William John Roydhouse letter in full

*Please note I have left the letter as originally written and transcribed. Research has found some small inaccuracies.

Mastwell St,
Greytown,
Wairapa
25/8/04

I, William John Roydhouse, was born in Ranstone Street, Clerkenwell, England, on August 25th, 1832. At the age of 14 years I was apprenticed to W.T. Henley, Telegraphic Engineer, whose works were in St Johns Street, Clerkenwell. Mr. Henley patented the magnet as applied to telegraphy in the magnetic needle instrument. The invention was exhibited in Hyde Park. These instruments were used by The Magnetic Company . This company later amalgamated with The British Telegraph Company which used Highton’s single needle instruments. The new company was called British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company, with offices in Cornhill City and after at Threadneedle Street, close to the Bank of England

The Company held six subterranean cables from Cornhill to Dover and Dee, and a submarine cable from Dover to Calais. These were all the wires the company had at that time. The first subterranean cable laid by W. T. Henley for the company was from Threadneedle Street to Liverpool. It contained twelve wires, and I was in sole charge of these wires and tested every length that was laid. The cable was composed of wires covered with gutta perch and hemp, and were soon injured and the insulation destroyed.
The cable was carried from Threadneedle Street to Saint George Square, Liverpool. 350 men were employed upon this work. The distance was 206 miles and the cable was laid at a depth of two feet .The contract of laying and installing this cable was completed in a year and nine months, and I was left in charge for twelve months to keep the cable in perfect working order.
The next work was to tear up the six wires that were previously laid by the company from Cornhill to Dover and three eighteen wire cables were laid in their places. These wires were connected to the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, Whitehall, Somerset House, Deptford Dockyards, Woolich Arsenal, Chatham and Dover and Deal dockyards, besides numbers of commercial offices in London and Gravesend. The work was completed in eighteen months, and I was in full charge of all offices from the Houses of Parliament to Deal for five years.
I then started contracting on my own account for the United Kingdom Telegraph Company, Old Bond Street, City. I carried a line of overhead wires from Leeds to Bradford; from Bradford to Halifax; from Halifax to Huddersfield; Huddersfield to Wakefield; Wakefield to Manchester and many other places during the next few years.
I carried an overhead wire for the Taff Vale Railway Company, South Wales; fitted up new instruments and batteries for the then largest railway ironworks in the world.
After this I entered the employ of the Silverton Telegraph Company, North Woolich.
I had orders to fit up electronically H.M.S Valiant from the bridge fore and aft, to the engine room, and to the man at the wheel I fitted up the Minotaur in the same dock, finishing her at Sheerness.
In a like manner the Achilles, Black Prince, and the Zealous were fitted in Plymouth Dockyard, and Agincourt, Cumberland, and Northumberland in Chatham.
After this I went back to my former employers, W. T. Henley. Soon after this the N. Z. Agent General was enquiring for an expert to go to New Zealand to look after the new Cook Strait cable, and to erect land lines. Mr. Henley recommended me, and with my wife and family I arrived in New Zealand in the good ship ” Asterope”, Captain Stewart, in 1868.I was first in the Wellington office and next went to the Wairarapa for experience in the country. I was then directed to build a line from Napier to Auckland. Te Kooti was in rebellion at that time, and my party was armed with rifles. I was six months on that work, and was many times warned to go away, but I held on till it was reported that Te Kooti was coming my way with 400 warriors. My party only numbered 24,and they all left. I then left and went to Napier and then to the Wairarapa………….Possibly I should have stayed on by myself and taken the risk, but without defence, in a strange country, and with my family to consider, I did not think it wise to do so. Through leaving the work, quite justifiably I think, I lost my appointment….
I met a man then who said he was a first class baker and felt sure that there was a good opening in Greytown, but he had no money. I managed to get over that difficulty, and rented a bake house and shop, and I learned baking and did quite well. The business was extended to Carterton and to Featherston, but too much credit and too many friends caused me to give up this venture.
I then took over a brewery and learned brewing-good beer too! But this was not successful owing to similar causes that closed the bakery. Then I built the store now occupied by Veitch and Allen in Greytown. I then went to the Mahaiopura diggings and since then have had varied experiences, spending a great deal of time prospecting for minerals in the Tararuas. I do not think that there is any gold there worth working for, but I do think the prospects for coal are good, and possibly tin also, of which I have found quite good indications, but I am getting too old to go into the hills alone.
W.J.R.

