Edward Gibbon Wakefield – Intending Colonists Of The Higher Class

“I find that my notion of a distinct  settlement in New Zealand, under the patronage of a powerful body in this country, desirous of spreading the Church of England, stands a good chance of being realized sooner than we expected.  The subject has been fully considered, and at length something like practical conclusions have been …

Godley On The Move

John Robert Godley, Canterbury’s Founder was always a man on the go…in more ways than one. The Godley Statue was unveiled on the 8th August 1867, six years after Godley passed away from illness in London.  From 1904, talk of moving the statue began to circulate as a tram shelter was needed.  It wasn’t until …

THE BRIDLE PATH

The Bridle Path symbolizes a lot of different things to many different people.  As a Canterbury historian, my heart jumps in my ribcage every time I see it and I am not even a descendant of a family that walked over it 150 years ago.  My British parents and older brothers would make the same …

Sir Charles Christopher Bowen (1830 – 1917)

As a teenager, Charles Bowen found himself rubbing shoulders with worldly wisdom and business knowledge in the shape of John Robert Godley, James Edward Fitzgerald and Lord Lyttelton.  He was a budding Irish law student absorbing all he could amongst the upper class ranks of the Canterbury Association in which he had taken a keen …

DIAMOND HARBOUR – Mark Pringle Stoddard (1819 – 1885)

Charlotte Godley (wife of Christchurch’s founder John Robert Godley) didn’t miss a thing.  During her short time in New Zealand, she observed and met some of the very early colourful characters of Canterbury.  None escaped the fury of her pen when she wrote letters home to her mother in England. Mr. Mark Pringle Stoddard was …

Thomas Cass (1817 – 1895)

Tommy Cass knew life’s ups and downs.  By the time he was surveying the 33,000 acres that would become the Deans’ future rural station of ‘Homebush’ in 1851, Tommy had earned the respect and admiration of all those around him.  You get the feeling that he walked along with a great confidence and self knowledge …