The area that we now know as the suburb of Spreydon was first owned by Augustus Moore who named it after his family’s land back in Ireland in 1853. Some reports stated that he farmed his land but he is remembered today as a brewer, running a drinking establishment named the ‘Spreydon Arms’ which was situated on Lower Lincoln Road.
In 1865, he sold the ‘Spreydon Arms’ and all the 300 acres he owned in Lincoln Road by auction to William Sefton Moorhouse (one of our Canterbury Superintendents) and moved to Peterborough Street where he opened the ‘A. Moore and Company’ – a brewery. By the 1878, he was running a brewery in Timaru, following the same career path in 1882 in Geraldine and in 1888 in Ashburton. By 1893, he had settled down back in Christchurch, living out the rest of his life on the East Belt (Fitzgerald Ave), near the intersection with Ferry Road. He died in 1901.
William Sefton Moorhouse (pictured) was born in Yorkshire, England in 1825. He was trained in the law and with his two brothers, arrived in Lyttelton in 1851. Among the other passengers were the Bealey brothers. Samuel Bealey went on to be one of the four Superintendants of Canterbury along with Moorhouse, Fitzgerald and Rolleston. The brothers first settled on 50 acres at Moa Bone Point in Redcliffs.
William seemed to have itchy feet and moved a lot in his life. Leaving Christchurch soon after arriving, he settled for a while in Wellington and worked as a lawyer. Marriage didn’t settle him down. He dragged his new wife Jane to Australia in 1853 when he and his brothers decided to go and chase gold. The Moorhouse’s were back in Lyttelton by 1855 where William was elected into the Canterbury Provincial Council and later served as Superintendant…twice! William’s main achievement while in power was the building of the railway tunnel through the Port Hills to Lyttelton. He achieved this goal without much support from his peers, especially James Fitzgerald. The rift between these two men caused Fitzgerald to start up his own paper “The Press” to express his own views which were usually opposite to Moorhouse’s.
In 1865, around the same time he purchased ‘Spreydon’, William, spurred on by the Gold Rush happening on the west coast, was the first passenger to travel on the brand new route from Arthur’s Pass to Hokitika on the horse drawn coach company called Cobb and Co. Being the only passenger, he sat beside the driver and I’m sure, saw the South Island at its best from his position!
The road that was originally called The South Belt was renamed Moorhouse Ave in his honour. There is also the Moorhouse Range and Sefton Peak in the Southern Alps.
In 1875, William became the mayor of Wellington and died there less than five years later of Diabetic Sepsis. He was brought down to Christchurch to be buried in St Peter’s Anglican Church at Church Corner, Upper Riccarton.
*William Sefton Moorhouse images courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org *
*Image of William Sefton Moorhouse’s grave taken by Annette Bulovic*