William Henry Eyes

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William Henry Eyes
William Henry Eyes portrait.jpg
Eyes in the 1870s
5th Superintendent of Marlborough Province
In office
23 October 1865 – February 1870
Preceded by Arthur Seymour
Succeeded by Arthur Seymour
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wairau
In office
15 February 1861 – December 1871
Preceded by Frederick Weld
Succeeded by Arthur Seymour
Personal details
Born 1819
Liverpool, England
Died 12 April 1907(1907-04-12) (aged 87–88)
Wellington, New Zealand

William Henry Eyes (1819 – 12 April 1907) was a British-born, New Zealand politician who was the fifth Superintendent of the Marlborough Province, and who represented the Wairau electorate in the New Zealand House of Representatives for many years. Born in England, Eyes had emigrated to Australia in 1839. He was jailed at Parramatta Gaol for a year before he was pardoned, after which he immediately emigrated to New Zealand.

Early life[edit]

Eyes was born in Liverpool, England in 1819. He received his education in Knutsford, Cheshire, England. He had an office job with the cotton brokers Gladstone and Sergeantson in Liverpool. He emigrated to Australia on the Bishop Heber and he arrived there in early 1839. After 1841, he had an interest in a cattle station in Batemans Bay.[1] In July 1844, he was tried for a rape of a nine-year-old girl, but the jury found him guilty of common assault only, and he was sentenced to three years of imprisonment at Parramatta Gaol.[2] He was, however, pardoned after just one year and travelled to New Zealand in the company of his cousin, the Revd C. L. Reay, in the Star of China to Nelson.[3] His cousin had come to New Zealand with the Church Mission Society in 1843. They arrived in Nelson on 9 August 1845.[1][4]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1861–1866 3rd Wairau Independent
1866–1870 4th Wairau Independent
1871 5th Wairau Independent

In New Zealand, Eyes managed a sheep station for George Duppa, then managed Richmond Brook, and then Meadowbank Station.[1]

He represented the Marlborough electorate of Wairau from 1861 to 1871, when he resigned.[5] He was the 5th Superintendent of Marlborough Province from 1865 to 1870.[6] He was the Council's Speaker from 1871 to 1873.[7] He represented the Lower Wairau electorate on the 1st to 6th Council from 1860 to 1871.[8] In December 1871, he was appointed Crown Lands Commissioner for the Marlborough Province and as a public servant, he could no longer hold a seat in parliament and had to resign.[9]

In the 1884 election, he contested the Picton electorate, but was beaten by Edward Connolly.[10]

In his later years, he lived in Wellington,[11] where he died on 12 April 1907.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Scholefield 1940, pp. 234f.
  2. ^ "Sydney". Hawkesbury Courier and Agricultural and General Advertiser. 2. Windsor, NSW. 18 July 1844. p. 1. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Shipping Intelligence". Morning Chronicle. 2. Sydney, NSW. 16 July 1845. p. 3. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Shipping Intelligence". Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. IV (180). 16 August 1845. p. 93. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 105.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 203.
  7. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 205.
  8. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 206.
  9. ^ "Local and General News". Wellington Independent. XXVI (3366). 8 December 1871. p. 2. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "The General Election, 1884". National Library. 1884. p. 2. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Death of Mr. W. H. Eyes". The Marlborough Express. XLI (86). 13 April 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Death of Mr W. H. Eyes". Nelson Evening Mail. XLII. 13 April 1907. p. 3. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 


Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Seymour
Superintendent of Marlborough Province
Succeeded by
Arthur Seymour
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frederick Weld
Member of Parliament for Wairau
Succeeded by
Arthur Seymour