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Sir Robert Stout
|13th Premier of New Zealand|
16 August 1884 –28 August 1884
|Preceded by||Harry Atkinson|
|Succeeded by||Harry Atkinson|
3 September 1884 –8 October 1887
|Preceded by||Harry Atkinson|
|Succeeded by||Harry Atkinson|
|4th Chief Justice of New Zealand|
25 May 1899 –31 January 1926
|Nominated by||Richard Seddon|
|Appointed by||Earl Ranfurly|
|Preceded by||James Prendergast|
|Succeeded by||Charles Skerrett|
|Born||28 September 1844|
Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Died||19 July 1930 85) (aged|
Wellington, New Zealand
|Political party||Liberal (1889–1896)|
|Spouse(s)||Anna Paterson Logan (m. 1876)|
|Children||6, including Thomas|
Sir Robert Stout KCMG (28 September 1844 – 19 July 1930) was a New Zealand politician who was the 13th Premier of New Zealand on two occasions in the late 19th century, and later Chief Justice of New Zealand. He was the only person to hold both these offices. He was noted for his support of liberal causes such as women's suffrage, and for his strong belief that philosophy and theory should always triumph over political expediency.
The Chief Justice of New Zealand is the head of the New Zealand judiciary, and presides over the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The Chief Justice of New Zealand is also the Chief Justice of Tokelau. Before the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2004 the Chief Justice was the presiding judge in the High Court of New Zealand, and was also ex officio a member of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. The office is established by the Judicature Act 1908.
Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections; a person who advocates the extension of suffrage, particularly to women, is called a suffragist. Limited voting rights were gained by women in Tuscany, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and some Australian colonies and western U.S. states in the late 19th century. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and also worked for equal civil rights for women.
Born in the town of Lerwick in Scotland's Shetland Islands,Stout retained a strong attachment to the Shetland Islands throughout his life. He received a good education and eventually qualified as a teacher. He also qualified as a surveyor in 1860. He became highly interested in politics through his extended family, which often met to discuss and debate political issues of the day. Stout was exposed to many different political philosophies during his youth.
Lerwick is the main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. Shetland's only burgh, Lerwick had a population of about 7000 residents in 2010 and is the third-largest island settlement in Scotland.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
In 1863, Stout emigrated to Dunedin, New Zealand.Once there, he quickly became involved in political debate, which he greatly enjoyed. He also became active in the Freethought circles of the city. After failing to find employment as a surveyor on the Otago gold-fields, Stout returned to education, holding a number of senior teaching positions at the high-school level.
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago region. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or dogma. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a freethinker is 'a person who forms their own ideas and opinions rather than accepting those of other people, especially in religious teaching.' In some contemporary thought in particular, freethought is strongly tied with rejection of traditional social or religious belief systems. The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking", and practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers". Modern freethinkers consider freethought as a natural freedom of all negative and illusive thoughts acquired from the society.
Otago is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island administered by the Otago Regional Council. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi), making it the country's third largest local government region. Its population was 229,200 in June 2018.
Eventually, however, Stout moved away from education and entered the legal profession. In 1867 he was working in the law firm of William Downie Stewart, Sr. (father of the William Downie Stewart, Jr. who later became Minister of Finance). He was called to the bar on 4 July 1871,and proved to be a highly successful trial-lawyer. He also became one of Otago University's first students (possibly the first, although this claim is disputed), studying political economy and the theory of morality. He later became the university's first law-lecturer.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
The Minister of Finance, originally known as Colonial Treasurer, is a senior figure within the Government of New Zealand and head of the New Zealand Treasury. The position is often considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the Prime Minister. The Minister of Finance is responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure.
The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar". "The bar" is now used as a collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|1875 –1879||6th||City of Dunedin||Independent|
|1884 –1887||9th||Dunedin East||Independent|
|1893 –1896||12th||City of Wellington||Liberal|
|1896 –1898||13th||City of Wellington||Independent|
Stout's political career started with his election to the Otago Provincial Council. During his time on the Council he impressed many people - both with his energy and with his rhetorical skill - although others found him abrasive, and complained about his lack of respect for those who held different views.
The Otago Province was a province of New Zealand until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. The capital of the province was Dunedin. Southland Province split from Otago in 1861, but became part of the province again in 1870.
Stout successfully contested an August 1875 by-election in the Caversham electorate and thus became a Member of the New Zealand Parliament. He unsuccessfully opposed moves by the central government (Vogel) to abolish the provinces. At the 1875 election a few months later, he was returned in the City of Dunedin electorate.
