William Burcher Kingswell

(Reverend?) William Burcher Kingswell
Born, 15 July 1826, Shropshire, England
Married, Elizabeth Bryant, 3 January 1850, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Died, 2 November 1888, Melbourne, Australia

According to Kingswell, War Correspondent the biography of George Herbert Kingswell, written by his daughter Elma Kingswell, Reverend William Burcher Kingswell was born in Shropshire England and was the eldest son of Reverend William Burcher Kingswell. According to the Kingswell’s family Bible he was born on 15 July 1826. The year of his birth is also supported by his age reported on the Australian shipping records.

According to the Biographical Index of South Australians (1836-1885), W B Kingswell, then aged 11, with his parents and three sisters, left London as assisted emigrants on the ship “Canton” and arrived at Port Adelaide, Australia on 2 May 1838.

In Kingswell, War Correspondent it is said that W B Kingswell spent 10 years in holy orders – presumably in Australia. Later, from the same source, it is said that he settled in Tasmania as a sheep farmer. While there is no evidence to support his ‘holy orders’ from this era he does appear as Rev Mr Kingswell sailing from Wellington in July 1885 (The Star, Shipping Telegrams, 25 July 1885, page 2) – this is the only occurrence in which this has been noted. As will seen below (at length) W. B. Kingswell regularly appeared in court and I would have have thought he would have mentioned this religious background to his advantage.

He married Elizabeth Bryant on 3 January 1850 in Launceston, Tasmania and they had their first child, William Burcher Kingswell, on 21 October of that year – tragically this child lived only two months. In 1851 W B Kingswell applied for land grants in Launceston (three lots of 1,000 acres and a further 500 acres) it is not recorded if these were granted.

In April 1853 he is elected as a trustee for the Devon Road District. In September 1854 he is listed as attending the special meeting of the Devon Road District to consider altering the enterance to Deloraine from Barrack Street to Goderich Street.

In a letter containing the recollections of Sarah Kingswell, W B Kingswell’s sister, the family moved to Whitefoord Hills, Tasmania. Where Mr Kingswell was a farmer. By 1860 there where “quarrels” with the Fields and Griffins families leading to a ‘famous law case with some of the Field family’.

Field vs Kingswell
On 11 December 1857 Mr Thomas Field, a farmer on the adjoining land to the Kingswell farm, removed a cow and four yearlings from a paddock on the Kingswell farm under the assuption that these animals had strayed from his own farm. He then branded the cow and one of the yearlings – the other two yearlings escaped into the bush. On 19 December William Kingswell discovered the cattle on the Field farm. He then laid a compliant with the local police. Mr Kingswell did not appear at the court session and had earlier “withdrawn the information.” None the less the court still heard the case and found against Mr Thomas Field.

Unfortunatley, the matter did not stop there. In July 1858 Mr Field sought an action to “recover damages for a false and malicious prosecution” against Mr Kingswell. The issue then appears before the courts in Launceston and in January 1859 the following appears; “The civil sittings of the Supreme Court commenced on Tuesday before his Honor Judge Horne. – The case of Field v. Kingswell, tried at the last sittings of the court and adjudged in favour of the defendant, was this time decided in favour of the plaintiff. Damages 40s; such is the glorious uncertainty of the law.”

From the “History of the Deloraine Municipality” there is mention of W B Kingswell of the area around Whitefoord Hills (if not in fact resident there) as a Trustee on the Road Trust in December 1855. (1) It is worth noting that other trustees included Charles Field and John Field.

Quoting from Kingswell, War Correspondent: of this period “A wool boom brought almost immediate success, and he returned to England to marry Elizabeth Briant (sic) of Ireland.” W B Kingswell did not in fact marry in England and it is probable that Elizabeth Bryant was of mixed English and Irish ancestry.

The Kingswell’s went on to have six more children before emigrating to New Zealand. From the passenger lists of the “Star of Victoria” it is recorded: W. B. Kingswell, Mrs Kingswell and six children traveled from Launceston, Australia to Bluff, NZ arriving on 1 August 1863.

We’ll never definitely know the reasons for their immigration. The family had been in Australia for 25 years and seemed well settled in Tasmania. But, we know that their was much lawlessness, the spiders and animals are threatening, and that they had had a significant dispute with their neighbors. I assume that they had prospered in the 60s wool boom and were in the position of being able to favorably sell their farming interests. We do know that WB Kingswell’s sister Many Ann Robinson was established in Dunedin and able to provide a trustworthy advice about life in New Zealand.

In the Southland Times, 30 September 1863, its noted that W Kingswell, received via Launceston; 165 bags of oats, 52 tubs of butter, 211 pieces of timber.

He appears as a juror in the Supreme court – Westland district on 16 July 1866.

He appears as a defendant in the Resident Magistrate’s Court in February 1867:

Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 1867. (Before H. McCulioch Esq., R.M.) W. B. Kingswell, S. Morton, T. Cumming, and — Hotchin appeared to answer an information charging them that they did on the 8th current unlawfully assault one Louis Rodgers by striking a horse he was riding thereby causing him to be thrown, &c.
Louis Rodgers, the complainant, deposed — On the date named in the information I was riding home from the races when I overtook defendants who were riding together. Mr Smith, a butcher, pulled out of my pocket a saddle cloth and Mr Kingswell, who was the leader of the gang — (witness here complained of faintness and obtained leave to sit down. Witnesses in the case were ordered to leave the Court) witness continued — Mr Kingswell took off my hat which was tied to my coat. I told him to leave off that it was child’s play. They all rode on a few yards when Mr Kingswell said “I will run you a race for drinks,” I said “all right, for you and I,” as I wanted to get away from the company, which was noisy. We galloped away for a short distance when I pulled in my horse — not wanting to race anybody. This gave the party behind the chance of pulling up to us at McClymont’s public house. Giving me no chance to get away, Mr Kingswell in front and others behind, edged me in against the door, Mr Kingswell said “you lost the drinks,” I said ” yes, for you and I.” He said “no, for the crowd.” I said “never mind, I will shout for you all,” ten of them in number. I paid, but Mr Kingswell said “you have to shout for everybody on the road.” I would not pay for more. We left McClymont’s, and about a quarter of a mile distant Kingswell, Morton, and Hotchin commenced beating my horse ferociously. I sung out — “Stop, for goodness ; I am frightened to ride a bucking horse” — although this one did not buck by habit. They kept on with large heavy riding whips until the horse pitched me clean over his head — bucked me off. I was much shaken, and hurt my leg and sprained my hand. I cried aloud, both, with pain and anger, as I lay by the roadside for a few moments. I then got up and ran, to the best of my knowledge, limping across the road. Cumming was on foot, and rushed to me saying— “Get on the horse.” . I said I could not, as my finger was broken, which I thought was the case. He (Cumming) wanted to see the finger, I prayed of him to let me be. He would not, but forcibly and against my will put me on my horse a second time.
To the Bench. “He lifted me bodily up.” As soon as I was on the horse the attack was repeated as ferociously as ever — beating my horse with whips. Kingswell, Hotchin, S. Morton and others of the ten, I cannot say exactly as I was half blind with pain and vexation. I was again thrown, how I cannot exactly say. I cried loud for assistance from the drain where I ran for protection from those savages (Mr McCulioch, “you must not call them by those names you are not here to abuse them.) Kingswell cried out ” are you crying you ———–.” I said “I am, you have your fun now I will have it tomorrow.” They wanted me to get on the horse again but I declined. I sat down, or lay down in the drain until they departed, when Mr Smith the butcher came to me and wanted me to get on the horse. Witness corrected this statement by saying I was on my horse again riding from the direction of Invercargill when Mr Smith wanted me to go into town, which I did, when I found they were far enough away that I could not see them more.
Cross-examined by Mr Kingswell— You (Kingswell) were off your horse at the door of McClymont’s. I was not excited with drink — never have been since I was in Invercargill and never to that excess in my life. I lost my opera glass on the racecourse by its slipping out of the case. Kingswell— How did you fall off, was it not by sticking your spurs in in Billy Barlow style? Witness— No. Some of your ten men did bring back my horse. Kingswell— Who were they? Witness — I don’t know them all, but I have four of them here. (Laughter) I don’t know who held the horse, but believe it was James Hannah, the only one who sympathised with me. I believe I went to the gutter once after the second fall, but I could not tell exactly because I was so excited as to almost lose my reason — you had so completely frightened me.
To the Bench — I had only drunk two glasses— ginger beer and a dash — that day. I cannot tell who brought the horse the second time.
Mr Kingswell — You only appear to know what suits your purpose.
By defendant Morton — You used a whip or a stick. I do not recollect running into a wheel rut and sticking my head in and saying that I was murdered.
The complainant, who conducted his own case with considerable tact explained to the Bench that his first intention was to have taken the matter to a higher court, but for the expence. In speaking of the affair he described the conduct of those engaged as ruffianly — that he had been over all the world without having ever seen ten men attack one without some taking his part.
James Hannah stated that he saw complainant riding along pretty quickly, and his horse ran in amongst the other horses and commenced to kick. The rest of the riders sang out to keep clear. That was between McClymont’s and town. Witness then saw Mr Rodgers slide off the saddle and lie down on the road. He commenced to cry out, and said his finger was broken. Mr Kingswell, who was on ahead, brought the horse back again to him and asked him to get on again, but he would not, and lay in the ditch on the side of the road. Complainant said he could not ride the horse as his finger was broken. Witness wanted him to get on his horse ; he went to get on his own horse, but said he could not, and Tom Cummings lifted him up. He was not long on before he got off again — he was not thrown — and commenced to cry. The rest of the men went into town excepting Mr Smith, who stayed by him. That was all witness knew of the matter. To Mr McCulloch — I saw no one flog his horse. Cummings simply lifted him on his horse without violence, so that he might get to town. I did not hear any bad language.
Cross-examined, on oath — I say you slid off the first time ; the next you stuck your spurs into the horse and he bucked. I saw no one strike the horse ; some parties tickled him with a whip or stick. I don’t know who it was. Tickling is not striking. I asked you if your finger was broken, and said it was a great shame. You jumped off the last time. You came to me in Smith’s, saying you never saw Englishmen act as they had done. I did not say it was a shameful outrage, but that it was a great shame if they had hurt you.
By defendant Kingswell — I thought complainant might have had a glass of beer, and that his horse kicked because he stuck his spurs into him.
Mr J. H. Smith said he saw the complainant as he was riding into town, and seeing something — a saddlecloth — projecting from his pocket, pulled it out in joke saying, “are these your colors?” Then complainant had a race with Kingswell for drinks, and lost. I (continued the witness) said mine was gingerbeer. Mr Rodgers appeared annoyed at the thought of ladies seeing him with the party. They were larking and teasing each other.
To the Bench — Complainant did not want to go away, so far as I know; he seemed shocked at ladies seeing him amongst us, as we were so boisterous. He could have got away if he chose to put spurs to his horse. I could have done so, and there was nothing to stop such a man as Mr Rodgers. We went on shouting and laughing.
Witness continued — Mr Rodgers was nervous before we left, saying “what will people think of a man of my standing going on this way.” I said, ” what need you care, if you pay your way.” When we got to the clover paddocks his horse commenced kicking, and he came off on the near side, crying aloud that he was going to be hurt. Cummings took him by the back of the coat and the seat of the breeches and lifted him on again. He was very excited and nervous. I was laughing, and wanted him to stick his knees into the saddle and care for none of them. At last he got off his horse and got into the drain. Two or three minutes after the rest all left him and I stayed behind. The next I remember he was on his horse going from town, but I persuaded him to come on, telling him to stick his knees in and have no fear. He put his horse in the stable and went away. I am not sure how he got on his horse the second time.
Cross-examined by complainant — You ride well enough, but it is not safe for a person not used to it to ride from races. They tickled your horse. Complainant — what do you call tickling — it is usually done with a feather? (laughter.) It was done with whips or sticks. That was to make the horse lively I suppose. Complainant — “That might do very well for a horse jockey bat not for a gentleman — Witness we were all gentlemen for the matter of that. I took the affair for a bit of fun. I thought you were more afraid for your position than anything else. Complainant — I would not wish to be seen again with such a lot. To witness ” I asked you to protect me and I believe you did try a little.
In reply to questions by defendant Kingswell the witness stated he did not, remember anybody trying to keep the complainant. The latter was very excited and nervous, but was not drunk. His horse was knocking about and kicked that of witness’ which was lame since. It was a jumbled affair altogether.
Defendant Hotchins — The company was not good enough for him, it was his. dignity that was hurt.
To the Bench — The tickling was by touching with whips or sticks. Kingswell said complainant was a cur for crying.
Geo. Saunders, butcher, gave evidence somewhat similar to that of the witness Smith, stating that he looked on the matter as a bit of sport, and thought they were all enjoying themselves.
B. Ekensteen stated that on the following morning, complainant showed him marks of his horse having been beaten on the rump.
This was all the evidence adduced.
The defendant Kingswell said he had done nothing to hurt the complainant, but had assisted him more than anybody else.
Morton said he was riding a young horse, and could not have beaten the complainant’s horse. The other defendants said nothing.
The case was then adjourned until Friday, 15th inst., at 11 o’clock, for the production of other witnesses for the defence.

The outcome of the case doesn’t appear to be reported! However, on the 20th of February 1867, the following letter appears, near the end mentioning that Kingswell is fined £5.