William John Roydhouse 1884-1908

In 1898, aged 66 years of age, the electoral roll for Greytown show William as a baker.

Somewhere between then and 1900 he retired, and was classified as a “settler”.

From 1902 to 1904 he identified as a “mining expert”. Consulting mineral maps of New Zealand, it is doubtful any deposits of significance were or are found in this area.

 

(Map of gold deposits,location of Tararua Ranges and terrain around the area)

 

 

WJR writes:  I then went to the Mahaiopura diggings and since then have had varied experiences, spending a great deal of time prospecting for minerals in the Tararuas. I do not think that there is any gold there worth working for, but I do think the prospects for coal are good, and possibly tin also, of which I have found quite good indications, but I am getting too old to go into the hills alone.

 

  

William John Roydhouse was of a very active and sanguine nature, and one of the most pleasant tempered and amiable of men, making friends everywhere.

Sometime after writing his letter, he suffered a paralytic seizure, losing the power of speech and the use of his right arm and leg. He was cared for in the Victorian ward at Wellington Hospital, where he was a great favourite with the staff and other patients, owing to his unbreakable spirit.

He died on July 6th, 1908 at the age of 77 years.

                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

William John Roydhouse 1869-1883

After losing his appointment in 1868/9, William tried his hand at several different trades.

He advertised as W.J.Roydhouse, Baker in 1874, but was to advertise that business  for sale in April 1875.

In February 1876 he advertises his services as a brewer. In the November of that year we see some of the troubles he was having with debtors through a court action for 10 pounds.

Also at that time he was having difficulties with the Council and its Councillors over chimneys and public toilets.

Perhaps the strain of it all was too much, for the next news report in November 1876 states :

On the 13th July 1882 William is again advertising his services as a baker, however  on the 18th November 1882, it seems William is in more trouble with the courts.

Seemingly all is well again as no further reports are reported on in local or national papers and he has commenced trading as a storekeeper by 1883.

 

WJR writes: I met a man then who said he was a first class baker and felt sure that there was a good opening in Greytown, but he had no money. I managed to get over that difficulty, and rented a bake-house and shop, and I learned baking and did quite well. The business was extended to Carterton and to Featherston, but too much credit and too many friends caused me to give up this venture.

I then took over a brewery and learned brewing-good beer too! But this was not successful owing to similar causes that closed the bakery. Then I built the store now occupied by Veitch and Allen in Greytown.

 

VEITCH AND ALLAN, Drapers, Clothiers, House Furnishers, and Boot and Shoe Importers Main Street. Greytown. The Greytown branch of this important firm was established about 1884, and is now one of the largest businesses of its kind in the South Wairarapa. The premises have a frontage of about forty feet to Main street, and expansive plate glass windows. The shop is divided into two main departments, the drapery and boot department being on one side, and the furniture and furnishing department on the other. The firm import direct from England, and carry a large stock, which is tastefully displayed. Four persons are employed in connection with the business.

 

William John Roydhouse 1868-1873

On the 27th June 1868 William, Mary and the five children boarded “Asterope” in London to New Zealand where William had been awarded a contract to set up the lines for telegraphs in the North Island .

WJR: Mr. Henley recommended me, and with my wife and family I arrived in New Zealand in the good ship ” Asterope”, Captain Stewart, in 1868.

The Wellington Independent October 8th 1868 recorded:

The good ship “Asterope “arrived in Wellington on Tuesday afternoon, after a quick passage of 97 days. She left Gravesend on the 27th June, passed the Lizard on July 1st, experienced light northerly winds to the Equator; crossed the line on July 31st, in 210 49′ W; passed the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope on September 1st; passed Tasmania on September 30th; sighted the Snares on the 3rd inst., and made Wellington Heads at 5 pm on the 6th. She brings 117 passengers, all in good health. There were three births on the passage.

The Asterope was a wooden sailing ship of 600 tons built in 1859 in Aberdeen. She was said to sail remarkably well under her Captain Adam Stuart. Her voyages always left London in the summer months, arriving at her various destinations by September or early October.She made 12 voyages to New Zealand, with Wellington her most frequent destination.