Caversham was a parliamentary electorate in the city of Dunedin in the Otago region of New Zealand, from 1866 to 1908.
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.
Sir Julius Vogel was the eighth Premier of New Zealand. His administration is best remembered for the issuing of bonds to fund railway construction and other public works. He was the first Jewish prime minister of New Zealand. Historian Warwick R. Armstrong assesses Vogel's strengths and weaknesses:
Vogel's politics were like his nature, imaginative – and occasionally brilliant – but reckless and speculative. He was an excellent policymaker but he needed a strong leader to restrain him....Yet Vogel had vision. He saw New Zealand as a potential 'Britain of the South Seas', strong both in agriculture and in industry, and inhabited by a large and flourishing population.
On 13 March 1878, Stout became Attorney-General in the government of Premier George Grey. He had a hand in a number of significant pieces of legislation while in this role. On 25 July 1878, Stout gained the additional role of Minister of Lands and Immigration. A strong advocate of land reform, Stout worked towards the goal of state ownership of land, which would then be leased to individual farmers. He often expressed fears that private ownership would lead to the sort of "powerful landlord class" that existed in Britain. Stout also supported taxation of privately owned land, especially gains in value. Later, in 1885 he noted that he had already been an advocate of Georgist public finance policy long before Henry George wrote Progress and Poverty.
On 25 June 1879, however, Stout resigned both from cabinet and from parliament, citing the need to focus on his law practice. His partner in the practice was growing increasingly ill, and the success of his firm was important to the welfare of both Stout and his family. Throughout his career, Stout found the cost of participating in politics a serious worry. His legal career, however, was probably not the only contributing factor to his resignation, with a falling out between Stout and George Grey having occurred shortly beforehand.
At around this time Stout also developed a friendship with John Ballance, who had also resigned from Grey's cabinet after a dispute. Stout and Ballance shared many of the same political views. During his absence from parliament, Stout began to form ideas about political parties in New Zealand, believing in the need for a united liberal front. He eventually concluded, however, that parliament was too fragmented for any real political parties to be established.
In the election of 1884 Stout re-entered parliament, and attempted to rally the various liberal-leaning MPs behind him. Stout promptly formed an alliance with Julius Vogel, a former premier (1873-1875 and 1876) – this surprised many observers, because although Vogel shared Stout's progressive social views, the two had frequently clashed over economic policy and the future of the provincial governments. Many[ quantify ] saw Vogel as the dominant partner in the alliance.
In August 1884, only a month after returning to parliament, Stout passed a vote of no confidence in the conservative Harry Atkinson, and assumed the premiership. Julius Vogel was made treasurer, thereby gaining a considerable measure of power in the administration. Stout's new government lasted less than two weeks, however, with Atkinson managing to pass his own vote of no confidence against Stout. Atkinson himself, however, failed to establish a government, and was removed by yet another vote of no confidence. Stout and Vogel returned to power once again.
Stout's second government lasted considerably longer than his first. Its primary achievements were the reform of the civil service and a program to increase the number of secondary schools in the country. It also organised the construction of the Midland railway line between Canterbury and the West Coast. The economy, however, did not prosper, with all attempts to pull it out of depression failing. In the 1887 election, Stout himself lost his seat in parliament to James Allen by twenty-nine votes, thereby ending his premiership. Harry Atkinson, Stout's old rival, was able to form a new government after the election.
At this point, Stout decided to leave parliamentary politics altogether, and instead focus on other avenues for promoting liberal views. In particular, he was interested in resolving the growing labour disputes of the time. He was highly active in building consensus between the growing labour movement and the world of middle-class liberalism.
During Stout's absence from politics, his old ally, John Ballance, had been continuing to fight in parliament. After the 1890 election, Ballance had gained enough support to topple Atkinson and take the premiership. Shortly afterwards, Ballance founded the Liberal Party, New Zealand's first real political party. Only a few years later, however, Ballance became seriously ill, and asked Stout to return to parliament and be his successor. Stout agreed, and Ballance died shortly thereafter.
Stout re-entered parliament after a winning a by-election in Inangahua on 8 June 1893. Ballance's deputy, Richard Seddon, had by this time assumed leadership of the party on the understanding that a full caucus vote would later be held. In the end, however, no vote was held. Stout, backed by those who considered Seddon too conservative, attempted to challenge this, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Many of Seddon's supporters believed that the progressive views of Ballance and Stout were too extreme for the New Zealand public.
