The auction of the Kingsdown Estate, Timaru, N.Z. 1876

The auction of the Kingsdown Estate
Timaru, New Zealand 1876

Timaru Herald 6 January 1876Kingsdown, named after T. King who on 16th January 1862 purchased Rural Section 3753. Thomas King had discovered that the Messrs Rhodes's licenses did not cover all the country they had been supposed to refer to, so he snapped up the splendid piece of country now known as Kingsdown, on the north side of the Pareora River.

Robert Brookland arrived in New Zealand on 1 February 1879 as a 26-year-old immigrant from Devon. He found work on the Kingsdown Estate near Timaru, and while there, in 1880, married Jane Gardner, also from Devon. The earlier history of the Kingsdown Estate is of interest, as it throws some light on the acquisition of Canterbury runs, and also indirectly affected Robert Brookland's career. The Timaru district was first stocked with sheep in 1852 by three of the four Rhodes brothers, Yorkshiremen who, finding themselves with more country than their licences entitled them to, withdrew from the Kingsdown area, and it was taken over by James King and became known as Otipua Station. Around New Year of 1862, Thomas King, no relation to James, arrived at Otipua disguised as a swagger. He had come across from Victoria to spy out the land, and had walked all the way from South Otago. He was not very hospitably treated at the station, but was much impressed by the fertile loess soil of the district. Next morning he resumed his walk to Christchurch, where he went straight to the Land Office and paid down f20,000 for the freehold of 10,000 acres of the best land of his namesake's run. He then sailed for England, whence he never returned. His purchase, which became known as the Kingsdown Estate, was managed for him by Samuel Bristol, who had emigrated from Wiltshire, settling in New Zealand in 1863. It was Bristol, therefore, who employed Robert Brookland on Kingsdown. While still managing Kingsdown, Bristol had taken up land of his own, and Brookland was sent after about two years to manage a farm of Bristol's a mile or two away at Pareora. After a year here, Brookland himself began to branch out on his own.

The 10,000 acre Kingsdown estate, two miles south of Timaru, and extending to the Pareora River, was advertised for sale in the Timaru Herald 6th January 1876 in 50 acre lots and upwards.  The auction was held at Timaru on 27th April 1876, in Richard Turnbull's new hall.  Turnbull conducted the sale.  Only 1,250 acres of the 5,000 offered were disposed of, the balance being withdrawn, as the prices did not meet the reserve price. The lowest price was for Lot 44, 142 acres, facing the Main South Road, for which Patrick Cunningham paid at 6 10s an acre. The highest price obtained was for Lot 15, 30 acres, close to Normanby Railway Station (a railway siding, four miles south of Timaru built in 1876) for which C. Bowker paid 17 10s.  The average price was 9 25s 9d.  The second sale was on 17th July 1876, and a further 2,000 acres were disposed of and the prices were about 50% higher. Lot 1, 118 acres, 27 an acre to E.G. Kerr; and lot 9, 244 acres  16 an acre to G. Gabites.

Block Acres 	Price of Purchaser 	Location
Lot  1 50 	12 	Mr Pringle 	Fronting Main South Rd
Lot  2 50 	11 6s 	Mr Pringle 	Fronting Main South Rd
Lot  3 50 	11 5s 	Mr Pringle 	Adjoining township of Scarborough
Lot  4 35 	9 	Mr D. Ross 	Fronting railway line and near Scarborough
Lot  5 59 	10 15s 	Mr D. Ross 	Fronting railway line 
Lot  6 50 	10 5s 	Mr D. Ross 	Running along the sea beach and fronting the railway line
Lot  7 50 	8 	Mr D. Ross 	Bounded by the railway line and the sea
Lot  8 70 	8  10s 	Mr D. Ross 	Bounded by the railway line and Main South Rd
Lot  9 50 	8 	Mr A. Hart 	Near Main South Rd 
Lot 10 50 	8  5s 	Mr A. Hart 	Near Main South Rd 
Lot 11 50 	10 	Mr A. Hart 	Near Main South Rd
Lot 12 50 	10 10s 	Mr Ralph Dimes 	A large frontage to the main road and adjoining the railway station at the township of Normanby
Lot 13 50 	10 	Mr John Thomson Part of the township of Normanby
Lot 15 30 	17 10s 	Mr Bowker 	Close to the railway station of Normanby
Lot 16 121 	8 	Mr Craigie 	Near railway station at Normanby
Lot 18 100 	7 10s 	Mr Pringle 	Fronting the railway line
Lot 20 150 	8  8s 	Mr Pringle 	Facing the Main South Rd
Lot 21 150 	7  5s 	Mr Parsons 	Facing the Main South Rd
Lot 44 142 	6 10s 	Mr Cunningham 	Fronting line of railway


Timaru Herald 28 April 1876 pg 3

Newspapers clipping image from
Timaru Herald   1864 -1900 


Population of Kingsdown




Today Kingsdown remains a farming district.


Timaru Herald January 6 1874 Editorial

Timaru Herald 18th July 1878

Timaru Herald 18th July 1878
A. Perry, A.W. Wright, E.G. Kerr, W. Evans, T. Hall, G. Gabites. W. Gosling purchased property at Kingsdown.

The Timaru Herald 24 Oct. 1878
The township of Salisbury - the property of Mr W. Evans - situated about two and a half miles from Timaru, and formerly a part of the Kingsdown Estate, was offered for sale yesterday by Messrs D. and L. Maclean, in Forester's Hall. Purchasers included Stevens, Sibley, E.G. Kerr, Greenup, Maclean, Gosling, Lesly, Godby & Tosswill, Allpress, Parsons, Hancock and Shepherd.

The Timaru Herald 24 Oct. 1878

Timaru Herald, 26 August 1879, Page 2
Edward George Kerr objected to his land being assessed at 13 per acre. He said that 10 was the fair value of it. The land was 3 miles, from Timaru, and as it was only agricultural land he thought the assessment altogether excessive. He was perfectly satisfied he could not get 10 per acre for it. The objection was disallowed.

Timaru Herald, 20 September 1887, Page 2
Kerr was not afraid to omit it. As to these banks they were very useful institutions but Mr Kerr did not care two pence for them and was not their nominee. He was so independent of them that he could transfer his account from his present bank to another if he chose to do so. Again he was said that he was the nominee of the loan companies. Well as a matter of fact he owned between 7000 and 8000 of property in Timaru, but not one farthing of it was mortgaged or was their a bill of sale over it to any loan company or any bank.
    Mr Kerr had been accused of being the nominee of the squatters. He had a farm of about 300 acres at Kingsdown, and he might be called a farmer or a cockatoo, but the farm was not big enough to "squat " on. (Laughter). Well, the leases of these runs fell in in 1889, and before next election. He had no interest in them in any shape or form... He would see that such land was fairly cut up, and that in the event of there being much competition for it, would see that it was sold to the highest bidder. Therefore, they could not accuse him of playing into the hands of the squatters...

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