George Waterhouse (politician)

Last updated

George Marsden Waterhouse
George Marsden Waterhouse 2.jpeg
6th Premier of South Australia
In office
8 October 1861 3 July 1863
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir Richard MacDonnell
Sir Dominick Daly
Preceded by Thomas Reynolds
Succeeded by Francis Dutton
7th Premier of New Zealand
In office
11 October 1872 3 March 1873
Monarch Queen Victoria
Governor George Grey
George Bowen
Preceded by Edward Stafford
Succeeded by William Fox
ConstituencyLegislative Council member
6th Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
In office
22 April 1887 21 September 1887
Preceded by William Fitzherbert
Succeeded byWilliam Fitzherbert
Personal details
Born(1824-04-06)6 April 1824
Penzance, Cornwall, UK
Died6 August 1906(1906-08-06) (aged 82)
Torquay, Devonshire, England
Political partyNone
Spouse(s)Lydia Giles
Children2 (adopted)
ParentsJohn Waterhouse
Jane Beadnell Skipsey
Relatives Jabez Waterhouse (brother)
Joseph Waterhouse (brother)
John Waterhouse (nephew)
Walter Waterhouse (great nephew)
Signature George Waterhouse Signature.jpg
George Marsden Waterhouse.jpeg

George Marsden Waterhouse (6 April 1824 – 6 August 1906) was a Premier of South Australia from 8 October 1861 until 3 July 1863 and the seventh Premier of New Zealand from 11 October 1872 to 3 March 1873.

Premier of South Australia Wikimedia List

The Premier of South Australia is the head of government in the state of South Australia, Australia. The Government of South Australia follows the Westminster system, with a Parliament of South Australia acting as the legislature. The Premier is appointed by the Governor of South Australia, and by modern convention holds office by virtue of his or her ability to command the support of a majority of members of the lower house of Parliament, the House of Assembly.


Early life

George Waterhouse's father, Rev John Waterhouse, was general superintendent of the Wesleyan Missions in Australia and Polynesia. [1]

Polynesia Subregion of Oceania

Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, and share many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs. Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.


Waterhouse was aged 15 when his family migrated in 1839, initially to Hobart. Four years later he moved to Adelaide and set up business as a merchant. [2]

Hobart City in Tasmania, Australia

Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of approximately 225,000, it is the least populated Australian state capital city, and second smallest if territories are taken into account. Founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, Hobart, formerly known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. Prior to British settlement, the Hobart area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of these Aboriginal Tasmanians often refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.

Adelaide City in South Australia

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2017, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,333,927. Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.

Merchant businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others

A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in business or trade. Merchants have operated for as long as industry, commerce, and trade have existed. During the 16th-century, in Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: One term, meerseniers, described local traders such as bakers, grocers, etc.; while a new term, koopman (Dutch: koopman, described merchants who operated on a global stage, importing and exporting goods over vast distances, and offering added-value services such as credit and finance.

He was first elected to parliament in the electoral district of East Torrens in August 1851. He resigned 3 years later, was elected again in 1857 but resigned again soon after.

East Torrens was an electoral district of the House of Assembly in the Australian state of South Australia from 1857 to 1902 and again from 1915 to 1938.

He supported economic development of the colony through free trade and was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council again in 1860, where he advocated uniform tariffs for Australia. He was chief secretary in the First Reynolds Ministry from May 1860 to February 1861. After Reynolds ended his term as Premier in 1861, Waterhouse formed a government with the intention of finalising a motion in relation to Justice Benjamin Boothby, a judge in the Supreme Court of South Australia who was causing difficulties by objecting to the legitimacy of the Appeals Court under the new Constitution. Waterhouse resigned his ministry after this task was completed, but was persuaded to reform another government, which lasted until July 1863 before collapsing in the face of accusations of financial irregularities and alleged misappropriation of funds. In 1864 he retired from South Australian politics and spent some time in England.

Free trade policy in which countries governments do not restrict imports from, or exports to, other countries

Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports; it can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties generally support protectionism, the opposite of free trade.

South Australian Legislative Council upper house of the parliament in South Australia, Australia

The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the House of Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.

The First Reynolds Ministry was the 5th Ministry of the Government of South Australia, led by Thomas Reynolds. It commenced on 9 May 1860, following Reynolds' defeat of the Hanson Ministry on a confidence vote in the House of Assembly. The ministry was defeated in May 1861, but Reynolds' opponents were unable to form government, and he formed the reconstituted Second Reynolds Ministry on 20 May 1861.

New Zealand

Waterhouse migrated to New Zealand in 1869 and on 13 May 1870 was appointed to the New Zealand Legislative Council. [3] He was in the Fox Ministry from 30 October to 20 November 1871, and in October 1872 became premier without portfolio. [4] He resigned in March 1873 finding that as a member of the upper house it was impossible to keep control of his ministry. He remained a Legislative Council member until his resignation on 30 June 1890. [3]

New Zealand Legislative Council Upper House of the Parliament of New Zealand (1841 - 1951)

The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.

