Loughlin O'Brien

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Loughlin O'Brien (23 November 1821 – 17 April 1901), often spelled Laughlin O'Brien, was a New Zealand politician and judge.

Early life[edit]

O'Brien was born in 1821 in Dublin, Ireland, and arrived in New Zealand in 1842.[1] His father was Andrew O'Brien, who represented the City of Auckland electorate in the Auckland Provincial Council.[2]

He married Helen (Hélène) De Witte at St Patrick's Cathedral on 4 February 1856, with the wedding ceremony carried out by Bishop Pompallier. His Belgian wife was from Waiheke Island, and her father was the Belgian consul to New Zealand, Charles De Witte.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

He trained as a solicitor, first under Mr Conroy and then under Frederick Merriman. He was one of the first two solicitors to be submitted to the Supreme Court in 1851 after having trained in New Zealand.[5] In 1856, he was appointed sheriff for the Auckland district. He was registrar of the Supreme Court from 1865 to 1870, when he retired with a pension.[1] In 1880, he was appointed judge at the Native Land Court. He retired from the bench in circa 1899.[1]


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1853–1855 1st City of Auckland Independent

O'Brien represented the City of Auckland electorate in the 1st New Zealand Parliament from 1853 to 1855, when he retired. He did not serve in any subsequent Parliaments.[2]:129 He was returning officer for the 1855 election for the City of Auckland, Suburbs of Auckland, and Northern Division electorates.[6] He also acted as returning officer for elections to the Auckland Provincial Council, including elections of the Superintendent.[7]


O'Brien resided at Putiki Bay, Ostend on Waiheke Island.[8] He died at Woodside Private Hospital in Parnell on 17 April 1901 following a long illness.[9] He was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Onehunga, which belongs to the Church of the Assumption.[10] He was survived by his wife, two sons, and two daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Local and General News". The New Zealand Herald. XXXVIII (11630). 18 April 1901. p. 5. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 185. 
  3. ^ "Married". Daily Southern Cross. XIII (899). 8 February 1856. p. 2. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "A Belgian City on Waiheke Island". Waiheke Island Historical Society. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : M–Addenda (PDF). II. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 131. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Notice". Daily Southern Cross. XII (862). 2 October 1855. p. 2. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Advertisements Column 1". Daily Southern Cross. XII (873). 9 November 1855. p. 3. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "Mr. Loughlin O'Brien". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Untitled". The New Zealand Herald. XXXVIII (11629). 17 April 1901. p. 5. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Local and General News". The New Zealand Herald. XXXVIII (11632). 20 April 1901. p. 4. Retrieved 15 June 2015.