Marmaduke Dixon (1828 – 1895)

Date and Place of Birth: 1828, Caistor. Lincolnshire, England

Date and Place of Death: 15th November 1895, Eyreton, Canterbury

Roles in Early Canterbury:

* introduced Canterbury farming to the three furrow plough.
* introduced Canterbury farming to the straw elevator.
* introduced Canterbury farming to the slip gate.
* first export of wheat to Britain from Canterbury
* Member of the Canterbury Provincial Council  1865 – 1876
* Chairman of the Mandeville, Rangiora, Eryeton, West Eyreton Road Boards.
* Co-Founder of the North Canterbury  Agriculture and Pastoral Association.

Dixon’s (and family) Influence Today:

Mount Dixon (Canterbury) Marmaduke Dixon Glacier (Canterbury).

Interesting Fact:

Marmaduke Dixon was only 14 years old when he first went to sea. Born at Caistor, Lincolnshire, England, his bad health caused his parents so much concern that they sought an occupation that would take their son to a more beneficial surrounding. As a result, Marmaduke saw the world!

He first saw New Zealand in 1845. When he later befriended a fellow sailor who had land in North Canterbury, he was intrigued by what he heard. In 1852, he arrived at Lyttelton and soon settled down on the north bank of the Waimakariri River with 3000 sheep. As his property bordered the Eyre River, Marmaduke felt pretty confident about there being a great underground water supply. Completely on his own, he dug an 80 foot well in dangerous shingle – using a support system he designed so the walls would not collapse on him! Believed to have been dug between waterbeds, there was no water and Marmaduke was forced to trudge a 6 mile round trip to the Waimakariri to collect his water.

In 1860, after returning from England with his new bride, the couple built a fine homestead further north on their property – nearer to the Eyre River – and his second attempt at a well was met with great success. In acknowledgement to this find, the land became known as ‘Eyrewell’.

Buried:  East Eryeton Cemetery, Canterbury

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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