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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > W > Frederick Aloysius Weld

Frederick Aloysius Weld

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Youngest son of Humphrey Weld, born at Chideock Manor, Dorset, 1823; died there, 1891. He was educated at Stonyhurst and Fribourg, and was an early colonist of New Zealand, arriving there in 1843. He became interested in pastoral pursuits and explored much of the country in both islands, being the first to ascend the Awatere Valley and to discover the overland passes from Marlborough to Canterbury. He entered politics, and in 1853 became member of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, in 1854 special member of the Executive Council, in 1860 Minister of Native Affairs in the Stafford Ministry, and in 1864 premier and chief secretary. The chief item of his policy, which turned the tide of the Maori war, was embodied in the original proposition made by him to the governor and to which the new cabinet adhered:

Mr. Weld is of opinion that the system of double government by Governor and Ministers has resulted in evil to both races of Her Majesty's Subjects in New Zealand;-he recognizes the right of the Home Government to insist upon the maintenance of this system, so long as the Colony is receiving the aid of British troops for the suppression of internal disturbances; he is prepared to accept the alternative and will recommend the Assembly to request the Home Government to withdraw the whole of its land force from the Colony, and to issue such instructions to the Governor as may enable him to be guided entirely be the recommendations of his constitutional advisers, excepting only upon such mattes as may directly concern Imperial interests and the Prerogatives of the Crown.

He carried on the confiscation of the Waikato, carried a native rights bill, opened native land courts, and raised the question of Maori representation. In a question of raising additional revenue by stamp duties Weld's ministry was only saved from actual defeat by the casting vote of the speaker and Weld immediately resigned. Though he only retained the office a year, he left a mark upon the administration of New Zealand. In January, 1866, he announced his retirement from public life, on the ground of ill health, in a letter to the Electors of Canterbury, and shortly sailed for England. In 1856 he married Mena, daughter of Ambrose Lisle March Phillips de Lisle of Farenden Park, Leicestershire, and had six sons and seven daughters. In 1869 he was appointed Governor of West Australia (1869-75) and subsequently became Governor of Tasmania (1875-80) and Singapore and the Straits Settlements (1880- 87). He made his mark in each of these offices, but especially in the development of the Malay Peninsula. While Governor of Singapore he was created K.C.M.G. and later received the Grand Cross of the same order from Queen Victoria. He was also a Knight of the Roman order of Pius IX. Sir Frederick retired from public life after a brilliant and honourable career, settling down at Chideock Manor, which estate he had inherited from his brother. He is the author of "Hints to intending sheep farmers in New Zealand" (London, 1851), and "Notes on New Zealand Affairs", which contains a sketch of his life policy.


GISBORNE, New England Rules and Statesmen (London, 1897); BURKE, Landed Gentry of Great Britain (London, 1906); RUSDEN, Hist. of New Zealand, II (London, 1883), 264 sqq.; MENNELL, Dict. of Australasian Biography (London, 1892); Parl. papers, New Zealand, 1864, sess. IV (Auckland); FENTON, History of Tasmania (Tasmania, 1884), c. xviii.

About this page

APA citation. Weld, E. (1912). Frederick Aloysius Weld. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Weld, Everard. "Frederick Aloysius Weld." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to the memory of Sir Frederick Weld.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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