Joseph Braithwaite (mayor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joseph Braithwaite
Braithwaite in mayoral robes
(20 July 1905)
30th Mayor of Dunedin
In office
Preceded by Thomas Reid Christie
Succeeded by George Lawrence
Personal details
Born 1848
Cliburn, Penrith, Westmorland, England
Died (aged 69)
St Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Bellett (m. 1872)
Relations John Braithwaite (son)
Rewi Braithwaite (son)
Warwick Braithwaite (son)
Nicholas Braithwaite (grandson)
Rodric Braithwaite (grandson)
Occupation Bookseller

Joseph Braithwaite (1848 – 27 March 1917) was a New Zealand bookseller and politician. He was mayor of Dunedin from 1905 to 1906.

Early life and family[edit]

Braithwaite was born in Cliburn, near Penrith in the northwest of England, in 1848. The family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1852, but Braithwaite's mother died during the voyage. His father subsequently remarried and the family moved again, in 1860, to Dunedin, New Zealand. Braithwaite's father died about three years later.[1] He married Mary Ann Bellett in Dunedin on 2 July 1872,[2] and they had at least 16,[3] and as many as 22,[4] children. Among them, John Braithwaite, was convicted and executed for mutiny during World War I, and was finally pardoned by the New Zealand government in 2000.[3] Another son, Rewi Braithwaite, played in New Zealand's first official international soccer match, against Australia in 1922,[5] and another, Warwick Braithwaite, became a noted orchestral conductor.


In 1863, Braithwaite established "Braithwaite's Circulating Library" in Farley's Arcade at the corner of High Street and Fleet Street.[6] By 1867, he was also trading as a newsagent.[7] From humble beginnings, the business expanded and moved, eventually becoming "Braithwaite's Book Arcade" at 38–40 Princes Street in 1883.[1][8][9]

Council and mayoral career[edit]

Braithwaite was first elected to the Dunedin City Council in 1901 and re-elected two years later. He was elected unopposed as mayor of Dunedin in 1905 and retired after serving for a one-year term.[1] His mayoralty was characterised by the practical completion of the Dunedin tramway system.[10] He also spent three years on the Ocean Beach Domain Board and served as a member of the city's licensing committee.[1]

Other activities[edit]

Braithwaite belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was a past grand master and life member. He was a member of the Anglican Synod from 1892, and also served on the City Mission committee and the committee of the Bible in State Schools League. He was also vice-president of the Otago Football Association for a time, and chairman of the Empire Pictures Company.[1]


Braithwaite died at his home in the Dunedin suburb of St Clair on 27 March 1917,[11] and was buried at the Southern Cemetery.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Mr Joseph Braithwaite". Otago Daily Times. 28 March 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Births, marriages, and deaths". Otago Daily Times. 3 August 1872. p. 3. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b McGibbon, Ian. "Braithwaite, John". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "British composer arrives". Northern Star. 2 April 1947. p. 9. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "1904–59". The ultimate New Zealand soccer website. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Collection of books with labels from New Zealand bookshops, booksellers, stationers, circulating and lending libraries, 1860s?–1950". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Wanted". Otago Daily Times. 5 November 1867. p. 1. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Wise's New Zealand Post Office Directory. 1916. p. 352. 
  9. ^ Griffith, Penny; Harvey, Ross; Maslen, Keith, eds. (1997). Book & print in New Zealand: a guide to print culture in Aotearoa. Wellington: Victoria University Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-86473-331-3. 
  10. ^ "The old mayor and the new". Otago Daily Times. 3 May 1906. p. 6. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Deaths". Otago Daily Times. 28 March 1917. p. 4. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cemeteries search". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Reid Christie
Mayor of Dunedin
Succeeded by
George Lawrence