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Cornish Milletts in British India
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Millett Family Coat of Arms
Millett of Hayes, Middlesex: Family Tree
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The Millett - Algie Connection
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The Millett - Fletcher Connection
Fletcher Family Tree
The Millett - Leslie Connection
Leslie Family Tree
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Pierce / Pearse Family Tree
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Turtill Family Tree
The Millett - Upton Connection
Upton Family Tree
Upton & Co. History and Bibliography
George Bown Millett : Bibliography
A History of the Milletts, 1647-1674
de Mellet Family
New Zealand Legislation on Age of Sexual Consent
New Zealand Legislation on Censorship
Rarere Road, Takapuna: a Brief History


 

THOMAS PEARSE

 

            Born 1678.

            Of Eaststreet, Taunton, Somerset.

 

            Children, including:

 

 

DAMOND PEARSE

 

            Born 1708.

            Of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales.

 

            Children, including:

 

 

GEORGE PIERCE

 

            Born 1738.

            Died 1768 (drowned).

Of Cowbridge, Glamorgan, Wales.

 

            Children, including:

 

 

GEORGE PIERCE

 

Born 27 May 1769 at Westminster, Middlesex, baptised 11 June 1769 at Westminster, London.

Jeweller at 9 Richmond Buildings, Soho, London.

 

Married on 13 December 1790 at St James, London BETSEY MATTHEWS, born 1766 at Calne, Wiltshire, daughter of John Matthews;  died 15 May 1838 at London.

 

Died 24 December 1823 at London.

 

Seven children, including:

 

 

GEORGE PIERCE

 

Born 12 November 1791 at St James, London, baptised 2 December 1791 at Westminster, London.

            Captain, Royal Navy.

 

Married on 3 May 1824 at Stoke Damerel, Devon SARAH PERING PATRICK, born 11 July 1801 at Plymouth, Devon, daughter of John Patrick (1762-1846) and Mary Baylis (born 10 January 1765);  died 26 May 1889 at Holloway, Middlesex.

 

Died 26 June 1863 at Islington, London.

 

Six children, including:

 

 

GEORGE PATRICK PIERCE

 

            Born 21 June 1825 at Stoke Damerel, Devon.

Emigrated to New Zealand in 1855 on Willis Line ship Bank of England (departed Gravesend 6 September, arrived Auckland 27 December).

Insurance company manager.

General Manager, New Zealand Insurance Company 1859-1891.

Trustee, Auckland Savings Bank 1865-1891 (Vice-President 1886-1888).

Freemason.

 

See also below.

 

Married (1) on 4 August 1858 at Tauraroa, Northland HORATIA MARY HECTOR, born 1835, daughter of Cornthwaite Hector (1803-1879) and Elizabeth Budd;  died 17 March 1865 at Auckland.

 

Died 17 May 1891 at Auckland.

 

Four children (with Horatia Mary Hector):

 

 

(1)   GEORGE NELSON PIERCE, born 27 April 1859 at Auckland, insurance company manager.

 

Married 20 August 1887 at Auckland ANNIE GERALDINE RIDINGS, born 28 March 1862 at Auckland, daughter of Henry Ridings (1816-1888) and Anna Letitia Nelson (1824-1890);  died 26 September 1932 at Auckland.

 

Died 20 September 1946 at Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1890:  Napier (insurance manager)

1896, 1900:  Gladstone Road, Napier (insurance manager)

1905/06, 1908, 1911:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (insurance manager)

1914, 1919, 1922:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (retired)

1925, 1928, 1931, 1935, 1938:  31 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (sharebroker)

1941, 1943, 1946:  123 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (sharebroker)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

1887-88:  Oamaru (agent, New Zealand Insurance Co)

1892-93:  Napier (manager, New Zealand Insurance Co)

1897, 1898-99:  Gladstone Road, Napier (manager, New Zealand Insurance)

1901, 1902, 1903, 1904:  Remuera (branch  manager, New Zealand Insurance)

1907, 1910:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (manager, New Zealand Insurance Co)

1916:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (estate agent)

1920:  29 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (estate agent)

1923, 1926, 1930, 1933, 1936, 1938:  31 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (sharebroker)

1940, 1942, 1946, 1947:  123 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (comm. agent)

 

Source:  New Zealand City and Area Directories, 1866-1954.

 

Mr. George Nelson Pierce, Manager in Auckland for the New Zealand Insurance Company, is the eldest son of the late Mr. George Patrick Pierce, the first general manager of the company, whose life was spent mainly in its service.  Mr. Pierce was born in Auckland in 1859, and educated chiefly at the Parnell Grammar School, and entered the service of the New Zealand Insurance Company in 1873 at the head office, Auckland.  After being in Wellington, he was appointed manager at Oamaru, and subsequently at Perth, West Australia.  In 1890, Mr. Pierce was appointed manager at Napier, whence he was transferred to his present position at Auckland in May, 1900.

