A List of Remittance Men in New Zealand

Marlborough Express, Volume XI, Issue 793, 1 March 1876, Page 3

A list of Remittance Men, or supposed Remittance Men, in New Zealand

The above newspaper cutting was the earliest reference to “Remittance Man” that I could find in New Zealand using Papers Past online archive. It appears to be a rather tongue-in-cheek reference to the stereotypical Remittance Man who lived by the financial seat-of-his-pants, reliant on family back home for an income.

remittance man

Below you will find a continually evolving list of Remittance Men, or at the very least alleged or self-professed Remittance Men, that I have found in New Zealand records. It is extremely hard to reliably identify a Remittance Man, a remittance agreement was rarely a legal one and no official records exist.

For the family historian, references to remittances paid to overseas family members may be found in, or construed from, Wills. Otherwise, family stories handed down over time may hold clues, or a sudden disappearance from the records in their home country.

If you have a known Remittance Man in your family tree who was sent to New Zealand, please contact me so that I may update the list. By the same token, if you are certain that a person on this list does not belong here, please let me know.

**** A ****

George Henry ADAMS – New Zealand Herald, Volume XXIV, Issue 8036, 25 August 1887, Page 4

Alfred ALBERTSAuckland Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 126, 29 May 1900, Page 5

Willliam Henry ALLENHawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXXII, 3 November 1916, Page 5

Gordon Middleton ANDERSON (sometimes referred to as Gordon Middleton Anderson) – Daily Telegraph , Issue 6103, 20 March 1891, Page 3

Believed to have a brother who was a doctor in Edinburgh and another who was a doctor in Calcutta. Sailed for Melbourne in 1870 onboard Sussex (from Gravesend). Occupation noted as ‘miner’.

James Alexander ANDERSONAuckland Star, Volume XXXIII, Issue 103, 2 May 1902, Page 2

Alfred ASHENDENAuckland Star, Volume L, Issue 133, 5 June 1919, Page 7

George ASHLEY – The Timaru Herald. Thursday, August 26, 1880.

Henry Thomas ATKINSThames Star, Volume XXIV, Issue 4598, 30 November 1893, Page 2

**** B ****

James E BAGNELLPress, Volume XLVI, Issue 7306, 10 May 1889, Page 3

Arthur Windle BAILEYAuckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 304, 23 December 1910, Page 4

Born 28 February 1865 at Grosmont, Yorkshire. Son of John and Catherine Bailey. His father, John Bailey M.A. was Vicar of St Matthew’s in Grosmont. Arthur boarded at Bedford Grammar (1881 England Census) and went on to be educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University. Arthur disappears from the England Census after the 1881 entry.

The New Zealand newspapers note Arthur as a remittance man, well liked in the community. In the 1905/6 New Zealand Electoral Rolls Arthur is listed as an Accountant living in Omana in Northland. By the time of his death he is known as a gumdigger.

Frank BAKERAuckland Star, Volume XXXVII, Issue 7, 8 January 1906, Page 5

William Evinson BAMFORDDaily Telegraph , Issue 7358, 6 May 1895, Page 2

H G BARBERAuckland Star, Volume XIX, Issue 105, 4 May 1888, Page 3

J BARLOWNew Zealand Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 7089, 6 August 1884, Page 4

John Cockburn Owen BASSETTAuckland Star, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 195, 16 August 1907, Page 2

Born Jan-Feb 1895 in Crediton, Devon, UK, to William H and Jane BASSETT. Father is a Clerk in Holy Orders. Has several siblings including Jessie b. abt 1860, Euphemia b. abt. 1862, Margaret J b. abt. 1863, William S b. abt. 1865, Colin S b. abt. 1867, and Arthur C b. abt. 1869. John Cockburn Owen can be found in the UK census for 1861, 1871 and 1881.

Stanlake Henry BATSONObserver, Volume XVI, Issue 936, 12 December 1896, Page 18

Died 9th October, 1921, with Five Pounds to his name. Descendant of Henry VII. Came from a wealthy family whose home was Horseheath Hall in Cambridgeshire. His father was Stanlake Ricketts Batson, and his mother Gertrude Juliana Louisa Lowry-Corry (1831-1874). It appears that, while still under-age “alienated his life interest in order to pay his debts” and withdrew to New Zealand.

In 1890 he married Mary Jane Haseley in Hanover Square, London. In the 1891 census his is listed as a boarder in a house in Vincent Square, London, ‘living on his own means’ with Mary Jane. Mary Jane is mentioned in his probate, see below. Mary Jane died at her home at 13 Roslyn Terrace, Devonport, Auckland, on 1 November 1931. Her death notice mentions a son, Tim Batson.

New Zealand Herald,  8 December 1896

New Zealand Herald, 8 December 1896

Via England & Wales Probate Calendar

Via England & Wales Probate Calendar

Ambrose BEARPARKFeilding Star, Volume XXV, Issue 187, 27 January 1904, Page 2

Listed in 1904 Auckland Post Office Directory as a Shipwright. Died age 52. Had had a couple of run ins with the law. Suspected suicide/arsenic poisoning.

