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

Present And Past Members Of Parliament

Present And Past Members Of Parliament.

After the abolition of the provinces the Liberal propaganda conducted by Sir George Grey extended its influence to Marlborough, and one sign of the spreading reaction against the old Conservative party was the defeat of Mr. Seymour by Mr. Dodson, an advanced liberal, who was elected for the Wairau in 1881. At the same election Mr. Eyes stood for Picton, but was beaten by that able lawyer, Mr. E. T. Conolly, afterwards Minister of Justice in two Governments, and later still a Judge of the Supreme Court. In 1884, Mr. Dodson defeated Mr. Joseph Ward, another representative of the old landed aristocracy in Marlborough, who then withdrew from public life. In 1887, Mr. Dodson was once more successful at the polls, and Mr. Conolly, who now gave up politics, was succeeded by Mr. A. P. Seymour, as member for Picton. By 1890, the year of the “great strike,” the Liberal and Labour party had gained so strong a hold upon the district that when Mr. Dodson retired from the Wairau they were able to elect, in opposition to Mr. Seymour, a young and almost unknown politician, Mr. T. L. Buick. In the same year Mr. Charles Houghton Mills, who has been for some years a member of Mr. Seddon's Cabinet, first appeared in Parliament as member for Waimea Sounds district.

It is impossible in this brief sketch of Marlborough's political history to do more than mention the name of many of Marlborough's public men who won honourable reputations for themselves, both in local politics and in the wider field of Parliamentary life. In the Upper House Marlborough is still represented by Captain Baillie, the oldest member of the Legislative Council, and once Superintendent of Marlborough, and by Captain Kenny who has been a prominent figure in Parliamentary history for fully twenty years. These two survivers of the old Conservative regime may help to remind us of the intensity of the struggle that was waged for many years in Marlborough between the reactionary and the progressive political parties. In no other district in the colony were the issues so clearly defined between Conservatism and Liberalism, and in none was the struggle more obstinate and doubtful. But the political history of Marlborough may well be a source of pride to the people of the district, for in the words of the historian of “Old Marlborough,” “as she was served at home by able men she has also sent to the counsels of the colony others who have obtained because they have deserved the respect and confidence of their fellow-members.”

Present Members Of The Legislative Council.

The Hon. William Douglas Hall Baillie was appointed to the Legislative Council in the year 1861. He is further referred to as one of the Superintendents of Marlborough.

The Hon. Courtenay William Alymer Thomas Kenny was called to the Legislative Council on the 15th of May, 1885. He was born in Burma, India, in 1839, when his father was commandant of the Madras Presidency, and was educated at Harrow, England. It was decided that he should follow a military life, and his father, two uncles, three brothers, and other kinsmen, have all held, commissions in the army. On the outbreak of the Crimean war, he left as a member of the 88th Connaught Rangers for the scene of action; but in one of the fierce conflicts that opened that famous struggle, he was severely wounded; indeed, his condition was so precarious that he was sent back to England as an invalid. He was, however, in recognition of his services, promoted to the rank of captain. During convalescence, and while still on sick leave, he came out to New Zealand; and, his regiment having in the meantime been ordered to India, he resigned his military appointment, page 310 and remained in the colony. Shortly after landing in Wellington, in 1858, he went over to Picton, and since then he has been continuously engaged in sheepfarming in Queen Charlotte Sound. His present run is known as “The Rocks,” and the homestead is picturesquely situated on the shore of an inlet a few miles
Wrigglesworth and Binus, photo.The Hon. Capt. W. A. T. Kenny.

Wrigglesworth and Binus, photo.
The Hon. Capt. W. A. T. Kenny.

from Picton. Captain Kenny was for some time Commissioner of Crown Lands in Marlborough; he is one of the oldest Justices of the Peace in New Zealand, and is a member of the Polynesian Society. At the time that hostile Maoris threatened to attack Picton. Captain Kenny organised and trained a defence corps composed of local men. This corps was registered as the Marlborough Rangers, and, later on. was on active service under the command of Captain T. N. Kenny, brother of its founder, now a Lieut.-Colonel in the Imperial Army. Captain Kenny was married just before he sailed from England for New Zealand, and was left a widower in 1899. His eldest son is Captain E. G. M. C. Kenny, of Picton.

