John Thomas Peacock
above - Hon. John Thomas Peacock
photo by Clarke, Wellington.
photo by Clarke, Wellington.
The Honourable John Thomas Peacock, Member of the Legislative Council. is one of the small band of early colonists who landed at Port Cooper in 1844, some years before the Canterbury Settlement was Inaugurated. He is the eldest son of the late Mr. John Jenkins Peacock, was born in 1827 in the Hawkesbury district, New South Wales, and was educated at Sydney College. At the age of fifteen Mr. Peacock accompanied his father to this colony, and for twelve years was engaged in trading on the coast. Mr. Peacock commenced business in Christchurch under the style of J.T. Peacock and Co., as merchants and shipowners, and for seven years conducted a large and growing trade. Retiring in 1863, he built his handsome residence in Papanui Road, known as “Hawkesbury,” where he has since resided. He bears the reputation of being a most enterprising colonist, and has never hesitated to risk his energies and money in enterprises deemed to be of advantage to the country. He is one of the original promoters of the Kaiapoi Woollen Company, and to his enterprise in purchasing the plant of the original company, which would otherwise have been sold for export, is due the credit of saving for Canterbury the nucleus of this splendid industry. Mr. Peacock is chairman of the local board of directors of the Alliance Assurance Company, of London, and was one of the founders and continuously a director of the Union Insurance Company, which was acquired by the former society. He is a director of the Christchurch Meat Company and of the Permanent Investment and Loan Association of Canterbury, and is one of the largest proprietors of the Christchurch Tramway Company. Mr. Peacock was one of the promoters of the New Zealand Shipping Company, and continued to act as a director until it was decided to use steamships, when he resigned, as he considered the proposal premature. He was a member of the Provincial Council of Canterbury in the early days, and held the position of Secretary of Public Works for two years before the abolition of the provinces, the late Mr. W. M. Maskell being Provincial Secretary, Sir Cracroft Wilson, President of the Council, and the Hon. W. Rolleston, Superintendent. In 1869 Mr. Peacock was returned to the House of Representatives as Member for Lyttelton, which he represented for three years, and five years later was elevated to the Legislative Council. Mr. Peacock is a Justice of the Peace, and has served on local governing bodies. He was the first mayor of the Borough of St. Albans, and filled the chair for two years; for nearly a quarter of a century he has held a seat on the Lyttelton Harbour Board, of which he was some time chairman.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]