(to the editor of the Southland Times).
Sir, — The decision of the Resident Magistrate in the case L. Rodgers versus Kingswell and others, I think, deserves more than an extensive report in your paper. It has been too commonly charged against the R. M. that he prejudges by his own feelings or fancies every case in which he is called upon to adjudicate, and the one in question affords an ample proof that his feelings — not the evidence-lead him to support the cause of the complainant, whose melancholy expression of injured innocence when he asked for a seat and a drink of water before he could proceed with his complaint entirely carried away the heart of our simple-minded Magistrate, who defended the gentleman Rodgers with great warmth, by unfortunately ignoring the evidence and impugning the veracity of every one of the witnesses, both pro and con, in the case. Vide report of proceedings. The complainant establishes his case thus : — That he had been associating with certain butchers on the way home from Invercargill Races — that he was racing on the public highway for “Nobblers round”— that he lost and “shouted for all hands” like a man. He continued to fraternize with the party, but foolishly expresssed in their hearing his disgust at a bookseller being seen by the ladies in the society of a mob. They pardonably I think exchange sport with the gentleman who familiarly enough insulted them to their faces. A few practical jokes are exchanged, and the complainant says, being nervous (the defendants say, being slightly inebriated) he, for greater safety gets off his horse and lays in the ditch, and like a child? (so says the evidence) cries. He seeks redress at the R. M. Court. His witnesses give him a fair character for sobriety and good conduct, : and each of the defendants are mulcted in costs and penalties, beside a certain doctor’s bill, which this specimen of injured innocence has knowingly incurred, and brought to court receipted. So stands the case with the gentleman in the case. For the defence witnesses, summoned by the complainant, proved that the whole affair was a friendly escapade, neither beneath the dignity of a stationer, nor an uncommon scene on a highway to a race-course. Kingswell proves that he caught Rodgers’s horse when he was unable to retain it himself. Cummings also proves that he kindly reseated the rider when he was unable to mount himselt. In fact, all the defendants, thinking it was more his dignity than his person he was afraid of, gave him the sound advice that if he paid all his cheques and bills he had no reason to be afraid of the ladies. The defendants sought further to establish that Rodgers was elated with drink, in fact had conducted himself as well as any one is expected to do who attends races, and particularly for one who could run races for “liquors round.” It was no use. The R. M., would not hear it. The defendants further tried to show that Mr Rodgers is addicted to practical jokes himself and even fights for the sake of them in public places, and on public holidays it was of no avail, as, independent of evidence, Kingswell is characterised as a leader of a mob, and Mr Smith’s evidence as little better than falsehood. The magistrate inflicts the penalty of five pounds on Mr Kingswell, and who can estimate the penalty inflicted on Mr Smith? That a magistrate should so conduct a case, and treat the parties concerned in a manner so uncalled for has enduced your correspondent to trouble you with a special notice of this most insignificant case, although it did engage the exclusive consideration of the R.M. Court for two days — a fact which, taken in connection with the large fine inflicted, speaks more for the desire his worship has to magnify his office and increase the revenue of his honorable court than dispense equalhanded justice between this gentleman and the honest Butchers.

In April 1867 W. B. Kingswell’s Fellmoger’s business is sufficiently established to employ at least two workers.

A huge and singular looking “Monster of the deep” was shown to us on Friday last, at the Albion Stables. The fish had been caught the previous day by two men belonging to Mr Kingswell’s establishment, on the Bluff Road. It had probably lost its reckoning, or smelt a far off the “savory” flavor of the adjacent slaughter-yard, and thus fell a victim to its appetite, at all events it got so far up the creek which joins the Waihopai at the spot referred to, that it found it impossible to get back to sea again, the receding tide having left it in a pool just large enough to “kick up a tremendous row” in when it found itself in confinement. The noise attracted the men’s attention, and they hastened to the spot and effected the capture; but, from the evidences on the carcase of the animal in the shape of stabs, cuts, and slashes, we should say that something very like a “terrific combat” must have ensued. However, it had ultimately to succumb, and the curious may now gratify their propensity for queer sight on payment of one shilling for admission to the stables, where it is on view.

The following notices would suggest W. B. Kingswell was also a butcher. Two other things to note here; the other two butchers are Saunders and Smith (who appear in connection with Kingswell later) and that perhaps they were enguaged in some price fixing!

He is mentioned in the newspaper coverage of the Thursday 18 July session of the Resident Magistrate’s Court in the Southland Times on 22 July 1867 as follows:

An information against Mr W. B. Kingswell, charging him (under the act for the regulation of slaughter-houses) with having caused certain cattle to be slaughtered without sufficient notice given to the inspector, was dismissed as it appeared in evidence that exceptional circumstances (the wildness of the cattle and the insufficiency of the yard) justified the procedure.
Mr McCulloch remarked that the provisions of the act were very stringent, that the it was a great protection to settlers, and that the Inspector’s duties should be carried put in the most exact manner. With regard to the defence he wished it to be understood that for the future the slaughter-yards must be made secure — he should not be inclined to admit of the same excuse again.

I assume the issue here is that inspectors check each animal before they are slaughtered to ensure ownership (hence the “great protection to settlers” comment).

I also assume that W. B. Kingswell wasn’t happy about this and chose (not the first or last time) to express this. The following appeared in the Southland Times on 26 Jul 1867, page 3:

(To the editor of the Southland Times.)
Sir, — As an occasional visitor at the Police Courts, for the want of something better to do, I heard the trial a few days since of Mr Kingswell for “unlawfully slaughtering certain cattle.” It appeared to me that the most that could be said of Mr Kingswell’s offence (suppositig it had been proved)— was, that the letter of the Act had not been complied with. I noticed a large array of policemen, and wondered greatly a the astonishing legal acumen of Mr Commissioner Weldon, whose foray upon the milk sellers was an undoubted master-stroke conceived and executed by a great mind.
The point to which I wish to draw attention is this — The Resident Magistrate, in giving his decision, spoke of the necessity of the Act under which the charge against Mr Kingswell was laid as a preventive against cattle stealing. I would ask Mr Weldon whether, as there, are now in close proximity to the public road near Wallacetown, the offals of some sixteen or eighteen head of cattle, recently slaughtered, such were killed under his inspection, or that of his subs— and whether the slaughter-house was duly licensed? Supposing neither to be the case, and that Mr Weldon is profoundly ignorant of this wholesale unlicensed slaughter, whether the energetic Commissioner and his sleek subs would not be better employed with regard to the public interests and for the prevention of crime— by a little more attention to their own legitimate duty — leaving them less time to harrass and annoy, by frivolous and vexatious charges, persons whom they well know had no intention to commit a breach of the law.
l am, &c., Wallacetown. Wallacetown, 24th July

He must also be farming in the ‘New River Hundred’ as on 4 September 1867 in the Southland Times it is reported under the heading of Cattle Stealing:

Stolen from the New River Hundred, on or about the 20th of June last, a whire bullock, branded IS on loin, together with other brands; identifiable; the property of W. B. Kingswell, of Invercargill.

In 1867 the Southland Agricultural and Pasitoral Association is instituted. Their first Annual Show is advertised for 9 January 1868. W. B. Kingswell is listed as a director of the Association.

