Paul Frederick de Quincey

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Paul Frederick de Quincey (26 November 1828 – 15 April 1894) was a 19th-century Member of Parliament in Auckland, New Zealand.

Early life[edit]

De Quincey was born at Grasmere, Westmoreland. He was the son of the great English writer Thomas De Quincey. He received his education at the High School, Edinburgh, and at the Lasswade School, near that city.[1] He entered the army in 1845 as ensign in the 70th Regiment, and served with distinction in India from 1846 to 1860, when, having become successively captain and major of brigade on the permanent staff of the Bengal Presidency, he was ordered with his old regiment, which he had rejoined after serving with several others, for active service in New Zealand.[1]

New Zealand[edit]

Colonel de Quincey arrived in that colony in May 1861, served there for a time, commanded the 1st Company Transport Corps, and then rejoined his regiment; but seeing no prospect of returning to India without sacrificing his position, sold out, and turned his attention to farming, with the unsatisfactory results usually experienced by military men. In 1863, the war in the Waikato breaking out, and the Auckland Militia being called out for active service, he was appointed to the command of the left wing of the 3rd Battalion Artillery, with a captain's commission and without pay, and embodied it on those terms.[1] Major-General Galloway, under whom he had served in India, on being appointed to the command of the colonial forces selected Captain de Quincey as his military secretary, to which appointment he was gazetted with the rank of major, and soon afterwards he was gazetted to a lieutenant-colonelcy. On General Galloway leaving the colony in 1864, he was succeeded in the command by Colonel Haultain, Lieut.-Col. de Quincey continuing as military secretary.[1]

Since the Waikato war in the Auckland Province finished in 1864, he lived principally in the country.[1] For a time, he was acting coroner in Howick.[2]

On 13 February 1866, he married Charlotte Emily Pilling at Howick. She was the widow of Captain Oswald Pilling.[3] His stepdaughter was Florence Henrietta Pilling, who married John FitzRoy Beresford Peacocke in 1875.[4] Peacocke's father, Stephen Ponsonby Peacocke, had been a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council until his death in 1872.[5]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1866–1867 4th Pensioner Settlements Independent

De Quincey represented the Pensioner Settlements electorate in Parliament from 1866 to 1867, when he resigned.[6]

In 1889, he was appointed as Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives by the Speaker.[1] He held this role until his death and was succeeded by William Fraser.[7]

He died at his residence, Cambridge House in Vincent Street in central Auckland, on Sunday, 15 April 1894. He was buried in nearby Purewa.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to De Quincey, Lieut.-Col. Paul Frederick". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource 
  2. ^ "Obituary". Auckland Star. XXV (90). 16 April 1894. p. 3. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Marriage". Daily Southern Cross. XXII (2681). 19 February 1866. p. 4. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  4. ^ "The Waikato militia, 4th regiment - Biographies". Dent family connections. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 161.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 192.
  7. ^ "Cabinet Appointments". Auckland Star. XXV (93). 19 April 1894. p. 9. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Death of Colonel de Quincey". The New Zealand Herald. XXXI (9486). 16 April 1894. p. 5. Retrieved 10 December 2013.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
William Mason
Member of Parliament for Pensioner Settlements
Succeeded by
John Kerr (Auckland politician)