 

Source:  Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Vol. 2, Auckland Provincial District.  Wellington, Cyclopedia Co., 1902, p. 298.

 

Obituary

 

Mr George Nelson Pierce, formerly manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company in Auckland, died yesterday at the age of 87.  Mr Pierce was born in Auckland and joined the staff of the New Zealand Insurance Company when a young man.  He went to Perth, Western Australia, as manager of the company’s office there and, about 1890, was appointed manager in Napier.  He remained there until about 1900, when he came to Auckland as manager.  In 1887 he married Miss Annie Ridings, of Auckland.

 

Keenly interested in all sports, Mr Pierce was timekeeper at the King’s College annual athletic meeting continuously for 34 years, from 1900 to 1934.  He was also an enthusiastic follower of rowing and yachting.  He is survived by two sons, Mr George W. Pierce (Sydney) and Mr Nelson C. Pierce (Auckland).  There are four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

 

                                    Source:  New Zealand Herald 21 September 1946, p. 8.

 

Three children:  George Wilfred Pierce (20 September 1890-1958);  Ivan Sidney Pierce (28 September 1892-25 December 1908);  Nelson Colin Pierce (28 June 1894-23 July 1976, married 8 September 1920 Grace Edith Murphy (5 February 1900-8 July 1963), son John Nelson Pierce (25 April 1925-20 October 2006).

 

 

(2)  HORATIA MARY SELWYN PIERCE, born 29 July 1861 at Auckland, died 10 May 1865 at Auckland.

 

 

(3)  WILLIAM JOHN PATRICK PIERCE, born 23 January 1863 at Auckland, died 2 March 1864 at Auckland aged 13 months.

 

 

(4)  CAROLINE ELIZABETH PIERCE, born 14 February 1864 at Auckland, died 18 March 1864 at Auckland aged 5 weeks.

 

 

Married (2) on 20 April 1870 at Auckland ELEANOR CONNELL, born 1845 at Auckland, 3rd daughter of William Connell (1806-1859) and Isabella Ridings (1806-1893);  died 16 August 1912 at Auckland.

 

Obituary

 

One of Auckland’s first colonists.

One of the first of the children born in Auckland in the very early days passed away on Friday in the person of Mrs. Eleanor Pierce, who died at her late residence, Bickleigh, Khyber Pass, Auckland, in her 68th year.  Deceased was a daughter of the late William Connell, one of the earliest settlers in Auckland, who carried on business as a merchant in the early days.  In 1869 she married the late George Patrick Pierce, general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, whom she survived by 21 years.  She leaves a family of five daughters, three sons, and one step-son, all save one of whom are resident in Auckland.  The late Mrs. Pierce was formerly a prominent member of the Auckland Choral Society, frequently appearing at their concerts as a soloist.  She was interested in the Papatoetoe Orphans’ Home from its very inception, and generally played a very active part in all charitable undertakings.

         Source:  The Dominion (Wellington) Wednesday 21 August 1912, p. 3  col. C.

 

Eight children (with Eleanor Connell):

 

 

(1)  MARY ISABEL PIERCE, born 16 April 1871 at Auckland.

 

Married 10 December 1907 PERCY TEMPLE WILLIAMS, born 19 March 1866 at Pakaraka, Bay of Islands, Northland, son of John William Williams (1827-1904) and Sarah Busby (1835-1913);  died 12 October 1933 at Auckland.

 

Died 9 July 1950 at Paihia, Northland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1896, 1900, 1905/06:  Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (home duties)

1911, 1914:  St John’s College, Tamaki West (married)

1919:  The Vicarage, Cambridge (married)

1925, 1928, 1931, 1935, 1938, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1949:  Paihia, Northland (married)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

Two children:  Mary Temple Williams (born 2 February 1912, died 29 December 1993) and Patrick Heathcote Temple Williams (born 25 April 1909 in London, died 4 March 1874 in Canterbury).

 

 

(2)  IDA ELEANOR PIERCE, born 1 October 1872 at Auckland.

 

Married 14 July 1897 ARTHUR BEN ROBERTON, born 8 March 1872 at Auckland, son of John Roberton (1829-1894) and Selina Butterfield (1835-1921);  died 29 November 1933 at Auckland.

 

Died 1 October 1940 at Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1896:  Khyber Pass, Auckland (domestic duties)

1900, 1905/06, 1908, 1911, 1914, 1919, 1922:  Remuera, Auckland (married)

1925, 1928, 1931:  94 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

1935, 1938:  94 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (widow)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

Five children:  Florence Eleanor Roberton (born 17 August 1898, died 4 March 1973);  Ruth Roberton (born 4 January 1900, died 3 July 1970);  Janet Roberton (born 5 May 1906, died 3 January 1962);  Leslie Roberton (born 26 November 1908, died 18 April 1966);  Enid Roberton (born 20 November 1910).

 

 

(3)  ELSIE MARGARET PIERCE, born 12 March 1875 at Auckland.

