William Cutfield King

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William Cutfield King
portrait photo of a man about 30 with sideburns
Capt. W. C. King
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Grey and Bell
In office
November 1860 – February 1861
Personal details
Died8 February 1861 (aged 32)
New Plymouth
New Zealand
Resting placeSt Mary's Church cemetery, New Plymouth
Spouse(s)Eliza Mary King
ChildrenTwo daughters
ProfessionFarmer, soldier, politician

William Cutfield King (1829 – 8 February 1861) was a 19th-century New Zealand politician who was elected to Parliament, but was killed in the New Zealand land wars before the first session.

Early life[edit]

King with his wife and daughter

King was born in Devonshire, England in 1829 as the only child of Captain Henry King (1783–1874)[1][2] and his wife Mary Anne. He was twelve years old in 1841 when he came to New Zealand with his parents on board the Amelia Thompson. His father was the first commissioner of Taranaki.[3][4]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1860–1861 3rd Grey and Bell Independent

William Cutfield King and Thomas King (no relation) contested the Grey and Bell electorate in the 1860 election. On nomination day, the contestants addressed the electors and at the end of the meeting, the Returning Officer requested a show of hands, which was declared to be in favour of Thomas King. Consequently, W. C. King requested an election, which was held on Tuesday, 27 November 1860. W. C. King and T. King received 93 and 34 votes, respectively, and William Cutfield King was thus duly elected to represent the electorate in the 3rd New Zealand Parliament.[5][6]


The First Taranaki War was an armed conflict over land ownership and sovereignty that took place between Māori and the European settlers in the Taranaki Province from March 1860 to March 1861. King was a captain of the local volunteer forces. His farm, known as Woodleigh, was just outside the town of New Plymouth (what is now the suburb of Frankleigh Park) within sight of the garrison on Marsland Hill. He occasionally went there to look after his cattle. On 8 February 1861, he was shot by Ngāti Ruanui after reaching his farm. He tried to flee, but his horse had also been wounded. He could not escape in time and was killed by further shots fired at close range.[4]

King was 32 years old when he died, and was survived by his wife Mrs E.M. King and two daughters (the younger daughter was Constance Ada[7]).[4]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Thomas King
Member of Parliament for Grey and Bell
Succeeded by
Harry Atkinson


  1. ^ WELLS, B. (1878). "CHAPTER XXVIII: THE TARANAKI PIONEERS". The history of Taranaki. pp. 302–304. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Henry King". Puke Ariki. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  3. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1908). "Former Members Of The House Of Representatives". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts. Christchurch. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Wells, B. (1878). "CHAPTER XXII: THE TARANAKI WAR.". The History of Taranaki. p. 222. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  5. ^ "The Elections". Taranaki Herald. IX (435). 1 December 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  6. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 211. OCLC 154283103.
  7. ^ "untitled". Rootschat.com. Retrieved 16 June 2010.