James Balfour WEMYSS - Nelson New Zealand
James Balfour Wemyss was a 19th century Member of Parliament in Nelson, New Zealand. He represented the Suburbs of Nelson electorate in 1861, from 28 Jan to 21 May, when he resigned
James was born in 1828 in Fiefeshire, Scotland
- he died in ? - a link below mentions that in August 1903 an old Marlborough resident, Alexander McLauchlan, died and that he was at one time a manager of Bankhouse for the late James Balfour Wemyss of Burleigh
He married Mary Ashton SMITH on 23 March 1857 in Nelson
- he sat for Nelson suburbs in the House of Representatives in 1861
- was at one time Provincial Secretary of Marlborough
- he was a runholder in the Wairau district, but returned to England in the early 1870s
- he lived at Wemyss Hall, Fife, Scotland
One of their daughters, Mary Elizabeth Wemyss married Sir William Henry FEILDEN, 2nd baronet (1812-1879) of Feniscowles, Lancashire
- they had 7 children
- their 2nd son, Henry Wemyss Feilden (1838−1921) was a British Army officer, Arctic explorer and naturalist.
In the mid 1840s, the land in Nelson that is now known as Ara was a sheep station called Bankhouse, leased in 1847 from the Crown.
One of the earliest settled properties in the region, it was named by one of its first residents, James Balfour Wemyss, after a property of the same name owned by his family in Scotland.
The station was developed in the 1840s by Sir David Monro, who went on to become New Zealand Parliament’s speaker from 1861-70. In 1848, Dr. David Monro, as he was then, plus five men and two horses, drove 1000 merino sheep purchased in Australia from Nelson to Bankhouse.
Three houses have been built on the land: a mud house erected by James Wemyss, then a cottage on the banks of the Waihopai River, burnt down in 1886, then the homestead that stands on the site today, which was built in 1887.
In 1915, merino wool produced at Bankhouse won a gold medal in San Francisco and had further success in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The same year, the land was divided into three for David Monro’s grandsons, later to become the Shield family.
Much of the Bankhouse property was placed on the market in November 1999, with the potential to become a significant vineyard.
on 10 June 1854 in Christchurch, James, as a sheepowner, voted in favour of Sir William Congreve (1 of 4 candidates) to fill the Government position as Scab Inspector
in June 1855 James subscribed £5 towards the erection of a Scottish Presbyterian Church
in April 1859 James was appointed a member of the Executive Council of the Nelson Province
in July 1859 James was sworn in as a Jusice of the Peace
in July 1860 James was asked that he allow himself to be put in nomination as a Candidate for the seat in the Council of Governors of the Nelson College
- the Electors who signed
on 23 July 1860 James was the complaintant against Emma Moore, a girl whose passage he had paid for from England so she could act as his servant for 2 years. Emma broke the agreement after 18 days
on 2 January 1861 James ran 2 ads in the Nelson Examiner:
.. the ELECTORS of the Suburban District of STOKE are requested to meet Mr J. B. Wemyss at the Turf Hotel on Wednesday Evening January 2 at Seen o'clock
.. The ELECTORS of the uburban District of WAKAPUAKA are requested to meet Mr J. B. Wemyss at the Black Horse Hotel on Thursday Evening, January 3, at Seven o'clock
in 1868 James was the Provincial Secretary of the Blenheim Superintendents Office and Commissioner of Crown Lands
in September 1870 James was a Provisional Director of the Sutherland Cold Minig Company
on 20 May 1878 his wife Mary Ashton died at Riverside House, Mortlake, London. She was described as: the wife of James Balfour Wemyss, Esq., of Wemyess Hall, Fifeshire, Scotland