WJR: I was first in the Wellington office and next went to the Wairarapa for experience in the country. I was then directed to build a line from Napier to Auckland. Te Kooti was in rebellion at that time, and my party was armed with rifles. I was six months on that work, and was many times warned to go away, but I held on till it was reported that Te Kooti was coming my way with 400 warriors. My party only numbered 24, and they all left. I then left and went to Napier and then to the Wairarapa………….Possibly I should have stayed on by myself and taken the risk, but without defence, in a strange country, and with my family to consider, I did not think it wise to do so. Through leaving the work, quite justifiably I think, I lost my appointment….

Te Kooti was born about 1832 in the Gisborne region of the North Island of New Zealand.
He had a very troubled childhood, and was sent to a Mission School, but ended leaving and worked as a sailor. His work supplying guns against the white settlers in early Wars caused him to be exiled to the Chatham Islands in 1865, where he became a prophet of sorts to other Maori people. He led an escape with 168 other prisoners.

The New Zealand Wars had been a series of conflicts starting in 1844 through to 1872. Te Kooti gathered his followers and the group attacked a township near Gisborne on the 10th of November 1868, close to his birthplace. In a midnight raid 54 men, women and children were brutally slain.

The Wilson family-only their young son Edwin survived.

(N.B. Content covered over very graphic )

Makaraka Cemetery is located 2km from Gisborne and is now maintained as an historical site. The memorial records the names and ages of 33 European victims of the massacre, 28 of whom are buried nearby. More than 40 peaceful Maori people were also killed in this first attack.

Reginald Newton Biggs, 38; Emily 19; George  1
James Padbury 32
Jane Farrell  26
James Walsh 33;Emma  26;Nora  1
John McCullock 28;Jane  25; Emily  2
Mary McDonald  7
John Cadle  28
Richard Rathbone
Finlay Ferguson 26
William Wylie 14
Benjamin Mackay 14

James Wilson 32;Alice 30;Alice 6;Edwin 4;Jessie    1½
John Mann 29; Emma  23;Infant 1
Robert Newnham 60;Jane  45
John Moran 60
Maria Goldsmith 25;Albert  4
George Neville Dodd 40
Richard Peppard 25

(https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/matawhero-nz-wars-memorial)

Colonial and other Maori forces eventually caught and executed 130 followers, however Te Kooti continued on the war-path for a total of 4 years, gaining more followers as he moved around the North Island, involved in many skirmishes, and with many lives lost on both sides. Te Kooti had many narrow escapes, but he managed to stay ahead of his pursuers until mid August 1871 when the Colonial forces unexpectedly came upon his camp, which was taken after a brief skirmish. He escaped and went into sanctuary of the Maori King,Tawhiao. He continued to threaten war on settlers and sympathetic Maoris but eventually had to abandon his struggle. He died in 1892.

William John Roydhouse 1853-1868

On the 28th May,1853 the marriage was recorded between William John Roydhouse ,23 and Mary Johns Jordan, 23 at St. James, Clerkenwell .

The first child, William F was born in Clerkenwell in 1856  and it is likely that the birth of Sarah in Dover in 1858 coincided with his second wire laying contract through Dover, and in 1860 daughter Mary was born just south of the Thames in Bermondsey.

In 1861 the family are recorded by census as living in Llantwit Fadre while William was carrying an overhead wire for the Taff Vale Railway Company .

Thomas Richard was born in 1862,18 miles north from  there at Merthyr Tydfil ,while his father was fitting new instruments and batteries for the then largest railway ironworks in the world.

(Dowlais Ironworks)

By 1865, when  Matilda was born in West Ham the Silverton Telegraph Company employed WJ to electronically fit out 8 Naval vessels. Based in Woolwich, Sheerness, Plymouth and Chatham it would seem William was working away from his family at this time. His sister Ann lived in West Ham so a possible connection can be made as to where Mary and children were.

(HMS Minotaur)

Between 1864 and 1868 William was involved in a murder, an invention and met with the approval and interest of a Baroness!

As early railway travel became popular with the travelling public, luggage thefts were common and violent robberies occurred from time to time.