 

Married 22 April 1903 WILLIAM JOHN COUSINS, born 27 December 1867, son of James Smith Cousins (1841-1881) and Hannah Edwards (1845-1928);  died 29 January 1938 at Auckland.

 

Died 23 October 1937 at Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1896, 1900:  Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (household / home duties)

1905/06, 1908:  Upper Symonds Street, Auckland (married)

1911:  150 Symonds Street, Auckland (married)

1914, 1919, 1922:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

1925, 1928, 1931, 1935:  33 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

Two children:  Hilda Margaret Cousins (born 14 March 1904, married in 1946 Robert Guthrie Jamieson 13 October 1895-21 April 1972, died 11 February 1995);  Joan Cousins (born 15 April 1906, married in 1949 Owen Llewellyn Evans 9 January 1901-28 September 1970, died 7 July 1982).

 

 

(4)  FLORENCE SARAH NIHILL PIERCE, born 31 March 1878 at Auckland.

 

Married on 28 January 1908 at Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Auckland PERCY HENRY UPTON, born 21 April 1874 at Herne Bay, Auckland, 3rd child of John Henry Upton (30 May 1845-28 May 1929) and Eleanor Gorrie (17 February 1848-14 October 1929);  insurance company manager, died 29 June 1960 at Milford, Auckland.

 

Died 18 September 1954 at Stanley Bay, Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

                  

1900, 1905/06:  Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (domestic / home duties)

1914, 1919, 1922:  Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

1925, 1928, 1931, 1935, 1938:  67 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

1941, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1954:  247 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (married)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

Four children:  Eleanor Florence Upton (13 March 1910-26 November 1973, married 3 November 1938  Edward Tracey Fletcher Millett 28 January 1906-17 December 1989);  Margaret Isobel Upton (14 September 1911-9 September 1990, married 1948 Kenneth Sydney Turtill 20 February 1914-8 July 2000);  John Pierce Upton (14 April 1913-16 February 1942, married 23 October 1940 Marion Henderson Frater 1921-5 October 2006);  Cecil Mary Upton (25 August 1916-16 February 2002, married 13 January 1942 Donald Colvin Algie 27 January 1915-16 May 1990).

 

See also “Millett – Upton Connection”.

 

 

(5)  ARTHUR PATRICK HECTOR PIERCE, born 27 July 1879 at Auckland, architect.

 

Married 15 October 1908 at Auckland WINIFRED ETHEL LEWIS, born 8 October 1884 at Cambridge, daughter of Thomas Bernard Lewis (1857-1912) and Barbara Simpson (1860-1954);  died 26 October 1966 at Auckland.

 

1917-1918 24th Reinforcements, Mounted Rifles, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

 

Died of malaria 17 October 1918 in Palestine, buried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel (grave Z21).

 

Architect

 

Mr. A. P. H. Pierce, A.R.I.B.A., who is a member of the firm of Messrs Bamford & Pierce, the well-known architects, under whose direction the Exhibition buildings have been erected, was born in Auckland in 1879, and educated at King’s College.  After serving articles with Mr. A. P. Wilson, architect, of this city, he left Auckland for the Old Country.  In the metropolis of the world Mr. Pierce continued his studies under the guidance of such well-known men as Mr. George E. Neild, F.R.I.B.A., and later under Mr. E. L. Lutyens, R.RA. and F.R.I.B.A.

 

Returning to New Zealand in 1907, Mr. Pierce joined forces with Mr. Bamford, with whom he had been associated in London as a fellow pupil, and who had preceded his return by about twelve months.

 

In addition to being an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the subject of this notice is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and occupies a very high place in the esteem of his professional brethren, of the laymen who profit by his services, and of the contractors and artificers who welcome his direction.

 

Source:  Auckland Industrial, Agricultural and Mining Exhibition 1913-1914 official catalogue.  Auckland, 1913, p. 212-213.

 

F. Noel Bamford and A. P. Hector Pierce were born in New Zealand.  Pierce was the pupil of architect A. P. Wilson, and Bamford studied under Edward Bartley during the building of St Matthew’s Church, which was commenced in 1902.  Bamford worked for the renowned English architect Edwin Lutyens in England before 1907.  Bamford and Pierce were in partnership in 1906 and again from 1909 to 1917.  Pierce was considered to be the steady worker of the partnership, Bamford the more flamboyant and creative.  Bamford and Pierce designed buildings for the Auckland Exhibition of which the Tea Kiosk in the Domain (1914) is the sole survivor.  They were also responsible for the house at 1 St Georges Bay Rd (1910) and Neligan House, Parnell (1910). ...

