BIRTH: Old Parish Register Edinburgh
15 June 1843 p. 347
William Purdie MD residing No 15 Union St, St Cuthberts Parish and
Elizabeth Robertson his spouse had a lawful Son born on the Thirteenth
day of May Eighteen Hundred and Forty Three. Named Henry Wight.
Copied from FHC Film 1066692.
MARRIAGE: Press Clipping, Otago
Daily Times, Aug 30, 1872. p.2. "On the 28th August, at Viewmount,
the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev. John Williams, assisted
by the Rev. F.W. Isitt, Henry W. Purdie, surgeon dentist, Christchurch,
third son of William Purdie, Esq., M.D., to Eliza Mary, eldest daughter
of Thomas Dick, Esq.
DEATH: 5 May 1927
BURIAL: He was interred at Te
Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth, Lot 14/22/2.
CEMETERY RECORDS: NZGS J02-22 Sht.144.
No.5893. "In loving memory of Henry Wight PURDIE 2nd son of Dr.
William PURDIE of Edinburgh & Dunedin. 13 May 1843 - 5 May 1927.
Entered into life." Photographs of grave taken by C.L Purdie.
Station Manager: Cottesbrock Station ( 35,000 acres), Strath Taieri,
Dentist: Christchurch, Canturbury, New Zealand.
Advert. - Lyttleton Times, 7 Sep
1872 - "Mr. H. Purdie Returned to Christchurch and has resumed
business at his rooms Cashell St. opposite the Press Office".
RESIDENCE: The 1875/6 Electoral
Roll shows PURDIE as at Leasehold Town Sec. 879, offices, south side
Cashell St west. The 1880/4Q period, resident at Armagh St. -
Occupation: Dentist. 1885 until about 1892, the family home was in
Helmores Lane. After about that date they moved to Carlton Terrace,
which is now Shrewsbury St and the part of Bealey Avenue from Papanui Rd
to Tonbridge St intersection.
Residence, Christchurch: Carlton
Mill Rd. Home, A copy of a Photograph. Also at Armah St (Wises
Land: Certificate of Title, Vol.
204, folio 45, Canterbury Land District. Dated 17 December 1902. Area of
1252 acres in Blk. VI, of the Selwyn SD., being Rural Sections: 29661,
29662, 29767 (total 520 acres, 29663, 350 acres, and 37013, 382 acres.
Biography: The Cyclopedia of New
Zealand 1903. Vol. 3 Canterbury. MacDonald Dictionary of Canterbury
Biographies. p 251.
Dentistry: Brooking, T.W.H. 1980.
" A History of Dentistry in New Zealand." New Zealand Dental
J.P. Armstrong of Dunedin, H.W.Purdie of
Christchurch, John Deck of Invercargill, and Alfred Smith of Auckland
and Whangarei, also seem to have been competent and progressive
dentists. Between them these men trained a significant number of very
able second-generation dentists, whether their own sons or outsiders.
Herbert Rawson and Audley Merewhether of
Christchurch circularised dentists to form a New Zealand Dental
Association in February 1889.
The inaugural meeting of the new
association was held in Wellington between 1 and 3 July 1889 at Rawson's
home. Alfred Boot and Frank Armstrong represented Otago, H.W. Purdie
attended on behalf of Canterbury dentists, J Greenwood came at the
prompting of fellow practitioners in Wanganui, Rawson acted for both
Wellington and Auckland dentists. Auther Hoby and R.C.Bulkley of
Wellington also attended. Boot was voted to the chair.
The following day a deputation was made
up of Boot, Rawson and Purdie to consult with Sir James Hector regarding
the advisability of amending the Dentist's Act. This interview was held
on 3 July.
Profession: Manager of his Father's Run,
Cottesbrook Station in Strath Taieri, near Middlemarch until it was sold
in 1866. (It was here that he became engaged to Mary Dick, but did not
marry for 6 years). He then went Melbourne Australia, to learn a
He became a dentist having finished
trained under a Mr Boot of Dunedin, and established his practice in
Christchurch. He was a very private man and did not become involved in
Purdie was a keen gardener and was one of
the founders of the Rose Garden, Christchurch Botanical Gardens,
Christchurch. This garden was designed by his close friend, John Young a
horticulturalist of some repute.