Former Members Of The Legislative Council.

Mr. Arthur Penrose Seymour was a member of the Legislative Council from the year 1865 to the year 1872. He is further referred to as a Superintendent of Marlborough.

Mr. J. D. Tetley was appointed to the Legislative Council in the year 1867, and resigned two years later. He then went to the Argentine, where he died many years ago. During his residence in New Zealand, he was a runholder on a large scale, and at one time held the Kekerangu and Starborough stations.

Present Member Of The House Of Representatives.

The Hon. Charles Houghton Mills, Commissioner of Trade and Customs, and Member of the House of Representatives for Wairau, was born in Nelson in the year 1844. His father, the late Mr. Richard Mills, was one of the early pioneers of the colony, and came to Nelson in 1841 in the ship “Lord Auckland.” In the early fifties the family removed to Wellington, when Mr. Mills, senior, was Governor of the Gaol for many years. Mr. Mills was educated at the public schools, and was for four years a pupil teacher in the Te Aro school, Wellington. He was then for some years at sea, and was afterwards engaged in farming and mining, and finally settled at Havelock. He was a member of the Provincial Council, the Pelorus Road Board, the Havelock Town Board, the Picton Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the Marlborough County Council, and was chairman of the Havelock school committee for many years. For twelve years Mr. Mills was also a member of the Marlborough Land and Education Boards. In the year 1890, he successfully contested the Waimea-Picton seat, and in 1893, when the boundaries were altered, he was returned for Waimea-Sounds. In 1896, the Waimea-Sounds electorate ceased to exist, and Mr. Mills was elected for Wairau. In 1899, he was again elected for Wairau by a majority of 1,376 votes, and was re-elected at the general election of 1902 by a large majority. During the time Mr. Mills has been in Parliament, he has been a member of the Goldfields and Waste Lands Committees, and was for three years chairman of the Public Petitions Committee. In 1893 he was appointed Government Whip, a position which he held until the 29th of October, 1900, establishing a world's record in point of time. Mr. Mills was called to the Seddon Ministry, with the portfolio of Commissioner of Trade and Customs, on the 29th of October, 1904. He is also Minister in charge of the Advances to Settlers Office, the Valuation Department, and the Cook and other Islands Administration. Mr. Mills married a daughter of Mr. John Morrison, in the year 1871.

Former Members Of The House Of Representatives.

Mr. Frederick Aloysius Weld represented Wairau in the first Parliament of New Zealand, in the proceedings of which he took a prominent part, and was regarded as a man of considerable promise. He was associated with Mr. J. E. Fitzgerald in the Executive Council that held office from the 14th of June till the 2nd of August, 1854, and was Minister for Native Affairs in Mr. Stafford's Government. In the year 1860, he was defeated by Mr. W. H. Eyes, by the narrow majority of four votes. Shortly afterwards he was elected member for Cheviot, and held office as Premier from the 24th of November, 1864, to the 16th of October, 1865. Apart from politics, he was well known as a pastoralist, and a member of the firm of Clifford and Weld, owners of Flaxbourne, one of the most notable of the early historic sheep runs of New Zealand. In his later years, he was associated with the colonial branch of the Imperial service, and was successively, Governor of West Australia, Tasmania, and the Straits Settlements. His services in this connection extended from 1869 till 1887, when he retired on a pension; and he had, also, been created a knight of the order of St. Michael and St. George. Sir Frederick Weld died in England, on the 20th of July, 1891. His portrait, and a brief sketch of his life, appear on page 60 of the Wellington volume of this work.

Mr. William Wells was member for Wairau in the House of Representatives from the year 1856 to the year 1858, and subsequently sat as member for the suburbs of Nelson. He is further referred to on Page 33 of this volume.