The following Fellmonger advertisement appears in the Southland Times from 1968 through to (at least) 1870.

On 30 October 1867 the shipping news noted he received 279 sheepskins.

In the newspaper coverage of the First Annual show of the Southland Agricultual and Pastoral Association (Southland Times, 23 Dec 1867) the scene is rather breathlessly descripbed (and at some lenght). W. B. Kingswell is mentioned twice:

Crossbred cows mustered strong, there being no fewer than fourteen, some of them splendid cattle for grazing purposes, but not comparable with the Ayrshire for the dairy farm. The prizes in this class went all to the Mataura District; Mr J. Findlay taking first, and Mr J. Gall second and third. Mr Gall also took the prize awarded for the best fat bullock, with a superb ox. Mr Hamilton and Mr Kingswell also exhibited some fine oxen in this class, but we think Gall’s bullock fully entitles to its distinction, although we heard some express a contrary opinion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that contrary opinion was from W. B. Kingswell!

Under the head of extra stock, there were nineteen entries, and some fine cattle shown; Messrs Findlay, McLean, and Kingswell, being the fortunate exhibitors.

Item 20, Best Pen of Steers (not less than 3), not exceeding 3 years old, (2 entries) – prize £2, W B Kingswell.

On 8 April 1868 the shipping news noted he received 3 bales wool, 1 doz skins.

In October 1868 he tenders for the lease of 2,000 acres of unused land for “Maori eductional purposes” to the Native Minister the Hon. I. Newton Watt. On page 71 of “A Compendium of Official Document Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island Vol. 2” the Minister comments on Mr Kingswell:

“Mr. Kingswell has for the last six years been a butcher and grazier, carrying on business in Invercargill, his business has led him from time to time over most of the settled districts in the Provinces of Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, and he confidently asserts that there is no such land to be found elsewhere as that he is about to select.

He was formerly manager of a large cattle station in Tasmania, and is in every way I believe a suitable and respectable tenant, and as his is the only application that has been definitely made within the terms of the advertisement, I strongly recommend that his terms be accepted.”

In December 1868, at the Second Grand Annual show of the Southland Agricultual and Pastoral Association (Southland Times, 2 Dec 1868), he is mentioned in the Cattle coverage under:

Short Horned
Item 2. Best 1-year-old Bull. – 1st prize, silver medal, value £2; 2nd ditto, £1; 3rd ditto, honorary certificate; 4 entries – 1st and 2nd, W B Kingswell; no 3rd awarded.

Extra Stock
Item 11. Best Bull of any age or bread. – 1st prize, silver medal, value £3; 6 entries – 1st W B Kingswell; no other prize awarded.

And, with the above under the uder the Pigs coverage:

Item 4, Best Sow, small breed, any age. – 1st prize, £2 2nd ditto, £1, 3rd ditto, honorary certificate; 2 entries 1st, Sutton Bros., Wright’s Bush; 2md, W B Kingswell, Bluff Road.

He is listed as a juror in a Supreme Court hearing on 4 February 1869.

In February 1869 he defends a claim for £17, made by a man named Preston, as wages, alleged to be due him by Mr Kingswell. The case made out by plaintiff was to the effect that he hnd been engaged by defendant to sort wool for him at a station up-country, and that he had fulfilled his contract. For the defence it was shown that the wool had been so improperly handled that it had to be resorted in Invercargill. After a very lengthy hearing, judgment was given for defendant. (Southland Times 26 February 1869)

In April 1869 he takes civil action in the Resident Magistrates Court agaist the owner of dogs killing his sheep – Kingswell vs McDonald. While it seemed quite likely the McDonald’s dogs were responible the case was dismissed.

In June 1869 he is listed (with J. H. Smith) as a member of a committee to address the ‘re-annexation of the Province of Southland to the province of Otago.’ Southland Times 14 June 1869.

In November 1869 he advertsies in the Southland Times that he is a ‘Buyer of Greasy wool, sheepskins, Hides, etc’ as a Fellmonger, Bluff Road. He also advertises that he is available for scouring & classifying of wool.

In November 1869 he elected to the committee of the Southland Agricultual and Pastoral Association and in December 1869 he is listed as a judge in the Short Horned Cattle section of the ‘Third Annual Grand Show’ of the Southland Agricultual and Pastoral Association (Southland Times, 20 Dec 1869).

In March 1870 he leads a deputation from the residents of Bluff Road to the Provincial Government “praying that some very necessary repairs might be effectecd on that highway.” – Southland Times 8 March 1870.

In 1873 he forms a partnership with Archibald McPherson to buy the Pahia Run. Later, presumbabily after the involvemetn in the Pahia Run, McPherson becomes a butcher in Orepuki. (Source: The Cyclopedia of NZ Otago & Southland Provincial Districts – 1905)

In court, again, on 6 May 1873. Kingswell vs Ching. Claim for £8 15s, balance of purchase money of 16 pigs sold and delivered. Defendant did not appear. Judgement for the plaintiff with costs, £1 13s – Southland Times 9 May 1873.

In November 1873 he writes to the Municipal Council (Invercargill Town) requesting to alter a fence on land he had leased on the Town Belt. The request was declined – Southland Times 11 November 1873.

In May 1874 addresses the Resident Magistrate (Southland Times, 13 May 1874)

After the regular business of the Court was over, Mr W. B. Kingswell addressed His Worship, saying that he had been served with a summons from the Corporation, who had sued him for the rent of some Town Belt land. He had left home at five o’clock that morning, and had gone to Wallaeetown on some business, which, in consequence of having to appear in answer to the summons, he was unable to transact. He had ridden from Wallacotown in hot haste, in order to be at the Court in time, and on arriving, he found the Corporation had withdrawn the case. He considered that he had been greatly inconvenienced, and likewise put to some expense, for which he now applied. His Worship said that the Corporation was a public body, and he really could not allow Mr Kingswell any expenses. Mr Kingswell said that if it was a public body, it should nevertheless be careful how it summoned people. He would say that it was a hard case if he could not get his expenses. His Worship did not think that it was a very hard case, although he was satisfied that Mr Kingswell had been somewhat inconvenienced

In August 1874 he buys 100 acres in the Winton Hundred via local sale of the Land Commisson – Southland Times 5 August 1874.

Also, in August he sues in W. B. Kingswell vs Albert Cassels to recover £50 as damages “in consequence of defendant forcibly entering and depasturing thirty head of cattle on plaintiff’s Pahia run, near Orepuki.” Southland Times 14 August 1874. The case is finally heard in full on 12 October – with judgement for Kingswell of £9 10s with costs. What is interesting is that the pervious part owner was a Mr E Gillow (who was to later marry W. B. Kingswell’s daughter). Southland Times 14 October 1874.

In June 1875 he is the defendant in civil case, Longuet v. Kingswell, for damages for pollution of the Waikiwi stream, and an injunction. The coverage of the case is extensive and was vigorously prosecuted and defended. The Southland Times of 23 June 1875 devotes many columns on blow by blow evidence and cross examination. The end result of which is a jury finding against Kingswell but only assessing the damages at one farthing (I assume the smallest value coin) and not the £500 sought.

