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Frederick Aloysius Weld

(1823—1891) premier of New Zealand and colonial governor


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(1823–91) was a versatile and successful gentleman-colonist who achieved prominence as a pastoralist and politician in NZ, and governor in WA and Tasmania. After a Jesuit education in England and Switzerland, he emigrated to NZ in 1843, where he became a pioneer sheep farmer. Weld's political career began with his election as member for Wairu in 1853, and culminated in 1864 when he was briefly premier of the colony. Ill-health forced his resignation and return to England, but he was later appointed as governor of WA (1868–74). Weld's love of travel and practical knowledge of pioneering were assets in governing a vast frontier colony. But as a Catholic, his position on church–state questions was apt to be questioned by sectarians on both sides. His autocratic tendencies and hauteur towards the ex-convict population also brought him into conflict with his Legislative Council and sometimes with his masters in the Colonial Office. His term in Tasmania (1875–80) was less turbulent. His name is perhaps best known through the connection with Perth's exclusive Weld Club, of which he was the first patron.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.


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