21 December 2008

Mr & Mrs Richard Wakelin of Greytown, New Zealand

Another couple of photographs identified through a little online research.

richard-maxton-original-sma mrs-richard-wakelin-small

  • Subject: Richard Wakelin                                   Subject: Mary Wakelin nee Record
  • Photographer: Davis & Co, Cuba St, Wgtn           Photographer: Davis & Co, Cuba St, Wgton
  • Date: Unknown, before 1881                              Date: Unknown
  • Found: Wairarapa, NZ                                        Found: Wairarapa, NZ

The only indication I had to start with was written on the back of Mary's photo - Mrs Richard Wakelin.

richard-wakelin-back-small mrs-richard-wakelin-back-sm

I found references to at least two Richard Wakelins in Wellington who could have been the right age plus a son Richard Alfred but still not sure which one Mrs Richard might have been. In the course of reading this in the NZ Cyclopedia:-

Mr. Richard Wakelin, the founder of the Wairarapa Standard, was born at Barnical Hall, Warwickshire, in 1816. Educated at Rugby, he left England for New York and Upper Canada on a temperance lecturing tour when only eighteen years of age. After twelve months he returned to Warwickshire, and commenced literary work. After another trip to America, he settled down to journalism in England, and while keeping a bookseller's shop in Coventry, edited the Temperance Gazette. In the Isle of Man he started a paper on Radical lines called The Cause of the People, but as the Newspaper Reform Bill required £500, he ceased publishing. Coming to Wellington with his wife and family in 1850 by the ship “Eden,” he became editor of the New Zealand Independent, and subsequently of the New Zealand Advertiser. Removing to Greytown, Mr. Wakelin edited the Wairarapa Mercury for three years. After starting the Wairarapa Journal, which lived only a short time, he founded and edited the New Zealand Mail for Mr. Thos. McKenzie, in Wellington. Mr. Wakelin again took the Mercury, changing its name to the Wairarapa Standard, which he conducted until his death in 1882, at the age of 66. His widow, who still survives at the advanced age of 84, resides with her son, Mr. R. A. Wakelin, in Greytown, Of the family—three sons and a daughter—one son lives at Greytown, and another, Mr. G. K. Wakelin, is the editor of the Newtown Advocate, Wellington. The eldest son, Mr. T. Wakelin, and the daughter, are dead. Mr. Wakelin published the History of Politics in 1877, and a pamphlet entitled Small Farms. He was of a retiring disposition, and took little part in public bodies.

and this article (have you noticed the clue yet? I didn't!):-

New Zealand Journalism and Journalists.
Fair Play, Volume I, Issue 23, 2 July 1894, Page 20

Many present-day newspaper men may not remember Richard Wakelin, for thirteen years have rolled by since the King of Terrors took him to the realm where contributors cease from troubling, and (let us hope) poor editors are at rest. Richard Wakelin is generally regarded as " The Father of New Zealand Journalism," and it is appropriate that he should take the first place in this series of sketches. He was born in Warwickshire, England, 22nd December, 1815 (actually 1816), and at the age of eighteen visited America, where he gained much information respecting American institutions. On his return he published the tale of his wanderings in one of the English papers, and soon after was appointed editor of the Temperance Gazette, established by George Kenrick, at Birmingham. Mr. Wakelin afterwards started a paper on his own account in the Isle of Man, which obtained a fairly large circulation in England; but in consequence of a Bill being passed imposing postage on papers published in that place, he embarked for New Zealand in the year 1849, and landed in Nelson the same year (actually 1850). After a short stay he proceeded to Wellington, where, after many disappointments, he was engaged to report the proceedings of the Nominee Council for the Independent, of which journal he was appointed editor. After five years of newspaper work he purchased a farm in the Wairarapa. His literary tastes, however, were not conducive to successful farming and in the year 1859 he was appointed editor of the New Zealand Advertiser, a new paper just started, which had a successful career for five years under his guidance. He then became editor of ,the Wairarapa Mercury, but his greatest literary success was when he took over that paper some years later (1872) and changed its name to the Wairarapa Standard, and wrote with much vigor till a short time before his death hi 1881. Mr. Wakelin was generally acknowledged to be " The Father of New Zealand Journalism," although the late Samuel Rivans, Judge Chapman, Dr. Featherston,  Sir William Fox, and other public men were contributors to the Press of the colony previous to his arrival, but none of them followed up newspaper work as a profession. Mr Wakelin was the first to give the name of "Empire  City" to Wellington in an article he wrote some time previous to the seat of Government being shifted from Auckland to Wellington. He was almost single-handed in his endeavours to get liberal land laws, and was never tired of pointing out the advantages of small-farm settlements. His knowledge of the political history of New Zealand was second to none, and he was induced to write a small book called "History and Politics," and a pamphlet on "Small Farms and Small Farm Settlements," which have proved very useful for reference. G. W. Wakelin, a son of "The Father of New Zealand Journalism," was born in Willis street, Wellington, in 1851, was educated at the Te Aro School and afterwards at Toomaths Grammar school on the Terrace. He was apprenticed to the printing trade in the office of the Wairarapa Mercury, the first paper printed in the Wairarapa district, by Messrs Greig Bros., and under the editorship of the late Richard Wakelin. After a varied experience in many offices in the North Island, he took over the management of the Wairarapa Standard for his father, and during the latter's illness became editor of that journal. On his father's death he removed to the Manawatu district, and worked on the Manawatu Standard as reporter and overseer, and for a time edited the Patea Evening News. He came to Wellington in 1885, and for some years worked in the Government printing office, at the same time contributing, articles and letters to various papers. His aspirations and natural talents being in a literary direction, in 1889 he applied for and obtained the editorship of the Pelorus Guardian, a paper just being started by a company, and which, under his literary guidance for the last four years and a-half, has been a power in the district. Mr. Wakelin during his life in the country watched the progress of settlement, and in consequence wrote with confidence on the land question, besides holding advanced ideas on all social, and political questions. [We should like to have reproduced Mr. Wakelins " counterfeit presentment," but, unfortunately, the photo to hand is not suitable for the purpose.]

