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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

WEBSTER, John 1818–1912

WEBSTER, John 1818–1912

Born Montrose, Scotland, son of merchant: educated Montrose Academy, later took chemistry and drawing lessons in Glasgow. Sailed for Sydney 1838, worked on an outback station, made three great overland cattle trips. 1841 arrived in New Zealand on Jupiter and joined two of his brothers in their sawmill at the Hokianga, another brother arriving on the Jane Gifford 1842. They were friends of missionary John Hobbs and of F. E. Maning who wrote Old New Zealand. When gold was discovered in California John Webster sailed in Brown and Campbell's barque Noble to San Francisco. From thence to the Pacific again with Benjamin Boyd in his armed yacht, trading and making sketches. After the murder of Boyd and wreck of yacht, Webster came back to Sydney and to the Turon and later Bendigo goldfields. Visited London; married daughter of G. F. Russell, Kohukohu, Hokianga, after his return in 1855. He and one brother were in timber trade 1855–74: when they sold out Webster retired to Opononi property, a model farm and homestead. Like Maning, was keenly interested in the Maoris: member of NZ Institute, Polynesian Society, Australasian Assoc for Advancement of Science. Elected Member for district of Runana 1863. Writings included the story of the Wanderer pub. 1858 and Reminiscences of an Old Settler. A collection of his watercolours in AIML.