DEATH OF AN EX-PREMIER OF NEW ZEALAND.
♦ I THE REV. T. S. FORSAITH. I [press association.] (Received November 30, 9.15 a.m.) Sydney, This Day. The Rev. T. S. Forsaith, ex-Premier of New Zealand, who "was reported some weeks ago to be in a sinking condition, died last night at his home at Parramatta. The Rev. Thomas Spencer Forsaith was for two days Premier of New Zealand. He was* born in 1814, and came to I\ew Zealand in 1840, settling at Manga■\vhare, on the North Wairoa River, Auckland. In November, 1841, a skull, which had been washed down the river, "was found at Mr. Forsaith's property by a party of Maoris, who believed that it had been taken from one of their sacred places. They accordingly " raided " Mr. Forsaith's premises in the absence of himself and Mrs. Forsaith, carrying off everything movable and wrecking the house. An enquiry into this outrage was held in the following March before the Chief Protector of Aborigines, when the natives reluctantly acknowledged their error, and surrendered a tract of land in payment. The Government also gave Mr. Forsaith compensation, and he removed to Auckland, where he opened a store. He was subsequently appointed a Sub-Protector of Aborigines, and accompanied Admiral Fitzroy, then Governor of New Zealand, to Waikanae, in February, 1844, when the latter held a <;onference with the Maori chiefs concerned in the Wairau massacre. Mr. Forsaith interpreted for Rauparahahis address to the Governor on the occasion. He was elected a member of the first House of Representatives in 1854 ; and when subsequently the ActingGovernor (Colonel Wynyard) was pressed to initiate Responsible Government ■under the new Constitution, and made a second attempt to carry on with a hybrid Government, including the old Imperial administrative officials, Mr. Forsaith was one of the four members of the General Assembly who were appointed to the Executive Council in August, 1854, on condition of their resigning in case they failed to carry j with them the support and confidence of the Houses of Parliament. This they failed to do, for, on September 2nd, 1854, two 3ays after they had taken office,' they were defeated in the House of Representatives on an amendment to the Address by 22 votes to 11. Of this short-lived Government of responsible and irresponsible Ministers, Mr. Forsaith was Premier, so far as such an office was then recognised. His two days' taste of the sweets of office was his only one. His Ministry is famous in the annals of New Zealand, besides its brevity, for the soubriquet which it obtained of "The Clean Shirt Ministry." The popular tradition concerning the phrase is that Mr. Forsaith, when making his Ministerial statement in the House, explained that while pursuing his avocation in his shop in Queenstreet, Auckland, he received a communication from the Governor requesting his presence, whereupon he went home and put on a clean shirt, and repaired to Government House. What really happened, accoi-ding to -Mr. Forsaith's own account, was that he had been assisting his employes to unpack some drapery cases recently landed, whereby his clothing became very dusty. On receiving His Excellency's command to come ana see him respecting the formation of a new Ministry, he naturally went home first, and changed his dusty garments. Later on, when making his Ministerial statement, he narrated the simple incident, and this so tickled one of the Southern members as to wring from him the chaffing declaration that he gathered little more from the Premier's "statement" than that the hon. gentleman had gone home and put on a clean shirt. In due time, Mr. Foreaith had his revenge by retorting thau, though clothed with but "little brief authority," his Ministry had come apd gone in clean garments, which was the happiest condition he could hope for the hon. member when his time came. Mr. Forsailh subsequently settled in Sydney, N.S.W., and was ordained a Minister of the Congregational Church in 1865. Some years ago. he retired and he has resided at Parramatta ever since. Mr. Forsaith was described by a recent writer as " calmly spending the evening of life in the midst of the orange groves at Parramatta, a venerable, vigorous, and versatile octogenarian colonist."'
Permanent link to this item
DEATH OF AN EX-PREMIER OF NEW ZEALAND., Evening Post, Volume LVI, Issue 131, 30 November 1898
DEATH OF AN EX-PREMIER OF NEW ZEALAND. Evening Post, Volume LVI, Issue 131, 30 November 1898
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Evening Post. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.