This small cemetery is located at the corner of Willis Road and Cowans Road in the Selwyn district of Canterbury, New Zealand. The multiple-road intersection is also known as the Seven Crossroads Corner, or Bishop’s Corner.
Bishop’s Corner may have taken its name from the Bishop family who farmed the area early on in the region’s settlement. Mr William Bishop, an early settler and old resident of the area, lived at Bishop’s Corner and later relocated to Whitecliffs in 1898. Coincidence? Maybe.
Bishop’s Corner once formed part of a planned settlement, Northbridge, which never took off. It is supposed that Northbridge, and also Southbridge, were so named to commemorate Mr C J Bridges, a prominent landowner in the area.
A Methodist church was originally built on the Northbridge/Bishop’s Corner site, but was removed to Southbridge when it became apparent that a settlement at Northbridge would not eventuate. According to a Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives research project, conducted by archivist Jo Smith (2011), the church at Northbridge was removed on 21 November 1875 to its new location in Southbridge.
A report in The Star (Issue 12690, 11 July 1919, Page 5) describes the 50th anniversary celebrations of the (now) Southbridge Methodist Church. It relates the memories of a Mr John Watson who was in the congregation at the first service held in the church at its original location at Bishop’s Corner in January, 1869. Mr Watson recalls that the land for the church was donated by a “Messrs Kemish and Watson” and that the church’s framework was made in Christchurch and brought to the Bishop’s Corner site by a 10-horse wagon. The re-opening of the church in Southbridge in 1875 was conducted by the Reverend James Butler.
The area around Bishop’s Corner has long been farmed by the Bishop family, who are descended from James Bishop who arrived with his family (parents James and Rebecca (nee Tanner)) and siblings Frederick, Robert and William) aboard the Maori in July 1858. James’ brother, Robert, along with his cousin Charlotte, had arrived three years previously on the Caroline Agnes. Robert Bishop is buried in the cemetery at St James’ Anglican Church on Harewood Road.
The most recent Bishop at Bishop’s Corner was Gordon Frederick Bishop, a “lifelong resident and farmer at Bishop’s Corner, Southbridge”, who passed away in 2013 age 85. William Bishop (son of James Bishop, above) farmed at Bishop’s Corner until relocating to Whitecliffs in 1898 when his property passed to a Mr Deleu. From the mid-1880’s until well into the 1940’s the Electoral Rolls show Bishops living in the vicinity of Bishop’s Corner.
There are a number of Bishop burials at Bishop’s Corner.
From the 1880’s, the creation of the Methodist section at the Ellesmere Public Cemetery, there was little use for Bishop’s Corner cemetery and, after the local council took over the running of Bishop’s Corner cemetery in 1981 it was closed to all but those who had already purchased plots.
There are a number of burials that no longer have headstones, and these are noted in red.
ALLEY, Clara Maria (d. April 1952) age 86. Born Heathersett, Norfolk, England.
ARTHUR, Thomas James (d. 1st January, 1878) age 2.
ATTWOOD, Edward (d. 26th January, 1872) age 13.
BARKER, George (d. 21st October, 1904) Age 66. Also his son, John Claude (d. 27th July, 1877) age 4. Also his wife, Maria (d. 22nd October, 1917) age 85 (nee Chilman).
BARNETT, Douglas Walter (d. 7th June, 1947). Age 4. Twin son of Percy and Fiona.
BARNETT, George Herbert (d. 22nd January, 1928) age 52. Also his wife, Ellen Mary (d. 2nd April, 1953) age 75 (nee Russell). Also his son, Sidney Talbot (d. 19th August, 1939) age 35.
BARNETT, Leonard Ralph (d. 10th April, 1936) age 54. Also his wife Evelyn Maude “Cinders” (d. 24th January, 1969) age 88. Evelyn (nee Ash) was a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) at the New Zealand Hospital at Walton-on-Thames, England, from 1916-1919.
BARNETT, John (d. 2nd September, 1917). Also his three sons Horace Samuel (d. 23rd July, 1889) age 7 months, Sidney Robins (d. 30th March, 1895) age 3 years and John Robertson (d. 4th September, 1907) age 28. Also his wife Gertrude (nee Lawry) (d. 13th July, 1895) age 49. Gertrude was born in Tredethy, Cornwall.
BELTON, Elizabeth Jane (d. 5th September, 1877). Age 2. Daughter of William and Annie. Headstone is in several pieces. The side bearing inscription is difficult to access due to overgrown tree growing very close to the face.
BISHOP, Frederick Alfred (d. 30th April, 1911) age 54. Also his sons Charles Frederick (d. 16th February, 1884) age 4 months and William Alfred (d. 18th September, 1885) age 14 months. Also his wife, Elizabeth (nee Grant) (d. 15th July, 1947) age 88.
BISHOP, Mary (d. 12th July, 1954) age 75. Nee Simpson. Also her husband, Robert George (Bob)(d. 7th January, 1980) age 92.
BODY, Annie Elizabeth (d. 16 June, 1879) age 9 weeks.
BROWN, Samuel (d. 23rd July, 1879) age 29. From Lancashire.
BUCKINGHAM, Thomas (d. 12th March, 1888). Age 59. Also Levinia Marianne GOLDSMITH (d. 4th November, 1883). See also WRIGHT, Kathleen Mary – buried in same plot.
CANNON, Thomas (d. 31st October, 1883). Age 63. Also his brother, Michael (d. 7th September, 1882) age 72. Also his wife, Frances Jane (nee Coates) (d. 9th June, 1884) age 71.