James BEAVER – New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 8271, 2 June 1890, Page 5

Arthur H BINSTEADAuckland Star, Volume XXXVII, Issue 28, 1 February 1906, Page 3

Ned BIRCH – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

Ned, the son of a wealthy family from London, was sent to New Zealand c. 1860 having displeased hisddd0f96642a06012fac5a110.L._AA300_ father by messing about with ‘downstairs staff’ and assaulting a policeman, among other things. Ned, along with his brother Harry who came out to check up on his sibling at the request of their father, embraced hunting and life in the bush and never returned to the UK. They saw out their days in the Hawkes Bay region.

Thomas Barnes BIRKETTAuckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 31, 6 February 1897, Page 5

1897 – Suicide from poisoning.

Thomas was born in July 1869, the son of the Reverend Thomas Birkett of Weston-Super-Mare and Jane (?). By 1871 he is living with his family in Bristol. In 1881, age 11, he is at boarding school in Weston-Super-Mare. The next time we find Thomas he is living in Napier, Hawkes Bay, and listed in the 1896 New Zealand Electoral Rolls as a gentleman.

Why did Thomas end up in New Zealand? It appears he came from a well-off family very much involved in the Church, and was well-travelled. His father was a priest, as was his eldest brother, Reverend Arthur Ismail Birkett. Arthur was with the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in India from 1887 until his death there, from accidental drowning, in 1916 (Western Daily PRess, Bristol, England – Saturday 9th September, 1916).

More about Thomas Barnes Birkett in the New Zealand press here.

James BLAKEThames Star, Volume XXIV, Issue 4561, 18 October 1893, Page 2

Reginald BLECKLEYEvening Post, Volume XLVIII, Issue 11, 13 July 1894, Page 2

Thomas BLOOMFIELDClutha Leader, Volume XXVI, Issue 1364, 5 January 1900, Page 4

John Howe BOUSFIELDThames Star, Volume XV, Issue 4916, 11 October 1884, Page 2

1884 – Died, age 29, from jumping out of a first floor window of the Manukau Hotel, Onehunga. Died four hours later.

Father was Robert Bousfield (1820-1889) and mother Sarah Challis (1824-1866). Born in Enfield,  England, the son of a wealthy merchant.

New Zealand Herald, 13 October 1884

New Zealand Herald, 13 October 1884

England & Wales National Probate Calendar

England & Wales National Probate Calendar

Harry BOYSONAuckland Star, Volume L, Issue 57, 7 March 1919, Page 7

1919 – Committed to Home Bay on Rotoroa Island for drunkedness. Had been brought up before the court for such behavior many a time. Rotoroa Island was purchased by the Salvation Army in 1908 to expand their drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme.

Roger BRADLEEAuckland Star, Volume XXX, Issue 134, 8 June 1899, Page 2

1899 – Fined for stealing a friend’s overcoat.

John BRIDGESOtago Daily Times , Issue 9681, 9 March 1893, Page 2

1893 – Suffered from the DTs and died.

Samuel BRIGGSAuckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 150, 26 June 1911, Page 5

1911 – Prohibited after being charged with being an idle and disorderly person.

Richard Owen BRIGSTOCKE New Zealand Herald, Volume XIX, Issue 6360, 6 April 1882, Page 6 / New Zealand Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 7020, 17 May 1884, Page 3

1882 – Often drunk. Sentenced to 3 months hard labour for passing “valueless cheques”.

His family owned the Gellidywyll Estate in Cenarth, Carmarthenshire. Father was William Owen Brigstocke and mother Emmeline Lloyd.

Harold George BROCKLEHURSTNew Zealand Free Lance, Volume I, Issue 3, 21 July 1900, Page 3

From my article in Inside History, Issue 14 (published 2 Jan 2013):

cokers hotel

Coker’s Hotel, Christchurch

The well-educated son of wealthy Liverpool shipping merchant, Septimus Brocklehurst, was found dead in his room at Coker’s Hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand. Harold George Brocklehurst (1874-1900) had shot himself in the head. He left a note at the scene of his death addressed to his solicitor (see below) asking him to notify his family “back home”.

**** C ****

C L CADELLThames Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 14712, 5 January 1914, Page 5

Vincent CAINNZ Truth , Issue 1180, 12 July 1928, Page 1

Alexander CARREYAuckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 81, 5 April 1911, Page 8

Charles James CATERAuckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 48, 25 February 1914, Page 4

William John CHADWICKAuckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 256, 27 October 1914, Page 2

William CHARLEYAshburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2405, 14 July 1891, Page 3 / Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXV, Issue 255, 27 October 1891, Page 2

Robert Harris CLARKEEvening Post, Volume XXXIII, Issue 61, 14 March 1887, Page 3

Hugh Marston CLOSEAuckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 230, 20 October 1909, Page 4

CLOSE Hugh Marston
Image via National Army Museum (Recollect)

Born in Great Arnwell, Hertfordshire, 24 September, 1877, to Frederic (Colonel in the Royal Artillery) and Lydia. Like his father, Hugh had a military background. Listed in the London Gazette (29 September, 1896) as a Gentleman Cadet from the Royal Military Academy, by 1902 he was a Captain in the Royal Artillery. Come 1909, he is reported in the NZ press as being drunk, dirty and unkempt.

