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William Brown (New Zealand politician)

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1854–1855 1st City of Auckland Independent

William Brown (died 19 January 1898) was a 19th-century New Zealand politician, merchant and newspaper proprietor.

Brown was born in Angus, Scotland, in 1809 or 1810. He came to New Zealand on 2 February 1840, arriving in the Bay of Islands.


Business careerEdit

He made friends with Logan Campbell on the voyage and they became business partners in New Zealand. They bought Motukorea, to become known as Browns Island, near Auckland, from Ngāti Tamaterā on 22 May 1840 and moved there on 13 August. Brown moved to Auckland in early 1841 and on 19 April 1841 he and Campbell bought a section in Shortland Crescent, where they built Acacia Cottage, the Browns' home, and a store. Acacia Cottage still exists and is now located in Cornwall Park. The firm of Brown and Campbell was very successful, working as auctioneers, shipping agents, importers, and traders with the Maori.[1]

Publisher of The Southern Cross and The Daily Southern CrossEdit

William Brown started The Southern Cross newspaper as a weekly paper in 1843. In 1862 it became a daily newspaper, with a change of name to The Daily Southern Cross. The editorial policy was to support the land claimants, such as the New Zealand Company, and the newspaper vigorously attacked Governor George Grey's administration. The Flagstaff War adversely affected business in Auckland, such that The Southern Cross, stop publishing from April 1845 to July 1847.[2]

Member of ParliamentEdit

He became the Member of Parliament in the 1st Parliament for the City of Auckland from a by-election held on 4 August 1854, when he replaced Thomas Bartley, who had resigned.[3]

He retired on 15 September 1855 at the end of the Parliament's first term, and did not seek re-election. He was elected the second Superintendent of Auckland Province in 1855.[3]


Brown had already married Jessie Smith when they emigrated to Adelaide in 1839. They had two children: Owen and Laura. His daughter married the painter Marcus Stone. Whilst in the mid-1850s, Brown was probably Auckland's richest man, he had to sell his London house at old age and move in with his daughter and son-in-law. He died on 19 January 1898 as a poor man.[1]


  1. ^ a b Stone, R. C. J. "Brown, William". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  2. ^ "The Daily Southern Cross". National Library of New Zealand - Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. pp. 182, 186. OCLC 154283103.
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Wynyard
Superintendent of Auckland Province
Succeeded by
John Logan Campbell