Stout remained in the Liberal Party, but constantly voiced objections to Seddon's leadership. In addition to claiming that Seddon was betraying Ballance's original progressive ideals, Stout also claimed that Seddon was too autocratic in his style of rule. Ballance's idea of a united progressive front, Stout believed, had been subverted into nothing more than a vehicle for the conservative Seddon. Seddon defended himself against these charges by claiming that Stout was merely bitter about not gaining the leadership.
One of the last major campaigns that Stout participated in was the drive to grant voting rights to women. Stout had long been a supporter of this cause, having campaigned tirelessly for his own failed bill in 1878 and Julius Vogel's failed bill in 1887. He had also been highly active in the campaign to increase property rights for women, having been particularly concerned with the right of married women to keep property independently from their husbands.
John Ballance had been a supporter of women's suffrage, although his attempts to pass a bill had been blocked by the conservative Legislative Council (the now-abolished upper house of Parliament). Seddon, however, was opposed, and many believed that the cause was now lost. However, a major initiative by suffragists led by Kate Sheppard generated considerable support for women's suffrage, and Stout believed that a bill could be passed despite Seddon's objection. A group of progressive politicians, including Stout, passed a women's suffrage bill in 1893 through both the lower and upper houses, with the upper house narrowly passing it after some members who had not been in favour changed their votes because of Seddon's attempts to "kill" the bill in the upper house.
Stout was also involved with the failing Walter Guthrie group of companies in Southland and Otago which had been supported by the Bank of New Zealand, and (according to Bourke) Seddon was prepared to conceal Stout’s involvement – provided Stout left politics.
In 1898 Stout retired from politics. He had represented the seats of Caversham in the 5th parliament (1875), Dunedin East in the 6th parliament (1875–79) and in the 9th parliament (1884–87), Inangahua in the 11th parliament (1893), and the City of Wellington in the 12th and 13th parliaments (1893–98).
On 22 June 1899, he was appointed Chief Justice of New Zealand, and remained in this position until 31 January 1926. As of 2011, Stout was the last Chief Justice of New Zealand to have served in the New Zealand Parliament.
While Chief Justice, Stout showed a particular interest in the rehabilitation of criminals, contrasting with the emphasis on punishment that prevailed at the time. He took a leading part in the consolidation of New Zealand statutes (completed in 1908), and was made a Privy Councillor in 1921. In the same year as his retirement, Stout was appointed to the Legislative Council, the last political office he would hold.
Stout also had a role of considerable importance in the development of the New Zealand university system. He had become a member of the Senate of the University of New Zealand in 1885, and remained so until 1930. From 1903 to 1923, he was the university's Chancellor. He was also prominent in Otago University from 1891 to 1898, serving on its Council. He played a very significant role in the founding of what is now Victoria University of Wellington – the strong connection between Victoria University and the Stout family is remembered by the university's Stout Research Centre and its Robert Stout Building.
In 1929, Stout became increasingly ill, and never recovered. On 19 July 1930 he died in Wellington.
John Ballance was an Irish-born New Zealand politician who was the 14th Premier of New Zealand, from January 1891 to April 1893, the founder of the Liberal Party, and a Georgist. In 1891 he led his party to its first election victory, forming the first New Zealand government along party lines, but died in office three years later. Ballance supported votes for women and land reform, though at considerable cost to Māori.
Richard John Seddon was a New Zealand politician who served as the 15th Premier of New Zealand from 1893 until his death in office in 1906.
Sir Harry Albert Atkinson served as the tenth Premier of New Zealand on four separate occasions in the late 19th century, and was Colonial Treasurer for a total of ten years. He was responsible for guiding the country during a time of economic depression, and was known as a cautious and prudent manager of government finances, though distrusted for some radical policies such as his 1882 National Insurance (welfare) scheme and leasehold land schemes. He also participated in the formation of voluntary military units to fight in the New Zealand Wars, and was noted for his strong belief in the need for seizure of Māori land.
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Women's suffrage in New Zealand was an important political issue in the late nineteenth century. In early colonial New Zealand, as in European societies, women were excluded from any involvement in politics. Public opinion began to change in the latter half of the nineteenth century, however, and after years of effort by women's suffrage campaigners, led by Kate Sheppard, New Zealand became the first self-governing colony in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Stout .|
| Premier of New Zealand |
| Attorney-General |
| Minister of Education |
|New Zealand Parliament|
| Member of Parliament for Caversham |
| Member of Parliament for Dunedin East |
| Member of Parliament for Inangahua |