making for the Government, and, in 1861, went to the Otago goldfields, where he and his party took up a claim, which, for the first day's work, yielded the five partners about £40 per man. The leader, an old Australian digger, attempted to frighten Mr. Nunweek and his mate away, so that the rich claim might be shared by the others. Thereupon Mr. Nunweek offered to settle the matter by physical force, and then the others wisely decided to let “Ginger” alone, lest he should “hammer the lot of them.” Thereafter the claim was amicably worked until it “petered out.” On returning to Canterbury Mr. Nunweek invested his capital in his present fruit farm, twenty acres of which he bought from the Government; afterwards he increased the area to 105 acres. This farm has prospered wonderfully. With the assistance of his three sons and a number of labourers, Mr. Nunweek harvests some large crops, for which he finds a ready market, although there was a time when he had to wheel his peaches by the ton to the pig-troughs, because there was no demand for them. In 1902 Mr. Nunweek visited the Old Country; and, while there, he journeyed into Kent to see what improvements on the colony's fruit-growing methods were there in vogue. After much consideration he came to the conclusion that the New Zealander has not much to learn from the English fruit-grower, and he states that he can grow more fruit on one acre of his land, than they were growing on three acres in Kent. Mr. Nunweek was married at Macclesfield, Cheshrie, before leaving England the first time, and has a family of three sons and two daughters.

Mr. John Stanley was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, England, in 1827, and arrived in New Zealand in 1850, by the ship “Radolph.” For five years he obtained employment in Lyttelton, and then took up a small holding on the Harewood Road, where he established himself in a cob-whare, and carried on dairy farming and nursery gardening. He soon laid the foundation of a fine orchard of about thirty-three acres, and Mr. Stanley did much for the establishment of a church at Harewood Road, as a branch of the Papanui church, and he was connected with the management throughout. He also interested himself in the building of the Harewood Road public school, which was erected on his property, and he served on the committee. As long as his health permitted he was a member of the Riccarton Road Board. Mr. Stanley died in June, 1891, leaving a widow, and a family of five sons and five daughters. Mrs Stanley died in December, 1901.