|Founded||11 January 1851|
|Ceased publication||29 June 1935|
|Headquarters|| Lyttelton Times Building, 56 Cathedral Square, Christchurch |
The Lyttelton Times was the first newspaper in Canterbury, New Zealand, publishing the first edition in January 1851. It was established by the Canterbury Association as part of its planned settlement of Canterbury and developed into a liberal, at the time sometimes seen as radical, newspaper. A successor paper, The Star, is published as a free bi-weekly newspaper.
James FitzGerald was the newspaper's first editor, and it was FitzGerald who in 1861 set up its main competitor, The Press , over the Lyttelton Times' support for the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel. In 1935, it was The Press that won the competition for the morning newspaper market in Christchurch; the Lyttelton Times was the oldest newspaper in the country when it ceased that year.
The Canterbury Association was formed in order to establish a colony in what is now the Canterbury Region in the South Island of New Zealand. Part of the plan was to have a newspaper, and a prospectus was published in August 1850.The Canterbury Association entered into a contract with Ingram Shrimpton, of the Crown Yard Printing Office, Oxford, to send out the necessary plant in one of the First Four Ships to Lyttelton. The printing equipment arrived on the Charlotte Jane on 16 December 1850, and the first edition of the Lyttelton Times was published less than one month later on 11 January 1851.
The press was first installed in a shed on Norwich Quay. John Ingram Shrimpton, Ingram Shrimpton's son, came out on the Charlotte Jane with some staff for the newspaper and was manager and canvasser.James FitzGerald was the first editor for the Lyttelton Times, and had agreed to work for free. One of the early contributors to the newspaper was John Robert Godley.
Ingram Shrimpton came out from England in 1854 and took over as editor. FitzGerald had effectively relinquished the editorship upon his election as Superintendent of the Canterbury Province in July 1853.The production moved to more spacious premises in Lyttelton's Oxford Street in 1854. In July 1856, Shrimpton sold the newspaper to Charles Bowen and Crosbie Ward for £5000. Ward became editor and showed great talent in running the newspaper. When he lost his seat in Parliament in 1866, he could devote himself full-time to journalism and was regarded as Canterbury's best satirical writer.
In 1861 Bowen sold his interest in the business to William Reeves, and William John Warburton Hamiltonand Thomas William Maude became minority shareholders.
Due to the growth of Christchurch, the newspaper moved to this bigger market in 1863, but kept its original name. The new location for the newspaper was in Gloucester Street, with the section extending back to Cathedral Square.The buildings were extended several times and in 1884, the Star Building was established at the Gloucester Street frontage and between 1902 and 1904, the final office building, the Lyttelton Times Building, was constructed on the Cathedral Square frontage by Sidney and Alfred Luttrell.
Ward died in November 1867 and Reeves took editorial and managerial control.Later, his son, William Pember Reeves, joined the staff. A lawyer by training, he reported Christchurch Supreme Court cases for the New Zealand Law Reports. His real interest was in politics, though, and he wrote political commentary for the Lyttelton Times before becoming the parliamentary correspondent. He became editor of the Lyttelton Times in 1889, but resigned in 1891 when he became a minister. Reeves senior died shortly after that and it was discovered that he had mismanaged the finances of the newspaper, and the family lost its control of the Lyttelton Times.
The Lyttelton Times started as a weekly newspaper. Beginning on 4 August 1854, the newspaper became bi-weekly.From 1863, the newspaper was published three times a week. After the move to Christchurch, the newspaper became a daily. An illustrated weekly paper, the Canterbury Times, was first published in 1865. The Star , the evening edition of the Lyttelton Times, was added to the portfolio on 14 May 1868.
On 1 August 1929, the name was changed to Christchurch Times. The final issue was published on 29 June 1935.Its demise was brought on by intense competition, with two morning papers and two evening papers being published in Christchurch at that time. The Press , which is still published today, took the morning newspaper market. The Lyttelton Times Company was renamed to New Zealand Newspapers Ltd and published the Star-Sun as an evening paper. The successor of that evening paper, The Star, is still published in Christchurch on Wednesdays and Fridays as a free newspaper.
