Charles Gordon O'Neill

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Charles Gordon O'Neill (23 March 1828 – 8 November 1900) was a Scottish-Australasian civil engineer, inventor, parliamentarian and philanthropist, and a co-founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia and New Zealand.[1]


He was born in Glasgow and studied civil engineering and mechanics at the University of Glasgow. He worked on the city's public works for 14 years, rising to become chief assistant in the Public Works Office. He served as a captain in the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, and was active in the Society of St Vincent de Paul, becoming secretary at Dumbarton (1851), president of the Superior Council of Glasgow (1863), and a member of the Council General in Paris.[2] He emigrated to New Zealand in 1864.[1]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1866–1870 4th Goldfields Independent
1871–1875 5th Thames Independent

He arrived in Otago in January 1864, where he was a Member of Parliament for the Goldfields electorate in the Otago Region (elected on 26 February 1866 during the 1866 general election; dissolution of the 4th New Zealand Parliament on 30 December 1870), and then for the Thames electorate (elected on 9 February 1871 during the 1871 general election; dissolution of the 5th New Zealand Parliament on 6 December 1875).[3]

Later life and death[edit]

He moved to Australia in 1881. He died in Sydney on 8 November 1900.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Stace, F. Nigel (1 September 2010). "O'Neill, Charles Gordon". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. 
  3. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 130. 
  • Captain Charles, engineer of charity: the remarkable life of Charles Gordon O'Neill by Stephen Utick (2008, Allen & Unwin, NSW) ISBN 978-1-74175-378-3
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Thames
Succeeded by
William Rowe
George Grey