William Chapple

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William Chapple
William Allan Chapple, 1908.jpg
William Chapple in 1908
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Tuapeka
In office
5 June 1908 – 29 October 1908
Preceded byJames Bennet
Succeeded byRobert Scott
Personal details
Born14 July 1864
Alexandra, New Zealand
Died19 October 1936(1936-10-19) (aged 72)
Paddington, England
Spouse(s)Sarah Douglas Chapple

William Allan Chapple (14 July 1864 – 19 October 1936)[1] was a member of both the New Zealand House of Representatives and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Early life[edit]

Chapple was born in Alexandra in Central Otago, New Zealand.[2] His parents were the farmer John Cole Chapple and Elizabeth McEwan Chapple (née Allan[3]).[4] He received his early education at Alexandra Primary School.[2] He commenced a medical degree at Otago University and in 1888 went to King's College Hospital for one year. He returned to Otago in the following year to complete his degree, and graduated in 1890 with MB ChB.[2][5] He was first registered as a medical professional on 10 May 1890 and went to Motueka, where he became Public Vaccinator and Native Medical Attendant for the Nelson district.[2][6] He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1897, became MRCP&S in Ireland in 1897 and obtained further qualifications in Dublin (Dip State Med, DPH).[2] He obtained his Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Otago University in 1899.[2][5]

Chapple married Sarah Douglas Turnbull on 1 January 1891 at St Johns Presbyterian Church in Willis Street, Wellington. His wife, five years younger than him, was born in San Francisco. Her father was the Wellington architect Thomas Turnbull. At the time, Chapple was still living in Motueka,[4] but later that year, his father-in-law designed him a large house to be built on the corner of Willis and Dixon Streets in Wellington.[7] He moved to Wellington in 1892, where he continued to practice medicine. He was interested in issues of education and was a philanthropist. He was the president of the Wellington Swimming Club.[6] He served on the Victoria College Council (these days the Victoria University of Wellington) until 1907.[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1908 16th Tuapeka Independent Liberal

Chapple was associated with the New Zealand Liberal Party.[8] He unsuccessfully stood as an Independent Liberal against William Henry Peter Barber in the Newtown electorate in the 1902 and 1905 general elections.[9][10]

William Chapple represented the Tuapeka electorate in the New Zealand House of Representatives from June to October 1908 after a by-election, but was defeated in the general election of 1908.[11]

Later, Chapple was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons at Westminster. He represented Stirlingshire from January 1910 until the constituency was abolished at the 1918 general election.[12] On the reorganisation of constituencies in 1918, he was unsuccessful in Clackmannan and Eastern Stirlingshire,[13] but returned at the 1922 general election as MP for Dumfrieshire, holding that seat until his defeat at the 1924 general election.[13]

Later life[edit]

Chapple strongly advocated Eugenics.[14][15] He was the author of Fertility of the Unfit, in which he advocated enforced sterilization in certain cases.[16] He also published How to Impress the Evils of Alcohol, First Principles in the Art of Physical Development and Cases and Comments from a Doctor's Practice.

In 1912, Chapple made large investments in property in the Canadian city of Vancouver.[17]

Chapple died on 19 October 1936 in Paddington, London.[2]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 4)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "William Allan CHAPPLE". Capital & Coast District Health Board. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  3. ^ Note that the source spells her maiden name 'Allen', but given that sons commonly adopted their mother's maiden name at that time, the spelling is presumably a mistake
  4. ^ a b "Marriages Solemnized at St Johns Presbyterian Church, Willis St, Wellington". St Johns Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b Philson, Marianne (29 October 1993). "UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO - LIST OF GRADUATES FOR THE PERIOD CIRCA 1870 - 1919 (A-G)". Auckland. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "Physicians and Surgeons". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Residence, Willis Street for Dr Chapple". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  8. ^ Hamer, David (1988). The New Zealand Liberals: the years of power, 1891-1912. Auckland: Auckland University Press. p. 362.
  9. ^ Whitcher, G.F. (1966). The New Liberal Party 1905. Christchurch: MA Thesis-University of Canterbury. p. 267.
  10. ^ "The General Election, 1902". National Library. 1903. p. 2. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  11. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 188. OCLC 154283103.
  12. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 561. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  13. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 647, 621. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  14. ^ "The rhetoric of eugenics: expert authority and the Mental Deficiency Bill", BJHS, 1991, 24, 45-60
  15. ^ Eugenics and Politics in Britain, 1900-1914 by Geoffrey Russell Searle ISBN 90-286-0236-4
  16. ^ "The Recorder". The Recorder (Port Pirie) (9, 108). South Australia. 20 July 1928. p. 2. Retrieved 11 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "News Epitomised". The Southland Times (17182). 30 October 1912. p. 5. Retrieved 1 January 2019.

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Bennet
Member of Parliament for Tuapeka
Succeeded by
Robert Scott
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Donald Mackenzie Smeaton
Member of Parliament for Stirlingshire
January 19101918
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
William Murray
Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire
Succeeded by
John Charteris