Many opponents of the railways painted a gloomy picture of the prospect which faced the lone passenger in the unlit carriages. Trains in those days were not corridor connected, and men were robbed and women assaulted often enough to provide pessimists and hostile sections of the press with plenty of material.

The first railway murder, however, did not occur until 1864. It was one of the most sensational crimes of the century.
On Saturday, 9 July 1864, the 9.50pm train from Fenchurch Street on the North London Railway arrived at Hackney at 10.11pm.

Two bank clerks entered an empty first class carriage and sat down, immediately noticing blood in the carriage. They called the guard who examined the compartment and found blood all over the cushions and the off-side door. He also found a black beaver hat, a stick, and a bag.

The guard locked the door, telegraphed Chalk Farm station, and on arrival there told the stationmaster. The carriage was detached and sent to Bow for examination and the hat and other articles were handed to the Metropolitan Police.
At 10.20pm, the driver of a train travelling in the opposite direction saw something between Hackney Wick and Bow Stations. He stopped the train and found an unconscious, severely injured Thomas Briggs, chief clerk of a bank. He was nearly seventy years old and died of his wounds the following night.
The bag and stick found in the compartment were identified as Briggs’. The hat was not identified and provided an initial clue in the form of the address of the maker at Crawford Street, Marylebone. Robbery was evidently the motive for the murder because Briggs’ gold watch and chain, and gold eye-glasses could not be found.The publicity given to this unique crime caused an outcry as railway passengers campaigned for better protection. The Government and the bank which employed Briggs offered substantial rewards for information.

The first important information came from a jeweller named John Death. He gave a description of a German man, who called at his shop in Cheapside on 11 July and exchanged a gold chain, later identified as Briggs’.A week later, a cabman told police that he found a small cardboard box bearing the name ‘Death’ in his home.
The cabman also stated that the black beaver hat found in the train was one purchased by him on behalf of Muller at the Marylebone address. He gave police a photograph of Muller and Death, the jeweller, identified him as the man who had exchanged the gold chain.

(Franz Muller)

Enquiries showed that Franz Muller had sailed for New York on the 15th July.Muller was linked with the property stolen from the murdered man and with the hat found in the compartment. A warrant for his arrest was granted by the chief magistrate at Bow Street and on 19 July, Inspector Tanner and Sergeant Clarke left Euston for Liverpool.

On 20 July they sailed for New York on a steamship and reached there on 5 August, three weeks before Muller. He was arrested and searched and in his possession were found the watch and a hat believed to be Briggs’.

Extradition proceedings began on 26 August and on 3 September the officers left for England with their prisoner. On 27 October 1864, Muller appeared at the Old Bailey. Evidence for the prosecution was given by several railway witnesses including the ticket collector who punched Briggs’ ticket at the beginning of his fateful journey, the guard of the 9.50pm train, and the driver who found the body.

Muller’s defence was an alibi – he tried to prove he was elsewhere at the time of the murder. One defence witness stated he had seen Briggs in the compartment with two other men, neither of whom he recognised as the prisoner. Another witness, a prostitute, said Muller was with her at the material time.The defence also suggested that the hat left in the compartment might have belonged to the cabman who could have been the murderer. Muller, who had a previous conviction for larceny, asserted his innocence to the end but was found guilty on the strongest possible evidence. He was publicly executed amid scenes of drunkenness and disorder which contributed to the ultimate abolition of these exhibitions.

Briggs’ murder was the first to take place on the British railway and the pursuit across the Atlantic caught the imagination of the public in much the same way as the Crippen case fifty years later.Briggs had been murdered in a closed compartment that had no corridor, so after the train started there was no way to leave until the next station. Public reaction resulted in the establishment of the communication cord on trains that allowed passengers to contact members of the railway crew, required by the Regulation of Railways Act 1868. It also led to the creation of railway carriages with side corridors, which allowed passengers to move from their compartments while the train was in motion. (www.btp.police.uk)

 

William  fitted some of the first railway trains with the first types of electrical alarms at Doncaster, Yorkshire. The murder had raised great concern by the traveling public in England, and the Railways were quick to find ways to reassure them.

This work suggested to William an idea for burglar alarms, and he invented a system where every door and window could be placed in a circuit. When this circuit was broken, an alarm was sounded in a selected place, and the door or window was indicated.