CHAMBERS, John (d. 7th August, 1908). Age 67. Also his daughters Caroline (d. 18th November, 1881) age 4 and Ellen (d. 19th November, 1881) age 7 and Ann Jane (d. 12th June, 1944) age 74. Also his wife, Ellen (nee Livingston) (d. 29th January, 1919) age 80.
CLARK, Christopher (d. 7th August, 1897) age 80. From Lancashire. Also his wife, Hannah (nee Jowett) (d. 8th December, 1893) age 75.
CLARK, William (d. 1st July, 1889). Also two infant daughters (not named). Also his youngest daughter, Florence May CLARK (d. 8th May, 1895) age 6 years 4 months. Also his wife, Annie (nee Anderson) (d. 10th February, 1915) age 65.
COLE, William (d. 9th May, 1880) age 64.
CREASY, Thomas (d. 6th August, 1884) age 62. From Billinger, Lancashire.
FOSTER, Mary Lucretia (d. 3rd January, 1896) age 9 months.
FRAMPTON, Annie Sophia (d. 7th March, 1873) age 4.
FUSSELL, William (d. 3rd January, 1882) age 3 weeks.
HESLOP, William (d. 29th August, 1885) age 48. Also his wife, Ruth (d. 5th June, 1924) age 83.
HOEAR, Infant (d. 13th July, 1884) age 20 hours.
HORNE, Amelia (d. 4th October, 1885) age 13. Daughter of James and Caroline Horne (nee Coker). Also her mother, Caroline (d. 14th June, 1898) age 58.
LEVETT, Charles George (d. 23rd October, 1887) age 18 months.
LEVETT, Henry (d. 13th June, 1886) age 72. From Kersey, Suffolk.
LEVETT, Henry (d. 8th February, 1884) age 11.
LEVETT, John (Jock) (d. c. 1932) age 48.
LEVETT, Maria (d. 17th November, 1891) age 41.
MANHART, Hannan Catherina (d. 27th May, 1884) age 25 days.
MANHART, Lucy Christina (d. 26th January, 1886) age 7 weeks.
MANHART, Thomas James (d. 8th September, 1892) age 1 month.
MATHIESON, Edith Caroline (d. 24th September, 1926) age 50. Nee Barnett (daughter of John and Gertrude (above).
MATTHEWS, Laura (d. 1st May, 1882) age 3 months.
MATTHEWS, Annie (d. 29th April, 1882) age 3 months.
MAXWELL, Barbara (d. 8th June, 1884) age 24. From County Tyrone, Ireland.
MAXWELL, Margaret (d. 27th May, 1895) age 18 days.
MAXWELL, Robert (d. 11th March, 1888) age 7 months.
McCLURE, William David (d. 7th November, 1881) age 42 days.
MOOR, Infant – 0 years.
MOOR, Mary (d. 1st June, 1873) age 5 weeks.
MUMBY, George (d. 16th May, 1938) age 92. From Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
PAGE, Clara (d. 1st July, 1875) age 15 months.
PAGE, Edith (Ada) (d. 10th January, 1877) age 13 months.
PAGE, Infant (d. 9th September, 1877) 15 hours.
PENTELOW, Emily (d. 3rd March, 1887) age 36. Wife of William Pentelow. Also her daughter Kate Emma (d. 15th November, 1886) age 4 months.
PICKERING, Eva (d. 17th August, 1895) age 13. From Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand.
PICKERING, Mary (d. 4th November, 1895) age 16. From Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand.
RAPLEY, Infant (d. 1st May, 1882) age 2 days.
ROGERS, Edwin Cornwall (d. 15th January, 1873) age 12 months.
SHEMMINGS, Charles Ernest (d. 13th October, 1881) age 16 months.
SHIPMAN, George William (d. 27th December, 1904) age 48. Also his niece, Sarah Ann Paulger (d. 24th April, 1888) age 2.
SNELL, John (d. 25th November, 1894) age 69. From Penzance, Cornwall, England. Also his daughter, Elizabeth Carr (d. 13th July, 1934) age 77. Also his niece, Thomazina Carter Leybourne (nee Snell) (d. 28th February, 1888) age 30.
WABY, George Edward (d. 8th April, 1872) age 5 months.
WABY, Mary Caroline (d. 8th June, 1899) age 33.
WATSON, Mary Ellen (d. 9th July, 1874) age 5.
WILLS – Children of D & S Wills. Agnes Emilia (d. 9th September, 1904) Age 23. Richard (d. 6th March, 1878). Alice Emilia (d. 9th November, 1879) age 11 months. Elizabeth – no date – age 0.
WILSON, Frances Margaret (d. 26th June, 1880) age 10 days.
WITHELL, Ada Emily (d. 9th June, 1873) age 5 months.
WORNER, Rose Mary (d. 17th September, 1932) age 55. Also her husband, Septimus William Worner (d. 9th May, 1956) age 74. Also their son, William Treeby Worner (d. 24th August, 1994) age 70.
WORNER, Septimus (d. 17th February, 1906) age 59. Born in Greenham Barton, Somerset, England. Also his wife, Frances Jane (d. 18th February, 1917) nee Worner – born in Martock, Somerset, England. Also his daughters Frankie May (d. 3rd August, 1896) age 23 and Ida Octavia (d. 4th November, 1899) age 16.
WRIGHT, Kathleen Mary (d. 3rd December, 1992). Small plaque next to illegible headstone.
YOUNG, John James (d. 5th February, 1883) age 1 day.