William Russell (New Zealand politician)
Sir William Russell
William Russell in ca 1878
|4th Leader of the Opposition|
26 June 1894 – 3 July 1901
|Preceded by||William Rolleston|
|Succeeded by||William Massey|
|Constituency||Napier, then Hawkes Bay|
|Born||William Russell Russell
12 November 1838
Sandhurst Berkshire, England
|Died||24 September 1913
Napier, New Zealand
|Spouse(s)||married Harriette Julia Hodgkinson 1867, 7 sons & 4 daughters.|
|Relations||Andrew Russell (father)|
Sir William Russell Russell (12 November 1838 – 24 September 1913) was a New Zealand politician from 1870 to 1905. He was a cabinet minister, and was recognised as Leader of the Opposition from 1894 to 1901.
He was born in Sandhurst, Berkshire England and educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. His father Andrew Russell was in the 58th Regiment of Foot, and Russell came with him to New Zealand in the 1840s. He then joined the 58th Regiment, and came to New Zealand as an ensign in 1857. He transferred to the 14th Regiment of Foot and came out to Auckland in 1861, serving until 1862. In 1862 he sold his Captain’s commission and settled in Hawkes Bay as a sheepfarmer.
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Russell was a member of the Hawke's Bay Provincial Council from 1870 until the abolition of the provinces in 1876. He won the election for the Napier electorate in the New Zealand Parliament on 30 December 1875 in the 1875 general election, and was re-elected on 8 September 1879 in the 1879 general election. In 1881 after an electorate redistribution, he was defeated by Fred Sutton for the Hawke's Bay electorate. He won the seat on 22 July 1884 in the 1884 general election, and held it until he was defeated by Alfred Dillon in 1905.
He was a Minister (Postmaster-General) in the short-lived Fourth Atkinson ministry of 1884; which lasted only six (or fourteen) days. In 1889 he joined the Fifth (and last) Atkinson ministry of 1887 as Colonial Secretary, Minister of Defence and Minister of Justice.
He represented the colony at the Federation Conference in Melbourne in 1890, and at the Australian National Convention in Sydney in 1892. He was appointed to the Legislative Council on 26 June 1913. He died at Napier on 24 September 1913.
He married Miss Harriette Julia Hodgskin of Cawley Priory, Sussex, England in 1867. They had eleven children, four daughters and seven sons. One son, Second Lieutenant Lionel Philip Russell, of the Second Battalion, Prince of Wale's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) was attached to the 14th Mounted Infantry in the South African War. He died aged 24 of the wounds he had received in Holland (19 December 1901). Another son, Captain Walter Russell 'Dick' Russell of the Northamptonshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, attached to 1st Battalion, was killed in action on 23 October 1914 in France aged 33.
He lived on his estate Flaxmere near Hastings. He also owned Tunanui Station which he had bought with his brother near Napier. When the partnership expired he retained the Flaxmere and Sherenden estates. A sports lover, he was President of the New Zealand Jockey Club.
He was knighted in 1902. Though he had resigned from the Army in 1862, he seems to have used the title Captain until he was knighted. His full name according to electoral rolls and the Cyclopedia of New Zealand was Captain the Hon. William Russell Russell, then Sir William Russell Russell, i.e. Russell was his middle name and also his surname.
- Scholefield, Guy (1950) . New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 137.
- The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Volume 1 part 1 (1897); Wellington: pages 105-106 (photo page 106)
- The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Volume 6 (1908); Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay & Wellington Province: pages 301-302 (photo page 302)
|Minister of Justice
William Pember Reeves
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Napier
Served alongside: Donald McLean, Fred Sutton
|Member of Parliament for Hawke's Bay