born 1 May 1840 Carmarthen, South Wales,
died 20 November 1933 at his residence, Christchurch
Mr. William Daniel Lawrence. J.P., was born in South Wales, in 1843. He was educated at Kensington Grammar School, and afterwards had a private tutor, the Rev. Piercy Frost, under whom he studied for the Army. In 1864 he came to New Zealand in the ship “Derwentwater,” and went as a cadet on the Hon. Robert Daly's run, Dunsandel, where he remained for four years, when he made a start for himself by purchasing a good-sized block of swamp land near Leeston, which he named “Ravensworth, after his old home in Wales. His property after large sums of money had been spent in draining and other important improvements, became known as the best grazing land in the Ellesmere district. Mr. Lawrence was a large breeder of sheep and shorthorn cattle, and he was instrumental in raising a stud flock of Romney Marsh sheep, so favourably known throughout New Zealand. He retired from farming in 1892, and purchased and settled on a small property near Christchurch. Mr. Lawrence has taken a very prominent part in public affairs, especially in connection with the district where he so long resided. He was created a Justice of the Peace in 1873, and was sworn in under the Hon. C. C. Bowen, when that gentleman was Resident Magistrate of Christchurch. For many years he was a member of the Ellesmere Road Board, and chairman of the local school committee. He has also been president of the Ellesmere Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and chairman of the Ellesmere Licensing Committee. Mr. Lawrence is an enthusiastic angler, and anglers have to thank him for stocking the Rakaia and Selwyn rivers with fish in 1867. He will long be remembered as the popular president of the Ellesmere football and cricket clubs. Mr. Lawrence married a daughter of the late Mr. Charles K. Vigers, of Governor's Bay, who came out in the ship “Canterbury” in 1851 and has a family of five sons.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], The Cyclopedia Company, Limited, 1903, Christchurch.
W. D. Lawrence's house, N.Z.
OBITUARYThe death occurred at his residence, Christchurch, yesterday of Mr William Daniel Lawrence, who many years ago was a farmer in the Leeston district and intimately associated with the Ellesmere A. and P. Association and all other organisations having the welfare and progress of the district as their objective.
MR W. D. LAWRENCE.
MR W. D. LAWRENCE.
Mr Lawrence was in his ninety-fourth year, and was born at Carmarthen, South Wales, in 1840. He was the third son of Dr. Henry Lawrence. He was educated at Kensington Grammar School, and afterwards studied for the army, but, abandoning that intention, came to New Zealand, arriving at Lyttelton in 1863 in the ship Derwentwater.
He was first of all a cadet on Mr R. J. S. Harman's run, and was later appointed manager for the Hon. Robert Daly on "Camla," Dunsandel. Afterwards he took up land at Dunsandel and at Sedgemere, finally purchasing a property near Leeston, which he named "Ravensworth," after his old home in Wales.
Mr Lawrence effected great improvements by drainage and in other ways, the farm becoming one of the best known in Ellesmere. He was a large breeder of sheep and Shorthorn cattle, and was instrumental in raising a flock of stud Romney Marsh sheep which became very widely known.
A very prominent part was taken in public affairs by Mr Lawrence during his residence in this district. He was created a Justice of the Peace in 1873, and was the oldest member of the commission in New Zealand; for many years he was a member of the Ellesmere Road Board, and chairman of the School Committee, and chairman of the Ellesmere Licensing Committee.
But he will be best known for his association with the Ellesmere A. and P. Association, of which he was a foundation member in 1870, and was its first secretary. He was afterwards president of the association. It was he and Mr Bluett who addressed the first meeting of farmers at Southbridge regarding the formation of the association, and he took a keen interest in its' formation and subsequent career. Mr Lawrence retired from his Leeston activities in 1891 to reside in Christchurch, but his interest in the district and, in its show did not languish, and he was a frequent visitor to the annual shows, his last appearance being made at the recent show held in October.
Mr Lawrence took an active part in sport. He was one of the early members of the Canterbury Hunt Club, and when he lived at "Ravensworth" it was his custom to walk two or three pairs of hounds in the summer, while two or three meets were held there each hunting season. Mr Lawrence was also a keen fisherman and shooter, and was a life member of the North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. He was one of a body of fishing enthusiasts who were responsible for the liberation of trout in the Selwyn, Hall's Creek and other streams in the Ellesmere district.
Mr Lawrence is survived by a widow and five sons, Messrs J. W. K., H. S., C. H. and L. V. Lawrence, of Christchurch, and Mr C. W. Lawrence, who at present lives in Mesopotamia.
Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LIV, Issue 91, 21 November 1933, Page 4
MR. W. D. LAWRENCE The death occurred in Christchurch last week, at the age of 93, of Mr. William Daniel Lawrence, a well-known Canterbury pastoralist, who was closely connected with early farming practice in the Leeston district.
He was born at Carmarthen, South Wales, on May 1, 1840, the third son of Dr. Henry Lawrence. He was educated for the Army, but gave up the intention of following a military career and came to New Zealand. arriving at Lyttelton by the ship Derwentwater in 1863.
Mr. Lawrence was first of all a cadet on Mr. R. J. S. Harman's run, and was later manager of the "Camila" station for the Hon. Robert Daly. Subsequently he took up land on his own account at Dunsandel and Sedgemere, finally taking up the "Ravensworth" property at Leeston, which he farmed until he retired and went to live in Christchurch in 1891.
He was a well-known breeder of Romney Marsh sheep. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1877 and at his death was the oldest holder of the commission of the peace in New Zealand. He took an active part in sport. He was one of the early members of the Canterbury Hunt Club. He was also a keen fisherman and shooter and was a life member of the North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. He was one of a body of fishing enthusiasts who were responsible for the liberation of trout in many Canterbury streams. He leaves a widow and five sons.
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXX, Issue 21659, 27 November 1933, Page 11
PEEPS INTO THE PAST
FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO.
EXTRACTS FROM THE "ELLESMERE GUARDIAN."
Saturday, November 21, 1891.
The sale of Mr W. D. Lawrence's property at Leeston to Mr Henry Chamberlain, of Ellesmere was announced. The price was £29 2s 6d per acre for 455 acres and buildings and the sale was regarded as approximately a record for New Zealand. Higher prices per acre had been paid for small blocks and larger sums for greater areas of land, but a sale of 455 acres at £29 2s 6d per acre was not heard of every day in this colony.
Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LVII, Issue 90, 20 November 1936, Page 4