William Guise Brittan (1809 – 1876)

Date and Place of Birth: 3rd December 1809 at Gloucester, South West England.

Date and Place of Death:  18th July 1876 at Cashel Street West, Christchurch.

An Canterbury Association Settler:  Arrived on the ‘Sir George Seymour’ – 17th December 1850

Roles in Early Canterbury:

* Member of the Canterbury Association * Acting Surgeon Superintendent on the ‘Sir George Seymour’. * First Commissioner of Crown Land * In Charge of the Land Office * Chairman of the Society of Canterbury Land Purchasers * Trustee of the Deans Estate * Resident Magistrate

Brittan’s Influence Today:

* Englefield, 220 Fitzgerald Ave – built by Brittan and now in red zone, badly damaged by the quakes. * William Guise Brittan Historical Gardens sits on the corner of Fitzgerald Ave and Avonside Drive. * The area of Lansdowne in Halswell was once Brittan’s farm. * Brittan Street (Linwood), William Brittan Ave (Halswell), Louisa Chandler Lane (Linwood -wife of Brittan) and Brittan Terrace (Lyttelton). Interesting Fact:

  1. As Commissioner of Crown Lands, Brittan visited an area of Christchurch known as ‘The Punt’ in 1860. Ahead of him as he walked was a saw-pit and inside two young men, William Free and Stephen Brooker, were working away.  As a joke, Free quickly wrote on a piece of wood the words ‘New Brighton’ and place it where Brittan would see it.  Brittan did see it as he passed and learned that Brooker had been born in Brighton, England.  The name for this area has since been known as New Brighton.

Buried:  St Paul’s Anglican Church, Papanui, Christchurch

*Photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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