JOHN WILLIAM LAING
|Burial register ID:||11238|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||04-Jan-1909|
|Date of burial:||06-Jan-1909|
The main inscription lies back at an angle on the top surface of the plot:-
“UNTIL THE DAY DAWN”
And on a separate, small upright monument:-
John William Laing was born in 1826 in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland where his father was minister of the established church. He was descended from an eminent Scottish family of scholars. His grandfather, William Laing of Edinburgh, was a well-known collector of rare books, establishing a collection which became unique in Scotland. He was also one of the founders and first directors of the Commercial Bank of Scotland. *John William Laing’s mother Jane was the daughter of Mr John Gregory and his wife Jean Anderson, of Edinburgh*. John’s uncle, Dr David Laing, was the well-known librarian of the Advocates Library, Edinburgh, an antiquarian and scholar deeply versed in Scottish history and literature.
John William Laing was educated at Monzie boarding school and at the High School and University, Edinburgh. In 1842 John and his friend William Landsborough sailed in the barque Duke of Richmond for Sydney, Australia, where they went to the sheep station of Landsborough’s brother, in the New England district, to learn colonial farming. John took a share in the property and remained there for six to seven years, while William Landsborough started exploring the back country of Queensland and became famous as an explorer, then returned to Britain where he was honoured by royalty.
Meanwhile John Laing came to New Zealand. The Otago Witness states that this was “a move he always regretted”, without further explanation. He arrived in Dunedin in 1851 aboard the Salopian to visit his three brothers who had occupied land in the Dunedin area. He liked the Otago climate, so returned to New South Wales to wind up his affairs there. On coming back to Dunedin he bought property in the city and suburbs using his considerable capital. He established his home at Brockville, Halfway Bush, where he lived a very retired life, listing his occupation as “settler” on the electoral roll.
John Laing married Janet Miller and they had a family of five daughters and four sons. In the last decade of his life he moved to 60 Stafford Street, naming the house Ramsay Lodge after his grandfather’s home in Edinburgh.
John William Laing died on 3rd January 1909 after “sixty years of colonial experience” and is buried here in the cemetery with other members of his family including his wife and a son.
The sentence marked with asterisks in the first paragragh was an amendment proposed, and supported with much research, by:-
|Surname||First names||Age||Date of death||Date of burial|
|DURRAND||WILLIAM FARQUHAR||2 Years||02-Feb-1903||04-Feb-1903|
|LAING||JOHN WILLIAM||82 Years||04-Jan-1909||06-Jan-1909|