Burial register ID: 7364
Surname: BAGLEY
First name: BENJAMIN
Middle names:
Gender: Male
Age: 72 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 09-Jul-1895
Date of burial: 11-Jul-1895

Block: 6
Plot: 3

Bio contributor: Bruce Bagley

Benjamin Bagley (1822-1895)

Benjamin Bagley was born on 3rd August 1822 in Poplar, London, and married Mary Sarah Whittingham at Rosliston, Derby on 9th October 1842.

Benjamin, a druggist, sailed ahead to Melbourne with his eldest son, aboard the famous clipper Red Jacket in 1860, followed by his wife, children and sister-in-law Fanny, shortly after. Having spent less than two years in Victoria and leaving Fanny behind to marry a George Davies, the family sailed into Port Chalmers on 17th September 1861 aboard the Aldinga with an additional son Alexander, recently born.

For nearly a year Benjamin Bagley worked and wrote for the Otago Daily Times, scraping together enough capital to open his first druggist shop at 4 George Street in December 1862. He wrote to his sister-in-law in Victoria, that Dunedin had twelve druggists at that time. Meanwhile his second son Richard worked the next few years as a printer’s devil at the Otago Daily Times. Ben paid 30 shillings per week rent for what was a good trading position. In the earliest weeks, takings were over 10 pounds per week, of which his net profit was 6 pounds. This equates to weekly wages of about six men. A very good start. There was even more luck with the discovery of gold in Otago and the rapid population increase, likewise in business.

During the gold rush years, with his grasp of business principles noted from his family correspondence, he forged ahead, bringing into the business his second son Richard Parker Bagley, who qualified as a pharmacist. So by 1874 the business became B. Bagley & Son. In 1889 his son Alexander became a qualified pharmacist and entered the business. The family firm developed into the foremost pharmacy business by reputation and turnover in Dunedin. At various times over the sixty two years of Bagley ownership branches at 28 and 123 George Street, and also 323 Great King Street were opened.

Benjamin Bagley was elected for two terms to the Dunedin City Council (Bell Ward) in 1868 and 1870. All of the Bagleys were appointed to the New Zealand Pharmacy Board for numerous terms, representing the Otago district. They all spent time as examiners on the pharmacy examination board of New Zealand.

Benjamin Bagley was a practised druggist in England who brought his sorely needed skills to Dunedin and became a prominent pioneer. The firm he founded was family owned and managed for sixty two years. The original shop at 4 George Street (the Octagon Pharmacy) is today still a pharmacy retaining the name, although the premises are rebuilt. Benjamin Bagley rests beneath his red granite obelisk in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery.

Benjamin Bagley
Source: Bruce Bagley

There are 4 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
BAGLEY BENJAMIN 72 Years 09-Jul-1895 11-Jul-1895
BAGLEY MATILDA MARTHA 91 Years 08-Oct-1948 11-Oct-1948
BAGLEY TANTON PARKER 23 Years 27-Apr-1909 29-Apr-1909
ERWIN LEITH VALENTINE 83 Years 30-May-1970 02-Jun-1970