From a family history prespective key information is:

  • W.B. Kingswell says he had been in business as a fellmonger for about 30 years
  • In 1872 he was seeking land for fellmongery purposes and in 1873 purchased section 2, block 14, Invercargill Hundred.

He reported as being a ‘long wool’ sheep judge in the Second Annual Show of the Mataura Pastoral and Agricultural Association held at Wyndham, 29 March 1876. On 15 June 1876 he addvertises for sale 200 head of cattle by auction in Gore. In December 1877 he is one of the “fat cattle” judges at the Otago Argicultural and Pastoral Associations exhibition.

In July 1878 he advertises for tenders for four miles of Fencing, Stake, Wire & Single Ditch for Bayswater, Heddon Bush. He has an Office “next to the Club Hotel, Dee Street.” in Invercargill.

In 1878 he is one of the listed promoters of the “Winton-Nightcaps Railway and proposed Waiau Extension railway company.” He also wins “best ram of 4-tooth or over at the 12th annual show of the Southland Argicultural and Pastoral Society – December 1878. In January 1879 it is published in the Otago Witness that he has sold “…sections 3A, 3B and 18, of the Waimumu District, Southland, containing 785 acres (more or less) at a satisfactory price…”.

On 14 Februray 1880 the following appears in the Otago Witness:

Saturday’s Southland News says : — We were shown this morning, by Mr J. H. Smith, a sample off a crop of 400 acres barley now nearly ripe on the farm of Bayswater, in the occupation of Mr W. B. Kingswell and himself. It was just one root, on which there were no less than 121 stalks, averaging 36 grains or pickles each, or a total of 4356 from the one seed. This is, of course, an exceptionally good instance of tillering, but the crop as a whole is pronounced by experts to be far beyond the average either in this or the Home country, the yield all round being estimated at not less than 60 bushels.

On 20 March 1880 the following appears in the Otago Witness, page 5:

We invite views and experiences upon matters relating to the station, the farm, garden, and household, and ask that they be given in as brief and condensed a manner as may be. Our columns are also open to correspondents who aesire information upon matters concerning agriculture.

A Visit to Bayswater, the Estate of Messrs Smith and Kingswell.
During a recent tour in the Southern district I was driven by one of the proprietors to Bayswater, an estate about 14 miles distant from Otauta, owned by Messrs Smith and Kingswell, and had an opportunity of seeing the operations there, which are on a large scale. I was particularly struck with an enormous crop of thistles on one part of the estate. 1 have scarcely seen anything to equal it. The sheep, however, seem to like them, and are frequently found among them nibbling the tips. The wool must, I should imagine, be to some extent injured by the prickly plants. I hear everywhere that thistles are no longer regarded as an unmixed evil. They die out in three years when the land is cultivated, and though they are troublesome in the meanwhile the roots benefit the soil by opening it up. They render crop very difficult to handle, however, and are very severe on the fingers of the binders. The area under crop on this estate was as follows: 350 acres in barley, 350 acres in oats, and 60 acres in wheat. The dry season had unfavourably affected the two latter crops, but tbe barley was excellent. It had been somewhat laid in parts by the wind, but notwithstanding this preventing its being reaped clean, the crop would, I believe, go fully 60 bushels to the acre. There were a few patches rather green, which were caused by the rabbits getting in before the fences were made rabbit-proof, and eating down a part of the young green shoots, the patches so eaten being, of course, more backward than the rest. The sheaves containing green ears had accordingly to be separated from the rest in stacking and threshing. The wire-netting is found to be effectual in keeping the troublesome rodents out of the paddocks. The soil here is particularly well suited to barley, as it pulverises very fine, and in good seasons some very heavy crops will be grown—probably 80 bushels to the acre. The wheat, I estimated, would not go over 25 to 30 bushels, and oats about 45 bushels. This fine estate consists of no less than 5700 acres, a large proportion of which is firstclass land. It is a long strip, bounded on one side by the Aparima River, and extending nine miles in length by about one mile in breadth on the average. Besides a comfortable wooden house with garden and orchard attached, there are the following farm buildings:— A stable for 20 horses ; cook-house, with men’s living-room attached ; sleeping- rooms for men, 11 of whom are constantly employed ; and a blacksmith s shop. Water is got from a well only 13 feet deep. Hidden Bush is close by, and of this between 15 and 20 acres belongs to the estate. There are 100 head of cattle and 2000 sheep on the property at present, but as it gets laid down in grass it will keep a large quantity of stock, turnips being grown for winter feed. The land here is admirably adapted for turnips, but owing to the dry season they had not come on well. The present value of this property, with improvements, is probably not less than £6 per acre; and in a few years, at the rate of cultivation which is now going on upon it, it should be very valuable. I see no reason why 25s to 30s an acre should not be made out of land like this under grass and turnips with judicious management, always supposing an unlimited market for fat stock, of which, as I have said before, the success of the Strathleven experiment gives good hopes. The rabbits, I find, to a great extent congregate on the river bank, and by means of the comparatively inexpensive phosphorus and rhodium poison can be well kept under, while netting keeps them off the growing crops. This netting costs about L£40 per mile, and many miles of it have been put up in the district. From Bayswater I went across to Winton, a distance of about 14 miles, to take train for the Elbow. Winton is a nice, clean little town in the midst of buib, which is fearfully infested with rabbits. The farming around is nothing to boast of, though the land seems fairly good, and the railway gives easy access to a port. As far as the Elbow (or Lumsden) the Winton- Kingston line runs in a comparatively narrow valley with few interesting objects. Lumsden, as may be supposed, is as yet in its infancy, but from the prices recently obtained for sections in the private township, I presume it is expected to grow. The Waimea railway comes in here, and the line to Mararoa will, if it is ever made, so that the place will be a considerable agricultural centre. The traffic between this point and Kingston— some 38 miles— is, l am given to understand, so small that three trains a week each way would be amply sufficient to overtake it, and during the winter I think this change ought to be made in the interest of economy — say Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. My next journey was through the New Zealand Agricultural Company’s magnificent property, extending from Lumsden to Gore, and this is worthy of a separate “note.” I will only now observe that there ia a wide field in Southland for the farmer of moderate means from the Mataura to Jacob’s River, and that, so far as I can learn, the climate, though usually moist, is by no means so inclement as it is popularly be lieved to be.

On 12 June 1880 a short items appears in the Otago Witness:

The “Retreat Station” has been disposed of by Mr Kingswell to Mr W. E. P. Scott, with the stock, for £4000. The ground is in the Hokonui district, and includes 1236 acres freehold, with 2000 acres leasehold of Native Reserve, and 8000 sheep.