This invention brought him under the notice of the Baroness Burdette-Coutts, who was always interested in inventions and encouraged inventors. The Baroness took great interest in his work, and it was through her interest that he was able to dispose profitably of his invention.

Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts

This great Victorian philanthropist was born in London in 1814, the youngest of six children of Sir Francis Burdett ,politician, and Sophia, daughter of the banker Thomas Coutts. Angela inherited her grandfather Coutts’ fortune and then assumed the additional surname of Coutts by Royal licence and became known as “the richest heiress in England”. She applied her fortune to many charities connected with the Church of England, the relief of the poor, children and animals. In recognition of her work Queen Victoria in 1871 conferred a peerage on her under the title Baroness Burdett-Coutts of Highgate and Brookfield

In 1881 the Baroness (67) married William Lehman Ashmead-Bartlett,(27), who was an M.P. and her secretary. The age difference caused a stir at the time, but it was a very happy union. She died in 1906 of acute bronchitis.

(Baroness Burdett-Coutts)

 

The next work was to tear up the six wires that were previously laid by the company from Cornhill to Dover and three eighteen wire cables were laid in their places. These wires were connected to the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, Whitehall, Somerset House, Deptford Dockyards, Woolich Arsenal, Chatham and Dover and Deal dockyards, besides numbers of commercial offices in London and Gravesend. The work was completed in eighteen months, and I was in full charge of all offices from the Houses of Parliament to Deal for five years.

I then started contracting on my own account for the United Kingdom Telegraph Company, Old Bond Street, City. I carried a line of overhead wires from Leeds to Bradford; from Bradford to Halifax; from Halifax to Huddersfield; Huddersfield to Wakefield; Wakefield to Manchester and many other places during the next few years.

I carried an overhead wire for the Taff Vale Railway Company, South Wales; fitted up new instruments and batteries for the then largest railway ironworks in the world.

After this I entered the employ of the Silverton Telegraph Company, North Woolich.

I had orders to fit up electronically H.M.S Valiant from the bridge fore and aft, to the engine room, and to the man at the wheel I fitted up the Minotaur in the same dock, finishing her at Sheerness.

In a like manner the Achilles, Black Prince, and the Zealous were fitted in Plymouth Dockyard, and Agincourt, Cumberland, and Northumberland in Chatham.

After this I went back to my former employers, W. T. Henley. Soon after this the N. Z. Agent General was enquiring for an expert to go to New Zealand to look after the new Cook Strait cable, and to erect land lines.

William John Roydhouse 1832-1852

William John Roydhouse was my great-great-great grandfather.
Born in Islington, London he worked in many parts of England before immigrating to New Zealand. My research into his life story will be told over the next few weeks on this blog.
Relevant parts of his autobiographical letter are included in each post, the full letter to be published at the end of the series.
The time-frames are 1832-1852; 1853-1867; 1868-1869; 1870-1885; 1886-1907

At the time of William John’s birth on August 25th, 1832 the Roydhouse family lived in Brewer Street (now Friend Street). His father Thomas was 60 years of age, and Sarah his mother 38. Brother Thomas had been born in 1816, and sisters Louisa (1819) and Ann (1825)
Thomas and Sarah Roydhouse baptised the youngest of their four children, on 4th July, 1837 at St James, Clerkenwell. His brother Thomas baptised his son William and daughter Martha on the same day.


By 1841 the 8 year old William lived at number 54 Rawstorne Street, and was soon to be the only child at home with the marriage of Louisa 2 months after the census.

(1841 census)
William started working for William Henley in 1846, based in St.John Street, a short walk from his home.


The census of 1851 records William as an apprentice watchmaker, however he was continuously employed in the business of telegraph wires until 1868, most of that time with Mr.Henley.