The first edition covered the journey of the First Four Ships, which due to its importance for the history of Christchurch is often quoted.
Starting with issue 8 on 1 March 1851, the Lyttelton Times published the rural sections chosen by land purchasers. Much of the land listed makes up suburban Christchurch. The rural sections (RS) were numbers in the order they were chosen. The table below lists rural sections and notable purchasers. In the 1 March edition, rural sections 1 to 18 were described.This came to an end with issue 17, by which time the first 157 rural land purchases had been reported.
|8||1 March||1–18|| Felix Wakefield (RS 2)|
Guise Brittan (RS 5)
Henry Sewell (RS 9)
John Watts-Russell (RS 12)
Lord Wharncliffe (RS 15)
Walpole Cheshire Fendall (RS 18)
|9||8 March||19–38|| Benjamin Mountfort (RS 20)|
Guise Brittan (RS 26)
|10||15 March||39–53|| Benjamin Dudley (RS 40)|
Guise Brittan (RS 41)
Alfred Barker (RS 46)
G. Draper and James FitzGerald (RS 48)
|11||22 March||54–70||Joseph Longden and Henry Le Cren (RS 55)|
Felix Wakefield (RS 56)
Richard James Strachan Harman (RS 58)
Guise Brittan (RS 60)
Benjamin Lancaster (RS 62)
Thomas Rowley Jr. (RS 63)
Edward Kent and Isaac Luck (RS 64)
|12||29 March||71–104||Rev Charles Martin Torlesse (RS 81 & 86)|
George Hart (RS 84)
Thomas Rowley Sr. (RS 85)
Henry Selfe (RS 91)
Charles Bowen (RS 94)
Edward Bishop and Frederick Augustus Bishop (RS 98)
|15||19 April||105–117||Charles Adderley, 1st Baron Norton (RS 115)|
|16||26 April||118–138||Rev Thomas Jackson (RS 121 & 123)|
|17||3 May||139–157||Rev Thomas Jackson (RS 141, 146, 156)|
Lady Olivia Sparrow (RS 147)
Richard Packer (RS 148)
Edward Dobson (RS 152)
Charles Simeon (RS 154)
A topic on everybody's mind was the proposal for the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel. Eventually, it became the first tunnel in the world to be taken through the side of an extinct volcano, and at 2.7 km, the longest in the country. William Sefton Moorhouse became a strong proponent of the tunnel project. During the election campaign of the provincial Superintendent in 1857, the tunnel became the central issue, with Moorhouse’s opponent, Joseph Brittan, being opposed to the idea. Moorhouse received much support for his position from the residents of Lyttelton, as evidenced by the results of the election: of the 12,000 residents of Canterbury, including 3,205 in Christchurch and 1,944 in Lyttelton, both candidates received 206 votes from the residents of Christchurch. However, overall results were a victory for Moorhouse by 727 votes to 352. Moorhouse later began the project by turning the first sod on 17 July 1861. The tunnel project was supported by the Lyttelton Times. FitzGerald, the first editor of the Lyttelton Times until he became the first Superintendent, was vehemently opposed to the tunnel to the extent that he founded The Press in 1861, so that he could give a voice to his opposition.
Crosbie Ward and the Lyttelton Times are credited with the successful campaign for a fast mail service between England and the colony through Panama to be established.
William Sefton Moorhouse was a British-born New Zealand politician. He was the second Superintendent of Canterbury Province.
James Edward FitzGerald was a New Zealand politician. According to some historians, he should be considered the country's first premier, although a more conventional view is that neither he nor his successor should properly be given that title. He was a notable campaigner for New Zealand self-governance. He was the first Superintendent of the Canterbury Province.
Charlotte Jane was one of the First Four Ships in 1850 to carry emigrants from England to the new colony of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Isaac Luck was a New Zealand architect. A professional builder, he arrived in Lyttelton on the Steadfast in 1851. He was the third chairman of the Christchurch Town Council. He was the brother-in-law of and in partnership with Benjamin Mountfort, and was the less well-known architectural partner for the design of the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings.
