Burial register ID: 10155
Surname: WEDLAKE
First name: FREDERICK
Middle names: WILLIAM
Gender: Male
Age: 69 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 16-Apr-1906
Date of burial: 18-Apr-1906

Block: 50
Plot: 22

Bio contributor: John Wedlake

Frederick William Wedlake (c.1836-1906)

The Wedlake family were originally tin streamers (miners) from the village of St Austell in Cornwall. Frederick William Wedlake was born in Roche, Cornwall in about 1836.

Frederick (Fred) married Elizabeth Beswetherick at St Austell in 1860. Fred and Elizabeth came to New Zealand in the late 1860s for the gold rush, leaving their family behind in England. No record of their passage has been found, so it is possible they came via the gold fields of Australia.

The couple made their way to Lawrence in search of gold and began living in Blue Spur, a town above Gabriel’s Gully. In 1870 the Wedlakes had a stillborn daughter, then in 1873 had a child, Saupenias Ann, again at Blue Spur. However, she died an infant.

Fred won the wrestling contest at the 1870 and 1873 New Year’s Day Blue Spur Annual Sports days.

Fred became a director of the Clark’s Hill Prospecting Company which was formed in 1872 to prospect the range between Gabriel’s Gully and Wetherstone’s Gully (to the east) by a tunnel.

In 1874 the couple’s English born children, Frederick William (aged 14), John Alfred (12) and Charlotte (10) came out to New Zealand on the ship Asia, arriving in Otago on 26th April of that year. Fred’s brother Thomas (21) and Julia Wedlake (17) arrived on the same ship.

While the children attended Blue Spur School, Fred worked his claim at Gabriel’s Gully and later worked for the Richmond Hill Company as the Underground Manager in their mine. In December 1879 Fred was injured in an accident where he was hit on the head by a descending mine cage. His wounds resulted in him being hospitalised.

Fred and Elizabeth were living in Lawrence in 1894 when their neighbour’s house was burnt down and Fred was called as a witness at the coroner’s enquiry on 27th March 1894. Some time later they moved to Dunedin. It seems possible that Fred may have gone to Dunedin ahead of his wife, as an advertisement in the Tuapeka Times on 24th March 1897 indicated the sale of Mrs Wedlake’s effects.

By 1906 Fred and Elizabeth were living in Dunedin, at 264 Great King Street. Fred died there at his home on 23rd April 1906 after a long illness. He is buried here in the Northern Cemetery in the Wedlake family plot with his wife, sons, daughter and daughter-in-law.

(Details from the Tuapeka Times on the Papers Past website)

There are 6 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
WEDLAKE ELIZABETH 79 Years 07-Apr-1923 10-Apr-1923
WEDLAKE FREDERICK WILLIAM 69 Years 16-Apr-1906 18-Apr-1906
WEDLAKE JOHN ALFRED 64 Years 26-Aug-1926 29-Aug-1926
WEDLAKE LOTTIE 75 Years 29-Mar-1939 31-Mar-1939
WEDLAKE MARY EDMOND 63 Years 17-May-1928 19-May-1928
WEDLAKE WILLIAM FREDERICK 51 Years 04-Jul-1911 07-Jul-1911