Open main menu

Sinclair, Andrew, M.D., sometime Colonial Secretary of New Zealand, paid a visit to that colony in the first instance for scientific purposes, landing at Wellington in 1840. He was appointed Colonial Secretary, in succession to Lieutenant Shortland, on Jan. 6th, 1844, by Captain Fitzroy. This important office he continued to hold until the complete introduction into the colony of responsible government in May 1856. He had in early life served as a surgeon in the royal navy. He is remembered as the first collector of specimens of New Zealand natural history, botany, conchology, and entomology. Subsequently he accompanied Dr. (afterwards Sir Julius) von Haast in his first expedition to explore the sources of the rivers Rangitata and Ashburton. He attached himself to this party, mainly with the intention of assisting in the proposed botanical researches in the mountain ranges; and whilst so engaged he met with his death in an attempt to wade across one of the main branches of the Rangitata. His companions buried him in a lonely grave at the foot of the glaciers, amongst the native, shrubs and other natural objects which had formed the subject of his ill-fated researches.