Robert Wyeth OBITUARY

THE WAIRARAPA AGE Thursday July 16th 1903

Mr Robert Wyeth

Another old identity has been removed by the death of Mr Robert Wyeth, of Masterton, which took place yesterday afternoon.

Deceased was born in Jamaica in 1814 where his parents who were of English descendants owned large plantations. He arrived in New Zealand in December 1839, by the barque Cuba, with an imperial Survey Party. At the termination of the engagement he commenced business in Wellington as a general storekeeper, his shop being apon what is now the corner of Willis and Manners Streets. After conducting the business for several years he removed to the Upper Hutt. Where he engaged in farming pursuits and acquired a good deal of property. A cheek to his prosperity was however suffered in 1858, when the big flood that occurred during that year practically ruined him. Nothing daunted, he returned to Wellington and recommenced business. Success again attended his efforts and in 1873 he opened a general store in Masterton, which he conducted until ten years ago when he retired to private life.

Not withstanding that he had exceeded the "allotted span" by nineteen years, deceased enjoyed good health until recently, and was only confined to his bed for a fortnight before his, death occurred. Deceased is survived by five sons (the eldest whom is

Mr George Wyeth of Kuripuni) and four daughters (Mrs J.L. Murray, Mrs Gorringe, Mrs W. Harris, and Mrs A. McLeod) The funeral will leave the residence of Mr J.L. Murray tomorrow afternoon, at 2 o'clock for St Matthews Church, where service will be conducted by the Rev. Wyndham Earee.

Funeral Notice

The friends of the late Mr Robert Wyeth are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, which will leave the residence of Mr J.L. Murray, Church Street, on Friday 17th at 2pm for St Matthews Church.

Z.M. Hoar and Sons

Sanitary Undertakers


Mr Robert Wyeth

A Pioneer of the Early Days.

Time, with its remorseless scythe, has thinned out the ranks of the pioneer colonists, till now but few remain; and the latest to join the great majority is Mr. Robert Wyeth, an old resident of Masterton. The deceased, who was born in Jamaica (where his father had an extensive plantation), in October of 1814, came out to New Zealand in the barque “Cuba,” of 274 tons, with the first Imperial survey party sent out under Captain Smith to Survey the town of Brittania (now Petone). The party landed on the Petone beach in December 1839, deceased at that time being about twenty-five years of age. The late Mr Wyeth remained with the survey party for some time, but later set up a general store on what was then known as Warmoll’s Corner, and is now the corner of Willis and Manners streets. This was the first business started in Wellington, and all product and goods was conveyed to the, vessels in a wheelbarrow. The deceased was the first person to get married in Wellington, he being married about nine months after his arrival in the Colony to a Miss Runals, who came out in the Duke of Roxburgh two weeks later than the Cuba. Deceased’s wife predeceased him exactly seventeen years ago this month. At the time of his marriage jewellers were a rara avis; but, not to be baffled in respect to a wedding ring, deceased got the centre of a sovereign bored out, and got a ring in that way, which is in the possession of the family at the present time. His marriage notice also appeared in the first paper printed in New Zealand.

The late Mr Wyeth later on went to the Upper Hutt, where, besides taking up land and engaging in farming he, established a blacksmith’s shop, as well as building several houses. In the Hutt he remained twelve years, but lost his all in the memorable flood of 1858.

He retired to rest in the evening a comparatively rich man, only to awake in the morning absolutely ruined. At this time he returned to Wellington, and subsequently settled in Masterton thirty years ago, retiring from business ten years ago. The deceased has had a good deal of buffeting about, but he bravely withstood it all. He was full of reminiscences of his early experiences, and for a man of his age had a remarkably good memory. Deceased has a grown. up family of nine, five sons and four daughters, and include Messrs George Wyeth (Kurupuni), Thomas Wyeth (Opaki), Charles Wyeth (Woodlands, Canterbury), Joseph Wyeth (Wellington), John Wyeth (Foxton), and Mrs Gorringe, Mrs A. McLeod, Mrs W. Harris, and Mrs J. L. Murray, all of Masterton.

The funeral is to leave Mr Murray’s residence for St. Matthew’s Church tomorrow afternoon.

Hogg Scrapbook No 33 p145 Alexander Turnbull Library