Mr. William Henry Eyes was elected to the House of Representatives, as member for Wairau, in the year 1860, when he defeated Mr. F. A. Weld, the sitting member, by four votes. He supported the Fox party in the House, and on his vote the Stafford Ministry was overthrown. Mr. Eyes is further referred to as one of the Superintendents of Marlborough.

Dr. Monro was elected unopposed to represent Picton in the House of Representatives, in the year 1860, and in the next session he became Speaker of the House. Subsequently he was returned as member for Cheviot, and was again elected Speaker, a position which he filled until the 13th of September, 1870. In 1866, he was knighted in recognition of his services as Speaker. After twenty-five years of political life, he retired, and lived in page 311 Nelson up to the time of his death. Sir David Monro is further referred to on pages 31 and 32 of this volume, and at page 112 of the Wellington volume of this Cyclopedia. He died on the 15th of February, 1877.

Mr. Arthur Beauchamp was elected in the year 1866 to represent Picton in the House of Representatives. He was also a member for the same district in the Marlborough Provincial Council, and during the debate, at Picton, to remove the seat of Government to Blenheim, Mr. Beauchamp led a strong stonewall by speaking for ten hours and forty minutes. Prior to the inception of the Borough Council at Picton, he was chairman of the Town Board, and, in later years he acted as Government Valuer at Wanganui. Mr. Beauchamp was born in Highgate, London,
Mr. A. Beauchamp, his son Harold, and grandson Leslie.

Mr. A. Beauchamp, his son Harold, and grandson Leslie.

England, on the 4th of October, 1828, and was educated at the Highgate Grammar School. After some commercial experience, he left England, in the year 1848, by the barque “Lochnagar,” for Australia, where he was engaged in business, for several years, in various parts of Victoria and New South Wales. Mr. Beauchamp then visited New Zealand to take possession of some land left to him by a relative, but owing to unlooked-for complications between the Government and the New Zealand Land Company, of which his relative had been a promoter and shareholder, he returned to Sydney, at the time of the gold rush. He unsuccessfully followed the goldfields for some time, and finally started an auctioneering business in Melbourne, but, as the climate proved fatal to his young children, he sold out and came to New Zealand in the brig “Lalla Rookh.” Mr. Beauchamp settled in Picton, where he established himself in business, in 1861. In 1867, he opened a branch business on the Buller, as an auctioneer and timber merchant. He subsequently sold his interest at the Buller, and started an auctioneering business in Wanganui and at Wellington, and sawmilling at Manaroa, in the Pelorus Sound; but the sawmill was destroyed by fire. In 1880, Mr. Buauchamp removed to Christenchurch, where he was a well-known auctioneer for ten years. After many vicissitudes, he settled at Kenepuru, in the Pelorus Sound, where he resides with one of his sons, Mr. Stanley Beauchamp.

Mr. William Adams was elected in the year 1867, to represent Picton in the House of Representatives. He is further referred to as the first Superintendent of Marlborough.

Captain Courtenay William Alymer Thomas Kenny sat for Picton in the House of Representatives from 1868 to 1881. He is further referred to as a member of the Legislative Council, to which he was called on the 15th of May, 1885.

Mr. Arthur Penrose Seymour was a member of the House of Representatives from the year 1872 to the year 1875, and again from 1876 to 1881. He is further referred to as one of the Superintendents of Marlborough.

