Charles Bathurst, 1st Viscount Bledisloe

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The Viscount Bledisloe

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4th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
19 March 1930 15 March 1935
Monarch George V
Preceded by Sir Charles Fergusson, Bt
Succeeded by The Viscount Galway
Member of Parliament
for Wilton
In office
15 January 1910 15 October 1918
Preceded by Levi Lapper Morse
Succeeded by Hugh Morrison
Personal details
Born(1867-09-21)21 September 1867
London, United Kingdom
Died3 July 1958(1958-07-03) (aged 90)
Lydney, Gloucestershire
United Kingdom
NationalityBritish
Political party Conservative

Charles Bathurst, 1st Viscount Bledisloe, GCMG , KBE , PC (21 September 1867 – 3 July 1958) was a British Conservative politician and colonial governor. He was Governor-General of New Zealand from 1930 to 1935.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.

Governor-General of New Zealand Representative of the monarch of New Zealand

The Governor-General of New Zealand is the viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and lives in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her Prime Minister of New Zealand, appoints a governor-general to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand.

Contents

Early life

He was born in London, the second son of Charles Bathurst, of Lydney Park and Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Thomas Hay by Georgette Arnaud. He was educated at Sherborne School, Eton and then University College, Oxford, where he graduated with a law degree in 1890. He then studied law and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1892, when he gained an MA from Oxford. He was also called to the bar. [1] He inherited Lydney Park on the death of his elder brother.

Lydney Park

Lydney Park is a 17th-century country estate surrounding Lydney House, located at Lydney in the Forest of Dean district in Gloucestershire, England. It is known for its gardens and Roman temple complex.

Sherborne School Grade I listed independent school (UK) in West Dorset, United Kingdom

Sherborne School is an English independent boarding school for boys, located in the parish of Sherborne Abbey, located in the town of Sherborne in Dorset. The school has remained in the same location for over 1300 years. It was founded in 705 AD by Aldhelm and, following the dissolution of the monasteries, re-founded in 1550 by King Edward VI, making it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. Sherborne was one of the founder member public schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference in 1869, and is a member of the Eton Group.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Member of Parliament and Great War

Bathurst worked as a barrister and conveyancer. In 1910 he entered parliament representing the Conservative Party as MP for the South or Wilton division of Wiltshire. He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food.

Barrister lawyer specialized in court representation in Wales, England and some other jurisdictions

A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions. Often, barristers are also recognised as legal scholars.

January 1910 United Kingdom general election

The January 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget.

Parliament of the United Kingdom Supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

During the First World War of 1914-1918 he joined the Royal Engineers Special Reserves, and then served in Southern Command as Assistant Military Secretary at the War Office.[ citation needed ] He carried out the task of ensuring the country had a supply of sugar when asked to chair the Royal Commission on Sugar Supply until 1919. Bathurst was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1917, and raised to the peerage as Baron Bledisloe of Lydney in the County of Gloucester on 15 October 1918. He remained in parliament until 1928, serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1924 onwards. The following year Bristol University granted him an honorary Doctorate of Science. He served as a member of the Privy Council from 1926. Stanley Baldwin appointed Lord Bledisloe to chair the Royal Commission on Land Drainage - probably owing to his own experiences on the banks of the Severn in Gloucestershire. This was his last such honour before being posted overseas.

Order of the British Empire British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Governor-General of New Zealand

After leaving parliament, Lord Bledisloe was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George and invested a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem on appointment as the fourth Governor-General of New Zealand, an office he held from 1930 until 1935, proving to be extremely well liked and respected. His social conscience was much appreciated during the Depression era, as was his insistence that his salary should be cut as were the salaries of public servants at the time. Bledisloe also contributed to improved PākehāMāori relations, purchasing the site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and presenting it to the nation as a memorial. In 1934, the site was dedicated as a national reserve. The dedication ceremony attracted thousands of people, both Māori and Pākehā. Bledisloe continued to take an interest in the site even after his term expired and he returned to England. Bledisloe also contributed to the recognition of the Māori King Movement by developing a friendship with King Koroki and Te Puea Herangi, and his willingness to use the title "king" without reticence. [1]

Order of St Michael and St George series of appointments of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

Pākehā is a Māori-language term for New Zealanders of European descent. The term has also recently come to refer inclusively either to fair-skinned persons, or to any non-Māori New Zealander. Papa'a has a similar meaning in Cook Islands Māori.

Bledisloe also promoted various causes and events by the presentation of trophies. The most famous of these being the Bledisloe Cup, the trophy for an ongoing rugby union competition between New Zealand and Australia, first awarded in 1931, and currently contested annually. [1] He also initiated New Zealand Chess Federation interclub championship trophy, also called the Bledisloe Cup.

Bledisloe Cup

The Bledisloe Cup is a rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand that has been competed for since the 1930s. The frequency at which the competition has been held and the number of matches played has varied, but as of 2016, it consists of an annual three-match series, with two of the matches also counting towards The Rugby Championship. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy for the 47th time in 2018, while Australia have won 12 times.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

Freemasonry

He was a freemason. During his term as Governor-General (1930-1935), he was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. [2]

Later life

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, [3] and honorary doctorate of civil laws (DCL) from Oxford, and honorary doctorate of Law (LLD) from Edinburgh. Upon returning to England he was also elevated on 24 June 1935 to Viscount Bledisloe, of Lydney in the County of Gloucester. [1] He continued to serve on a number of committees and councils, and was made a fellow of University College, Oxford and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Bristol. He received the King's Coronation Medal from George VI in 1937; being admitted at the same time as Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Bledisloe was a director of Lloyds Bank and the Australian Mutual Provident Society; and latterly also of the P & O Steamship Company.

Lord Bledisloe chaired the Bledisloe Commission, also known as the Rhodesia-Nyasaland Royal Commission, a Royal Commission appointed in 1937–39 to examine the possible closer union of the three British territories in Central Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. These territories were to some degree economically inter-dependent, and it was suggested that an association would promote their rapid development. (The three territories would ultimately unite as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953.)

On his 90th birthday he endowed the Bledisloe Gold Medal for Landowners of the Royal Agricultural Society of England to be awarded annually for the application of science or technology to some branch of British husbandry. [4]

Lord Bledisloe died, aged 90, at Lydney on 3 July 1958, and was succeeded as Viscount Bledisloe by his eldest son, Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst.

Family

Charles Bathurst married Hon Bertha Susan, daughter of Henry Charles Lopes, 1st Baron Ludlow by Cordelia Clark. They had issue: two boys and a girl.

Sports

Upon its formation in 1888, Bathurst was invited to become President of Lydney Rugby Football Club. He held this position for 70 years until his death and was succeeded as by his eldest son, Benjamin Ludlow Bathurst. The Bledisloe Cup and Bledisloe Park sports ground are both named for Bledisloe.

Styles

Arms

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Marshall, Russell (22 June 2007). "Bledisloe, Charles Bathurst 1867 – 1958". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  2. "VICE REGAL GRAND MASTERS - WHO AND WHY?". Kent Henderson Freemansonry. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013.
  3. "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  4. "Bledisloe Gold Medal for Landowners". RASE. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Levi Lapper Morse
Member of Parliament for Wilton
19101918
Succeeded by
Hugh Morrison
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Fergusson
Governor-General of New Zealand
1930–1935
Succeeded by
The Viscount Galway
Sporting positions
New office President of Lydney Rugby Football Club
1888–1958
Succeeded by
Benjamin Bathurst
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Bledisloe
1935–1958
Succeeded by
Benjamin Bathurst
Baron Bledisloe
1918–1958