THOMAS DICK M.L.C. (1823-1900)
DICK was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, son of Thomas DICK 1783-1862 of
Bathgate, and Mary Rutherford SHERRIFF 1789 -. Shortly after his birth,
his parents moved to London, however, as soon as he was old enough he
was returned to Edinburgh for his education, where he remained until the
age of 15 years.
In 1838 he entered the firm of John Roberts, merchant, of London
where he remained until 1850. He joined the firm of James Morrison &
Co., of Fenchurch St., London. He was sent to St Helena Island where he
remained for a period of seven years, as agent for the company. Dick had
previously married Miss Barber in London , and was widowed .
They had one child, a daughter, Eliza Mary DICK 1847-1892.
While in St Helena, he married Miss Elizabeth Clarissa Darling in
1850. Later they came to New Zealand, primarily as the agent for
Morrison’s, on the "Bosworth", departing Gravesend, 15
August 1857 and arriving at Otago on 26 November 1857. He brought as
well as his family, his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Darling, his
sisters-in-law, Agnes Ann Fleming and Charlotte Robinson. Before long he
established himself as an auctioneer in his own business. When the
goldfields opened, the business expanded into a general mercantile
The "Bosworth", a ship of over 600 tons, brought out 107
passengers during the run of 102 days. During the voyage to New Zealand,
under the command of Captain Turnbull, an attempt was made to set the
ship on fire; two sailors were put in irons and sent to gaol on arrival
The Otago Colonist made the following report of the ship’s arrival:
"Nov. 26. -- "Bosworth, 611 tons, Turnbull from London.
Passengers - Cabin: Mr & Mrs Walker, Henry Walker & 1 child, Mr
& Mrs Boswell, Mr & Mrs Paritt, Mr & Mrs Dick, Thomas Dick
& 4 children, Elizabeth Darling, Agnes Darling, Charlot Darling,
William Darling, Mr & Mrs Tarlton, Robert Tarlton, & 6 children
Intermediate & Steerage. ...
Although Dick, had only been in the country a year, he was elected
unopposed to a seat in the Provincial Council for Dunedin City, on 12
February 1859 and joined the executive of W. H. Reynolds in the
following November. In 1862 he carried a want of confidence motion
against the Cutten-Walker administration and took office as Provincial
Secretary. On August 4, 1865, he succeeded Richardson as Provincial
Superintendent and held office until 10 January 1867, when Macandrew
defeated him. Dick also served in the House of Representatives on four
occasions, representing Dunedin City (1860-63), Port Chalmers (1866-67),
Dunedin City (1879-81) and Dunedin West (1881-84). During this time he
held the Colonial Secretary's, Education, and Justice portfolios under
Hall (1882-83), adding to these the Post and Telegraph portfolio under
Whitaker (1882-83). He was again Colonial Secretary and Minister of
Education under Atkinson (1883-84). He stood unsuccessfully in 1884 and
1887, after which he declined a call to the Legislative Council and
retired from political life. (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand).
After the death of his second wife, Dick married again, in
Invercargill, on 10 May 1871, this time a widow of that town, Elizabeth
Reid Stuart Walker.
Throughout his life Dick was a very religious man. While in London he
worked with children in Stepney a slum of the city, at the Ragged
Schools. He was also very involved with Sunday Schools and in Dunedin,
joined the First Church (Presbyterian) and assisted in various
positions. However, being a Baptist he held no office, although invited
to do so. He also helped the Knox Church of Dunedin as one of the
original trustees, but in 1863 when the Baptist Church was formed, he
became one of its 15 foundation members. Dick was one of the early
presidents of the Baptist Union, a position in which he was held in high
honour for several years.
Thomas Dick died at his home, "Viewmount", in Queen St
Dunedin on 5 February 1900. The house was named because of its view of
For the New Zealand setting, refer to various published notes on
Thomas DICK & The Hon. Thomas DICK, M.L.C.
Birth: August 1823. Ref: Family Bible.
1. Miss Barber in London 1846
2. Miss Elizabeth Clarissa Darling, of St Helena Isd. 1850
3. Mrs Elizabeth Walker, Widow of Invercargill. 1870
Refs: Family Bible and other data.
Daughter, Eliza Mary 1847
Son, Thomas Hudson (1852-1921)
Daughter, Elizabeth (Lizzie) (1885-1924)
Son, James Bertram (1859-)
Death: Dunedin, 5 February 1900. at his home "Viewmount"
Queen Street, Dunedin. Cause of death: Cystitis for 8 years.
Register of Deaths 1900/94.
Funeral Notice: - Leave the residence of Thomas Dick, Queen St
Dunedin." Inserted in; Otago Daily Times & Star newspapers.
(An interesting indication of costs in 1900:
741. Burial 7 Feb 1900.
"2 ft. extra depth. 7/-.
Funeral Costs, £21/12/6.
Acct., to Mr. T.H.Dick, [no address].)
Burial: Southern Cemetery, (General), Dunedin. Lot 6 Block 22.
Refs: Cemetery Records and personal sighting.
NZSG Cemetery Records, S08-22, 391/95
Details on records of the Dunedin City Council cemetery record show:
Christian Names: Thomas
Residence: Queen St Dunedin
Date of Death: 05-02-1990
Age: 76 years
Native of: Scotland (Edinburgh)
Years in Province: 42 years
Date of Burial: 07-02-1900
Lot: 6 Block: 22
Tomb: Other Names on the tomb are:
Eliza Clarissa d.28-04-1869 a.38yrs b.1831
Eliza Reid d.08-05-1906 a.71yrs b.1835
Charlotte Robinson d.26-10-1873 a.34yrs b.1839
Agnes Ann Fleming d.16-06-1899 a.66yrs b.1833
Elizabeth Darling d.09-04-1893 a.71yrs b.1812
Thomas Bell Low d.12-09-1886 a.31yrs b.1855
Thomas H. Dick d.19-06-1921 a.69yrs b.1852
Elizabeth Low d.09-08-1924 a.69yrs b.1855
C.L.Purdie had visited the tomb in 1992 and was found to be in good
state of repair, and not in need of attention for many years.