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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Thomson, James William

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Thomson, James William, M.H.R., M.A., is a native of Scotland, and was educated at Edinburgh University, where he graduated M.A. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1859, and settled in the Clutha district. In 1864 he was elected to the Provincial Council, and held his seat till the abolition of the provinces. Of this measure he was a strong opponent, and presided over the Convention which met at Dunedin to protest against their extinction. He was at this time returned to the New Zealand House of Representatives as member for Clutha, defeating the late Mr. James McAndrew. For this constituency he sat till 1887, when he was rejected in favour of Mr. T. Mackenzie, the present member. At the general election in Dec. 1890 Mr. Thomson was elected for Bruce by a majority of more than two to one over his opponent. He joined the Grey Ministry in July 1877 as Minister of Lands, but retired on their defeat in October 1879. In 1884 he was the mover of the resolution which caused the resignation of the first Stout-Vogel Ministry, and was entrusted with the task of forming a new administration, but failed in the attempt.