William Freeman (c.1833 - 1931)

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Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand
Managed by: Peter Norman McGavin
Last Updated:

About William Freeman

Emigrated from England to New Zealand on the "New Era" in 1855, age 20.

Lived in Molesworth Street, Wellington.

Baker and confectioner in Molesworth Street for forty years to 1902.

Evening Post, 4 Mar 1929, Nearing the Century: One of the grand old men of Wellington is Mr William Freeman, of "Brampton Bryan," Karaka Bay, who celebrated his 96th birthday last Tuesday. Mr Freeman was born in Highgate, London, in 1833, four years before the late Queen Victoria came to the throne, so has lived through the reigns of four sovereigns. He came to New Zealand in 1855, on the sailing ship New Era, and he and his wife spent their honeymoon on the water. It was a long honeymoon, for the voyage took 98 days. Mrs Freeman died some years ago, at the age of 94 years. Mr Freeman, despite his great age, enjoys a walk along the seafront. He is a foundation member of the Thorndon Bowling Club, and was at one time president of that club. He is still keenly interested in bowls, and was present on Veterans' Day, when he threw the first jack and bowl. He is a great reader, and is well up in all the latest news, happily being able to read without the aid of spectacles. On Tuesday he received many congratulatory telegrams, letters, etc., from relatives and friends. He also entertained a big party of friends at his home, and during the evening the guests set light to the 96 candles on the birthday cake.

Evening Post, 9 Sep 1931: Deaths: FREEMAN,- On 8th September, 1931, at his residence, 461 Karaka Bay road and late of Thorndon, William, beloved husband of the late Eliza Freeman, in his 99th year.

Evening Post, 8 Sep 1931, EARLY SETTLER'S DEATH - MR. WILLIAM FREEMAN: A very old resident of Wellington, Mr. William Freeman, died at his residence at Karaka Day this morning at the age of 98 years. For the past fortnight his health was failing, and he was confined to his bed, but he retained his faculties to the last. Few were better able to talk of early Wellington than the late Mr. Freeman. He was born at Highgate, London, when Queen Victoria had been only four years on the Throne of England,. and his remarkable memory enabled him to speak fluently of the stone erected on Highgate Hill outside the historic Whittington Arms Inn to the memory of Dick Whittington, and of many incidents which occurred in London long ago. At the age of 22 years Mr. Freeman married, and brought his wife to New Zealand in the ship New Era, arriving at Wellington after a voyage which took three months. The passengers were landed in the ship's boats at a point about where the head office of the Bank of New Zealand stands to-day. In those early days, according to Mr. Freeman, Wellington was little more than a picturesque township, with most of its activities centred at Thorndon. He first lived in Tinakori road, near Cottleville terrace, on the property of Dr: F. Featherston. Later he moved to Molesworth street, where he conducted his business and lived for many years. Mr. Freeman used to speak of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Wellington and of the social activities in the early settlement, of sports on Clapham's paddock, and many other phases of life in old Wellington. His memory in such matters made him a most interesting speaker, and his brightness and sense of humour found him many ready listeners. As a bowler the late Mr. Freeman was probably one of the best-known figures in the Dominion. He was one of the earliest members of the Thorndon Bowling Club, and president for a, period. Veterans' Day generally saw him on the green thoroughly enjoying himself with other old players in the game he loved, to play, and he was much in request at the opening of the Wellington season, and club openings. His remarkable eyesight, which enabled him to read to the last without glasses, gained him proficiency at bowls, and he took part in many an exciting contest in the early days. Mr. Freeman was one of the original shareholders of the Bank of New Zealand and a director of the old Wellington Opera House Company. His wife died ten years ago. He leaves two daughters --- Mrs. E. E. Dunning (Auckland) and Miss E. M. Freeman (Wellington) --- and six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The funeral will leave Karaka Bay for the Sydney Street Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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William Freeman Snr.'s Timeline

1833
February 26, 1833
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
1856
1856
Age 22
Wellington, New Zealand
1860
1860
Age 26
1862
1862
Age 28
New Zealand
1866
1866
Age 32
New Zealand
1872
1872
Age 38
New Zealand
1931
September 8, 1931
Age 98
Wellington, Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand
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