However, Hugh then resumes his military career in 1915 this time as a Private with the New Zealand Infantry Battalion (7th Reinforcements). At the time of enlistment (1915) he was single and his address listed as the Salvation Army People’s Palace in Auckland. His military records list his next of kin as his brother Colonel Charles F. Close, R.E., Army and Navy Club, London, England.





Frederick Sydney CLOTHIEROtago Witness , Issue 2572, 1 July 1903, Page 5

Len. COLLINSON  – Auckland Star, Volume XXXV, Issue 51, 29 February 1904, Page 5

Frederick Ralston COWANNZ Truth , Issue 746, 4 October 1919, Page 6

Eldest son of James Cowan (b. 1841, Glasgow – Fire Insurance Superintendent) and Caroline Ralston.

Thomas CRAWFORDAuckland Star, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 210, 3 September 1907, Page 2

John CULLANANAuckland Star, Volume XXX, Issue 294, 12 December 1899, Page 2

**** D ****

John DALE Grey River Argus, Volume XXVII, Issue 4495, 18 January 1883, Page 2

Joseph William DAWBERAuckland Star, Volume XXII, Issue 303, 22 December 1891, Page 5

A clue to Joseph’s remittance can be found in his widow mother’s, Sarah Ann Dawber of Hyson Green, Will. She leaves his older brother, James Chapman Dawber, half her estate. The other half is to be held in Trust by said brother to provide a weekly allowance to Joseph of 15s per week.

W T DEVLINFeilding Star, Volume XIV, Issue 3467, 11 February 1918, Page 3

Cleland DICKSONAuckland Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 162, 10 July 1900, Page 2

Walter DIXONEvening Post, Volume LXVI, Issue 147, 18 December 1903, Page 5

Charles Henry DOWSETTThames Star, Volume XXV, Issue 4629, 9 January 1894, Page 2

The eldest son of a wealthy farmer in South Africa (Charles DOWSETT, Esq., of Fauresmith, Orange Free State, South Africa), Charles Henry Dowsett committed suicide with a razor having already lathered his face to shave. He was 30 years old. His brother, Reginald, is also in New Zealand at the time of Charles’ death.

Frederick William DREVERMANOtago Daily Times , Issue 9510, 19 August 1892, Page 4

Alfred DRIVERAuckland Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 83, 10 April 1900, Page 2

George DUNCANPoverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 12131, 26 April 1910, Page 4

Sherbourne DUTTONNelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXIII, Issue 118, 23 May 1899, Page 3

**** E ****

Frank EATON – Otago Daily Times , Issue 16224, 6 November 1914, Page 5

Carew Thomas ELERS– Descendant of King Edward I. Also went by the name of George Thomas Elers and George Winton. Married a Maori chief’s daughter and was constantly in the newspapers through his drunken and adulterous shenanigans. Also went with a party from New Zealand to the Yukon during the gold rush. Full story to come soon!  Evening Post, Volume XXVII, Issue 77, 31 March 1884, Page 3 / New Zealand Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 7016, 13 May 1884, Page 4

James EVANS (alias EDWARDS)Auckland Star, Volume XXVII, Issue 259, 2 November 1896, Page 8

John EVANSHawke’s Bay Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 8921, 13 March 1891, Page 2

William Raymond EVANSAuckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 116, 19 May 1933, Page 7

**** F ****

Fritz FALLIMAN – Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XLII, Issue 7602, 13 November 1902, Page 2

Frank FISHEROtago Daily Times , Issue 11267, 10 November 1898, Page 2

George Joseph FISHER – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

George was born 21 November 1843 in Bentley (Walton Hall), Yorkshire, England, and died 23 October 1920 in New Zealand. He married Mary Hutchinson (b. 20 May 1853, in Birkenhead, Cheshire, Liverpool, England d. 29 August 1937 in Paeroa, New Zealand). They were married 15 November 1875 in Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand and had 11 children.

By all accounts, George was the son of a wealthy family who called Walton Hall, in Yorkshire, England, home. He was yet another who spent time drinking and fratenising with the household staff. The final straw appears to be when, after drinking at the local pub, he picked up his family from church in a carriage which he promptly drove into a ditch.

Lindsay FLINTAuckland Star, Volume XVII, Issue 200, 26 August 1886, Page 1

Sydney FORRESTAuckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 248, 18 October 1909, Page 5

Geoffrey Edward Gibson FORSTERNZ Truth , Issue 1197, 8 November 1928, Page 9

The son of the vicar of Bradford, England, and ex-Imperial Army officer.

J. FORSTER-WANSTALLHawera & Normanby Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 3136, 30 May 1892, Page 2

James FORSYTH – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

James was an artist living near Ohiwa Hotel in the eastern Bay of Plenty. He died in July, 1896, found at home with a hammer or hatchet buried in his head. The death was ruled as suicide, although many at the time didn’t believe it to be the case. James’ headstone, found broken in undergrowth near holiday houses, has been restored and re-erected at the nearby Opotiki Cemetery.