(1851 census)

 

 

Mastwell St,
Greytown,
Wairapa
25/8/1904

I, William John Roydhouse, was born in Rawstorne Street, Clerkenwell, England, on August 25th, 1832. At the age of 14 years I was apprenticed to W.T. Henley, Telegraphic Engineer, whose works were in St Johns Street, Clerkenwell. Mr. Henley patented the magnet as applied to telegraphy in the magnetic needle instrument. The invention was exhibited in Hyde Park. These instruments were used by The Magnetic Company . This company later amalgamated with The British Telegraph Company which used Highton’s single needle instruments. The new company was called British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company, with offices in Cornhill City and after at Threadneedle Street, close to the Bank of England

The Company held six subterranean cables from Cornhill to Dover and Dee, and a submarine cable from Dover to Calais. These were all the wires the company had at that time. The first subterranean cable laid by W. T. Henley for the company was from Threadneedle Street to Liverpool. It contained twelve wires, and I was in sole charge of these wires and tested every length that was laid. The cable was composed of wires covered with gutta perch and hemp, and were soon injured and the insulation destroyed.
The cable was carried from Threadneedle Street to Saint George Square, Liverpool. 350 men were employed upon this work. The distance was 206 miles and the cable was laid at a depth of two feet. The contract of laying and installing this cable was completed in a year and nine months, and I was left in charge for twelve months to keep the cable in perfect working order.

Thomas Roydhouse senior

Thomas Roydhouse was baptised on the 28th June, 1772 at St. Giles Church by his parents Henry and Ann.

https://nzandbeyond.net/2018/01/19/78/

 

He was the 7th child of ten born between 1760 and 1777, however only 4 sons survived.

After his father ‘s bankruptcy, the family found themselves living in the Southwark area, which was known for the extreme poverty of its inhabitants.

His father died when he was eleven, and perhaps through a pauper school Thomas was apprenticed aged 15 to a Copperplate printer named William Young of Ozier Street on the 19th September 1787.

Marriage records can be found for three different occasions

1797 Thomas Roydhouse married Anna Place in St Marylebone.

1803 Thomas Roydhouse married Anna Stimpson in St Martins- in- the -Fields

No definite death records found yet for either Anna/Anne/Hannah/Annie, no children found for marriages, at the time of these marriages there does not seem to be any other Thomas Roydhouse in London.

However, a record exists for an Ann Rhodes, buried 29 Sept 1800 at Westminster.

1809 Thomas Roydhouse (36) married Sarah Clark(16) in St Leonards Shoreditch- parents of William John who migrated to New Zealand.

It is my belief that Sarah’s maternal uncle was William Morgan, a copperplate printer, who lived very close to Sarah and Thomas at 16 Goswell Road Clerkenwell age 72 in 1841. He has a daughter Elisabeth aged 43 living with him and is listed as a copperplate printer. A William Morgan was witness at Sarah and Thomas wedding- her uncle and his work mate?

Thomas and Sarah had 4 children:

1.Thomas Henry born in Anthony Street 1816-1849 married Sarah Anstiss 4 sons 2 daughters (3 living children)

https://nzandbeyond.net/2018/03/03/strong-woman-sarah-roydhouse-nee-anstiss/

2.Louisa Elizabeth 1819-1898 married Richard Clark no children

https://nzandbeyond.net/2018/08/31/louisa-elizabeth-roydhouse/

3.Ann Roydhouse born in Paradise Boulevard (near Brittania Street)1825-1880 married Samuel Bailey, 1 son, 5 daughters

https://nzandbeyond.net/2018/08/11/ann-roydhouse-1825/

4.William John born in Brewer Street (now Friend Street) 1832-1908 married Mary Jordan, 3 sons, 5 daughters

Sometime between 1838 when his granddaughter Elizabeth and grandson William died of smallpox at 54 Rawstorne Street, and 1841 at the census taking, Thomas and Sarah (senior) moved from Brewer Street North to their son and daughter-in-law’s address, (Thomas and Sarah, junior)and the younger moved to Sidney Grove.

Thomas, Sarah and William were still living at 54 Rawstorne Street in the 1851 census on the 30th March.

He died on the 16th September 1851 aged 79 years, of bronchitis.

 

Mark Maxton

My great-great grandmother Annie Maxton’s brother Mark’s life is so well documented I have been able to format it as a time-line.