 

Source:  New Zealand Historic Places Trust website http://www.historic.org.nz/corporate/registersearch/ProfessionalBio/Professional.aspx?CPName=Bamford+_amp_+Pierce

 

Arthur Patrick Hector Pierce was born in Auckland on 27 July 1879.  He was brought up at his family’s two homes, the larger home of Bickleigh in Khyber Pass Road, Grafton and a summer cottage called Black Rock in Kitchener Road, Takapuna.  Pierce’s father, George Patrick Pierce, was a wealthy Auckland businessman who had an interest in architecture.  Hector Pierce attended St John’s College from 1891 to 1895 and the newly formed King’s College in 1896.  He was initially articled to the Auckland architect Arthur Wilson for three years while attending classes in building construction and watercolour techniques.  He then moved to London to work with W. H. Scrymgour who had earlier specialised in office buildings but by the time of Pierce’s arrival was building large blocks of flats in the Portman Estate.  After a year there, Pierce moved on for two years to the office of Nield and Tovey, a firm which undertook London offices and houses.  At this time Pierce attended evening classes at the Architectural Association.  From 1903 to 1904 he worked for Langton Cole who was the architect for the London Stock Exchange from 1895 to 1905, architect  to the Royal Albert Hall and the National Hospital for the Paralysed.  In 1904 Pierce joined Noel Bamford in Lutyens’ office, then returned to Auckland in 1907 after travelling in Europe. ...

 

In 1908, Hector married Winifred Ethel Lewis at St Matthew’s-in-the-City, Auckland with Bamford as best man, an event made much of in the social columns of the time. ...

 

In 1917, Hector Pierce left Auckland to join the New Zealand Engineers as a Quartermaster Sergeant in Egypt during the  First World War.  He became ill in Palestine with malaria and died  on 17 October 1918.

 

Source:  Macky, Peter, Waite, Paul and Akkirman, Sait.  Coolangatta: a homage.  Auckland, Livadia Publishers, 2010, p. 77, 83, 99.

 

Bamford and Pierce partnership and works (circa 1908-1916)

Noel Bamford (1881-1952) and Hector Pierce (1879-1918) were born in New Zealand and received their early architectural training in Auckland.  They were the first of four young New Zealand-born architects to gain work experience in the office of English architect Edwin Lutyens, a leading exponent of the English Domestic Revival style.  Upon Bamford’s return to Auckland in 1906 and Pierce’s arrival home the following year, an architectural partnership was formed at an unknown date before March 1908.  Drawing from the best of the English Arts and Crafts tradition, Bamford and Pierce formulated architectural designs for a New Zealand context.

The English Arts and Crafts movement was adopted in New Zealand in the early years of the twentieth century and appealed to those who saw themselves as building a new Britain.  The style fused concerns about status with matters of beauty [and] was initially taken up by the Dominion’s well-to-do Edwardians.  It continued to influence domestic architecture in the 1920s with houses of English appearance continuing to be constructed until circa 1935.

The Bamford and Pierce partnership was renowned for its residential works and benefited from strong family networks with sections of Auckland’s social and professional elite. Architect Hector Pierce’s late father George was prominent in Diocesan affairs.  The practice’s most prestigious commission was Neligan House, an English Domestic Revival-style residence constructed at Parnell in 1909-1910 as Auckland’s new Bishopscourt.  Another client – for the construction of a house in St George's Bay Road (Record no. 2634, Category II historic place) – was Dr Kinder, a vestryman of St Mary’s Cathedral Church and an officeholder on Church of England charitable boards including the Melanesian Mission Trust and the Leslie Orphanage Trust, as was Arthur Frater’s father William.

Several of the firm’s commissions appear to have had Hesketh Richmond connections.  Other than Waione, these included houses at Ngahere, 74 Mountain Road (1907-8), and Woodend at Gilgit Road (circa 1914-15).  The latter was designed as the home of lawyer and academic Dr Dean Bamford, architect Noel Bamford’s brother.  Ngahere was built for Dean Bamford’s sister-in-law.

Houses designed for other wealthy professionals included Coolingatta, Remuera Road (1911, recently demolished) for a surveyor;  residences at Dilworth Avenue, Remuera (demolished) and Pencarrow Avenue, Mt Eden, both circa 1910 for stockbrokers;  and dwellings at Brightside Road, Epsom, in circa 1915 for an accountant and Arney Road (Record no. 604, Category II historic Place) in circa 1911 for a mining engineer.  Like the real estate business in which Arthur Frater was engaged, these professions flourished during Auckland’s decades of economic growth following the depression of the 1880s and early to mid 1890s.