It finally clicked! I've highlighted the clue in red! Yes it's the name of the book that Mrs Wakelin is holding in the photograph. I still didn't know who the photo of Richard was until I found this picture of them both in the NZ Cyclopedia and I realised I also had his photo.

book-closeup mr & mrs richard wakelin

Richard was the son of Joseph Wakelin and Mary nee Nole born 22 Dec 1816 bap 5 Jan 1817 at Bulkington. Richard Wakelin married Mary Record at Bulkington on 17 Jun 1839. They had three children baptised at Bulkington - Mary 16 Mar 1841, Elizabeth 9 Jan 1842 and Tom 2 Sep 1843. Two more children - Richard Alfred c1846 and Mary L c1848 - were born before the family left England to migrate to NZ in 1850.

Barque: "Eden"
Captain: Alexander Murdoch
Surgeon Superintendent: Mark Kebbell
Sailed from the Downs 8th June 1850 - arrived various
Wakelin Richard 33 Gardener arrived Nelson
Mary 38
Elizabeth 8 
Tom 6
Richard A 4
Mary L 2

Another son, the G K Wakelin mentioned in the above article, was born on 18 Oct 1851 in Wellington NZ.

Two of Richard's brothers, Thomas & George, also migrated to NZ with their families a few years later.

Mariner
Ship: 683 tons
Captain: Robert Harland
Surgeon Superintendent: John Latimer Parke
Departed London 11th February 1849 - arr Port Chalmers 5th Jun 1849, arr Wellington 12th Jul 1849.
Wakelin Thomas 36 Wheelwright & Joiner arrived Wellington
Jane 29
Mary Jane 4 months

Admiral Grenfell
Barque: 500 tons
Captain: William McClellan
Departed London, Gravesend 14th May 1853 - arrived Port Nicholson, 12th August 1853
Wakelin ? (George) 
Wife  
Child - Damarus Owen-Born at Sea

In the course of my research I found a few more Wakelin family photos on this website, one of them is the son of Richard & Mary, Richard Alfred apparently known as Alfred.

I also found this house at 123 Main St, Greytown, built in 1872 for Richard Wakelin to replace an older, smaller cottage built in the first years of Greytown, on one of the original town acres of the Small Farms Settlement. Another photo of 123 Main St.

And this one at 75 Main St, an imposing building built for the Bank of New Zealand in 1875 by R A Wakelin, and the town's principal bank until its closure in 1997.

Richard Wakelin died 2 Dec 1881 at Greytown and Mary followed 15 years later on 21 Dec 1896.

I hope this has been of interest & If there are any descendants out there who would love to have these photographs please get in touch with me.

One last note: Richard is the grandfather of the well known Australian artist Roland Shakespeare Wakelin 1887-1971.

1 comment:

PCI lover said...

Vickie has donated these photographs to the Wairarapa Archive where they will be cherished, as the Wakelins are an important settling family.
Thank you for you amazing work Dawn.

Gareth Winter, Wairarapa Archive