Mr. Joseph Ward , sometime of Blythfield, was a Member of Parliament for the Wairau in 1872, and one of the pioneer settlers of Nelson and Marlborough. He was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1817, and came out to Nelson, New Zealand, in 1842. Very soon afterwards he removed to Marlborough, where he was surveying for a few years. He and his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Cyrus Goulter, were employed by the New Zealand Company and the Provincial Government of Nelson, of which Marlborough was then a part, to lay off the Wairau Plain in agricultural blocks. He also surveyed many of the large pastoral runs in the province, and was selected by the Marlborough Provincial Government of the day to cut up and lay off the town and district of Kaikoura. Mr. Ward afterwards took up on the Clarence river a large block of country, known as the Warden run, to which he subsequently added another adjoining block, known as the Tytler run. This large strotch of country at one time carried from 50,000 to 60,000 sheep, but the cost of eradicating scab and the concurrent destruction of the pasturage by rabbits, compelled Mr. Ward to relinquish pastoral pursuits on a large scale, and for the last seven or eight years of his life he devoted his attention to the Blythfield and Brookby estates, which were disposed of after his death. Mr. Ward took a prominent part in the provincial councils of Nelson and Marlborough, and was on the Commission of the Peace. As a politician he was a strong Conservative, and from the earliest days of provincialism to within a few months of his death he took a leading part in all matters affecting the political welfare of the district. He more than once acted as Deputy-Superintendent of Marlborough, and when Mr. A. P. Seymour visited the Old Country, Mr. Ward, whose opponent was Mr. Sefton Moorhouse, was elected to represent Wairau in Parliament. Mr. Ward was a fine, ready and at times pungent speaker. While he was in Parliament the abolition of the provinces took place, and he was one of the strongest opponents of that measure. Mr. Ward stood for
The late Mr. J. Ward.

The late Mr. J. Ward.

re-election, but was defeated by the late Mr. Henry Dodson. He was afterwards frequently solicited to stand, but he never again consented to be nominated, and was accustomed to plead as an excuse that the intrigue of colonial politics as practised in Wellington was not to his liking. In church matters Mr. Ward was an ardent supporter of the Roman Catholic Church. No settler in Marlborough had faced more of the trials and hardships incidental to the early settlement of the country, than Mr. Ward. He was a true pioneer, and no privation ever hindered him from doing his duty to himself or his adopted country. The pass between the Wairau and Nelson, known as Ward's Pass, was discovered by him. Though not exactly an eye witness of the Wairau massacre, Mr. Ward was at the time surveying in the neighbourhood, and arrived on the scene a day or two later to behold the ghastly havoc that had been wrought by the Maoris. Mr. Ward died on the 12th of November, 1892, in consequence of a severe attack of influenza, and left a widow, seven sons and three daughters to mourn a devoted husband and loving father. In less than five months, his widow—a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Redwood, and sister of Archbishop Redwood—followed him to the grave, grief for the loss of her husband having broken up her constitution. Mr. and Mrs Ward had come to Nelson together in the ship “George Fyffe,” in 1842.
page 312

Mr. Edward Tennyson Conolly was elected member of the House of Representatives for Picton, in the year 1881, when he defeated Mr. W. H. Eyes by forty-one votes. He was a lawyer by profession, and he had formerly been a member of the Provincial Council. On the 11th of October, 1882, he became Minister of Justice in the Whitaker Ministry, and he also held the same office in conjunction with that of Attorney-General in the Atkinson Ministry, from the 25th of September, 1883, to the 16th of August, 1884, Mr. Conolly represented Picton until 1887, when he retired from political life. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court on the 15th of August, 1889, and resigned on the 9th of September, 1903. Mr. Conolly is further referred to on page 81 of the Wellington, and page 272 of the Auckland, volume of this Cyclopedia.

Mr. Henry Dodson sat for Wairau in the House of Representatives from the year 1882 to the year 1890. He played a conspicuous part in the public life of Marlborough during the earlier years of its history. Mr. Dod-son was a member for some years of the Provincial Council, was four times Mayor of Blenheim, and was a painstaking and useful member of many minor corporations. He was born in England, and was the son of an officer in the Imperial Army. At an early age, Mr. Dodson went to Canada, whence he came to New Zealand. He arrived in Blenheim—then known as the “Beaver”—some time in the fifties, and subsequently founded the brewing establishment that still bears his name. At his death, he left three sons and three daughters.

Mr. Thomas Lindsay Buick , J.P., represented the Wairau electorate in the House of Representatives from the year 1890 to the year 1896, At his first election, he opposed Messrs S. J. Macalister and A. P. Seymour, and was returned by a majority of seventy-seven votes. At that time, he was the youngest candidate who had ever been elected to the House. Mr. Buick is the author of “Old Marlborough.” He is now (1905) senior partner in the firm of Buick and Russell, proprietors of the “Advocate” newspaper, Dannevirke.