Patrick Buckley (politician)

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Sir Patrick Alphonsus Buckley (circa 1841 – 18 May 1896) was a New Zealand soldier, lawyer, statesman, and judge who held several high government posts in Wellington in the early 1890s.

Early life[edit]

Buckley was probably born in 1840 or 1841, near Castletownshend, County Cork, Ireland.[1] He was educated at the Mansion House School, Cork; St. Colman's College, Paris; the Irish College in Paris; and the Catholic University, Leuven.[2] Buckley was in Leuven when the Piedmontese invaded the Papal States in 1860, and at the request of Count Carlo MacDonnell, Private Chamberlain to Pope Pius IX, he brought the recruits of the Irish Papal Brigade from Ostend to Vienna, where they were placed under representatives of the Holy See. He served under General Lamoricière, and after the war returned to Ireland.


He emigrated to Queensland in 1862,[3] where he completed his legal studies and was admitted to the bar.

New Zealand[edit]

After a short residence in Queensland he settled in New Zealand in 1865,[3] and began his law practice in Wellington. Soon after his arrival, he became a member of the Wellington Provincial Council. He first represented the Karori and Makara electorate (1872–1873), and then the City of Wellington electorate (1873–1876).[4] He was called to the Legislative Council on 23 July 1878, where he served to 20 December 1895 when he resigned.[5] He was Colonial Secretary (1884–1887) and leader of the Upper House in the second Stout-Vogel Ministry,[6] and Attorney-General (1891-1895) and Colonial Secretary (1891-1895) in the Ballance and Seddon ministries.[7] Under John Ballance, he was also briefly Postmaster-General and Electric Telegraph Commissioner in 1891, but he was soon succeeded by Joseph Ward.[8] Under Richard Seddon, he was also Minister of Marine in 1893.[9] He was leader of an overwhelmingly opposition Upper House under the Liberal Government from 1891 until 1895, when he accepted the position of Judge of the Supreme Court. He was created Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George in 1892.

In 1869 he married Alice Jane, a daughter of Sir William FitzHerbert. He had land in the Wellington suburb of Melrose and Buckley Road, Melrose is named after him.[10]

He died at Lower Hutt, New Zealand.



  • Irvine-Smith, F. L. (1948). The Streets of My City: Wellington New Zealand Wellington, AH & AW Reed
  • Hamer, David (1988). The New Zealand Liberals: The Years of Power 1891-1912. Auckland: Auckland university Press. ISBN 1-86940-014-3. 
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 

Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Whitaker
Succeeded by
Albert Pitt