|Burial register ID:||7770|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||05-Sep-1897|
|Date of burial:||07-Sep-1897|
On the larger monument:-
IN MEMORY OF
On the smaller monument:-
William Thomson (1811 – 1897)
William Thomson was born at Dundee, Scotland, 9 May 1811, the son of a builder and jute-yard owner. He came from a family of middle-class Glasites, one of the many groups that had seceded from the established Church of Scotland.
In his twenties he left home to work in an Edinburgh law office and was boarding with Mr John Pratt, a gunsmith with six daughters – all musical. He married the oldest daughter, Margaret, after finding a more promising postion in Liverpool at George Malcolm & Co, merchants trading with the Far East.
Eventually he became head clerk and then a junior partner and went on to represent the firm in Calcutta. Many firms were entering into trade there in commodities such as jute fibre, indigo dye and tea. Such business was speculative but generally profitable.
William sailed for Calcutta in 1844 with Margaret following soon after. Their two boys, John and William, stayed behind with Margaret’s sister, Anna but William later died of scarlet fever. In Calcutta, three more children were born, James, George and Elizabeth but Margaret returned to Edinburgh with them when having her next child who was also called William. Once he was born she returned with him to Calcutta leaving the other children with Anna.
It was a very prosperous time for William and Margaret in Calcutta. As William gained in experience he started out on his own and business expanded rapidly. He had an Indigo Works at Bihar and the Wilton Tea Factory at Upper Assam. By 1863 he had accumulated substantial assets and he decided to return to Britain and leave the junior employees to manage.
He set up an office in London and leased a house called “The Cedars” at Enfield, Middlesex, a pleasant rural area out of London. Late in 1865 the Thomsons moved further up in social status, living in a much larger and more stately home “Bush Hill House” at Edmonton, a little closer to London.
When William’s junior manager at the Wilton Tea Factory died, William had legal arguments over the extent of his share. By 1866 tea prices fell sharply and his fortunes were reversed.
William was attracted by prospects in Southland, New Zealand. He invested in farming machinery which he shipped with himself and his family from Clyde in December 1867 on the sailing ship “Maria” to Bluff, the main port of Southland. The family set foot on land on 25 March 1868.
Unfortunately there was no demand for the machinery so William did not have it unloaded but sent it on to Port Chalmers. It is not known what happened to it but no profit was realised. The family set up on a 300 acre farm 15 miles out of Invercargill but neither William nor Margaret were happy there. William let his whiskers grow into the rough beard of an outback person.
By 1871 they planned to quit the farm and eventually moved to Dunedin and set up house
In Dunedin William brooded over his diminished fortunes. He used his family connections to set up a new business, Thomson, Fox & Co. The business never made much money but did keep him occupied and interested.
In 1887, due to financial pressures, William and Margaret moved from their house to live in rooms added to their son James’ house next door
Margaret died from a stroke in 1889. William lived for another eight years, when his own health began to fail and he died in 1897.
Galbreath, Ross. “Scholars and Gentlemen Both, G M and Allan Thomson in New Zealand
|Surname||First names||Age||Date of death||Date of burial|
|STRANG||MARGARET STEVEN||32 Years||03-May-1906||05-May-1906|
|THOMSON||ELIZABETH ANNA||22 Years||26-Oct-1909||28-Oct-1909|
|THOMSON||ELLEN HARRIETT||37 Years||04-Aug-1918||07-Aug-1918|
|THOMSON||ETHEL MARGARET||16 Months||10-Jun-1890||13-Jun-1890|
|THOMSON||FLORENCE JANE||10 Months||29-Jul-1886||31-Jul-1886|
|THOMSON||GEORGE MALCOLM||84 Years||25-Aug-1933||28-Aug-1933|
|THOMSON||MARGARET JUSTINA||76 Years||27-Nov-1889||29-Nov-1889|