Retirement in England

Waterhouse fell into ill-health and retired to England in 1889, and died at Torquay, Devonshire on 6 August 1906.

Waterhouse had his career both in Australia and New Zealand, but it was much hampered by the poor state of his health. He has the unusual distinction of having been the premier of two colonies. Despite this distinction, Waterhouse never received a knighthood or a peerage for his services in governing two colonies.


He married Lydia Giles (1827 – 25 January 1910), [5] a daughter of William Giles, on 5 July 1848. [2] Fanny, one of their two adopted daughters married William Fitzherbert in 1875. [1] [6]


  1. 1 2 "Waterhouse, George Marsden". Australian National Biography. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 Alexander Hare McLintock, ed. (23 April 2009) [1966]. "Waterhouse, Hon. George Marsden". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  3. 1 2 Scholefield 1950, p. 87.
  4. Scholefield 1950, p. 34.
  5. "Second Edition". Horowhenua Chronicle. 15 March 1910. p. 3. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  6. Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "His Worship the Mayor, Mr. William Alfred Fitzherbert". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 24 June 2013.

Related Research Articles

The 2nd New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. It opened on 15 April 1856, following New Zealand's 1855 election. It was dissolved on 5 November 1860 in preparation for 1860–61 election. The 2nd Parliament was the first under which New Zealand had responsible government, meaning that unlike previously, the Cabinet was chosen by Parliament rather than by the Governor.

William Fitzherbert (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

Sir William Fitzherbert was a New Zealand politician. He served as Minister of Finance, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Speaker of the Legislative Council.

Frederick Whitaker Prime Minister of New Zealand

Sir Frederick Whitaker was an English-born New Zealand politician who served twice as the Prime Minister of New Zealand and six times as Attorney-General.

1860–61 New Zealand general election

The New Zealand general election of 1860–61 was held between 12 December 1860 and 28 March 1861 to elect 53 MPs to the third session of the New Zealand Parliament. 13,196 electors were registered.

Maurice ORorke New Zealand politician

Sir George Maurice O’Rorke was a New Zealand politician, representing the Auckland seat of Onehunga, and later Manukau, and was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a committed provincialist and was the eighth Superintendent of the Auckland Province. Upon receiving his knighthood in 1880, he became known as Sir Maurice.

Thomas William Hislop New Zealand politician

Thomas William Hislop was the Mayor of Wellington from 1905 to 1908, and had represented two South Island electorates in the New Zealand Parliament.

James McGowan (politician) New Zealand politician

James McGowan was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party.

Richard Reeves (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party. He was acting Speaker of the Legislative Council in 1905.

Arthur Seymour New Zealand politician

Arthur Penrose Seymour was a 19th-century New Zealand politician from Picton. He was the 4th Superintendent of the Marlborough Province and was a member of the provincial government for all 16 years of its existence. With his strong advocacy for Picton, he successfully had the Seat of Government moved to Picton. When the Blenheim party secured a majority in the Provincial Council by 1865, Seymour negotiated the removal of the Seat of Government back to Blenheim.

Picton was a parliamentary electorate in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand, from 1861 to 1887.

The third New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. Elections for this term were held between 12 December 1860 and 28 March 1861 in 43 electorates to elect 53 MPs. Two electorates were added to this during this term, Gold Fields District and a new Dunedin electorate created by splitting the existing City of Dunedin into Dunedin and Suburbs North and Dunedin and Suburbs South, increasing the number of MPs to 57. During the term of this Parliament, six Ministries were in power.

The 4th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand.

Samuel Shrimski New Zealand politician

Samuel Edward Shrimski was a 19th-century Member of Parliament and then a Member of the Legislative Council from Otago, New Zealand.

The fifth New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament.

The 6th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand.

The 7th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand.

16th New Zealand Parliament

The 16th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1905 general election in December of that year.

John Johnston (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician, born 1809

John Johnston was a Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council and a successful businessman.

John Nathanial Wilson was a New Zealand politician.

William Alfred Fitzherbert was the first Mayor of Lower Hutt, New Zealand, from when Lower Hutt became a borough in 1891 to 1898. He was an engineer and farmer in New Zealand.


Parliament of South Australia
New district Member of Parliament for East Torrens
Served alongside: Charles Bonney
Succeeded by
Lavington Glyde
Political offices
Preceded by
William Younghusband
Chief Secretary of South Australia
1860 1861
Succeeded by
John Morphett
Preceded by
Thomas Reynolds
Premier of South Australia
1861 1863
Succeeded by
Francis Dutton
Preceded by
John Morphett
Chief Secretary of South Australia
1861 1863
Succeeded by
John Hart
New Zealand Parliament
Appointed Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council
1870 1890
Served alongside: Multiple Members
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Stafford
Premier of New Zealand
1872 1873
Succeeded by
William Fox
Preceded by
William Fitzherbert
Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
Succeeded by
William Fitzherbert