Maj-Gen George Dean Pitt, K.H

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About Maj-Gen George Dean Pitt, K.H

Empire Newspaper - 3 February 1851

NEW ZEALAND. His Excellency Major-General George Dean Pitt, K.H., Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Ulster, died at Auckland, on the 8th ultimo. His Excellency was seventy years of age, and had been in a declining state of health for the last two years.

Major-General George Dean-Pitt, KH (1781 or 1782 - 8 January 1851) was Lieutenant-Governor of the former New Zealand Province of New Ulster from 14 February 1848 to his death on 8 January 1851. He was born George Dean, the illegitimate son of George Pitt, 2nd Baron Rivers.

During his military career before arriving in New Zealand, Dean-Pitt, at the time a Major, was stationed (January - September 1828) at Malta with the 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers).

In 1818 he married Susan Baillie (1797 – 18 March 1875) in Bristol, England.

In 1819 he adopted the surname Dean-Pitt by Royal Licence.

Dean-Pitt arrived with his family on the barque Minerva at Auckland on 8 October 1847.

Dean-Pitt was the second most important military man in the new colony during the governorship of George Grey. His son and two of his sons-in-law were part of the military establishment as well. His residence was located in Pitt street, which had originally been called Pyt Street after a childhood home of the first governor William Hobson, it is likely the spelling changed because of Dean Pitt's presence.

He died while Lieutenant-Governor and was buried in the Symonds Street Cemetery in Auckland.


  • Emelia Marie Dean-Pitt (20 June 1820 - 5 April 1877) m. 23 May 1848 at St. Paul's Church, Auckland, Captain J.H.Laye
  • Lieutenant-General George Dean-Pitt (C.B.) (14 January 1823 - 4 April 1883) m. 22 November 1842 Louisa Jones (18 February 1816 - 8 July 1889).
  • Georgiana Dean-Pitt (1822 - 23 May 1877)
  • Louisa Dean-Pitt(1823 - 7 April 1873) m. 18 November 1848 Lieutenant George Hyde Page, at St. Paul's Church, Auckland
  • Susan Dean-Pitt (born Malta 1828)
  • Douglas Charles Dean-Pitt (born 1829 Ireland) m: 10 Dec 1878 Alice Antoinette Birdwood at Mahableshwar, Bombay, India.
  • Charlotte Marcia Dean-Pitt (6 March 1830 - 7 April 1873) m. 18 November 1848 Captain Charles Lavallin Nugent, at St. Paul's Church, Auckland
  • William Augustus Dean-Pitt (1833- 8 November 1890) m. 11 Jun 1863 Anne Isabella Lloyd Gellibrand at Hobart,Tasmania, Australia. He was buried in Symonds Street Cemetery next to his father.
  • Clara Eliza Dean-Pitt (5 September 1838 at Bristol - 1916 Kensington England, unmarried.)
  • Susan Dean-Pitt (born 14 July 1847)


COLONIAL, 13 March 1851


DEATH OF HIS EXCELLENCY LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR PITT. From the New Zealander. Jan. 11. It is our melancholy duty to record the death of his Excellency Major-General George Dean Pitt, K. H., Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Ulster, which took place at his residence in Princes-street at three o clock on Wednesday morning last. For about two years past his health had been so broken down that the continuance of his life for any lengthened period could not reasonably have been anticipated ; and when the final hour arrived, he expired without a struggle — having attained the period said to be allotted to human existence — three-score years and ten ' — and having had his declining days cheered by a solace especially sweet in a land so far away from that of his birth, the presence and anxious care of a numerous and affectionate family circle, On the afternoon of Wednesday, a Government Gazette Extraordinary was issued, announcing the lamented event, and stating that in consequence of it, no business would be transacted at the public offices, and they would remain closed until the remains of his Excellency should have been interred. The spirit of the direction thus given with regard to the public offices, was spontaneously acted on— -or rather anticipated — throughout the town, on most of the shop windows in which shutters were immediately put up. The colours of the ships in the port were also exhibited half-mast high, as was, of course, .the Union Jack at Fort Britomart. The funeral was fixed to take place at three o'clock on Thursday, according to a programme which also was published in the Gazette Extraordinary. About that hour, amongst the firing of minute guns from Fort Britomart, the procession moved forward in the following order s — Firing Party, Composed of. 58th Regiment, "under the command of Lieut-Col. Wynyard, C.B. Detachment Royal Sappers and Miners, by whom the Body was borne. Band. The Principal .Medical Officer (Dr. Fox). Surgeon Thompson, 58th Regt. Assistant-Surgeon Philson, 58th Regt, pall bearers. pall bearers. Surveyor-General _ Head Ordnance Dept. (C. W. Lignr, Esq.) (Wm. Plummer, Esq.) Barrack Master Colonial Treasurer (Robert Lynd, Esq.) (Alex. Shepherd, Esq.) Colonial Secretary Asst. Comm. Gen. ( And w. Sinclair, Esq.) (Philip Turner, Esq.) Brigade-Major Chief Justice (Capt. Greenwood.) (Win. Martin, Esq.) Charger of his late Excellency. Chief Mourners ; Captain George Dean Pitt, 80th Regt., Aid-de- Camp, eldest son of the deceased ; Captain J. Ii. Laye, 58th Regt., Assistant Military Secretnry ; and Lieutenant Page, 58th Regt., his sons-in-law. Military Officers, i Civilians— members of Government. - Civilians — not members of Government. The number of attendants at the funeral included in the last named class, was very large indeed, extending for a long line of road ; while crowds of spectators were gathered at those localities from which a view of the procession could best he obtained, so that it might seem as if Auckland had sent out almost its whole population to manifest, in one way or another, an interest in the melancholy occasion. At the entrance of the burying ground, the body was met by the Rev. J. F. Churton, Colonial Chaplain and Chaplain to the troops, by whom the. sublime funeral service of the Church of England was read. The remains were deposited in a grave near that of Governor Hobson, in a plain black coffin, having no ornnment beyond the simple plate on which was inscribed—

Major-General George Dean Pitt, K.H, Died January 8th, 1851, Aged 70.

While the grave was being filled in, thirteen minute guns were fired from field-pieces brought up for the purpose. The 58th Regiment then fired three vollies, and the final military honours to the deceased having thus been completed, the proceedings terminated. The first commission in the army borne by the deceased gallant officer was dated June 4, 1805 ; he became Lieutenant on the 5th of December in the same year,— Captain on the 10th of August, 1809,— and Major on the 13th of January, 1814. On the 18th of April, 1822, he was appointed to the Lieutenant- Colonelcy of the 80th Regiment. His subsequent steps of promotion were, a Colonelcy on the 10th of January, 1837, and the rank of Majors-General on the 9th ofNovomber, 1846. The deceased had seen much service, having been engaged at the capture of the Danish West India Islands in 1807, and of Marnique in 1809. He served also in the Peninsula wars 1811 to 1814, and was engaged in the most memorial operations of those eventful years, including battles of Albuera, Vittoria, Pampeluna, and the Pyrenees, and also the seige of Badnjos. He was subsequently employed as one of the inspecting Field Officers in Great Britain, and then appointed to the command in New Zealand,

His entrance on the Lieutenant-Governorship of this Province took place on the 14th of February, 1848, the Governor-in-Chief having appointed him to that office pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Charter of 1846. During the periods in which, the Governor-in-Chief being absent, he wielded this authority, scarcely anything was called for beyond routine official acts, and few, if any, political associations ore connected with his memory.