Isaac Featherston

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The Honourable Dr
Isaac Featherston
NZC
Portrait photo of a man around 60 years of age
Isaac Featherston
7th Colonial Secretary
In office
12 July 1861 – 2 August 1861
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wanganui and Rangitikei
In office
24 May 1854 – 9 August 1855
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for City of Wellington
In office
1855–1858
In office
1858–1870
1st Superintendent of Wellington Province
In office
2 July 1853 – 23 April 1858
In office
28 June 1858 – 14 March 1870
Personal details
Born 21 March 1813
Newcastle upon Tyne
 England
Died 19 June 1876(1876-06-19) (aged 63)
Hove
 England

Isaac Earl Featherston NZC (21 March 1813 – 19 June 1876) was a New Zealand politician, and was known for his advocacy for the establishment of New Zealand self-government, and the importance of the provincial governments.

Early life[edit]

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, he qualified in medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1836. He arrived in Wellington in 1841 on the New Zealand Company ship Olympus.[1]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1853–1855 1st Wanganui and Rangitikei Independent
1855–1858 2nd Town of Wellington Independent
1858–1860 2nd Town of Wellington Independent
1860–1866 3rd City of Wellington Independent
1866–1870 4th City of Wellington Independent

Featherston served in the first, second, third, and fourth Parliaments. He represented the Wanganui and Rangitikei electorate in the first parliament until he resigned on 9 August 1855, and then represented the City of Wellington electorate in the second, third and fourth parliaments. In 1858, he resigned his seat in Parliament[2] and his Wellington superintendency, apparently wanting to return to England. Instead, he successfully stood for re-election in both positions within months.[1]

Featherston was Colonial Secretary (forerunner to the modern Minister of Internal Affairs) in 1861, and a Minister without Portfolio from 1869 to 1871, having been appointed in both instances by William Fox.

Featherston was also heavily involved in the politics of Wellington Province. He was elected unopposed as the first Superintendent from 1853.[1] He resigned from this post on 23 April 1858.[3] He was re-elected on 28 June 1858[3] and held the post until 1870.[1]

From 1871 he was the first Agent-General for the colony in London, the precursor to the High Commissioner.[4]

Wakefield Featherston duel[edit]

A duel on 24 March 1847 was fought in Wellington between Colonel William Wakefield and Featherston (who was Wakefields's doctor) over a newspaper editorial of Featherston on the New Zealand Company land policy which questioned Wakefield’s honesty. Featherston fired and missed. Then Wakefield fired into the air, saying he would not shoot a man with seven daughters.[5]

Commemoration[edit]

The town of Featherston in the Wairarapa is named after him, as is Featherston Street in Wellington.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hamer, David (22 June 2007). "Featherston, Isaac Earl 1813–1876". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES." (340). Otago Witness. 5 June 1858. p. 5. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 234. 
  4. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (updated 11-Aug-09). "FEATHERSTON, Dr Isaac Earl". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 3 July 2010.  Check date values in: |date=, |year= (help)
  5. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (updated 23-Apr-09). "Duell". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 3 July 2010.  Check date values in: |date=, |year= (help)
Political offices
New office Superintendent of Wellington Province
1853–1858
1858–1870
Succeeded by
William Fitzherbert
Preceded by
Edward Stafford
Colonial Secretary
1861
Succeeded by
William Fox
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Wanganui and Rangitikei
1853–1855
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Robert Hart, James Kelham and Charles Clifford
Member of Parliament for Wellington
1855–1870
Served alongside: Charles Clifford, William Waring Taylor, William Fitzherbert, William Barnard Rhodes and Charles Borlase
Succeeded by
George Hunter, Edward Pearce
Diplomatic posts
New title Agent-General of New Zealand in the United Kingdom
1871–1876
Succeeded by
Julius Vogel