Burial register ID: 12116
Surname: MIRAMS
First name: SAMUEL
Middle names: HAYWOOD
Gender: Male
Age: 74 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 10-Oct-1911
Date of burial: 13-Oct-1911

Block: 45
Plot: 3

In loving memory of

Samuel Hayward


Late City Engineer

Died 10th Oct. 1911

Aged 74.



Wife of the Above

Died 12th Jan 1928

Aged 82

Clara Adelaide Mirams

Daughter of S H Mirams

Died 23-3-1956


Josephine Philippa

Younger Daughter of

Garnet Z & Gladys Lindley

And Grand-Daughter of Above

Died 4th Jan. 1941

In her 25th year

Sidney Thorpe Mirams

Died 5th Oct. 1923

Aged 56

Beatrice Annie

Wife of Above

Died 18th Dec. 1932.

Jean Eastgate

Died 1878

Bio contributor:

Samuel Haywood Mirams was born on 28 August 1837 in Minster, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England, the son of Elizabeth Cole and her husband, James Mirams, a clergyman. He was educated at private schools at Blackheath and Twickenham before taking up employment at an achitect’s office in London. When he was 19 the family emigrated to Australia, where his father became rector of the Congregational Church in Collins Street, Melbourne. Mirams worked for several years for the firm of Purchas and Swyer, architects and engineers.

In 1862 he travelled on the Aldinga to Dunedin, New Zealand, to carry out work for Purchas and Swyer; he decided not to return to Australia. Mirams worked for two years as a draughtsman and assistant engineer for the Otago provincial government, and for a further two years as an architect and engineer in private practice. He was one of the signatories to the 1864 deed of purchase for the Moray Place site of Dunedin’s first Congregational church. He married Matilda Philippa Eastgate in the church’s manse on 21 February 1865.

Early in 1866 Mirams was appointed to the position of city surveyor. His duties were ‘of an exceedingly onerous as well as of an exceedingly varied character.’ In 1878 he formulated a drainage scheme which became the basis of Dunedin’s sewerage system. From 1880 he was in charge of the water supply systems at Silverstream and Ross Creek; the low-level supply at Water of Leith was added in 1886. Mirams was also responsible for the inspection of trivial works and repairs.

As well as overseeing the grading and finishing of most of the city’s streets, Mirams was responsible for establishing and maintaining cemeteries, recreational reserves and reserves for leasing, the supervision of buildings and the administration of the city by-laws, particularly in relation to property. He is perhaps best known for the developments associated with the town belt: the creation of Queen’s Drive and Maori Road, Woodhaugh Garden and the Northern Cemetery. His proposal that telegraph wires should be carried underground was never carried out.

Mirams was incidentally involved in a scandal in 1886 when two women were killed in an accident caused by the incorrect handling of gelignite during blasting at the Princes Street cutting. Although Mirams was formally responsible for the project, the work was being supervised by the completely unqualified William Barnes; he had been appointed by his father, John Barnes, the mayor of Dunedin, whose interference in operational matters was widely held to be the ultimate cause of the accident.

On his retirement for health reasons in 1901 Mirams was retained for two years on full pay while his sole responsibility was the secretaryship of the Dunedin Drainage and Sewerage Board. The council, the public and the press paid tribute to his long and conscientious service, one editorial remarking that he had witnessed, partly as a result of his own efforts, ‘the transformation of Dunedin from the condition of a practically unformed town to that of a fairly well equipped city’. On his death at Dunedin on 10 October 1911, it was said that he had ‘left in the city a very noble monument of the services he had rendered it’. He had been widely respected for his ‘exceedingly suave and courteous manner’ and ‘unobtrusive disposition’.

Matilda and Samuel Mirams, living mainly in the north end of Dunedin, raised a family of seven boys and four girls, many of whose descendants have maintained close ties with the city he helped to build. Matilda Mirams died at Dunedin in 1928.

White, Helen Watson ‘Mirams, Samuel Haywood 1837 – 1911’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007


Samuel H. Mirams, 1892
Source: Otago Settlers Museum

There are 9 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
EASTGATE JANE 69 Years 06-Sep-1877 08-Sep-1877
LINDLEY JOSEPHINE PHILIPPA 24 Years 04-Jan-1941 05-Jan-1941
MCGOWAN JAMES PATERSON 82 Years 01-Jul-1942 03-Jul-1942
MIRAMS BEATRICE ANNIE GEORGINA 68 Years 18-Dec-1932 19-Dec-1932
MIRAMS CLARA ADELAIDE 79 Years 25-Mar-1956 26-Mar-1956
MIRAMS JAMES RONALD 16 Months 30-Apr-1879 02-May-1879
MIRAMS MATILDA PHILIPPA 82 Years 12-Jan-1928 14-Jan-1928
MIRAMS SAMUEL HAYWOOD 74 Years 10-Oct-1911 13-Oct-1911
MIRAMS SIDNEY THORPE 56 Years 05-Oct-1923 07-Oct-1923