Died 1893 81

William Fox arrived in New Zealand, newly married and already admitted to the Bar. He was a supporter of Wakefield’s New Zealand Company settlements and served for a time as one of its leaders. The Company sponsored migration from England and through colonial settlements aimed to replicate English Society, including a class-based hierarchy, on Māori land acquired for the purpose.

Wakefield and his supporters despised the Treaty of Waitangi and its confirmation of unoccupied Māori land ownership. They believed land not actively farmed or otherwise in use by Māori should be forfeited to the Crown or made available for settlers to purchase. To this end, Fox entered New Zealand political life, initially in the Wellington province. He visited England and actively lobbied for a bill to establish provincial governments in New Zealand.

As a Member of the House of Representatives, Fox was premiere on four occasions. He was frequently at odds with Grey, particular over questions of land ownership and right of possession. In later life Fox was an advocate for the temperance movement and a supporter of compulsory state education. Fox was as controversial as his views on Māori land and his opinions on the governing of New Zealand, for which he favoured a federal model, would suggest.

Further Reading:

Sir William’s Wikipedia Page

Sir William Fox
Died 23 June 1893
Aged 81 years
Block C Row 7 Plot 2

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