Harold Beauchamp

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Sir Harold Beauchamp
Born (1858-11-15)15 November 1858
Ararat, Victoria, Australia
Died 5 October 1938(1938-10-05) (aged 79)
Wellington, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealand
Occupation banker
Known for Chairman of the Bank of New Zealand
father of Katherine Mansfield
Children Katherine Mansfield
Parent(s) Arthur Beauchamp

Sir Harold Beauchamp (15 November 1858 – 5 October 1938) was a New Zealand banker, and is remembered as the father of author Katherine Mansfield.


Born in Ararat, Victoria, Australia on 15 November 1858 to Arthur Beauchamp and Mary Elizabeth Stanley, Beauchamp moved with his family to Nelson in 1861 and then Picton. His father successfully contested the 1866 election for the Picton electorate but resigned in 1867,[1] sold up and moved to isolated Beatrix Bay in Pelorus Sound.[2]

After they moved to Wanganui in 1869, Harold attended Wanganui Collegiate School and left at 14 to work for his father's general merchant and auctioneering business. He moved to Wellington and did well in business. He married in 1884 Annie Burnell Dyer, daughter of Margaret Isabella Mansfield and the late Joseph Dyer; his mother-in-law moved in with him. The first family home where Kathleen Mansfield was born was in Thorndon;[3] in 1893 they moved to a larger home, Chesney Wold, in Karori.[4] He became a partner of the business in 1889, and a member of the Wellington Harbour Board in 1895. A personal friend of Richard Seddon, he was appointed to the board of the Bank of New Zealand in 1898, rising to chairman and remaining on the board until 1936.[5]

As a member of the 1901 Royal Commission on Federation he advised against New Zealand joining the Australian federation.[6] Between 1903 and 1906 Beauchamp's three daughters attended Queen's College, London; when he returned to London to collect them, he attended the Sixth Congress of Federation of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire and was received by King Edward VII.

After their return, Beauchamp's personal life took several turns for the worse. His father Arthur died in Nelson in 1910.[7] His only son Leslie was killed in the war in October 1915. His mother Mary died in 1917.[8] His wife Annie's health deteriorated and she died in Wellington on 8 August 1918 aged 54y. He became estranged from his daughter Kathleen, who returned to Europe to find fame as Katherine Mansfield, but whose writings did not paint him in an overly favourable light.

Beauchamp was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1923 New Year Honours.[9] In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[10]

In his later years, he travelled frequently between London and Wellington and his reports of the trading outlook for New Zealand's primary exports widely reported.[11]

He died in Wellington, on 5 October 1938.[12] He left substantial gifts to the National Art Gallery.[13]

Harold's brother Harry Lomax Beauchamp farmed at Otaki for many years and died in 1939.[14]


  1. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 95.
  2. ^ Nicholls, Roberta. "Beauchamp, Harold". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  3. ^ "History". Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  4. ^ Maclean, Chris (21 September 2011). "Chesney Wold". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Former Directors". The Evening Post. 6 August 1936. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ "AtoJs Online – Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives – 1901 Session I – A-04 REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON FEDERATION". atojs.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Marlborough Express – 30 April 1910 – OBITUARY". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Feilding Star – 26 November 1917 – OBITUARY". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  9. ^ "No. 32782". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1923. p. 2.
  10. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Evening Post – 30 September 1935 – A BANKER ABROAD". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Evening Post – 10 October 1938 Notice to Creditors". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Harold Beauchamp Trust Fund – Collections Online – Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa". collections.tepapa.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. The Harold Beauchamp Trust was the first source of funds dedicated to the acquisition of works of art for the national collection to be donated by a private individual. Sir Harold Beauchamp (1858–1939) was director of the Bank of New Zealand for thirty-eight years, and father of Katherine Mansfield.
  14. ^ "Evening Post – 9 August 1939 – OBITUARY". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
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