Edward FOSTERNorth Otago Times, Volume XXXVI, Issue 8433, 19 March 1896, Page 3

**** G ****

Frank GAITER – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

George Loftus Hatton GAUSSENWanganui Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 10588, 10 March 1902, Page 2

John Strachan GAVINOtago Witness , Issue 2443, 9 January 1901, Page 20

Allen GILLESPIEAuckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 301, 22 December 1923, Page 9


Charles Alfred GLAZEBROOKPress, Volume L, Issue 14982, 1 June 1914, Page 2

Samuel Edwin GREENDALEEvening Post, Volume LXIX, Issue 122, 25 May 1905, Page 4

George Frederick GRIERSON  – NZ Truth , Issue 247, 19 March 1910, Page 7

**** H ****

Charles HAGGITT – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

Charles was the son of a family with close ties to the Anglican church in the UK. His grandfather was Rev. George Haggitt and his father a farmer of 170 acres in Suffolk (England 1881 Census. Class:  RG11; Piece:  1836; Folio:  47; Page:  13; GSU roll:  1341444.). Charles, who was an outdoorsy and adventurous soul, became a self-made businessman in New Zealand after setting up a haulage business near Nelson.

John HANCOCK – Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XIII, Issue 4650, 2 August 1886, Page 2

William Henry HARRIS – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

William arrived from Sydney with his wife, Sophie Nicholls, in the mid-1870s. He was a schoolmaster, and often headmaster, but was dismissed from employment on several occasions and even accused of forgery at one point, albeit acquitted. William founded Hauraki Plains College, formerly Orchard School, near Ngatea on the North Island of New Zealand.

? HARVEYPress, Volume XLIV, Issue 6817, 30 July 1887, Page 3

Richard HAYWARDAuckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 261, 2 November 1909, Page 4

Alfred John HELLIEREvening Post, Volume XC, Issue 19, 22 July 1915, Page 2

George Stewart HENRYEvening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 26, 31 January 1914, Page 6

Sydney HEPWORTH (HIPWORTH) – Press, Volume L, Issue 15035, 1 August 1914, Page 4
/ NZ Truth , Issue 477, 8 August 1914, Page 4

John HEWITSONAuckland Star, Volume XXI, Issue 222, 19 September 1890, Page 3

Frederick HICKSON (alias STANLEY) – Timaru Herald, Volume LIII, Issue 5253, 30 September 1891, Page 2

Reuben HINDThames Star, Volume XIX, Issue 5675, 5 April 1887, Page 2

Sentenced to 21 years hard labour in 1888 for arson.

Thomas HOLTEvening Post, Volume XLII, Issue 78, 29 September 1891, Page 2

William Montague Davenport HOWESAuckland Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 121, 21 May 1912, Page 7

Well educated son of a civil servant, William Montague Davenport Howes was to end his life in a New Zealand jail for indecent assault.

John HOWITSON – North Otago Times, Volume XXXIV, Issue 7778, 20 September 1890, Page 2

William F HOWLETT – via Colonial Outcasts by Nell Hartley (book).

The only son of the Rev. William Howlett, William came to New Zealand c. 1875. Schooled at Oxford University, he worked as a teacher and journalist in New Zealand.

As a journalist he wrote a column “Olla Podrida” for Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa newspapers, featuring a wide variety of topics.

Known to be a womaniser, his opinions were not always well-liked by the locals although his pupils fared well under his tuition.

In 1902, 52 year old William married 21 year old Olive. In 1906 the couple moved to Pahiatua to run a hostel.

Born in Torquay in 1850, William died an accidental death in July, 1935.

Frank Eaton HUDSONAuckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 264, 5 November 1914, Page 7

Frank Hudson managed to get himself into the New Zealand press on a few occasions. He was found to be gilding sixpences, had been in court for ripping up a petition presented to him on a train, and had stolen and pawned items from a fellow hotel guest. Reports also show that Frank had been treated for alcoholism on three occasions at Rotoroa Island, and was “losing the fight against drink“.

John HUNTER – New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 8205, 17 March 1890, Page 5

**** J ****

James J JAMESNorth Otago Times, Volume XXXVI, Issue 9307, 10 September 1898, Page 2

Lawrence H JELLINGS – Globe, Volume XXII, Issue 1963, 9 June 1880

Henry Kirkpatrick JONESAuckland Star, Volume LXIX, Issue 239, 10 October 1938, Page 8

**** K ****

Henry KAYLLEvening Post, Volume XXXV, Issue 144, 20 June 1888, Page 3

Edward KIRKHAMPoverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVII, Issue 15132, 3 February 1920, Page 5

Phillip Gordon Evelyn Vyne KITSONAuckland Star, Volume XLVIII, Issue 183, 2 August 1917, Page 4

Sydney KNIGHTThames Star, Volume XVI, Issue 5106, 29 May 1885, Page 2

Edward Arthur KNOX Auckland Star, Volume LXVII, Issue 198, 21 August 1936, Page 7

**** L ****

William LEESDaily Telegraph , Issue 9405, 25 February 1899, Page 3

Edmund Harry Robert LISTERAuckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 163, 12 July 1929, Page 5

Once a high ranking officer in the Imperial Army, Edmund Lister was, in 1929, a drunk living in New Zealand on a remittance.

