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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Mr. William Henry Eyes

Mr. William Henry Eyes , who was for four years Superintendent of the province of Marlborough, was the son of a South American merchant and ship owner, and was born near Liverpool, England, in the year 1819. He was educated near Knutsford, Cheshire, and afterwards entered the office of
Mr. W. H. Eyes.

Mr. W. H. Eyes.

Messrs Gladstone and Sargeantson, cotton brokers, Liverpool, with whom he remained until the year 1838. Mr. Eyes then went to Australia in the ship “Bishop Heber,” and arrived in page 309 Sydney in February, 1839. In the year 1841, in conjunction with Mr. McNaught, he travelled overland to Melbourne with cattle and horses; a journey which took nearly four months to accomplish. On returning to Sydney, Mr. Eyes entered into partnership with Mr. Lord, a stock and station agent, in a cattle station near Bateman's Bay, in New South Wales; but the investment was not a successful one. Shortly after this, a cousin of Mr. Eyes, the Rev. Mr. Reay—who, as one of Bishop Selwyn's clergymen, was in charge of the Nelson district—visited Sydney, and Mr. Eyes returned with him to New Zealand, in the schooner “Star of China,” which reached Nelson in July, 1845. Mr. Eyes was afterwards, for nearly seven years, manager of the station of the late Mr. George Duppa, and, on leaving Mr. Duppa, he became manager of the Richmond Brook estate for the late Major Richmond. He then, in conjunction with the late Mr. Charles Erapson, bought the Meadow Bank estate from Messrs Oldham Brothers, and carried on sheepfarming for several years, but not to much advantage. Mr. Eyes was one of the first members elected to the Marlborough Provincial Council, in 1860, and continued to be vigorously associated with local government until the provinces were abolished in 1876. He was Superintendent of the province from the 23rd of October, 1865, until the end of March, 1870, and was also Provincial Secretary during the Superintendency of his successor, Mr. A. P. Seymour. While he was Superintendent, he removed the Provincial Government departments from Picton to Blenheim, the political capital of the province. He sat for Wairau in the House of Representatives from 1861 to 1871, and, on resigning his seat in the House, he became Commissioner of Landa for Marlborough. Mr. Eyes held other important offices in the course of his public life, and was a Justice of the Peace, a Resident Magistrate, a Sheriff, an Electoral Officer for two districts, Returning Officer for two districts, a Receiver of Land Revenue, and a Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. He now (1905) lives in retirement in Ghuznee Street, Wellington.