 

                                    Source:  New Zealand Historic Places Trust website

http://www.historic.org.nz/TheRegister/RegisterSearch/RegisterResults.aspx?RID=4506

 

Architectural works attributed to Bamford and Pierce (circa 1908-1916)

 

Auckland Industrial, Agricultural and Mining Exhibition 1913-1914 buildings, Auckland Domain, Grafton, Auckland

Biltmore, 251 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

Bishopscourt, now Neligan House, 12 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell, Auckland

Boscobel, 8 Brightside Road, Epsom, Auckland

Commercial Building, corner of Khyber Pass Road and Symonds Street, Grafton, Auckland

Coolangatta, 464 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

Laidlaw Leeds warehouse, Fort Street, Auckland CBD

Ngahere, 74 Mountain Road, Epsom, Auckland

Pakaraka, Russell Street, Gisborne

Shops, 411 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

Stansfield House, 30 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland

Takapuna Borough Council Chambers, 466 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland

Waione, 22 Domett Avenue, Epsom, Auckland

Woodend, 18 Gilgit Road, Epsom, Auckland

15 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland

13-15 Dilworth Avenue, Remuera, Auckland

8 Pencarrow Avenue, Mount Eden, Auckland

251 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

1 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland

30 Whitaker Place, Grafton, Auckland

 

A number of these works are described and illustrated  in Macky, Peter, Waite, Paul and Akkirman, Sait.  Coolangatta: a homage.  Auckland, Livadia Publishers, 2010, p. 78-99.

 

War Service

 

Quartermaster-Sergeant, 24th Reinforcements, Mounted Rifles, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  Embarked for Suez, Egypt on 19 April 1917.  Servied with the New Zealand Enginerers (Field Troop).  Died of Malaria in Palestine on 17 October 1918.  Biuried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.  Awarded the British War Medal (1914-1920) and the Victory Medal.

 

Source:  Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database.

 

Death

 

Quarter-Master Corporal A. P. Hector Pierce is the second of the sons of the late Mr. G. P. Pierce to have died on active service, his youngest brother, Edward H. Pierce, having died of wounds in September, 1917, whilst the remaining brother, Corporal Guy S. Pierce, is at present in hospital from wounds.  Corporal Hector Pierce was born in Auckland and educated at the St. John’s Collegiate School at West Tamaki, and King’s College, and after serving an apprenticeship in Mr. A. P. Wilson’s office, went to England and qualified in architecture.  On his return to Auckland he was joined by Mr. Noel Bamford, and they carried on their profession at Hobson Buildings until he left with the 24th Mounted Rifles.  He leaves a widow and three children, who are at present resident at Rotorua.

 

Sources:  Auckland Star Thursday 24 October 1918, p. 4 col. H;  New Zealand Herald Friday 25 October 1918, p. 7 col. C.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1911:  Glanville Terrace, Parnell, Auckland (architect)

1914:  Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland (architect)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

1910:  Glanville Terrace, Parnell, Auckland

 

Source:  New Zealand City and Area Directories, 1866-1954.

 

Three children:  Barbara Connell Pierce (3 August 1909-18 February 1984, married 6 January 1937 Hurren Martin Stanhope Dawson 2 May 1910-27 March 1985);  Patrick Daneford Pierce (8 September 1913-11 March 1972);  Helen Cherie Pierce (3 August 1915-21 April 2005, married 9 November 1938 Harvey St Clair Brown (2 February 1911-19 October 1992).

 

 

(6)  GUY STANLEY PIERCE, born 3 November 1881 at Auckland, accountant.

 

Married 19 April 1916 ELSA MARY BRETT, born 1 September1896, daughter of Harry Lloyd Brett (11 July 1872-12 January 1917) and Florence Agneta Alexandra Mair (16 May 1873-14 June 1955);  Elsa subsequently married in 1956 John Alleyne Bigg-Wither (1898-1973);  and died 20 September 1972 at Rotorua.

 

War service

 

Company Sergeant-Major, 33rd Reinforcements E Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  Embarked 31 December 1917.

 

Source:  New Zealand War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database.

 

Died 20 May 1948 at Mahurangi, Rodney, Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1905/06, 1908:  Khyber Pass, Auckland (clerk)

1911, 1914:  12 Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (clerk)

1919, 1922:  1 Bell Road, Remuera, Auckland (accountant)

1925, 1928, 1931, 1935:  41 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland (accountant)

1938:  81 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland (accountant)

1946:  Mahurangi Heads (retired)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

1923:  Bell Road, Remuera, Auckland (accountant)

1933:  41 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland (accountant()

1936, 1938:  41 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland

1940:  81 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland)

 

                                    Source:  New Zealand City and Area Directories, 1866-1954.

 

Three children:  Patrick Lloyd Pierce (28 August 1917-29 July 1985, married 1950 Suzette Helena Bell);  Edward Guy Pierce (7 December 1919-13 June 1998, married 1941 Cherry Kathleen Wilson 3 March 1919-14 January 1989);  Heather Mary Pierce (28 July 1921-14 July 2012, married Gordon Paxton Kear).

 

 

(7)  EDWARD HYDE PIERCE, born 24 July 1883 at Auckland, station manager.

Died 9 September 1917 in Belgium (of wounds), buried Menin Road South Military Cemetery, leper near Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (grave II B.13).

 

War service

 

Rifleman, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 11th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, F Company.  Embarked 25 September 1916.  Died of wounds in Belgium on 9 September 1917.  Buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

 

Source:  Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database.

 

Died of wounds 9 September 1917 in Belgium, buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (grave II. B. 13).