This is busy time for him as he sells up his interest in the farm has well:

Notice is hereby given that the co-partnership hitherto carried on by the undersigned under the style or firm of “Smith and Kingswell,” as farmer and graziers, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. All debts due to the said firm will be received by the undersigned John Henry Smith, who will pay all liabilities of the said late firm, he having purchased the interest of the said William Birchell Kingswell herein.
John Henry Smith,
W. B. Kingswell.
Dated at Invercargill, this 24th day of June 1880. Witness to the signatures of the said John Henry Smith and William Birchell Kingswell – John Macalister, Accountant to James Harvey, Solicitor, Invercargill.

From these small snapshots it appears the W. B. Kingswell is talking up (or at least promoting) properties he has interest in prior to their sale. I have not resolved how he and Mr Smith can dissolve thier partnership and yet (as seen below) still be very linked over this property for the next few years. Later, in 1885, I note that he held a one third share in the Bayswater estate, valued at £4000, secured to J. H. Smith (who was owed £2836).

In July 1880 he brings a civil action against Messrs Taylor & McNeil, surveyors, for failing to train his son, William Henry Kingswell, as an indentured apprentice. The coverage is with the W H Kingswell information.

On 30 April 1881 the following appears in the Otago Witness, page 7:

On the Bayswater estate, which adjoins Strathmore, 4000 acres of the 6000 comprising the estate have been ploughed, and there were 1900 acres in crop this season, of which 900 acres were cereals. Of these 350 acres were under wheat, all of red straw variety, excepting six acres of Tuscan wheat procured from Canterbury, and 12 acres of velvet ditto from Oamaru, as a change of seed, Both sorts appeared to produce lighter crops than the red straw, but we (Southland Times) believe, in ths case of Tuscan, its peculiar merits are its quick-maturing properties as a late spring wheat. Under very favourable treatment it returns heavily, and it is a favourite with millers. A good deal of the wheat was as fine a thick, clean, standing crop as could be seen anywhere, the best breaks ranging from 60 bushels down to 30 on the lighter and later divisions, the two things being synonyms. Here as elsewhere it is a common complaint that winter wheat does not succeed, as a rule, owing to a tendency to throw out and become too thinly planted. Nearly all the wheat-sowing in consequence falls on the spring-time, and where there are extensive breadths to be got over the most moderate interruption from the weather throws a material proportion of it too late te produce as well as it would otherwise be capable of doing. Late sowing, in short, is a deduction of so much per cent from the value of the crop. Two hundred and fifty acres of barley were grown. The best of it would probably thresh out to 70 bushels, and the average of the whole lot to 50 bushels per acre. The actual production last season from 400 acres was 63 bushels per acre, amounting to the reapeotable total of 25,000 bushels. Four shilling and ninepence was the highest price netted in the market of Adelaide, Sydney, or Britain, whither it was sent, Melbourne being blocked by a prohibitive duty. One hundred acres of oats were certainly equal in appearance to any of the noted Waianiwa prodigies ; and Mr Kingswell’s estimate of its probable yield was from 70 to 80 bushels. Thinking either figure to be correct, a production of 7000 or 8000 bushels of oats from 100 acres is something enormous, and is quite a different matter altogether from even heavier amounts per aare from perhaps half the abovenamed acreage. The full extent under oats was was 400 acres, 100of which were on the first furow and would probably run about from 40 to 50 bushels; those after the second ploughing from 50 to 80 bushels per acre. The the last season’s average was 60 bushels, besides a considerable quantity used by the horses. there were no less then 1000 acrese of turuips, all sown on the first furrow except 60 acres after turnips.

In the Otago Witness, 5 August 1882, the following appears:

Rather a queer scene was enacted near Riverton the other day. Messrs Smith and Kingswell have been cutting a channel in the bed of Jacob’s River, which many of the neighbouring settlers believed would lead to flooding their properties. Some 30 of the Otautau and Strathmore residents therefore repaired to the spot, and, the eight or nine men at work on the channel having refused to stop, they proceeded to fill it up, of course a great deal quicker tham the men could dig it out. At one time matters looked serious, but Mr Smith was sent for, and he agreed to cease operations until next meeting of the County Council.

W. B. Kingswell appears in the “Return of the Freeholders of New Zealand” 1882 as a “fellmonger”, Invercargill. Holding 157 acres with a value of £3,640.

In the Otago Witness, 17 March 1883 the following appears:

