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Thomas Dick

THOMAS DICK M.L.C. (1823-1900)

Thomas DICKThomas DICK was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, son of Thomas DICK 1783-1862 of Bathgate, and Mary Rutherford SHERRIFF 1789 -. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to London, however, as soon as he was old enough he was returned to Edinburgh for his education, where he remained until the age of 15 years.

In 1838 he entered the firm of John Roberts, merchant, of London where he remained until 1850. He joined the firm of James Morrison & Co., of Fenchurch St., London. He was sent to St Helena Island where he remained for a period of seven years, as agent for the company. Dick had previously married Miss Barber in London [1846], and was widowed [1849]. They had one child, a daughter, Eliza Mary DICK 1847-1892.

While in St Helena, he married Miss Elizabeth Clarissa Darling in 1850. Later they came to New Zealand, primarily as the agent for Morrison’s, on the "Bosworth", departing Gravesend, 15 August 1857 and arriving at Otago on 26 November 1857. He brought as well as his family, his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Darling, his sisters-in-law, Agnes Ann Fleming and Charlotte Robinson. Before long he established himself as an auctioneer in his own business. When the goldfields opened, the business expanded into a general mercantile agency.

The "Bosworth", a ship of over 600 tons, brought out 107 passengers during the run of 102 days. During the voyage to New Zealand, under the command of Captain Turnbull, an attempt was made to set the ship on fire; two sailors were put in irons and sent to gaol on arrival in Dunedin.

The Otago Colonist made the following report of the ship’s arrival:

"Nov. 26. -- "Bosworth, 611 tons, Turnbull from London. Passengers - Cabin: Mr & Mrs Walker, Henry Walker & 1 child, Mr & Mrs Boswell, Mr & Mrs Paritt, Mr & Mrs Dick, Thomas Dick & 4 children, Elizabeth Darling, Agnes Darling, Charlot Darling, William Darling, Mr & Mrs Tarlton, Robert Tarlton, & 6 children Intermediate & Steerage. ...

Although Dick, had only been in the country a year, he was elected unopposed to a seat in the Provincial Council for Dunedin City, on 12 February 1859 and joined the executive of W. H. Reynolds in the following November. In 1862 he carried a want of confidence motion against the Cutten-Walker administration and took office as Provincial Secretary. On August 4, 1865, he succeeded Richardson as Provincial Superintendent and held office until 10 January 1867, when Macandrew defeated him. Dick also served in the House of Representatives on four occasions, representing Dunedin City (1860-63), Port Chalmers (1866-67), Dunedin City (1879-81) and Dunedin West (1881-84). During this time he held the Colonial Secretary's, Education, and Justice portfolios under Hall (1882-83), adding to these the Post and Telegraph portfolio under Whitaker (1882-83). He was again Colonial Secretary and Minister of Education under Atkinson (1883-84). He stood unsuccessfully in 1884 and 1887, after which he declined a call to the Legislative Council and retired from political life. (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand).

After the death of his second wife, Dick married again, in Invercargill, on 10 May 1871, this time a widow of that town, Elizabeth Reid Stuart Walker.

Throughout his life Dick was a very religious man. While in London he worked with children in Stepney a slum of the city, at the Ragged Schools. He was also very involved with Sunday Schools and in Dunedin, joined the First Church (Presbyterian) and assisted in various positions. However, being a Baptist he held no office, although invited to do so. He also helped the Knox Church of Dunedin as one of the original trustees, but in 1863 when the Baptist Church was formed, he became one of its 15 foundation members. Dick was one of the early presidents of the Baptist Union, a position in which he was held in high honour for several years.

Thomas Dick died at his home, "Viewmount", in Queen St Dunedin on 5 February 1900. The house was named because of its view of Mt Cargil.

For the New Zealand setting, refer to various published notes on Thomas DICK & The Hon. Thomas DICK, M.L.C.

Birth: August 1823. Ref: Family Bible.
1. Miss Barber in London 1846
2. Miss Elizabeth Clarissa Darling, of St Helena Isd. 1850
3. Mrs Elizabeth Walker, Widow of Invercargill. 1870
Refs: Family Bible and other data.
1st Marriage:
Daughter, Eliza Mary 1847
2nd Marriage:
Son, Thomas Hudson (1852-1921)
Daughter, Elizabeth (Lizzie) (1885-1924)
Son, James Bertram (1859-)
Death: Dunedin, 5 February 1900. at his home "Viewmount" Queen Street, Dunedin. Cause of death: Cystitis for 8 years.
Register of Deaths 1900/94.
Funeral Notice: - Leave the residence of Thomas Dick, Queen St Dunedin." Inserted in; Otago Daily Times & Star newspapers.

(An interesting indication of costs in 1900:

Undertaker's Notes:
741. Burial 7 Feb 1900.
"2 ft. extra depth. 7/-.
Verger 7/6."
Funeral Costs, £21/12/6.
Thomas DICK.
Acct., to Mr. T.H.Dick, [no address].)

Burial: Southern Cemetery, (General), Dunedin. Lot 6 Block 22.
Refs: Cemetery Records and personal sighting.
NZSG Cemetery Records, S08-22, 391/95
Details on records of the Dunedin City Council cemetery record show:
Surname: DICK
Christian Names: Thomas
Occupation: Gentleman
Residence: Queen St Dunedin
Date of Death: 05-02-1990
Age: 76 years
Native of: Scotland (Edinburgh)
Years in Province: 42 years
Date of Burial: 07-02-1900
Lot: 6 Block: 22
Tomb: Other Names on the tomb are:
Eliza Clarissa d.28-04-1869 a.38yrs b.1831
Eliza Reid d.08-05-1906 a.71yrs b.1835
Charlotte Robinson d.26-10-1873 a.34yrs b.1839
Agnes Ann Fleming d.16-06-1899 a.66yrs b.1833
Elizabeth Darling d.09-04-1893 a.71yrs b.1812
Thomas Bell Low d.12-09-1886 a.31yrs b.1855
Thomas H. Dick d.19-06-1921 a.69yrs b.1852
Elizabeth Low d.09-08-1924 a.69yrs b.1855

C.L.Purdie had visited the tomb in 1992 and was found to be in good state of repair, and not in need of attention for many years.

Our thanks to Dell Purdie of Rotorua NZ for this information.



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