 

Death

 

Private advice has been received that Private E. H. Pierce, youngest son of the late Mr. G. P. Pierce, who went with the Rifle Brigade in the Seventeenth Reinforcements, has died of wounds received on September 9.  Prior to leaving Auckland he was manager of one of Mr Williams’ runs in Hawke’s Bay.

 

                                    Source:  Auckland Star Monday 24 September 1917, p. 2 col. C.

 

Private advice was received yesterday that Private E. H. Pierce, youngest son of the late Mr. G. P. Pierce, had died of wounds received on September 9.  Private Pierce, who left New Zealand with the seventeenth reinforcements, was a native of Auckland, and was educated at St. John’s College.  For some years prior to enlisting he was manager of a sheep station in Hawke’s Bay.  He was 34 years of age.

 

                                    Source:  New Zealand Herald Tuesday 25 September 1917, p. 6 col. D

 

            Residence in New Zealand

 

                        1905/06, 1908, 1911, 1914, 1919:  Te Apiti, Hawke’s Bay (shepherd)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

 

(8)  ETHNA CHERIE PIERCE, born 21 March 1885 at Auckland.

 

Married 12 April 1912 THOMAS DOUGLAS BAIRD HAY, born 31 August 1876, son of James Baird Hay (1841-1922) and Christina Jackson Macffarlane (1848-1912);  died 18 April 1967 at Auckland.

 

Died 22 June 1956 at Auckland.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1911:  12 Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (spinster)

1914:  12 Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (spinster);  7 Park Avenue, Grafton, Auckland (married)

1919:  River Road, Hamilton (married)

1922:  “Warwick”, Grey Street, Hamilton (married)

1925, 1928, 1931:  Dawson Street, Hamilton (married)

1935:  60 Victoria Avenue, Remuera, Auckland (married)

1938:  60 Victoria Avenue, Remuera, Auckland;  3 Shipherds Avenue, Epsom, Auckland (married)

1941, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1954:  3 Shipherds Avenue, Epsom, Auckland (married)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

Two children:  Bruce Macffarlane Hay (31 May 1913-8 September 1985, married 1946 Margaret Elspeth Ross (22 May 1921-7 February 2007);  Michael Pierce Hay (6 November 1926-22 November 2006, married 26 October 1955 Audrey May Rudd (born 3 March 1935).

 

 

GEORGE PATRICK PIERCE  (21 June 1825-17 May 1891)

 

New Zealand Insurance Company

 

A significant decision in the light of subsequent events was the appointment of George Patrick Pierce as manager of the company in December, 1860.  Mr. Pierce was then thirty-five years of age, a Plymouth man and the son of a naval captain.  For the next 31 years he was to control the activities of the company and to win the respect of the whole city as a business leader. ...

 

In the midst of the depression in May, 1891, the company lost the services of its first general manager, George Patrick Pierce.  His collapse and death during a Sunday walk with his wife was a shock to the whole community of Auckland.  He had controlled the activities of the company with cool judgment and a steady hand for thirty years.  For a man of marked enterprise, the financial consolidation of the latter years was a disappointment, however beneficial it was to prove in the longer term, but he had seen the company grow from infancy to become a world-wide organisation and one of the most successful financial institutions in the colony.  Perhaps even more rewarding, he had observed the company’s rise in public estimation to a position of universal trust and confidence.

 

Source:  Bold century: the New Zealand Insurance Company Limited, 1859-1959.  Auckland, New Zealand Insurance Company Limited, 1959, p. 15, 36.

 

The Directors with unfeigned sorrow have to record that during the past year they have sustained a very great loss in the death of Mr G. P. Pierce, who for more than thirty years was their chief executive officer, and whose ripe judgement and skilful administration contributed so largely to the success of the company.

 

            Source:  New Zealand Insurance Company.  Annual Report  1891.

 

Residence in New Zealand

 

1853-1864:  Pitt, Street, Auckland (merchant)

1865-1966:  Pitt Street, Auckland

1870-1871:  Pitt Street, Symonds Street, Auckland

1875-1876:  Symonds Street, Auckland

1880-1881:  Symonds Street, Auckland (insurance manager)

1885-1886:  Auckland (insurance manager)

1887:  Khyber Pass, Auckland (manager)

1890:  Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (insurance manager)

 

Source:  New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981.

 

1872-73, 1876, 1878-79:  Symonds Street, Auckland (manager, New Zealand Insurance Co)

1881:  Eden Terrace, Auckland

1883-84, 1886, 1887-88, 1891:  Khyber Pass Road, Auckland (manager, New Zealand Insurance Co)

 

Source:  New Zealand City and Area Directories, 1866-1954.

 

Obituaries

 

The death of Mr G. P. Pierce

 

A record of good citizenship, of sterling business integrity and capacity, of earnest religious conviction, and personal geneality, is what the late Mr G. P. Pierce, general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, leaves behind him.  His duties in connection with the important commercial institution which he controlled were too large to permit of his engaging in the affairs of our governing bodies;  but those warm sympathies which made him so prominent and worthy a Mason, also led him to take an active personal interest in the management of the Parnell Orphan Home, while his strong religious instincts caused him to give liberally of his time and his money to the institutions of the Anglican Church, with which he was actively connected during his thirty-five years’ residence in Auckland.

