John Gray (New Zealand politician)

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John Gray
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Southern Division
In office
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Charles John Taylor
Robert Graham
Personal details
Born 11 November 1801
Died 7 April 1859(1859-04-07) (aged 57)
East Tamaki, New Zealand
Resting place Otahuhu Anglican Cemetery
Spouse(s) Barbara Gray
Relations George Grey (nephew)

John Gray (11 November 1801 – 7 April 1859) was a soldier and a New Zealand politician. He came to New Zealand in 1847 in charge of a section of the Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps. He successfully stood for election to the 1st New Zealand Parliament in one of the electorates where most of the population was made up by military staff, the Southern Division. He retired after one term due to ill health in 1855, and died four years later.

Early life and family

Gray was born on 11 November 1801.[1] He was the son of Owen Wynne Gray, who was commissioned as a cornet in the 6th Dragoon Guards in 1791, and his second wife, Elizabeth Philpott. His half-brother, Lieutenant-Colonel George Gray, of the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot, who was killed at the Battle of Badajoz in Spain, was the father of Sir George Grey.[2]

Military career

Gray was commissioned as a captain in the 40th Regiment of Foot on 6 March 1836.[2] He arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, on 26 November 1847 on Sir George Seymour in charge of a section of the Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps.[3][4] He eventually attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel.[5] The Lieutenant-governor of New Ulster Province, Major-General George Dean Pitt, appointed Gray as resident magistrate on 1 August 1848.[6]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1853–1855 1st Southern Division Independent

He served in the 1st New Zealand Parliament, representing the Southern Division, a large electorate encompassing Waikato, the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty, and East Cape. He retired due to ill health[7] and did not serve in any subsequent parliaments.[8]


Gray died at his home, Wynnestead, East Tamaki, on 7 April 1859, aged 57.[5][9] He was buried at Otahuhu Anglican Cemetery.[9] His wife, Barbara, died on 30 July 1882 and is buried next to him.[10][11]


  1. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1976). Burke's Irish Family Records. London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd. p. 490. ISBN 9780850110500. 
  2. ^ a b "The Gray, or Grey, family". New Zealand Herald. 12 November 1898. p. 1. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Post Script". Daily Southern Cross. 3 (127). 27 November 1847. p. 4. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : A–L (PDF). I. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 318. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Died". The New Zealander. 9 April 1859. p. 5. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "The New Zealander". The New Zealander. 4 (228). 5 August 1848. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "The New Zealander". The New Zealander. 11 (985). 22 September 1855. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  8. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 109. 
  9. ^ a b "New Zealand, cemetery records, 1800–2007". Operations. 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Death". Auckland Star. XV (3734). 31 July 1882. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Holy Trinity Memorial Park NZ Wars memorial". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Southern Division
Served alongside: Charles John Taylor
Succeeded by
Charles John Taylor,
Robert Graham
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