1853 Mark was the third child of Samuel and Susannah, born on the 17th September in Wellington.

1866 Pupil at Mowbray School Wellington (later Thorndon School)

Apprenticeship as baker to Samuel

6 years Government Printing Office

1872 Volunteer rifles

1873 letter to Defence Minister

Masterton as printing staff of WDT paper

Wellington as staff of Evening Press

1880 fire at boarding house he was living at in Wellington

1882 Married Elizabeth Tinney at St Pauls

1882 daughter Minnie born

son Charles Walter born

1884 son William Samuel born

1885 advertising as Commission Agent

1887 Wellington fire near printing office

1889 daughter Edith May born

1890 advertising as a storekeeper Greytown

1892 bought flour mill-went bust

1893 fireworks accident

1894 Manchester Unity Oddfellows friendly society secretary

1904 Mark denies bee story

1907 appointed to the Wairarapa District Hospital Board

1908 appointed the inspector of water pipes for Council

1911 candidate for Wairarapa seat at election

1912 son William Samuel aged 27, died of neuritis- poor health and blind

1913 active in the Early settlers Association through to 1930

 

1913- one of a party that crossed the Tararua ranges through Mt Hector track- Greytown to Otaki. It speaks well for his pluck and endurance at 62 years of age that he arrived seeming no worse for wear and quite vigorous and cheerful.

1914 Mt Hector tourists track committee

1916 elected as Greytown school committee

1916 appointed to the Waiohine river board

1916 secretary Greytown Scouts

1917 appointed JP

1919 cable re Charles Walter gassed

1920 Appointed Ahikowka River Board as sec/treasurer

1921 December retiring from auctioneering

1922 Great Britain trip

1934 Elizabeth died April

1947 Mark died on the 14th July aged 93

Other Mentions-undated

Tenor singer in choral society

Antipodean Lodge “ Grand”

String band

Owned a circulating library

Founder Greytown Bowling Club

Secretary Widows and Orphans Society

Secretary Sister Wallace Lodge

South Wairarapa Hospital Trustee Board member

SOURCES:

  1. The Cyclopedia of New Zealand: industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations was an encyclopaedia published in New Zealand between 1897 and 1908 by the Cyclopedia Company Ltd. 
  2. Papers Past, various dates
  3. Ancestry.com records
  4. NZ BDM website

 

Jessie Maxton

Jessie Maxton was the first daughter born to Samuel and Susannah in Wellington on the 14thJuly, 1850.

Her early life was spent in Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Jessie married Joseph Michael O’Connor, a shoemaker, on the 28th October 1877 at her father-in-law’s home in Greytown.

They had three children:

Leonard 1880-1953 married Ethel Smith,2 sons

Hugh 1883-1948 married Charity Cumberland 2 sons, 5 daughters

Florence 1885-1972 married Rev, Francis Taylor, 1 son Mervyn

Hugh and Florence were born in Pirinoa, where Joseph was registered on the electoral rolls as a storekeeper in 1886.

In 1911, through to at least 1919, the family was in Waikanae as storekeepers.

This map shows the places Jessie lived.

Jessie was very talented in making crochet lace and two of her pieces are shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometime before 1930, Jessie and Joseph had moved back to Greytown, as Jessie’s death is recorded there on the 25th July that year. 

 

 Joseph O’Connor as an old man. He died in 1936.

Mary Maxton

 

Mary was the second daughter born to Samuel and Susannah Maxton on the 9th November,1851 in Wellington. Her step-siblings included Henrietta of the last two blog posts.

She was about 22 when her family moved to Greytown and on the 19th September 1878 at St .Luke’s she married William McKenzie(1857-1945). William McKenzie was a printer with the Roydhouse family newspaper.

Seven children were born, but the last daughter Mary died as a baby.

Helen Flora 4.9.1879-1964, never married

Edith  Maxton 29.9.1880-1940 married William Lovelock, 2 sons, 3 daughters

Bessie Maxton 1882-1965 married Arthur Bulcher

Percy Maxton 12.8.1886-1965 married Eva Robertson

Mildred  Maxton 1890-1966 married Bert Stevens

Mary  1891-1891

Mary was ill for some time, and died in February 1892 aged 41. It is highly likely that there were complications from the birth of Mary. She was buried in Carterton.

William remarried in 1893 to Louisa Parker, moved to Palmerston North, and produced a further 7 children:

Isobel, Cremona, William, Hugh, Gwendoline, Stuart and Morice.

Mary was my great-great-grand Aunt.