James Bellringer

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James Bellringer

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Wrantage, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Death: June 17, 1901 (62)
Fitzroy, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Place of Burial: New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Emanuel Bellringer and Mary Ann Bellringer
Husband of Mary Ann Roberts Bellringer
Father of Charlie Emanuel Bellringer; Constance Maria Brokenshire; Sarah Ann Bellringer; Frederick Cornelius James Bellringer; Samuel Percy Bellringer and 8 others
Brother of Charles Bellringer; Cornelius Bellringer; Maria Vyle and William Bellringer

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About James Bellringer

MR. JAMES BELLRINGER, J.P., was first elected a member of the Borough Council of New Plymouth in 1879, and was Mayor from 1889 till 1893. During the term of his Mayoralty, the jubilee of the province occurred, and Mr. Bellringer took a very active part in making the celebration a thorough success. A great many improvements were effected in the borough during his term of office. On his retirement from civic life, he was presented with an illuminated address in recognition of his services, and a group of the portraits of his fellow councillors. Mr. Bellringer was born in 1837 at Wrantage near Taunton, Somersetshire, England, where he was educated, and served his time with a leading firm of plumbers and painters, in whose employment he remained seven years. In 1857 he arrived in Auckland in the ship “Spirit of Trade,” and shortly afterwards settled in New Plymouth. He served through the Taranaki war with the 65th Regiment, and afterwards joined the Taranaki Bush Rangers, with whom he saw some active service. On the conclusion of the war he received the Imperial medal in recognition of his services. About 1865, he successfully established himself in Devon Street as a painter and decorator. Mr. Bellringer was a thoroughly representative colonist, and always took a very prominent part in public movements for the welfare of the district. He was for several years chairman of the New Plymouth school committee, chairman of the Fitzroy school committee, and chairman of the Te Henui Road Board, and of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. Mr. Bellringer was an active Freemason, and a Past Master in the Order; and was connected with the Oddfellows for over forty years. He was a corresponding secretary of the district for over twenty-two years, a member of Excelsior Lodge for over thirty-three years, and permanent secretary for seventeen years. Mr. Bellringer was married and left a family of seven sons and four PAGE 57 daughters, when he died, on the 11th of June, 1901. His son, Mr. J. T. Bellringer, is Town Clerk of New Plymouth.

Source: THE CYCLOPEDIA OF NEW ZEALAND [TARANAKI, HAWKE'S BAY & WELLINGTON PROVINCIAL DISTRICTS] http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc06Cycl-t1-body1-d1-d7-d1.html#name-416718-mention


General regret, was expressed in town this (Monday) morning when the death, of Mr J. Bellringer was announced, The sad event occurred about 9 o'clock at his residence at Fitzroy, and in the presence of his wife, and children. Mr Bellringer till a couple of weeks ago was about town as usual attending to his business affairs, but an attack of inflammation in one of the deep veins of the leg compelled him to take to his bed. Previous to this he had suffered for some time from heart feebleness, but no danger was anticipated by his medical adviser, Dr. Leatham. On Sunday he was up and about the house the greater part of the afternoon. This (Monday) morning he had breakfast as usual, but very soon afterwards he was suddenly attacked by the fatal seizure. In the opinion of Dr. Leatham death was due to a clot of blood from the inflamed vein in the leg becoming detached and causing heart failure. His death came as a great shock to his many friends. Mr Bellringer was an old settler in this district, having come here with one of the Imperial regiments to take part in suppressing the Maori rebellion. After the war Mr Bellringer, like many more Imperial soldiers, settled in the district, and entered into the painting, paper hanging, &c, line. During his long residence here Mr Bellringer had always taken a keen interest in public affairs, and for many years held a seat on the Borough Council. He was elected Mayor in November 1889, and held the position for four successive years, including the year in which the Taranaki province celebrated its Jubilee. He was a prominent Mason and Oddfellow, holding high and important positions in both orders. He was also for some time a member of the Harbour Board, and for many years Chairman of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, a position which he most ably filled. Some two years since Mr Bellringer left for a trip to Great Britain, and appeared to be much benefitted by the change.

He leaves a widow and large family, who will receive the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their sore bereavements. The eldest son is Mr C. E. Bellringer, the Town Clerk; the second son, Capt. F. Bellringer, of the Fire Brigade Other sons are Messrs Percy Bellringer, Felix Bellringer (solicitor), Richard Bellringer, Harold Bellringer, and Eric Bellringer. There are also four daughters, Mrs Brockenshire, Misses Florence, Ethel, and Ivy. The deceased gentleman was a member of the Primitive Methodist Church, of which he was a strong adherent.

Source: Taranaki Herald, Volume XLIX, Issue 11709, 17 June 1901, Page 3


The respect and esteem in which the late Mr J. Bellringer was held in the town and district was demonstrated by the large and representative attendance at the funeral on Wednesday afternoon. The weather was wet and stormy, but despite this adverse circumstance the public attended to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased gentleman. The cortege was probably the longest ever seen in this district. The cortege moved off from the residence at Fitzroy shortly after 2 o'clock, the Past Masters of the 1.0.0.F.,M.U., acting as pall-bearers. The coffin was covered with beautiful floral wreaths. The procession was led by Masonic brethren from the Mount Egmont, De Burgh Adams, Sir Donald McLean, and Ngamotu Lodges, the heerse was followed by the chief mourners (sons of the deceased), members of the New Plymouth District Oddfellows Order, the Loyal Egmont, Loyal Excelsior, Loyal Union and Loyal Midhirst Lodges; Borough Councillors (headed by the Deputy Mayor, Mr Brooking), New Plymouth Fire Brigade, ;Daily News staff, Hospital and Charitable Aid Board (represented by Messrs F. P. Corkill, chairman, and Lepper), members of the Henui Road Board, Fitzroy and New Plymouth School Committees, County Council, Hospital Medical staff, and other public bodies, after which was a longtime of town and country residents on foot and driving. On arrival at the cemetery they coffin was removed to the mortuary chapel; and a service was held by the Reva J., Nixon, Osborne, Serpell, and Drew. At the grave the Rev Nixon conducted the service, Bro. Asher (Egmont Lodge) the Masonic service, and Rev Serpell the Oddfellows service. Wreaths were forwarded by the Lodges of Mason and Oddfellows, the Borough Council, the News staff, Star Football Club, Fitzroy School Committee, Fire Brigade. Hospital Board, Hospital staff, Hawera Hospital Staff, and numerous wreaths were sent by private persons. The whole ceremony was very impressive.

Source: Taranaki Herald, Volume XLIX, Issue 11703, 20 June 1901, Page 3

Headstone Inscription

Sacred to the memory of JAMES BELLRINGER who died 17th June 1901 Aged 52 years "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." And of MARY ANN BELLRINGER who died 5th September 1936 Aged 91 years At evening time there shall be light. (front of obilesk) Sacred to the memory of ERIC NORMAN BELLRINGER died 2nd April 1928 Aged 39 years At rest. (right side)

Wrantage Street: Was named in 1948 to recognise the contribution of James Bellringer to New Plymouth as mayor from 1889-1893.

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James Bellringer's Timeline

February 2, 1839
Wrantage, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
March 3, 1839
North Curry, Somerset, England
February 16, 1864
Age 25
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
January 24, 1866
Age 26
Taranaki, New Zealand
January 24, 1866
Age 26
New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand
August 6, 1868
Age 29
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
October 15, 1870
Age 31
Taranaki, New Zealand
January 16, 1875
Age 35
New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand
March 5, 1877
Age 38
New Plymouth, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand