Sir Thomas Wilford
|Thomas Wilford in 1928|
|8th Leader of the Opposition|
8 September 1920 – 13 August 1925
|Preceded by||William MacDonald|
|Succeeded by||George Forbes|
|18th Mayor of Wellington|
|Preceded by||Alfred Newman|
|Succeeded by||David McLaren|
20 June 1870|
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
|Died||22 June 1939
Wellington, New Zealand
|Relations||Thomas Mason (grandfather)
George McLean (father-in-law)
Sir Thomas Mason Wilford KCMG KC (20 June 1870 – 22 June 1939) was a New Zealand politician. He held the seats of Wellington Suburbs then Hutt continuously for thirty years, from 1899 to 1929. Wilford was leader of the New Zealand Liberal Party, and Leader of the Opposition from 1920 to 1925.
Wilford was born in Lower Hutt in 1870. His parents were the surgeon John George Frederick Wilford and his wife, Elizabeth Catherine Mason. His grandfather on his mother's side was Thomas Mason. He obtained his education at Wellington College in the Wellington suburb of Mount Victoria, followed by Christ's College in Christchurch. He passed his examinations as a lawyer at age 18, but could not be admitted to the bar until he had reached the legal age of 21.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Wilford was elected to the Wellington Suburbs electorate in the 1896 general election, but the result was declared void after an election petition on the grounds of corrupt and illegal practices. Charles Wilson was elected MP for that electorate following a by-election on 23 April 1897.
Wilford was a member of the Wellington Harbour Board from 1900 to 1910, and chaired the Board from 1908 onwards. He resigned from the Harbour Board when he became Mayor of Wellington in 1910 for one year.
From 10 December 1928 to 10 December 1929 he was Minister of Justice for a second period, and also Minister of Defence in Ward's Ministry. He "had a long-standing interest in naval policy, especially the Singapore Base, ... had travelled extensively in the Pacific and the Far East", and he "was regarded as something of a specialist in Far Eastern questions."
In the 1930 King's Birthday Honours, Wilford was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.
Wilford died at Wellington on 22 June 1939, survived by his wife and two children.
- Butterworth, Susan. "Wilford, Thomas Mason - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 147.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 148.
- Wilson 1985, p. 252.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 44.
- Wilson 1985, p. 80.
- McGibbon 1981, pp. 181, 221.
- Wilson 1985, p. 245.
- The London Gazette: . 3 June 1930. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Wilford.|
- McGibbon, I. C. (1981). Blue-Water Rationale: The Naval Defence of New Zealand 1914–1942. Wellington: GP Print. ISBN 0-477-01072-5.
- Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
- Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
|Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
|Mayor of Wellington
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Wellington Suburbs
Title next held byJohn Luke
Title last held byAlfred Newman
|Member of Parliament for Hutt
|High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom