Wakefield, Edward Gibbon, 1796-1862

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English colonial officer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Blois, to M. de La Saussaye, 1844 June 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270872425

Born, London, 1796; educated at Westminster School, 1808-1810, Edinburgh high school, 1810-1812; employed by William Hill, envoy to the court of Turin, 1814; made a runaway match with an heiress, Eliza Susan Pattle, 1816; secretary to the under-secretary of the legation, Turin; abducted a Cheshire heiress, 1826 and was jailed for three years; wrote a series of works on the theory of colonisation whilst in prison, including A Letter from Sydney, 1829; views supported by Robert Stephen Rintoul, who published Wakefield's opinions on colonial questions in the Spectator , and Lieutenant-colonel Robert Torrens; National Colonization Society founded, 1830; South Australian Association established to found a colony on Wakefield's principles, 1834; gave evidence to parliamentary committees on colonial affairs, 1836, 1837, 1840, 1844; formed the New Zealand Association, 1837, which attempted to establish a colony in New Zealand; colony in South Australia formed and constituted, 1838, although Wakefield was not directly involved; accompanied Lord Durham to Canada as an unofficial advisor after the suspension of the Canadian constitution, 1838, and influential in drawing up Durham's Report on the Affairs of British North America ; New Zealand Land Company formed, and founded a colony in New Zealand, 1839; managed the affairs of the New Zealand Company in London; secret adviser to Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalfe on Canadian politics, 1843; resigned from the New Zealand Company, 1849; helped found Church of England settlement at Canterbury, New Zealand, 1849; formed the Colonial Reform Society with Charles Bowyer Adderley, 1850; lived in New Zealand, 1853-1862; advisor to the governor, 1853-1854; died, 1862. Publications: Sketch of a Proposal for Colonising Australasia (J F Dove, London, 1829); A Letter from Sydney (London, 1829); A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society, for the cure and prevention of Pauperism, by means of systematic Colonization (London, 1830); Facts relating to the Punishment of Death in the Metropolis (London, 1831); Swing Unmasked, or the causes of Rural Incendiarism (London, 1831); The Hangman and the Judge (London, 1833); England and America (London, 1833); Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith edited by E G Wakefield (London, 1835-9); The British Colonization of New Zealand; being an account of the principles, objects and plans of the New Zealand Association (J W Parker, London, 1837); Popular Politics (London, 1837); A View of Sir Charles Metcalfe's Government of Canada (London, 1844); `Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada,' in Fisher's Colonial Magazine (1844); A View of the Art of Colonization (London, 1849).

From the guide to the Papers of and relating to Edward Gibbon Wakefield, colonial statesman, 1825-1929, (Queen Mary, University of London)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Asia and the Pacific
New Zealand
Colonial countries
Political doctrines
Political systems


Birth 1796-03-20

Death 1862-05-16




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