Vincent Pyke

Vincent Pyke, born Vincent Pike, (4 February 1827 – 5 June 1894) was a 19th-century politician in Otago, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.

Vincent Pyke, ca 1877

Early lifeEdit

Pyke was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England[1] as Vincent Pike. He married Frances Renwick on 7 September 1846 at Bristol, England; they had four sons and one daughter. He changed the spelling of his surname some time after their wedding.[2]


Pyke and family went to Australia in 1851, first to South Australia and then the gold diggings in Victoria where he spent two years as a miner around Forest Creek, Castlemaine and Fryer's Creek Bendigo[1] and opened a store at Forest Creek. Pyke was elected to represent Castlemaine in the Victorian Legislative Council from November 1855 to March 1856 and Castlemaine Boroughs in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from November 1856 to February 1857 and again from October 1859 and June 1862.[3]

In 1857, Pyke was appointed emigration agent in England in conjunction with the Right Hon. Hugh Childers.[1]

New ZealandEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1873–1875 5th Wakatipu Independent
1875–1879 6th Dunstan Independent
1879–1881 7th Dunstan Independent
1881–1884 8th Dunstan Independent
1884–1887 9th Dunstan Independent
1887–1890 10th Dunstan Independent
1893–1894 12th Tuapeka Liberal

In 1862 Pyke visited the Otago goldfields, and became Secretary or Commissioner of the goldfields for the Otago Provincial Council. He then moved to Dunstan and Clyde. He was the first Chairman of Vincent County, which was named after him following an ironic suggestion by an opponent.

He represented the electorates of Wakatipu 1873–1875, then Dunstan 1875–1890.[4] He contested the 1890 election in the Mount Ida electorate, but was beaten by Scobie Mackenzie.[2] He then represented Tuapeka from 1893 to 1894 when he died.[4] He was noted for his loyalty to Clyde and his Central Otago constituents.

Pyke was also a journalist, and wrote two novels about life on the goldfields, Wild Will Enderby (1873) and The Adventures of George Washington Pratt (1874).


Pyke died at Lawrence, Otago, and is buried in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c Mennell, Philip (1892). "Pyke, Hon. Vincent" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ a b Hearn, T. J. "Pyke, Vincent - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Pyke, Vincent". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 133.

External linksEdit

Victorian Legislative Council
New creation Member for Castlemaine
November 1855 – March 1856
With: James Atkin Wheeler
Original Council
Victorian Legislative Assembly
New creation Member for Castlemaine Boroughs
November 1856 – February 1857
Served alongside: Alexander Palmer
Succeeded by
New creation Member for Castlemaine
October 1859 – June 1862
Served alongside: John Macadam
Butler Cole Aspinall
Succeeded by
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wakatipu
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Dunstan
Electorate abolished
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Tuapeka
Succeeded by