 

What more can any man wish for than that it may be honestly said over his grave that he lived an active, useful, honourable life, fulfilling worthily all his duties as a citizen and a parent – that he died universally respected, and personally beloved by all who were brought in close contact with him?  All this is conspicuously true of George Patrick Pierce.

 

Mr Pierce’s great business capacity is attested by the phenomenal success of the New Zealand Insurance Company, which from very small beginnings grew into the position of the most powerful fire insurance company that has originated in Australasia.  Doing business in all parts of the world, the affairs of this Company have been under such firm control that its shareholders could count upon a substantial half-yearly dividend with absolute certainty.  But Mr Pierce’s heart and mind were not bound up in the Company’s ledgers.  He had a wide and critical knowledge of books, superior literary and artistic tastes, and was an intense lover of music.  The boys and girls in the higher classes of the Auckland College and Grammar School looked forward eagerly to the annual competition for Mr Pierce’s prize.  The subject chosen for the last of these competitions was “The Auckland Free Public Library”, an institution in which Mr Pierce, as a member of the Advisory Committee, took a very warm interest.

 

The face and figure of the deceased gentleman will be sadly missed from our streets, his genial laugh from many circles where he was always welcomed, and not a few people in Auckland will say with heartfelt sorrow to-day “We have lost a true-hearted friend”.  To the family thus suddenly bereaved, such consolation as may come from a universal public sympathy will be theirs in the painful and unexpected affliction which, in the course of God’s providence, has befallen them.

 

            Source:  Auckland Star Monday 18 May 1891, p. 2 cols. D-E.

 

The sudden death of Mr. G. P Pierce will cause a great shock to every one of our readers.  Perhaps no resident of Auckland was so well known as Mr. Pierce.  He has been for the last thirty years going in and out amongst us, connected as he was with one of our most prominent institutions.  He never sought any political office, or became conspicuous in public concerns.  But for all that, he must be regarded as a public man, and perhaps no one of our citizens was looked upon by everybody with greater love and affection.  These words are not too strong to describe the feeling entertained for Mr. Pierce in the minds of all who knew him.  He was a man who never seemed to miss an opportunity of doing good, and all his benevolent acts were of a quiet and unostentatious character, which showed them to be the natural outcome of his simple and kindly disposition.  He was gentle and cheerful in his nature, and always appeared to be delighted when amongst a happy party of young people, joining heartily in their amusements and gaieties.  For very many years he has been prominent in the Masonic body, and there, as elsewhere, he was ever ready to respond to the call of charity.  There are many in Auckland who, on reading the announcement of Mr. Pierce’s death, will, with full hearts and tearful eyes, recall words and acts of kindness and sympathy.  So deeply do we feel the death of Mr. Pierce, as a genial warm-hearted citizen, as a pattern in all the relations of life, that we can hardly speak as we ought of him, as a business man of first-class ability.  His career as manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company has been entirely unblemished.  It was marked by great capacity and shrewdness, all directed to the advancement of the Company, and not to any personal object.  Few companies have been so successful as it has been, and this has been chiefly owing to Mr. Pierce’s great business capacity, his caution and discretion, his power of organisation, and of attracting good men around him.  All this is universally known and admitted.  But we feel that all over the city to-day his death will be mourned as that of a good man, upon whose character in every aspect there rested not the slightest stain, who fulfilled all his duties in every relation of life, and who was deeply and sincerely religious, and prepared for the call that came so suddenly to him.

 

            Source:  New Zealand Herald Monday 18 May 1891, p. 4 col. F.

 

Mr G. P. Pierce Dead

 

Very great regret was expressed in town when it became known on the 18th inst. that Mr G. P. Pierce, the well-known general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, had died at Waikomiti under shockingly sudden circumstances.  The deceased gentleman was so widely known and respected in Auckland that the news came as a great shock to his friends and acquaintances.

 