William B. LLEWELLIN (alias Charles Richard AINSWORTH alias Frederick William Llewellyn) – Oamaru Mail, Volume IV, Issue 1322, 22 March 1884, Page 2

Herbert LOCKWOODWanganui Herald, Volume XVI, Issue 4665, 10 May 1882, Page 2

A poem written about Herbert:

Observer, Volume 4, Issue 87, 13 May 1882, Page 140

Herbert LOCKWOODPoverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13392, 28 May 1914, Page 3

Walter LUKEMANAuckland Star, Volume XXII, Issue 20, 24 January 1891, Page 4

**** M ****

Harold MAGNERAuckland Star, Volume LXI, Issue 281, 27 November 1930, Page 8

C A MARSHALLWairarapa Daily Times, Volume LXVIII, Issue 14271, 30 April 1915, Page 5

James Robert MATHIESONEvening Post, Volume XXXIII, Issue 2, 4 January 1887, Page 2

John Edward MAYWairarapa Daily Times, Volume XXVII, Issue 7370, 26 January 1903, Page 2

Thomas MAYAuckland Star, Volume XXV, Issue 3, 4 January 1894, Page 4

Archibold McALISTERMataura Ensign, Volume 10, Issue 757, 23 March 1888, Page 5

Harry McINNES – Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume XII, Issue 3806, 9 May 1891, Page 2

Robert Pilling McKANEAuckland Star, Volume XXIII, Issue 2, 4 January 1892, Page 3

James McKAYEvening Post, Volume LXXVI, Issue 17, 20 July 1908, Page 6

James MENZIESAuckland Star, Volume LV, Issue 175, 25 July 1924, Page 4

Andrew MILLERPress, Volume XLIV, Issue 6878, 10 October 1887, Page 6

John Vaughan MILLER – Via FamilyTreeCircles

John’s father was John Cale Miller ( b. 11 October,1814 , d. 11th July, 1880 ), Canon of Worcester. John Vaughan Miller worked as a Clerk for the Admiralty at White Hall, London but ended up a farmer in New Zealand. According to the discussion on FamilyTreeCircles

Family left via Gravesend on 7-2-1880 on the Vessel ” Trevelyan , arrived in Lyttelton NZ on 13-5-1880 . He bought 260 acres of Land in Kaiteriteri Nelson in 1882 .

George MOCKRETHAshburton Guardian, Volume XIII, Issue 2760, 31 August 1892, Page 2

C L MORDAUNTAshburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2450, 2 September 1891, Page 2

Peter MORRISDaily Telegraph , Issue 5522, 10 May 1889, Page 3

Abraham MOSS – Evening Star , Issue 6866, 2 April 1885, Page 2

John Watson MUNROStar , Issue 5761, 4 January 1897, Page 3

Henry MYERS  – Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXII, 20 April 1911, Page 4

**** N ****

Ernest Edward NEEDHAMPress, Volume XLVIII, Issue 14356, 16 May 1912, Page 10

Charles NETTLETONThames Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9704, 31 July 1900, Page 2

Arthur NEWMANAuckland Star, Volume XXVI, Issue 113, 13 May 1895, Page 2

Thornton NEWSOMEManawatu Standard, Volume XL, Issue 7498, 17 January 1903, Page 4

**** O ****

W OLIPHERSTaranaki Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 7917, 13 July 1887, Page 2

Frank OLIVERWairarapa Daily Times, Volume XXVI, Issue 7276, 4 October 1902, Page 2

Thomas ORDEvening Post, Volume LXXV, Issue 70, 23 March 1908, Page 8 / NZ Truth , Issue 145, 28 March 1908, Page 5

**** P ****

Horatio John PARKESStar , Issue 5777, 22 January 1897, Page 3

PARKES HoratioHoratio arrived in 1850 on one of the first four ships to arrive in Lyttelton, Canterbury, with British immigrants. He arrived on the George Seymour. A nephew of Sir Harry Smith Parkes, Horatio lived alone in Christchurch. In January 1897 Horatio was arrested for killing a man, his lodger, with an axe. Horatio pleaded guilty but that it was in self defence. Horatio was let off with ‘justifiable homicide’. He died the following year.

J R PHILLIPS – Mataura Ensign , Issue 135, 12 May 1896, Page 2

William Ritson PINKERTON  – Auckland Star, Volume XXXV, Issue 27, 1 February 1904, Page 4

James W PRIESTMANFeilding Star, Volume XIII, Issue 17, 8 August 1891, Page 2

**** R ****

William Sumner RAWCLIFFE

William was the son of brewer Henry Rawcliffe. On his wedding certificate (1879) he is listed as a Gent living at Euxton Hall, a stately estate in the village of Euxton, near Chorley, Lancashire.

William entered Trinity College, Cambridge University, in 1874. On the 3rd May, 1876, he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant in the 23rd Lancashire Artillery Volunteer Corps. He Bessie Macfarline Ramsay on 2 July 1879.

In 1881 and 1891, William is listed as a brewer, working for his father’s company, and is living with his wife and children at Haigh House, a home attached to a large brewery in Haigh, Lancashire. The brewery was founded by the Sumner family, which was related by marriage to the Rawcliffe family (and hence William’s middle name).

In 1900, William appears in the New Zealand Electoral Rolls for Wellington. He is now listed as a clerk. What happened to William in the intervening years? According to newspaper reports of his suicide, his wife and family were back in England. William, a remittance man, had taken to drink and was suffering from the DTs. He died in Wakefield, near Nelson, on the South Island of New Zealand.

