BELL - GEORGE - OTAGO - NZ - 1809 ----- 1873
edmondsallan - Good morning - To day dear readers I thought we would just pick out some names in NZ and see what we can place before you for your perusal . It will be a combination of material from a combination of researchers including from myself / & Family papers . I am hoping that as these names which in general have been part of our ability to grow as a country , may assist many who follow " Family Tree Circles " to further their knowledge by their own selection from these Journals
Newspaper proprietor and editor
George Bell was born at Hull, Yorkshire, England, on 9 January 1809, the son of John Bell, a customs landing waiter, and his wife, Hannah Armitage. Until the age of eight George was educated at home by his mother, and was then sent to a private school, taking Latin, French and rudimentary mathematics. At 14 he was apprenticed to a mercantile firm trading with Canada and the Baltic; after completing his articles he became accountant and salesman at the York office of the same firm. He later returned to Hull to work for a firm of sugar refiners, became a traveller for the company, and by the 1840s was managing a manufacturing business in Sheffield.
On 13 June 1836, at York, George Bell married Abigail Taylor, Quaker daughter of a North Riding farmer. He actively supported the Anti-Corn-Law League founded in 183839 by John Bright and Richard Cobden, both of whom he knew personally, and was said to have written a pamphlet on currency reform. He was deeply involved in Sunday school administration. On his departure from England he was presented with a handsome silver inkstand as a testimonial to his work in that field.
In 1852 George and Abigail Bell, their six daughters and one son emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where Bell became shorthand writer to the state parliament; during recesses he covered court hearings. He later helped to establish Hansard coverage in Adelaide. In October 1863, when visiting Dunedin, New Zealand, with the Congregational minister Richard Connebee, he was engaged by Julius Vogel to join Ebenezer Fox and Thomas Bright on the staff of the Otago Daily Times. Bell's wife and four of his daughters joined him in February 1865.
When Bright left, Bell sub-edited the Times and edited the Otago Witness, and with Vogel away for long periods carried a heavy work-load. Between 10 February 1866 and 31 December 1867, besides his other work, he wrote 357 leading articles. Vogel had sold his financial interest, remaining as editor; but John Bathgate, the new manager, found the finances so bad that in April 1868 he dismissed Vogel and the whole editorial staff. In revenge Vogel founded the rival New Zealand Sun on 16 November 1868, assisted by Fox and backed by William Henningham of the Evening Star. Bell, meanwhile, began his own modest Evening Independent in January 1869. When the Sun collapsed in March 1869 and Henningham's creditors put the Star on offer, Bell bought it for £675 with the assistance of promissory notes and merged the two papers, keeping the Evening Star name; like the Independent, the new publication would 'advocate what is just and true, binding itself to no party'.
At an age when most people are content to retire, Bell thus began his life's main work inauspiciously, for he was immediately forced to move the Star plant to new premises. He published the first joint issue on 14 June 1869 with extreme difficulty, bluntly apologising for the 'lame manner in which the first number of the enlarged journal was brought out, and the late hour at which it was issued'. The Star soon made progress, although a 16-page weekly, the Observer, also published by Bell, lapsed after three issues.
With the promissory notes settled, Bell launched the Morning Star on 2 December 1872, aiming at a country readership. He simply took the Evening Star each night, retained the advertisements, included later news, and replaced the masthead: costs were minimal and advertisers were given additional circulation. This venture, perhaps New Zealand's first penny morning paper, ran until July 1873. Bell then sold the name and rights to the new Guardian (soon to be the Otago Guardian ), which took over on 23 July 1873. Till we meet again - Regards - edmondsallan