Sir Frederick Napier Broome

(1842—1896) colonial governor

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Lady Barker (1831—1911) journalist and writer


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(1842–96), published two volumes of poetry that drew in part on scenes observed during his years as a Canterbury sheep farmer, Poems from New Zealand (1868) and The Stranger of Seriphos (1869). Born in Canada, he was the second husband of Lady Barker, whom he married in England in 1865, during a visit back from Canterbury, where he had worked since emigrating at the age of 15. Their life in Canterbury after marriage is described in her Station Life in New Zealand, in which he is affectionately featured as F—. Snowstorm and flood in 1867 caused him to sell up and the couple moved back to England, though his neighbour J.B.A. Acland attributed the farm's failure to Broome's fondness for pig-hunting and poetry-writing. The poetry shows few signs of the pigs and is mostly conventional Victorian descriptive iambics, as of Lake Coleridge: ‘Thy native hills crowd countless in the sky; / How rugged are the shores thy smooth waves wet.’ After a period as a journalist in London, Broome went on to a series of colonial appointments, as Governor of Western Australia (1883–89) and of Trinidad from 1891 until his death.

From The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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