UPDATE: Information from a blog reader who stumbled across this ancestor:

“I recently stumbled onto your website and discovered a potted history of an ancestor who was a Remittance Man in New Zealand. His name, William Sumner Rawcliffe. He had a wife and family back in the UK who were well provided for from his families brewing business. In the article there was also a link to an old newspaper article about him which told me a lot I didn’t know.
I still don’t know how why or by whom he was sent to New Zealand or who paid the way for him but, I do know he was the father of an illegitimate child by a local farm girl named Ann Churchouse.”

“RAZORBACK” – Observer, Volume 9, Issue 533, 9 March 1889, Page 14

Viscount REIDHAVEN (10th Earl of Seafield?) – Auckland Star, Volume XIX, Issue 165, 14 July 1888, Page 2

1888 – Known as “Grant” in Oamaru, he led a humble life and was well known and liked for many years. However, it was soon impossible for him to stay anonymous when his father was made 9th Earl of Seafield and “Grant” was then known by his official title, Lord Reidhaven. Not long after, his father died and Lord Reidhaven, being the eldest son, had to leave his beloved Oamaru and return to England to manage the family’s massive estate. It might be assumed from this scenario that Lord Reidhaven wasn’t exiled to New Zealand, but chose to be there.

? RICHARDSON – New Zealand Herald, Volume XXIV, Issue 7950, 17 May 1887, Page 4

Watkin ROBERTS – Rushbrooke Family Notes

Watkin had a penchant for molesting women which resulted in him having to leave England and Bertha had a very difficult time with him. Watkin first got into trouble in England and was sent abroad by his family to evade prosecution. He went to Ceylon as a “Remittance Man”. He got a monthly cheque from his family to stay away. However he soon got into trouble with young girls and was deported from Ceylon.

He ended up in New Zealand where he worked for New Zealand Railways for the rest of his life.

Philip Hume ROBINSONStar , Issue 4834, 26 December 1893, Page 3

1893 – Found dead in his room, had slit his wrists. Previously in Little Akaloa.

William Leith ROSS  – Auckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 198, 22 August 1910, Page 2

1910 – Found dead, age 46. He was a native of Aberdeen, Scotland. Youngest son of the 5th Lord of Arnage.

Frederick Edward ROSSEROtago Daily Times , Issue 9799, 25 July 1893, Page 2

1893 – Younger son of the late Colonel Rosser of the 16th Lancers.

**** S ****

Arthur SAUNDERSPress, Volume L, Issue 15160, 26 December 1914, Page 4

1914 – Age around 40, suicide by poisoning.

Major SAUNDERSEvening Post, Volume LXXIX, Issue 29, 4 February 1910, Page 8

Taroslav Marie SCHMORANZ  – Star , Issue 5454, 30 October 1885, Page 3

1885 – Suicide from poisoning (arsenic) age 22. He was the son of a wealthy chemist residing 12 miles outside of Prague. Taroslav was educated to continue his father’s business. However, at age 15 he joined the country’s socialist party, became a leader, and was imprisoned. After this, he was banned from participating in his father’s business by the Government, who were worried he would poison politicans and Jews.

Taroslav ’emigrated’ to New Zealand with the promise that money would be sent over to him. Whether any funds made their way to him is not clear, however he was writing ‘valueless cheques’ in the weeks leading up to his suicide. A friend of Taroslav wrote to a New Zealand paper, explaining his friend’s plight.

Walter Cecil SCOTTHawke’s Bay Herald, Volume XXXIII, Issue 10905, 3 May 1898, Page 2

1898 – Suicide by overdose. Apparently the son of an English clergyman.

George SEATONAuckland Star, Volume XXI, Issue 83, 10 April 1890, Page 8

1890 – Charged with act of gross character in an Edinburgh court (Scotland) where  it is noted he spent 15 years in New Zealand as a remittance man.

Herbert SHAWAuckland Star, Volume XXXIV, Issue 169, 17 July 1903, Page 5

George SIMPSON (alias James STUART) – Otago Witness , Issue 2219, 10 September 1896, Page 25

Robert SKIFFINS – Star , Issue 5428, 30 September 1885, Page 4

1885 – Found dead, had attempted suicide the week before.

Arthur SMILESAuckland Star, Volume LXI, Issue 254, 27 October 1930, Page 5

Addicted to methylated spirits and ink, and this is what killed him, age 60. He had a wife back in England. Had previously been treated on Rotoroa Island for alcoholism and appears in the NZ press regularly from 1908 onwards, for being drunk and disorderly.

Alfred O. SMITHAuckland Star, Volume XLVI, Issue 19, 22 January 1915, Page 2

1915 – Convicted and discharged for passing ‘valueless cheques’

Thomas Broomhall SMITH (alias J B Steel alias Lord Worthy) – Star , Issue 5434, 9 December 1895, Page 3

1895 – Fraud / presenting ‘valueless cheques’

(Henry) William SMITH  – Auckland Star, Volume XLIV, Issue 119, 20 May 1913, Page 6

Francis John or Joseph SPARKSAuckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 19, 23 January 1911, Page 2

William SPENCEAuckland Star, Volume XXXIV, Issue 9, 10 January 1903, Page 3

1903 – Sudden death at gumdigging works.

