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OBITUARY.

The late Edward M'Ulashan was born at Edinburgh on December 12, ISI7. In his earlier years he the advantages of a good education, for which that city has always been famous. In his youth he was trained to mercantile pursuits, which, combined with a Blight knowledge of the law acquired from his brother, prepared him pretty well for life in a new country. He had also a thorough acquaintance with the bookselling business, to which he had in f?ct been brought up, his father s family having been publishers to the Edinburgh University. Asmighthe expected from his brother's intimate connection with the Otago Association, as its secretary, hisearlyformed intention of emigrating received a bias directing his views to the new settlement then being formed in Otago on principles very different from those on which other colonies had been founded. It wa.s an experiment of a novel character, and this fact attracted to it minds of a peculiar cast. To its distinctive principles it would be out of place here to allude more fully; suffice it to say, as will be seen subsequently, that his ideas did not altogether harmonise with those of the original founders of the Otago settlement. Desirous of seeing some of the other portions of the Southern Hemisphere, he did not take ship direct for Otago, but booked for Adelaide at the end of IS4B. After remaining there a short time he took a trip to Melbourne, and thence he sailed for Otago, where he and family arrived safely in 1850. He was to have sailed with Captain Cargill for Otago direct-, but was detained through meeting with a railway accident. As showing his speculative turn of mind, although it is repeating a well-known story, particularly to_ the older identities, it may be mentioned that he bought up in Edinburgh all the surplus stock of Chambers's publications en which he could lay his hands; and occupied his leisure time on board ship in sorting and arranging them, so that they were in a good presentable Bhape on reaching Sydney. Here fortune favored him, as there was quite a dearth of literature on arrival, and his stock was speedily disposed of at prices far beyond his most sanguine expectation. With the proceeds o the sale he embarked in another venture in provisions of a more substantial character, which, on his reaching Otago, proved as successful as his first venture.

Like a large cumber of the earlier settlers, Mr M'Glashan did not on landing here see a very inviting field before him for the exercise of hia abilities; bo ho very wisely made up hia mind to embrace any opportunity for employment offerincr. For a short time he held the offico of Registrar of the first Supreme Court in the settlement, presided over by Mr Justice Stephen, of pugilistic notoriety ; who, on being arraigned before the Bench of Magistrates for an assault, defended his conduct by the celebrated saying "Think you I would wait for the slow and tedious process of the law ?" for which remark he received a well-merited rebuke from Dr Purdie, one of the presiding magistrates. His official position was not of long duration, as no crime of any consequence blotted the annals of those days; and the useless Court was consequently abolished. Then, turning his attention to business, Mr M'Glashan leased from Mr Valpy t'.ie first flour mill erected on the Water of L?ith, and did the needful for the residents by grinding their wheat —a prcce33 which had hitherto been carried out by hand steel mills. Most of the occupiers of land both grew wheat and ground it, and baked their own bread. In conjunction with the mill he carried on a store in Princes street, and added thereto the business of auctioneer, continuing the occupation of knight of the hammer and storekeeper until 1858, when he entered intc partnership with Mr W. Carr Young, under the firm of Young and M'Glashan. who carried on a large general trade until the dissolution of the firm, soon after the discovery of the goldfields. Mr M'Glashan then dealt extensively in runs and stock, with variable success, experiencing heavy losses in connection with a steamer and shipments to the West Coast. A large portion of th» fine bush land on the_ Leith Valley having been acquired by him he entered largely into the timber trade, and afterwards started the first paper-mill in ] the district. This industry is still being carried on by Mr John Mitchell at the same spot on the banks of the Leith stream. Connected with the paper-making business, he attempted to establish a trade with the Old Country in our common tussock grass for paper-making, as ho was satisfied it was equal in all respects for this purpose to the famed Spanish esparto grass ; but he did not succeed, finding the cost of gathering, packing, freight, and other charges so heavy as to leave no margin for profit. The later years of his life were spent in comparative retirement from business, only now and then showing his enterprising spirit by assisting to start and develop new industries. In political matters Mr M'Glashan for many years held a prominent position. Elected a member of the first Provincial Council for a country district, he soon experienced the displeasure of the father of

the settlement through taking an opposite view on some points from that of Superintendent Cargill and his advisers. In the second Council he was again a representative—the Western District having clnsen him as one of its members. In 18U0 he was one of the defeated candidates for Dunedin in the Council, but in 1861 was elected to the Assembly, his collegue being Mr Thomas Dick. At the general election for the Provincial Council in 1863 he was unsuccessful in his candidature for three different constituencies; and did not again offer himself until 1871, when he was returned for North Harbor ; re-elected for the same district in 1873, and held his seat until the abolition of the provinces in 1876. The constituency of Roslyn elected him their M.H.R. in 1871 against four candidates, and he represented that constituency till the dissolution of Parliament in 1870, Mr M'Glashan made one attempt to gain the office of Superintendent of the Province at the special vacancy in 1875, but was defeated by Mr Dick by a considerable majority. Having thus briefly sketched the public career of Mr M'Glashan in this province it only remains to be added that in social and private life he was much esteemed, and his society highly valued. By his first wife he had a family of ten children, now of mature yeirs, six being born in the colony, and one died in the Old Country. His second wife was a daughter of Mr George Bell, of this City. His health gave way before the death of his first wife, but it was thought a few years later that it had been fairly re-estab-lished, as he subsequently entered into large business transactions. He was for a time chairman of the directors of the Timaru Milling Company, and took considerable interest in the New Zealand Shipping Company, in which at one time he was a large shareholder. In 1881 he and his wife visited the Old Country, making an extended tour of England and the South of Europe, and on returning to the colony settled near to Timaru, where he carried on farming pursuits for a little over three years. Mr M'Glashan then returned to Dunedin, and, hiß wife having purchased a property at St. Clair, he resided there up to the time of his death. Mr M'Glashan was able to take open air exercise occasionally until the eaily part of last week, but on Friday last serious symptoms manifested themselves, and Dr Burns, the family physician, was sent for. It was at once seen that nothing could be done, and from Friday afternoon till the time of his death at 6 p.m. yesterday Mr M'Glashan remained totally unconscious, passing away peacefully without a struggle.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890801.2.25

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Issue 7974, 1 August 1889

Word Count
1,341

OBITUARY. Issue 7974, 1 August 1889

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