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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Richmond, Hon. Christopher William

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Richmond, Hon. Christopher William, Puisne Judge, New Zealand, eldest son of the late Christopher R. Richmond, of the Middle Temple, was born in London in 1821, and entered as a student at the Middle Temple in Jan. 1844, being called to the bar in Jan. 1847. After practising in England, Judge Richmond emigrated to New Zealand in 1853, and was appointed Provincial Solicitor for Taranaki, becoming a member of the House of Representatives two years later. In June 1856 he joined the first Stafford Ministry; and between that date and July 1861, when the Government broke up, was constantly being shifted from position to position in the Cabinet, being first Colonial Secretary, then Colonial Treasurer, then Minister of Native Affairs, then Commissioner of Customs, then a member of the Executive Council without portfolio, then again Colonial Treasurer, and finally Commissioner of Customs for the second time. Having led the Opposition to the succeeding Fox Ministry for a single session, Judge Richmond retired from political life, and resumed the practice of his profession, being appointed a Puisne Judge in Oct. 1862. As a Minister Mr. Richmond had but scant sympathy with the intricacies of Maori territorial rights, his constant aim being to convert them into English freeholds. He also abetted and encouraged Governor Browne's policy in the ill-fated purchase of the Waitara block, which drove the Maoris into war in 1860.