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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Moorhouse, William Sefton

Moorhouse, William Sefton, eldest son of William Moorhouse, of Knottingley, Yorkshire, was born in 1825 in that county, and educated for the law. He entered as a student at the Middle Temple in Nov. 1847, and was called to the Bar in Nov. 1850. In the following year he emigrated to the newly founded settlement of Canterbury, N.Z., and after trying his fortune in Victoria, where he worked on the goldfields and as a navvy in the construction of the Yan Yean water works, returned thither in 1853, acting for some time as resident magistrate. He entered the Canterbury Provincial Council, and in 1857 succeeded Mr. Fitzgerald as Superintendent of the Province. While in this office he conceived and carried out the idea of a tunnel connecting the Canterbury Plains with Port Lyttelton, turning the first sod of the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway, which passes through it, in July 1861. He was re-elected Superintendent in 1861, but resigned in the following year, and was again elected in 1866. In 1870 he was Registrar-General of Lands when the Torrens system of land transfer was introduced into New Zealand, but resigned in 1872. He for some time sat in the General Assembly for Christchurch, and represented Ashley from 1879 till his death, which occurred in Sept. 1881. He founded the Canterbury Museum whilst Superintendent of the Province.