William Guyton

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William Guyton the younger JP (1816–84) was the second Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand in 1843. A position he obtained on the death of George Hunter and held until the Borough was abolished by the British Government.

Family life[edit]

Guyton was born in Liverpool in 1816. He sailed to New Zealand on the Ridgway owned vessel the Coromandel which left from London on 10 December 1839 and arrived in Port Nicholson on 29 August 1840. Although not confirmed, Guyton appears to have returned to Middlesex and Lancashire, England around or after 1844, and either returned via New Zealand or went directly to Australia in 1854.

He married Sophia (born 5 October 1816) on 26 July 1847 in Cheshire, England. They had five children, two of whom; Joseph Hope (1850 - Middlesex), and Rebecca Crane (1853 - Lancashire) were born in England and the remaining three; Florence Monmouth (born at sea in 1854), Marion Constance (1855), and Jessie Crane (1857) were born in Sydney, Australia where they had moved in 1854.[1] On 17 December 1857 Guyton and his family left Sydney on the Viemera for London.[2] They had returned to England and lived in 9 Alexandra Road, Heigham, Norwich, Norfolk.[3] Guyton died in 1884.

Business Activities[edit]

Guyton was in partnership with John, Joseph, and Thomas Ridgway; and George Butler Earp in Wellington.[4] The partnership was called Ridgways, Guyton, and Earp and was formed in Liverpool in 1839.[5] They were shipping owners and agents, land agents, and merchants. Guyton had arrived in Wellington on 29 August 1840 with Isaac Ridgway and Earp. After setting up business, Guyton sailed from Wellington to Wanganui on the Jewess on 9 December 1840 and returned to Wellington on the Jane on 30 January 1841.[6][7] The purpose of his journey appears to have been selecting sections for sale. A number of these sections, owned by the partnership, were sold in 1859 well after the partnership had ended.[8] The partnership was dissolved on 27 July 1844.[9] A new partnership was formed called Ridgeways, Hickson, and Co. Guyton was not a member.

While the original partnership was extant, Guyton, in conjunction with his other business partners, constructed one of Wellington's earliest wharves on Lambton Quay.[10]

Guyton's next business venture in the 1850s at North Shore, Sydney was unsuccessful, with him being declared insolvent in November 1856.[11]

Civil Service[edit]

Guyton was one of the founding members of the Commercial and Agricultural Club in Wellington.[12] He was on the Management Committee of Wellington's first library.[13] He was appointed as a Justice of the Peace on 19 April 1842 and sat on Governor Hobson's Legislative Council.[14]

In October 1842 he was elected an Alderman in Wellington's first municipal election and appointed Mayor on 28 July 1843 after the first Mayor, George Hunter, died. With the abolition of the municipality in 1843, Guyton wound up its affairs. The council's final meeting was held in early December 1843.[15] All the Corporation's papers were deposited in the bank. Probably the Union Bank of Australia's Wellington branch.[16] The British Government in 1843 had declared Governor Hobson's 1842 proclamation invalid, which was the cause to the dissolution of the Council.[17] There was no local Government in Wellington until 1864 with the establishment of the Wellington Town Board and no Mayor until Joseph Dransfield in 1870, with the formation of the Wellington City Council.


  1. ^ England and Wales Census 1861
  2. ^ Clearances, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 1857, page 5
  3. ^ England and Wales Census 1881
  4. ^ Shipping intelligence, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue 32, 21 November 1840, Page 2
  5. ^ Supreme Court, Wellington Independent, Volume XVII, Issue 1488, 11 January 1861, Page 5
  6. ^ Sailed, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator , Issue 40, 16 January 1841, Page 2
  7. ^ Arrived, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume 06, Issue 43, 6 February 1841, Page 2
  8. ^ Advertisements, Column 1, Wellington Independent, Volume XV, Issue 1336, 7 June 1859, Page 2
  9. ^ Page 1 Advertisements Column 1, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume V, Issue 362, 18 September 1844, Page 1
  10. ^ New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue 49, 20 March 1841, Page 2
  11. ^ Insolvency Proceedings - New Insolvent, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, New South Wales, 4 November 1856, page 2
  12. ^ Advertisements, Column 1, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue 26, 10 October 1840, Page 2
  13. ^ Port Nicholson Exchange Room and Public Library, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator , Issue 36, 19 December 1840, Page 3
  14. ^ Early Wellington, Evening Post, Volume CX, Issue 31, 5 August 1925, Page 9
  15. ^ Late Corporation of Wellington, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume IV, Issue 305, 9 December 1843, Page 2
  16. ^ Municipal Council, New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser, Volume I, Issue 104, 28 July 1843, Page 3
  17. ^ Civic Government, Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 32, 8 February 1915, Page 21

No Mean City by Stuart Perry (1969, Wellington City Council) includes a paragraph and a portrait or photo for each mayor.

Political offices
Preceded by
George Hunter
Mayor of Wellington
Jul 1843 – Dec 1843
Succeeded by
Joseph Dransfield