The Press is a daily newspaper published in Christchurch, New Zealand owned by media business Stuff Ltd. First published in 1861, the newspaper is the largest circulating daily in the South Island and publishes Monday to Saturday. One community newspaper—Northern Outlook- is also published by The Press and is free.
The Lyttelton Rail Tunnel, initially called the Moorhouse Tunnel, links the city of Christchurch with the port of Lyttelton in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island. It is the country's oldest operational rail tunnel, and is on the Lyttelton Line, one of the first railways built by Canterbury Provincial Railways.
Henry John Tancred, also known as Harry Tancred, was a 19th-century New Zealand politician.
Samuel Bealey was a 19th-century politician in Canterbury, New Zealand.
Superintendent was the elected head of each Provincial Council in New Zealand from 1853 to 1876.
Christchurch was a parliamentary electorate in Christchurch, New Zealand. It existed three times. Originally it was the Town of Christchurch from 1853 to 1860. From the 1860–1861 election to the 1871 election, it existed as City of Christchurch. It then existed from the 1875–1876 election until the 1881 election. The last period was from the 1890 election to the 1905 election. Since the 1946 election, a similarly named electorate called Christchurch Central has been in existence.
Edward Cephas John Stevens was a New Zealand politician in provincial government in Canterbury, and a member of both the lower and upper houses of parliament. A businessman, he controlled the Christchurch Press for many decades. He was instrumental in introducing cricket to Canterbury and one of his dealings as a land and estate agent resulted in the creation of Lancaster Park.
Isaac Thomas Cookson (1817–1870) was a 19th-century Member of Parliament in Canterbury, New Zealand. He was a prominent merchant in early Canterbury.
John Ollivier was a Member of Parliament in New Zealand, but was better known for his membership of the Canterbury Provincial Council. He was the second chairman of the Christchurch Town Council.
William Thomson was a 19th-century politician from Christchurch, New Zealand, originally from Scotland. He held office at all levels of government, from Parliament and Provincial Council to chairman of a road board. In his professional life, Thomson was an auctioneer, accountant and commission agent. He had rural holdings in Governors Bay and at the Esk River.
The Lyttelton Times Building, last known as Base Backpackers, in 56 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central City, was the last headquarters of the Lyttelton Times before its demise in 1935 as the then-oldest newspaper in New Zealand. The building in Chicago School architectural style was registered with New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I heritage item, with the registration number 7216. The building's last use was as a backpackers' hostel and a restaurant. It was demolished following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Joseph Brittan, a surgeon, newspaper editor, and provincial councillor, was one of the dominant figures in early Christchurch, New Zealand. Born into a middle-class family in southern England, he followed his younger brother Guise Brittan to Christchurch, where he and his wife arrived in February 1852 with four children. Joseph Brittan soon got involved in the usual activities of early settlers and gained prominence in doing so. He had bought 100 acres on 10 July 1851 and took up 50 of this to the east of Christchurch that he converted to farmland. There, he built the family residence, and the suburb of Linwood was subsequently named after Brittan's farm and homestead of Linwood House.
Charles George Tripp was a pioneering sheep farmer in South Canterbury, New Zealand. Together with his friend and business partner John Acland, he was the first to use the Canterbury high country for sheep farming.
Thomas Cass was one of New Zealand's pioneer surveyors.
Richard James Strachan Harman was trained as a civil engineer. However, in Christchurch, New Zealand, he worked as a bureaucrat, politician and businessman. He was one of the Canterbury Pilgrims, having arrived in Lyttelton, on Sir George Seymour, one of the First Four Ships. He was a business partner of Edward Cephas John Stevens and senior partner of Harman and Stevens, and together they took financial control of the Christchurch newspaper The Press from its original proprietor, James FitzGerald, over a protracted period. Harman held many important roles with the Canterbury Provincial Council and was the last Deputy-Superintendent.
Benjamin Woolley Dudley was a New Zealand Anglican priest in the 19th century.