John Richardson (New Zealand politician)

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John Larkins Cheese Richardson

Painting Major Sir John Larkins Cheese Otago.jpg
3rd Superintendent of Otago Province
In office
17 May 1861 – 15 Apr 1863
Preceded byJames Macandrew
Succeeded byJohn Hyde Harris
4th Speaker of the Legislative Council
In office
Preceded byThomas Bartley
Succeeded byWilliam Fitzherbert
Personal details
Born(1810-08-04)4 August 1810
Bengal, India
Died6 December 1878(1878-12-06) (aged 68)
Dunedin, New Zealand
Political partyIndependent

Sir John Larkins Cheese Richardson (4 August 1810 – 6 December 1878) was a 19th-century New Zealand politician, and a cabinet minister.

Military career[edit]

Richardson was born in Bengal, India. His father was Robert Richardson, a civil servant of the East India Company who ran a silk factory. Richardson received his education at the Company's Military Seminary in Addiscombe, Surrey, England. Afterwards, he was in the Bengal Horse Artillery, and rose to the rank of Major.[1] He took part in the Afghan Campaign, 1842 and was decorated for gallantry for his part in the attack on Istalif. In 1845–1846 Richardson also took part in the First Anglo-Sikh War.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1862 3rd City of Dunedin Independent
1863–1866 3rd Dunedin and Suburbs North Independent
1866–1867 4th Town of New Plymouth Independent

He was Superintendent of Otago Province 1861–1862 at the start of the Otago Gold Rush.[2] He then represented several electorates in Parliament: City of Dunedin in 1862 (resigned), then Dunedin and Suburbs North from 1863 to 1866, then Town of New Plymouth from 1866 to 1867, when he resigned.

He was then appointed to the Legislative Council, of which he was the Speaker from 1868 to 1879. He was knighted in 1874.

Richardson worked with Learmonth White Dalrymple to establish a girls' high school in Dunedin, and for women to be admitted as students of the University of Otago.[3]

University of Otago[edit]

Richardson was an inaugural member of the council of the University of Otago in 1869, becoming the university's Chancellor in 1871, and was also a member of the New Zealand University Council. He was responsible for allowing women to enroll at the university and helped to remove barriers for their entry. This allowed the university to be the first in Australasia to enroll women.[4] The University of Otago's tallest building, the Richardson Building, is named in his honour.

Richardson died at Dunedin on 6 December 1878[1] and was buried at Dunedin Northern Cemetery.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Trotter, Olive. "Richardson, John Larkins Cheese". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Tirikatene, Hon. Sir Eruera (Tihema), (5 Jan. 1895–11 Jan. 1967), Politician, New Zealand", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 2007-12-01, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u50136
  3. ^ Page, Dorothy. "Learmonth White Dalrymple". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  4. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Richardson, John Larkins Cheese". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  5. ^ "Funeral Notice". Evening Star (4921). 9 December 1878. p. 2. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  • Morrell, W.P. (1969) The University of Otago: A centennial history. Dunedin: University of Otago Press.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Macandrew
Superintendent of Otago Province
Succeeded by
John Hyde Harris
Preceded by
Thomas Gillies
Succeeded by
Edward Stafford
Preceded by
Thomas Bartley
Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
Succeeded by
William Fitzherbert
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Edward McGlashan
Member of Parliament for City of Dunedin
Served alongside: Thomas Dick
Succeeded by
James Paterson
Preceded by
Henry Sewell
Member of Parliament for Town of New Plymouth
Succeeded by
Harry Atkinson