Robert Thompson (New Zealand politician)

Robert Thompson (1840 – 21 April 1922) was a Member of Parliament for Marsden, in Northland, New Zealand.

Robert Thompson
Robert Thompson. 1899.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Marsden
In office
Preceded byEdwin Mitchelson
Succeeded byFrancis Mander
Personal details
Newtownbutler, Ireland
Died21 April 1922
Whangarei, New Zealand
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Mary Catherine Aubrey

Early lifeEdit

Born at Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh,[1] Thompson migrated to New South Wales in 1864, and New Zealand in 1870. He was a commission agent and auctioneer in Whangarei.[1]

He married Mary Catherine Aubrey, eldest daughter of Harcourt Richard Aubrey, Resident Magistrate for Kaipara and Whangarei, in 1879.[1]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1887–1890 10th Marsden Independent
1890–1893 11th Marsden Conservative
1893–1896 12th Marsden Liberal
1896–1899 13th Marsden Independent
1899–1902 14th Marsden Independent Liberal

Robert Thompson represented Marsden in the House of Representatives for fifteen years from 1887 to 1902.[2]

According to Wilson, he changed his political allegiance; initially a Conservative he was a Liberal in 1893, but in 1896 was Independent and in 1899 was an Independent Liberal but was not part of the governing Liberal Government.[2]

He acquired the labels 'Marsden Thompson' and 'the member for roads and bridges' in Parliament. He was known for his devotion to the interests of his district, which was desperately in need of good roads, and his only reason for being a Liberal was that the government was the only source of funding for roads and bridges. He was pro-freehold (land), and was opposed to Liberal policies such as labour legislation and old age pensions. In 1908, when he stood unsuccessfully for Auckland West against a sitting Liberal member, he was once more an Independent, and his programme – freehold (land), acquisition of Maori land and opposition to prohibition had not altered.[3]


He died on 21 April 1922 at his residence, Pentland House, in Whangarei, and was buried at Kamo. His wife had died some 18 years before him. He was survived by one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary". Northern Advocate. 22 April 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 240. OCLC 154283103.
  3. ^ Hamer, David (1988). The New Zealand Liberals: The Years of Power, 1891–1912 (1st ed.). Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 168, 169, 367. ISBN 1-86940-014-3.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Edwin Mitchelson
Member of Parliament for Marsden
Succeeded by
Francis Mander