Kingsdown, named after T. King who on 16th January 1862 purchased Rural Section 3753. Thomas King had discovered that the Messrs Rhodes's licenses did not cover all the country they had been supposed to refer to, so he snapped up the splendid piece of country now known as Kingsdown, on the north side of the Pareora River.
Robert Brookland arrived in New Zealand on 1 February 1879 as a 26-year-old immigrant from Devon. He found work on the Kingsdown Estate near Timaru, and while there, in 1880, married Jane Gardner, also from Devon. The earlier history of the Kingsdown Estate is of interest, as it throws some light on the acquisition of Canterbury runs, and also indirectly affected Robert Brookland's career. The Timaru district was first stocked with sheep in 1852 by three of the four Rhodes brothers, Yorkshiremen who, finding themselves with more country than their licences entitled them to, withdrew from the Kingsdown area, and it was taken over by James King and became known as Otipua Station. Around New Year of 1862, Thomas King, no relation to James, arrived at Otipua disguised as a swagger. He had come across from Victoria to spy out the land, and had walked all the way from South Otago. He was not very hospitably treated at the station, but was much impressed by the fertile loess soil of the district. Next morning he resumed his walk to Christchurch, where he went straight to the Land Office and paid down f20,000 for the freehold of 10,000 acres of the best land of his namesake's run. He then sailed for England, whence he never returned. His purchase, which became known as the Kingsdown Estate, was managed for him by Samuel Bristol, who had emigrated from Wiltshire, settling in New Zealand in 1863. It was Bristol, therefore, who employed Robert Brookland on Kingsdown. While still managing Kingsdown, Bristol had taken up land of his own, and Brookland was sent after about two years to manage a farm of Bristol's a mile or two away at Pareora. After a year here, Brookland himself began to branch out on his own.
The 10,000 acre Kingsdown estate, two miles south of Timaru, and extending to the Pareora River, was advertised for sale in the Timaru Herald 6th January 1876 in 50 acre lots and upwards. The auction was held at Timaru on 27th April 1876, in Richard Turnbull's new hall. Turnbull conducted the sale. Only 1,250 acres of the 5,000 offered were disposed of, the balance being withdrawn, as the prices did not meet the reserve price. The lowest price was for Lot 44, 142 acres, facing the Main South Road, for which Patrick Cunningham paid at £6 10s an acre. The highest price obtained was for Lot 15, 30 acres, close to Normanby Railway Station (a railway siding, four miles south of Timaru built in 1876) for which C. Bowker paid £17 10s. The average price was £9 25s 9d. The second sale was on 17th July 1876, and a further 2,000 acres were disposed of and the prices were about 50% higher. Lot 1, 118 acres, £27 an acre to E.G. Kerr; and lot 9, 244 acres £16 an acre to G. Gabites.Block Acres Price of Purchaser Location Lot 1 50 £12 Mr Pringle Fronting Main South Rd Lot 2 50 £11 6s Mr Pringle Fronting Main South Rd Lot 3 50 £11 5s Mr Pringle Adjoining township of Scarborough Lot 4 35 £9 Mr D. Ross Fronting railway line and near Scarborough Lot 5 59 £10 15s Mr D. Ross Fronting railway line Lot 6 50 £10 5s Mr D. Ross Running along the sea beach and fronting the railway line Lot 7 50 £8 Mr D. Ross Bounded by the railway line and the sea Lot 8 70 £8 10s Mr D. Ross Bounded by the railway line and Main South Rd Lot 9 50 £8 Mr A. Hart Near Main South Rd Lot 10 50 £8 5s Mr A. Hart Near Main South Rd Lot 11 50 £10 Mr A. Hart Near Main South Rd Lot 12 50 £10 10s Mr Ralph Dimes A large frontage to the main road and adjoining the railway station at the township of Normanby Lot 13 50 £10 Mr John Thomson Part of the township of Normanby Lot 15 30 £17 10s Mr Bowker Close to the railway station of Normanby Lot 16 121 £8 Mr Craigie Near railway station at Normanby Lot 18 100 £7 10s Mr Pringle Fronting the railway line Lot 20 150 £8 8s Mr Pringle Facing the Main South Rd Lot 21 150 £7 5s Mr Parsons Facing the Main South Rd Lot 44 142 £6 10s Mr Cunningham Fronting line of railway
Today Kingsdown remains a farming district.
Timaru Herald January 6 1874 Editorial
Timaru Herald 18th July 1878
A. Perry, A.W. Wright, E.G. Kerr, W. Evans, T. Hall, G. Gabites. W. Gosling purchased property at Kingsdown.
The Timaru Herald 24 Oct. 1878
The township of Salisbury - the property of Mr W. Evans - situated about two and a half miles from Timaru, and formerly a part of the Kingsdown Estate, was offered for sale yesterday by Messrs D. and L. Maclean, in Forester's Hall. Purchasers included Stevens, Sibley, E.G. Kerr, Greenup, Maclean, Gosling, Lesly, Godby & Tosswill, Allpress, Parsons, Hancock and Shepherd.
Timaru Herald, 26 August 1879, Page 2
Edward George Kerr objected to his land being assessed at £13 per acre. He said that £10 was the fair value of it. The land was 3 ½ miles, from Timaru, and as it was only agricultural land he thought the assessment altogether excessive. He was perfectly satisfied he could not get £10 per acre for it. The objection was disallowed.
Timaru Herald, 20 September 1887, Page 2
Kerr was not afraid to omit it. As to these banks they were very useful institutions but Mr Kerr did not care two pence for them and was not their nominee. He was so independent of them that he could transfer his account from his present bank to another if he chose to do so. Again he was said that he was the nominee of the loan companies. Well as a matter of fact he owned between £7000 and £8000 of property in Timaru, but not one farthing of it was mortgaged or was their a bill of sale over it to any loan company or any bank.
Mr Kerr had been accused of being the nominee of the squatters. He had a farm of about 300 acres at Kingsdown, and he might be called a farmer or a cockatoo, but the farm was not big enough to "squat " on. (Laughter). Well, the leases of these runs fell in in 1889, and before next election. He had no interest in them in any shape or form... He would see that such land was fairly cut up, and that in the event of there being much competition for it, would see that it was sold to the highest bidder. Therefore, they could not accuse him of playing into the hands of the squatters...
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