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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

BELL, Sir Francis Dillon 1821–1898

BELL, Sir Francis Dillon 1821–1898

Son of Edward Bell, a merchant in France: educated in France by page 40 tutors, at Bordeaux where his father lived, and at Auteuil. At seventeen, through his kinsman E. G. Wakefield's influence, joined the New Zealand Co. and in 1843 sailed for New Zealand. In October 1843 went from Wellington to Auckland to try to purchase land, had to await Governor FitzRoy's arrival, then sailed with him back to Wellington on the North Star. Was magistrate in Nelson 1846, resident agent in New Plymouth 1847, the resident agent in Nelson: negotiated land deals in Wairarapa and Nelson. Late in 1848 he entered politics, and held office in various governments. In 1858 chose a sheep run in Ida Valley, Otago, on behalf of himself, E. W. Stafford, C. W. Richmond and F. G. Steward: this was known as the ministerial run. While the General Assembly was in Auckland, Bell lived there in Parnell in the still existing Hulme Court. By 1863 was out of politics and living in Dunedin. In 1865 he, J. C. Richmond and William Fox, all sometime ministers, were exhibiting in the New Zealand Exhibition, Dunedin. He later went back into politics, twice representing the Government in London. His watercolours were highly competent and some have been privately published one 1967 by J. H. Bethune, one 1969 by W. F. Airey and Rigby Allen. Represented in Turnbull and Hocken.