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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

The Hon. John Bathgate

The Hon. John Bathgate , who was called to the Legislative Council in 1885, commenced his parliamentary career in 1871, as page 79 member for Dunedin, which he continued to represent till his resignation in 1874. In 1881 he was elected to represent Roslyn, but was defeated in 1884 by Mr. A. H. Ross. He was Minister of Justice and Commissioner of Stamps in the Waterhouse-Fox and Vogel Governments, and was for a short time Commisioner of Customs in the first of these ministries. Mr. Bathgate was born at Fountain bridge near Edinburgh, in 1809. He was educated at the Edinburgh High School, and afterwards studied law at the Edinburgh University. In 1835 he was admitted a Writer, and in 1844 became Procurator Fiscal of the county of Peebles, a position which he held for many years. Mr. Bathgate sailed for New Zealand in 1863, to take the position of colomial manager of the Bank of Otago. In 1870 he was elected to the Provincial Council, and shortly after became Provinoial Solicitor, with a seat on the Executive. Not long after his retirement from Parliament, in 1874, he was appointed district judge in Dunedin, and held that post for several years. Mr. Bathgate always took a deep interest in journalism. In 1844 he founded a newspaper in Peebles known as the “Peebles-shire Monthly Advertiser and Tweedside Journal”; in 1868 he occupied the post of manager of the Otago Daily Times Company, and in 1875 he and Mr. Thomas Bracken established the “Saturday Advertiser.” Mr. Bathgate, who died in September, 1886, was twice married. By his first wife he had four children, and by his second, who survived him by a few years, he had seven daughters and one son.