Frederick Stanley SPRECKLEYAshburton Guardian, Volume XXIX, Issue 7313, 21 October 1907, Page 3

Born in 1864 in Warminster, Wiltshire, England to Edward Spreckley and Elizabeth (nee Shadwell). Frederick’s father was a draper who, in 1881, is listed as a ‘temperance hotel keeper’.\

In 1889, Frederick is in Sydney, Australia, and marries Mabel Kate Read. In November 1903, Mabel files for, and obtains, a divorce on the grounds of desertion and drunkedness.

In 1907, Frederick, was found dead on Rangitoto Island, the manner of his death could not be ascertained although, despite his body being in the water, drowning was ruled out. Frederick had been working as a book-keeper and watchman on the auxiliary schooner Kaeo. The last person to see him, a pawnbroker from whom he collected some jewellry, said he was drunk.

Arthur John Charles STANFIELD  – Mataura Ensign , 1 July 1911, Page 5

Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire on 7th May 1864. The only son of a Barrister, Alfred Stanfield. He went to Oxford University and became a solicitor. In 1899 he married Evelyn Constance Ambler. In 1911, the year of Arthur’s death in jail in New Zealand, his wife is listed as living in Wealdstone, Middx, with their two 7 year old sons Dennis Percival Stanfield (who died on military service in South Africa) and Phillip Crochley Stanfield (who went to become a well-known botanist in Nigeria, awarded an MBE). What could have made Arthur leave his family for New Zealand, and having had a successful law career and family, living in a nice house with servants, died of drink while incarcerated?

Ernest STANLEYAuckland Star, Volume XXIX, Issue 257, 31 October 1898, Page 2

1898 – In court for passing ‘valueless cheques’ / fraud.

Phillip Cecil Bradyll STRETTON

Born on 15 Jun 1876 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England.

I received information about Phillip C B Stretton from a blog reader who writes:

My great grandfather, Phillip Cecil Bradyll Stretton born in 1876 in Kidderminster in England, was a Remittance Man sent to New Zealand by his family. His father was a well respected, wealthy surgeon and it appears Phillip’s brothers were also doctors. Sadly my great grandfather didn’t measure up and was sent here when he was only about 15. He worked on a farm somewhere near Hawera and soon moved to another farm at Riverlea where he proved to be a good worker and ended up eventually owning the farm. He married and had 3 sons and died in 1959 in Eltham at the age of 83.

It seems Phillip made the most of his new life in New Zealand and mended his unruly ways. I often wonder what he would have become if his parents had had a little more patience with a young teenage boy and gave him time to mature. Times were different then I know, and my mum says Phillip was very happy being a farmer.”

George SYMSObserver, Volume XV, Issue 841, 9 February 1895, Page 11

1895 – Jailed for assaulting a woman while drunk.

**** T  ****

Fritz TALLIMANEvening Post, Volume LXIV, Issue 116, 12 November 1902, Page 6

1902 – Attempted suicide.

R. THEWWanganui Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 6361, 5 November 1887, Page 3

1887 – Committed to a lunatic asylum for alcoholism.

Henry Fleetwood TONGEWanganui Herald, Volume XVII, Issue 5097, 27 June 1883, Page 2

1883 – Shot himself in Hagley Park, Christchurch.

Henry Fleetwood Tonge was born to Royal Naval Captain Louis Charles Henry Tonge and Charlotte Augusta (nee Pellew) on 18 May, 1860 in Great Malvern, Worcestershire. He was baptised on 17 June the same year. Henry’s family was well-off and landed gentry in Worcestershire in the 1861 UK Census. Captain Louis Tonge’s family owned the Highway Estate in Calne. Henry had an older brother, Francis Henry Tonge (b. 1856) and sister, Ethel Mary  Tonge (b. 1857).

On 27 June 1883, at the age of just 23, Henry’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the chest, his revolver at his feet, in Hagley Park, Christchurch. His death was ruled a suicide.

Frederick Percival TOWLER  – Evening Post, Volume CVIII, Issue 3, 3 July 1929, Page 11

Born c. 1901, Frederick appears addicted to drink and, despite being sent 2 UK Pounds per week in a remittance, is frequently caught stealing as noted in the newspapers between 1929 and 1941.

Ronald TRUEAuckland Star, Volume LIII, Issue 110, 11 May 1922, Page 4

Further investigation reveals that this Ronald True and the infamous murderer of the same name are one and the same person. More to come!

**** W ****

Samuel WALLMarlborough Express, Volume XLIX, Issue 48, 26 February 1915, Page 4

1915 – Arrested and jailed for theft.

Francis Albert WARNERAuckland Star, Volume XXVII, Issue 303, 21 December 1896, Page 1

1892- Francis fined for drunkenness.

1895 – Again, fined for drunkenness.

Alfred WATERS – Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 122, 7 October 1886, Page 2

(Hon.) Percy WHITTALL Star , Issue 6447, 29 March 1899, Page 3

Earlier arrested for passing ‘valueless cheques’ in New Zealand. Percy also made it into the Australian newspapers using an alias “Viscount Douglas Carnegie” when he was again arrested for using false cheques to buy flowers to present to ladies at the Opera House in Melbourne.

John Nathaniel (Nat) WILLIAMS – http://nzcricketmuseum.co.nz/williams 

Known as Nat, he was the son of a British politician, eventually exiled to New Zealand by his father who was fed up of paying his son’s gambling debts. Find out more on the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum blog.

