William Rolleston : a New Zealand statesman
One day near the end of 1863, while Rolleston was working on his run at Mount Algidus, he was surprised to receive a visit from Mr Samuel Bealey, the Superintendent of Canterbury. He appealed to Rolleston to help him in his difficulties with the Provincial Council. He alleged that those members of the Council who had pledged themselves to support him as Superintendent had now deserted him and left him in the lurch. Rolleston seems to have been convinced that there had been an absence of fair play and justice and accordingly he forthwith joined the Executive as Provincial Secretary and Treasurer. This in effect meant that he became the head of the Government under Bealey as Superintendent. Bealey is described as having been "a scholar and a gentleman with a large income". He was, like Rolleston, a Cambridge graduate.1 Rolleston's new duties kept him fully occupied and thence-forward his visits to his run became more and more infrequent. He was now almost by accident launched on his long public career in provincial and general politics.
1 A large proportion of the early leaders of Canterbury were University men. J. E. Fitzgerald, Samuel Bealey, C. C. Bowen, and (Sir) Joshua Williams were Cambridge graduates; E. W. Stafford, Crosbie Ward, and Judge Gresson were of Trinity College, Dublin; Bishop Harper and J. R. Godley were Oxonians.