Burial register ID: 3843
Surname: CUTTEN
First name: WILLIAM
Middle names: HENRY
Gender: Male
Age: 61 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 30-Jun-1883
Date of burial: 04-Jul-1883

Block: 3
Plot: 7

In Memory of

William Henry Cutten

Born 10th April 1822

Died 30th June 1883

Also his beloved Wife

Christiana Dorothea

Born 18th Jan 1827

Died 24th Sept. 1918


Rebecca Cargill

Beloved 3rd Daughter of Above

Born 13th April 1860

Died 16th Sept. 1916


Edward Cutten

Beloved 5th Son of the above

Born 7th July 1862

Died 13th July 1917

Bio contributor: Hardwicke Knight

William Henry Cutten (1822-1883).

A pioneer settler of the ideal type, he was a man who brought capital, business ability, and public spirit. He first set up in Dunedin as an auctioneer offering essential imports, following his father’s line of business in London. Not surprisingly, with his abilities, he made a meteoric rise in the settlement. His letters show him to have an unusual literary penchant, which led to his being presented with the property and running of the Otago Witness in October 1851. He set up the printing press in his auction rooms on the foreshore. Then he and Julius Vogel launched the first daily paper in New Zealand, the Otago Daily Times, on 15 November 1861.

W.H. Cutten was born on 10 April 1822, the eighth of nine children of Charles Cutten and Rebecca Davis. He accompanied Captain Cargill as a cabin passenger on the John Wickliffe. On 14 March 1850, Cutten married Christina Dorothea, Captain Cargill’s eldest daughter. They first lived in a wooden house at the foot of Stuart St. This proved to be a damp area, near the tidal flats, and polluted by a leaking drain from the first hospital on the west side of the Octagon. Nonetheless it was a valuable central city property. Cutten’s rural land also paid him well, as it became the site for a township.

In 1861 Cutten shifted his family across the harbour, and up to a small house in the area which is now Sunshine. He set about building the fine house on the crest of the hill, called Belmont, which stands today at the top of Belmont Lane.

Cutten was elected to the Otago Provincial Council in September 1853, and in October he and John Cargill were members of the General Assembly at Auckland. He was Commissioner of Crown Lands for Otago until 1867 when the qualified surveyor, LT. Thomson, took over. From 1853 to 1863 he was Provincial Treasurer, and he was in Donald Reid’s executive. In 1873 he retired for a return visit to England and on returning was a member of Parliament for Taieri 1878-79. He was on the University Council from 1871 until his death on 30 June 1883.

Cutten was remarkable in that he could advance policies, contrary to those Cargill advocated, without damage to his relationship as a son-in-law. He was always a sympathetic listener and extended himself to the townspeople.

The roles which Cutten played, especially establishing an outspoken and fair newspaper, mark him out as one of the founders of the Otago Province.


Knight, Hardwicke, ‘Cutten, William Henry (1822 – 1883)’. Southern People. A Dictionary of Otago Southland Biography. Longacre Press: Dunedin. 1998. 115 – 116.

Mr William Cutten
Source: Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena University of Otago Dunedin E2539/11

Cutten’s house “Belmont”
Source: Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena University of Otago Dunedin E2575/22

There are 4 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
CUTTEN CATHERINE MAY 80 Years 08-May-1950 10-May-1950
CUTTEN CHRISTINA DOROTHEA 91 Years 24-Sep-1918 27-Sep-1918
CUTTEN EDWARD 55 Years 14-Jul-1917 17-Jul-1917
CUTTEN WILLIAM HENRY 61 Years 30-Jun-1883 04-Jul-1883