To which the next visit was paid, like Gladfield which it adjoins, stands high in local estimation. The area 5675 acres, with a frontage of nine miles to the Aparima, and a width back varying from three-fourths to one and a-half miles, all substantially fenced and sub-divided into convenient paddocks, and with numerous, handy, and well-constructed gates. The extreme length of the property in proportion to the width makes it necessary to have two farm steadings, the upper and main one at the residence near the Heddon Bush Station boundary, and the lower one on the road to Otautau, where it intersects the farm. The dwelling-house is comfortable, well arranged, and sufficiently commodious, and with a garden attached which deserves more than a passing notice. Chapters might be justly written on the inestimable value of a garden to a farmer’s household, and yet how rarely can there be seen on colonial farms a compact, judiciously cropped vegetable garden and orchard. Commonly there is a small plot set apart for the purpose, and enclosed by a make-believe sort of fence. In this a patch of potatoes, and another of some bastard variety of cabbages are grown; half-a-dozen wretched-looking, evidently carelessly-planted fruit trees, a few wallflowers, a stray rose or two, and an abundance of weeds complete the contents, if we except the casuals in the shape of rags, old boots, and broken crockery and bottles— the whole enclosure being the recognised playground for the dogs and other pets usually found about farmhouses. Other examples, again, are to be seen where pretentious beginnings have been made, but as these were found to involve more labour and expense than was consistent with farm economy, neglect followed, and the results appear in a waste of weeds, broken-down fruit trees, and dilapidated fences. At Bayswater the happy medium has been hit upon. The garden— not much over a rood in extent — literally teems with crop. All the beat kinds of vegetables are growing luxuriantly, and the successional crops are so well timed that from a small space of ground variety and abundance are secured at all seasons for the wants of a large establishment. The fruit trees are good of their kind, and those in season heavily laden. In front of the house borders are reserved for a nice collection of flowers, and the whole may be pointed to as a model of what a farmer’s garden should be. Usually there are grumblings on the part of farmers as to the labour required for the garden, but in this case Messrs Smith and Kingswell, the lessees of Bayswater, readily admit there are no grounds for complaint, an occasional day from a labourer being all that is necessary. The management does not even trouble them, the credit solely belongs to Mrs Smith; who derives great pleasure from her successes in gardening. The farm buildings stand at some distance from the dwelling, and are again detached as a precaution in the event of fire. They comprise large stable accommodation, a capitally arranged chaffhouse and chaff-store, enginehouse, store rooms, blacksmith’s forge, men’s house, cowsheds, and milking yards, piggeries and yards, and, in a paddock near, a commodious woolshed. At the lower steading there are overseer’s house, stabling, grain and chaffstore, and implement shed.
This year there is in crop: under turnip, one thousand acres ; wheat, twelve hundred ; oats, five hundred and seventy-five ; barley, one hundred and sixty; and tares, five acres. If to these amounts ten acres be added as occupied by buildings, &c, there will remain two thousand seven hundred and twenty-five acres under grass, of which two thousand two hundred and twenty-five are in English grasses, and the remaining five hundred in tussock. This latter adjoins Heddon Bush, and has been left untouched, owing to the prevalence of undecayed stumps. During last spring over six hundred acres were sown with grasses and clovers, and of this cocksfoot only and clovers were sown on one hundred and twenty acres of the lightest land. About a hundred acres were under timothy, perennial, and Italian ryegrass, grown apart for the purpose of raising seed for use on the property, and at the time of my visit, the timothy — a remarkably fine crop — was being harvested. As regards the prospective yield of the Bayswater crops this season, common rumour had not in this instance exaggerated their luxuriance. We fully believe that if safely harvested, and without shedding, the 1200 acres of wheat will nearly approach an average of 50 bushels per acre. Of the total area under this crop, between four and five hundred acres should give 60 bushels an acre, and these estimates, I may state, are rather under than over the mark in the opinion of several professed judges from other districts of this province, and from Canterbury, who had inspected the paddocks. The barley also is a wonderfully fine crop, both in regard to quantity and quality, and had been already sold for delivery after threshing. The return should be fully 50 bushels an acre, and as the price obtained was a liberal one, the hundred and sixty acres will pay handsomely. The oats, although much above an average crop, cannot be classed with the wheat or barley in respect of luxuriance ; nevertheless, it is so good all round that from 40 to 45 bushel an acre should result. In one paddock grasses and clovers had been sown with the oats, and it was evident the luxuriance of the former had been detrimental to the grain crop. It remains to be observed of the heavier portion of the wheat crop where part was in stooks, these, by actual measurement, frequently stood at a distance apart of only 13 feet by 18 feet. Nor was this owing to super abundant straw. The average height of the standing grain was perhaps a little over five feet, but it was as thick as if dibbed in by hand an inch apart, and the head was plump and heavy. One paddock of late sown wheat deserves particular notice. The braird was so thin and weak in appearance that ploughing it up was almost determined on. The crop was expected to prove a partial failure, but it tillered out wonderfully, standing up thick and well, and with a head quite equal to that of the earlier sown. Of the area set down as under oats, two hundred and fifty acres were self-sown. The yield, I am informed, was a fair one. The crop was cut early in January, threshed out at once, and the produce immediately shipped to Newcastle, New South Wales, with the view of realising on a good market, and before the general harvest had set in. The returns were not to hand at the date of my visit, but it was anticipated they would be satisfactory. I must here give particulars of an experiment in wheat growing tried at Bayswater, so that the results may be contrasted with experiences elsewhere. Two portions of land of equal quality were selected for the purpose. On one three bushels of red Tuscan (this variety is supposed not to stool out well) were sown per acre, and on the other- portion not quite one and a-half bushels of the white velvet variety. The yield from the red Tuscan was seventeen and from the white velvet forty-five bushels per acre.
On the occasion of my visit, harvesting operations were causing the proprietors of Bayswater much anxiety. The previous week of warm weather had ripened the crops more rapidly than was anticipated, consequently a large breadth of valuable grain was standing at risk of a gale of wind or wet weather. Every exertion was made, but with little success, to procure additional teams and men, for all the surrounding farmers appeared to be in a similar position. A break in the weather did occur, and in the meantime some portions were particularly shaken. It would be idle to mince the matter, for it is the fact that these anxieties and losses are occasioned by the almost universal practice of permitting the grain to over-ripen. The writer, with considerable experience as a farmer, invariably cut on the green side, and always obtained top price, for the sample. Quite recently the opinions of eminent English millers strongly recommending this practice were quoted in the Witness columns under the heading “British and Foreign Agriculture,” and it is a simple question of ripening in the stook at little risk, or continuing in the present course with its attendant vexations and uncertainties. A very considerable breadth of standing corn seen on my travels up to date, should have been in stook a week previously; but at the same time it must be observed greater care would be necessary in stooking. This operation at present is very negligently performed. The sheaves are huddled together anyhow, to fall with the first strong breeze of wind ; again and again, the over-ripened grain has to be handled, each time adding to previous losses. There were five reapers and binders, and five back-delivery michines, with about eighty men at work on the Bayswater, and more machines and hands were being sought for to meet the urgency.
When laying down pasture a mixture of timothy, perennial, and Italian rye grasses, with alsyke and red and white clovers is used ; timothy is an especial favourite. Cocksfoot, however, is preferred for the light dry soil, and it has been observed at Bayswater that the grub is most severe on the perennial. The older pastures had been very closely fed, still the thickness of the sole and healthy appearance admitted no doubt as to the grass-producing qualities of the soil. A paddock which had been spring-sown with a grass, clover, and rape mixture, and subsequently closely stocked, and was then cleared for about six weeks. When inspected just as the sheep were again turned in, it was bearing an extraordinary body of feed. Messrs Smith and Kingswell fully recognise the impolicy of overstocking the young pastures, but the late vegetation of last spring- severely taxed all resources. The turnip crop at Bayswater this season is a great success, so there is ample winter provision for a large quantity of stock. The live stock on the estate when visited consisted of ; sheep, five thousand ; cattle, fifteen; horses, forty; and about eighty pigs. Until a short time previously there were eight thousand sheep, but a draft of three thousand had been sent away. The sheep are Lincolns, cross-bred Lincolns, and a few merinos. Some losses occurred both in ewes and lambs at lambing time, the consequence of putting large Lincoln rams to medium merino ewes. These latter, at Bayswater, should be closely culled, and the crawlers parted with at any price. Good grass should never be used up by indifferent-stock. Cattle are kept only for the purpose of supplying the establishment with milk and butter. The bull used is a fair specimen of the shorthorn, but the cows are just the ordinary sort. The horses are good useful animals, but although in good condition they have evidently been constantly in work. The pigs include a number of well bred Berkshires.
Of the machinery and implements in use, the engine and thresher are Robey’s ; the chaff – cutter Reid and Gray’s. There are six two and three furrow ploughs, six sets of seven leaf harrows — each set covering 21ft ; one set six leaf, and two disc harrows, these latter are highly approved of, but the arms or axles require to be made stronger ; as at present made frequent breakages occur when working in uneven ground. In addition there are several rollers and cultivators. The harvesting machines include three of M’Cormick’s, one Osborne, and one Deering’s reaper and binder, with three of Reid and Gray’s back-delivery. The couse of cultivation found most profitable at Bayswater has been the following :— “Turnips on first furrow followed by wheat; oats with grasses and clovers to follow, or oats only, the grasses and clovers with rape to be sown after harvest or in spring, as was the case in a paddock noticed above ; then two years in grass depastured with sheep. When again broken up for wheat the crop is sure to be a great success. Such has been the course followed on the land now bearing the best crop on the estate. In concluding my observations on this property I may state that Messrs Smith and Kingswell occupy it under lease with a purchase clause. It is the intention to complete the purchase, and as the lease expires next year, the partnership terminating with the lease, it is probable the estate will be subdivided and placed on the market. Its extreme length in proportion to width certainly favours the idea that, in convenient sized farms, the management will be more economical and the result more satisfactory than is possible if retained in its entirety.