James WILLIAMSONWest Coast Times , Issue 12262, 18 July 1902, Page 3

Francis V WOODAuckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 115, 16 May 1910, Page 2

Died in Petersburg, Australia.

(S) Henry George WOODSOtago Daily Times , Issue 7719, 13 November 1886, Page 2

(c.1851–1886) An officer in the British army before he came to New Zealand as a remittance man, reputedly in a “military sketching department” in the Sudan. Made watercolour sketches of landscapes round Auckland. Died in Auckland.

Wanganui Herald, Volume XX, Issue 6081, 25 November 1886, Page 2 via PaperPast

William WORTHINGTON (GEE) Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVII, 27 May 1910, Page 3 /  Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LX, 14 September 1910, Page 3

1910 – Arrested for theft, having been previously convicted.

Thomas WRIGHTOtago Witness , Issue 2470, 17 July 1901, Page 64


20 thoughts on “A List of Remittance Men in New Zealand

  1. Hi, Im related to William Sumner Rawcliffe, and Im researching my family tree and would like to contact the person who updated you. Can you pass my email address to them please?

    Posted by Ali Macleod | August 10, 2014, 4:30 pm
  2. Congratulations on this excellent piece of work. I don’t know of any remittance men on my family trees
    but will keep a special watch for them now! Thank you

    Posted by Rose Cee | August 23, 2014, 3:12 am
  3. Hi , My great-great-grandfather William Stewart Lindsay (1849-1924) living in Timaru in 1880 was a remittance man. He probably wouldn’t like to admit it though! He was the only child to William Shaw Lindsay (1815-1877) who was a shipping magnate in the 1960s and lived in Shepperton Manor in England. His son William Stewart Lindsay married and divorced soon after and spent his inheritance and his father sent him to NZ where he was sent a monthly remittance.

    Posted by William (Bill) Stewart Lindsay | October 2, 2014, 11:03 am
  4. Hi George John Fisher was my great grandfather, contrary to what the family history says George his parents and siblings did not have any direct connection to Walton Hall , the building, I have researched this as have other members of the family and we have all reached the same answer , they lived at 29 Bentley Road Doncaster in 1841 and 1851 and had 200 acres of land and in 1861 at 84 Bentley Road and had 339 acres of land , in both cases employing servants , labourers , milk maids ect . These properties could have been at some time part of the Walton Hall Estate is where I think the story or assumption has come from that they lived in Walton Hall Cheers Lew

    Posted by Lew Redwood | December 5, 2014, 9:48 pm
  5. I believe my Gt grandfather was a remittance man John Samuel Presland arrived 1859 from Australia but before that he was from London any help please he settled in Waimate South Island

    Posted by Patricia Duff | June 8, 2015, 11:17 am
  6. Well done Helen, don’t have any in my families that I know of but so enjoyed reading through the list.

    Posted by Jen Goldsworthy | July 10, 2016, 9:58 am
  7. Excellent research, here’s the story of one you seem to be missing: http://nzcricketmuseum.co.nz/williams/

    Posted by NZCricketMuseum | August 1, 2016, 9:06 am
  8. Very interesting. My father often spoke of different remittance men he had met over the years. He was a drover and stockman prior to WW11 and drove a truck on the Paraparas between Whanganui and Raetahi post war. It was during these times that he came into contact with them. I have mentioned the subject in conversation with several people and no one has any inkling of what I am talking about. A great bit of NZ history that has been forgotten. My mother also talks about the swagmen around during her youth (She is 91) and how they would turn up asking to cut the wood or do other chores around the property in return for a place to sleep (usually the shed) and a meal. No doubt some of these were remittance men also. A major effort on your part tracking down the names.
    Kind regards. Peter McAlley

    Posted by Peter McAlley | October 7, 2016, 11:34 am
    • Thanks Peter, yes it’s surprising how little is known about Remittance Men, and few people know of their existence. I agree with you that some of swagmen were also possibly Remittance Men, doing what they could to try to make ends meet. They were so unprepared to be self-sufficient and few could turn their hands to the types of work available to them… many would work gumdigging or on various infrastructure projects doing hard labour, but few would have been able to survive long in this sort of environment. Greek, Latin and manners didn’t equip them for a life of a colonial labourer. Many thanks for your comments

      Posted by hleggatt | October 10, 2016, 2:33 am
  9. Hi
    Do you have any other information on James Forsyth. We are currently researching him.

    Posted by Wendy | March 27, 2017, 9:15 am
  10. Hi there, what an interesting site you have here. There is reason to believe that my great grandfather was a remittance man. His name was either Ernest Hassell LAWRENCE or Edward Ernest LAWRENCE. He was born about 1860 in England and came to New Zealand somewhere about 1887-1889. He lived in the Manawatu region working in agricultural type positions and had occasional scrapes with the law.

    Posted by Rob Lawrence | April 29, 2017, 9:44 pm
  11. Hi I was wondering if the name above Elers would be related to our name Esler?

    Also do you know of a Robert Shields? it was our mothers grandfather, she siad he was a remittance man.

    thank you

    Posted by Jan | July 2, 2019, 2:53 am


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