Open main menu

The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Wakefield, Edward Jerningham

Wakefield, Edward Jerningham, only son of Edward Gibbon Wakefield (q.v.) proceeded to New Zealand with his uncle Colonel William Wakefield, who was the principal agent of the New Zealand Company, and who took the leading part in founding the Wellington settlement in the years 1839-40. Mr. Wakefield remained in New Zealand till 1844, when he returned to England, and in the two following years occupied himself, at his father's instigation, in promoting the Church of England settlement in Canterbury and the Presbyterian settlement in Otago. Returning to New Zealand, Mr. Wakefield represented a Canterbury constituency in the first House of Representatives elected under the new Constitution Act in 1854, and was a member of the Executive Council from August to Sept. during the inchoate period which preceded the initiation of regular responsible government. He was again an M.H.R. in 1876, and died at Christchurch the same year. He was the author of "Adventures in New Zealand," published in 1845; "A Letter to Sir George Grey in reply to his Attacks on the Canterbury Association and Settlement" (Lyttelton, N.Z., 1851); "The Founders of Canterbury, being Letters from the late Edward Gibbon Wakefield to John Robert Godley and to other Well-known Helpers in the Foundation of the Settlement of Canterbury, in New Zealand" (Christchurch, N.Z., 1868).