His later life is rather unknown, at one
part he lived with his son, Edward and when Ted went into the forces he
managed the farm for a short period, then appeared in Sandringham,
Auckland. In his later life he stayed in New Plymouth until his death.
Purdie managed his father's Run,
Cottesbrook, near Middlemarch, Strath Tairie until it was sold in 1866.
Refer his letters attached.
Two letters are held by C.L.P., written
by Henry Wight PURDIE (aged 23 years) to his brother William, written
from Cottesbrook Station.
Jan 26th 1866
I received your kind letter about ten
days ago. I hope you are liking your new place better than you did &
that the change has done you good, but I hope you will soon back to town
again as they miss you very much. I began shearing last Thursday week
but the weather is so broken that we have only had one whole day. The
new shed is a great improvement on the old place we can get working
properly. The sheep are beautifully washed this year very nearly as
clean as some I have seen washed in hot water. The first day we were
shearing we were at work by five in the morning & did not leave off
work till half past nine at night pretty long hours. I have got one of
the best shepherds in the country James Elliot in place of Bennett. Alex
King is going up to the [Unit?] at the back of the round hill I have got
his hut up so he goes up soon as the shearing is over. I am also putting
a hut up for Jim King at his boundary as the sheep are very bad for
going with Stronack's & he is to far from his work. I am putting up
a kitchen at the back of this house so that I will have the whole house
to myself & I expect to have Jane up soon & perhaps someone
else. I am much happier now than I was, since my conversion & more
confident with my lot. I have a service every Sunday evening but as you
said it is very hard when with my older friends to behave constantly
with my profession of a Christian but God is always near to help those
who ask his assistance. Oh Willie if I was only sure of you how happy I
I am going to town as soon as Mr Parsons
comes back to be baptized along with Mary, Bobby & Elie Dick & a
lot more who are waiting for his return I wish you were amongst them but
I have no doubt you soon will be. Fred Harper wishes to know if you will
sell your filly & foal for twenty pounds please let me know as soon
Believe me to
remain your loving
Brother Henry Purdie
Feby 8th 1866
You will no doubt wonder why I have been
so long in writing to you but you see I have been to town as you no
doubt heard, I thought that I would be able to have come & seen you
before now but I could not get I have been so busy. I suppose you have
heard that the run is to be sold on the sixth of next month if you look
the daily times you will see the advertisement it is also advertised in
the Melbourne papers there are a good many buyers in the market & I
think it will sell well it is a great disappointment to me but I have no
doubt it is ordered for the best.
Now Willie dear I am going to tell you a
little bit of news I do not know whither it will please you or not but I
suppose Jane has told you already if not it is this I am engaged to Mary
Dick with the consent of all interested did you expect this. The
marriage will not in all probability take place for six or seven years a
long time to wait is it not but I have got to begin life in some new
sphere again & have only myself & God's help to assist me as I
can not expect to get anything from Papa or Mr Dick as neither of them
have over much for their present wants
I am going to Melbourne in the first
place to take a years study & I think I will learn some profession
but what I do not know yet. I am going to draft & mouth the sheep
next week & then I am going to town again & I will come up &
see you then. Harper has taken your mare at twenty pounds. Harry's foal
brought the same price in town as I sold him for, he is carrying a meat
Willie I wish you would write longer
letters & tell more about yourself especially to Mama & Jane
they feel it very much the shortness of your letters they think you do
not care about them at all. A good many of your friends were asking
after you when I was in town.
Now dear Willie I must say good by to you
as I have to write to Mary Dick & Jane & May God bless you &
prosper you & lead you to his fold as he has done for me &
believe me to
remain your own loving
Henry was 22 years 8 months old at the
time he wrote this letter and he married on 13 May 1843, 6½ years later
after qualifying as a dentist.
Our thanks to Dell Purdie of
Rotorua NZ [email protected] for this information.