In the Otago Witness, 7 April 1883

Choice Property near Wyndham.
GF. MARTIN, in conjunction with Carswell, White, and Co.. have received instructions from Mr W. B. Kingswell to sell by auction, at Wyndham, on the above date, all that splendid agricultural farm known as


Containing about 621 acres, all fenced and subdivided into 13 paddocks. The whole farm is in splendid working order and good heart. 140 acres are in grass and turnips ; 160 in permanent pasture, with 50 acres wheat, and 40 oat stubble. Seventy acres splendid timber, and balance in its natural state. Every paddock has a never-failing supply of water. Buildings include eight-roomed dwelling- house, scullery and dairy, men’s hut, eigth-stalled stable, with two loose boxes, shearing-shed, barn, granary, chaff-house, byre for 12 cows, sheep-yards, and every other requisite for a well-conducted farm. This grand farm is within three miles of Wyndham railway station, and the land of the best wheat-growing quality. Terms at sale.

He is reported in the 15 September 1883 edition of the Otago Witness as reading a paper on the ‘nature and properties of grasses’ to the Wyndham Farmers’ Club.

Coverage of a train fire mentions that the near Bradford was called the “Bradford, Bordell, and Kingswell Railway line” I’m assuming that W B Kingswell had some interest in this line – Grey River Argus 15 Feb 1884.

On 17 October 1884 the ‘Kingswell Fellmongery’ in Invercargill burnt down. I assume that this is the business interest of W B Kingswell as;

  • he was listed in the “Return of the Freeholders of New Zealand” 1882 as a “fellmonger”
  • when the site is offer for aucton (see below) the life insurance policy of W B Kingswell is also for sale (being the only other item)
  • At the time of his death his business role is also listed as “fellmonger”.

Invercargill, October 17. — Kingswell’s fellmongery, Waikiri, a large establishment, was burned down last night. No particulars are to hand, : the place being about five miles out of town. The men who live in a hut on the premises had gone to bed, when they were alarmed by a crackling of burning timber, and found the building — a two storey one — in a blaze. The fellmongery was insured as follows : — Building and plant : Standard, £500; Colonial, £500; Fire Association, £250; Australian Mercantile Union, £250; National, £500. The stock was insured for £150 in the Victoria, and £250 in the New Zealand. Nothing is known as to the origin of the fire.

According to his son George Kingswell, and seperately through oral family history (as re-told by Margaret Austin), W. B. Kingswell gave each of his five sons £5,000 each around this time. Certainly I doubt much gifting was done after this date, as in June 1885 he goes bankrupt.

INVERCARGILL, June 18. A meeting of the creditors of W. B. Kingswell, fellmonger, took place this afternoon. Nine creditors were present. According to the bankrupt’s statement, the total liabilities amounted to £13,330, and assets to £8949, leaving a deficiency of £4381. The amount due to unsecured creditors is stated to be £3009, and assets to meet the debts nil. The sum due to secured creditors amounted to £10,320, and assets available to meet the claim amount to £8949. The secured assets are 112 acres of land, valued at £40 per acre (£4480), and a life policy for £1000, valued at £377, both secured to the National Mortgage and Agency Company (claim £7392 10s 7d) ; one acre of land secured to J. Harvey (claim £92 5s 2d), and one third share in the Bayswater estate, valued at £4000, secured to J. H. Smith (claim £2836). The principal unsecured creditors are — the British and New Zealand Mercantile and Agency Company, £629 ; G. B. Kingswell, £800; Carswell, White and Co., £300; A. McPherson, Orepuki, £125. No questions were asked, and Mr McCardell was appointed to act in conjunction with the Official Assignee, and report at a future meeting. (Star, 19 June 1885, page 3)

On 20 June 1885 in the Otago Witness appears the following two items for auction:

Mortgagee Sale
Saturday 20th June 1885,
Important sale of Suburban Property near Invercargill, Township of Wolseley
A rare chance for Speculators, fellmongers, Woollen Manufactures and Others.

Mr John Russell has been instructed by the National Mortgage and Agency Company (the Mortgagee) to sell the by public auction, at Invercargill, in their Crecent Rooms, on the above date,
All that parcel of land, being part of section 27, block IV, Invercargill Hundred containing 112 acres 1 rod 36 parches (more or less) known as
Kingswell Fellmongery, Waikiwi

This magnificent property has been sub-divided into allotments of 1/2 acre, 3 acre, 10 acre, and 15 acre each, and is called the Township of Wolseley.

It will be offered in one entire block, thus allowing the speculator to come in a make a sure and rapid fortune by re-selling in sections for suburban residences,

The situation is excellent being near the Waikiwi, facing the Main North road, with a large frontage thereto, and in the very centre of what must become the most suitable locality for manufactories &c, near Invercargill, as evidence by the establishments now in operation there. In the course of a few years this suburb will be a thickly populated one, as it is within easy distance of town by main road or rail and the tramway termius is within a mile of the property. The site for a woollen manufactories, fellmongies, or other kind of kindred industries is unsurpassed as a never failing stream of water runs through the property. The buildings consist of three comfortable dwellings and good four-stalled stable with loft. Terms liberal, at sale

Also, at the same time and place, A policy of Insurance in Liverpool London, and Globe Compmay on the life of Mr W. B. Kinsgwell, for £1000, issued 26 years ago. This will be found an extremely valuable policy as the bonus additions have been most liberal. It can be inspected by intending purchases at the Company’s offices at any time. Terms Cash

W. B Kingswell died, presumably on a visit, in Melbourne Australia on 2 November 1888. An odd aspect of his passing is that there are no newspaper obituraries. He does rate a breif mention in the Otago Witness on 16 November 1888, under the heading of Casualties (mainly drownings) he appears as follows:

It is reported that a very old and well known Southland settler, Wm. Burchall Kingswell, has been found drowned in the Yarra at Melbourne.

It is worth noting that John Field, the major land owner in Whitefoord Hills, had a horse called Malua which was the winner of the Melbourne Cup – on 2 November 1888. There was an inquest into the drowning, Victoria Inquests 1840-1985 ref 1387, of which the index states he was a ‘Fellmonger’.

Unplaced information: It is known that he was a farmer at “Morningside”, Ryal Bush – a farming locality on the low lying Southland Plain, between the Mukarewa and Oreti Rivers, Southland County, Southland. Located on State Highway 6, 19kms north of Invercargill. According to oral family history (as re-told by Margaret Austin) Mrs Kingswell found life at the very isolated farm too lonely and choose to live in Invercargill.