Mr Pierce had, during the previous week, been in his usual state of health, and had attended to his usual duties in the New Zealand Insurance Company’s office up to Saturday afternoon.  On the day of his death he and Mrs Pierce attended service at St. Sepulchre’s Church, Kyber Pass Road, as was their regular custom, and they both were at communion together, it being Whitsunday.  In the afternoon, after dinner, the day being beautifully fine, Mr Pierce and his wife decided to take a trip up to the Waikomiti Cemetery by train.  Accordingly they walked down to the Mount Eden Railway Station, and from thence journeyed by train to the cemetery.  On the way he complained of a pain in his chest, which he attributed to indigestion, and remarked that he thought the outing would do him good.  On reaching Waikomiti they entered the cemetery, and after strolling round the graveyard sat down on a seat for a rest.  After a while they started to return to the train, Mr Pierce pointing out the principal landmarks to his wife.  Suddenly Mr Pierce was seized with a painful feeling in the region of the heart.  He said as much to Mrs Pierce, gave a moan and fell down on the path.  His wife was greatly alarmed, but before she had time to do anything she saw her husband’s face grow pallid, and after one or two struggling gasps he expired.  Poor Mrs Pierce was quite dazed by the dreadfully sudden calamity, and could do nothing.  Just then, however, some men passing along the path to the train came to her aid.  They procured a stretcher from the sexton’s house, and conveyed the body to the train.  It was seen that Mr Pierce’s death was almost instantaneous, and it was concluded that the cause was heart disease.  The corpse was brought down to the Mount Eden Railway Station, Mrs Pierce accompanying it, and later on in the evening the body of the deceased gentleman was conveyed up to his town residence, Bickleigh, in Kyber Pass Road. ...

 

For some months past Mr Pierce had enjoyed only fair health.  Some time ago he had several severe attacks of rheumatism, and was attended by Dr. Orpen.  He took a prolonged visit to Te Aroha for a course of treatment at the baths, and it was supposed that this had set him up again.  During the summer he had resided in his country residence at Lake Takapuna with his family, but had returned to town before Easter.

 

Mr Pierce was twice married.  His eldest son by his first wife, Mr George N. Pierce, is now manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company at Napier.  He had eight children by his second marriage – three sons and five daughters.  The two elder daughters are at present away from home, one being at the Kaipara and the other at Dunedin.  Mr Pierce was through his first wife related to Captain Hector, of the P. and O. Company, who visited Auckland recently.  Mr Pierce was 66 years of age at the time of his death.  He was a native of Devonshire, England, and was born at Plymouth.  He was a son of the late Captain Pierce, R.N.  His mother died 18 months ago at the age of 91, and Mr Pierce last year placed a memorial window in St. Sepulchre’s in remembrance of his parents.  While in his teens he removed with his parents to Ireland, and was subsequently connected with the shipping firm of Smith, Elder and Co.  He came out to Auckland about the year 1855, and was thus quite an old identity of this province.  Immediately on his arrival here he entered the then firm of Bain and Burtt, of which Mr James Watson Bain and Mr James Burtt were the two chief partners.  This firm subsequently became that of Bain, Pierce and Co., and then was known as that of Bain, Graham and Co., Messrs G. P. Pierce, J. Roberton, J. W. Bain, and Water Graham being the partners.  The firm was finally dissolved about the year 1862.  The New Zealand Insurance Company had been started shortly before this period, and Mr Pierce was soon appointed local manager of the institution.  At first it was merely a local company, but when the early directors decided to extend their sphere of operations to other ports of the colony, Mr Pierce became the first general manager, a post which he has filled ever since with signal ability and rare business capability.  In April, 1870, Mr Pierce married Miss Connell, of Auckland, who, after a wedded life of twenty-one years, is now his widow.  His first wife, who was a Miss Hector, was removed from him under very distressing circumstances, being carried off in a fever epidemic with all her children but one.  For close on thirty years Mr Pierce had devoted his energies to the extension of the business of the New Zealand Insurance Company, and for the excellent position of that institution to-day the shareholders must largely thank their late general manager.

 

Mr Pierce was a sincerely religious man, and from his first arrival in Auckland he identified himself with church work.  In 1865 he joined with four other gentlemen, Messrs John Roberton, John Kelly, J. A. Gilfillan, and Capt. Salmon, of whom Mr Roberton is now the only survivor, in building old St. Sepulchre’s Church, during Bishop Selwyn’s regime.  From that time to the date of his death he had taken a very close interest in the welfare of the church, and was one of its most steadfast members.  He has also served regularly as a member for his parish in the Auckland Diocesan Synod.  He was a trustee of the Diocesan Trust Board, and a member of the Standing Committee on the General Synod.  For many years he has been the secretary of the Parnell Orphan Home, and he filled many other honorary offices of trust and honour.

 

Mr Pierce was for a long time a member of the Committee of the Auckland Choral Society, and was also a Vice-President of the Industrial Building Society of Auckland at the time of his death.

 

Mr Pierce was also an old and highly distinguished member of the Masonic brotherhood.  He was initiated in Lodge Ara 348, I.C., as far back as the 18th of February, 1858, when Bro. C. P. O’Rafferty (afterwards first P.G.M.) was Worshipful Master.  In 1863 Bro. Pierce became W.M., an office which he again filled in 1868.  When Bro. De Burgh Adams (Assistant Commissary-General of the military forces in this colony) was called home again Bro Pierce was chosen to succeed to the position of Provincial Grand Master.  A recommendation was forwarded to the Grand Master of the Irish Constitution, Bro. the Earl of Leinster, by whom the patent was issued.  This was afterwards confirmed by the Earl of Abercorn.  The deceased has occupied that distinguished position ever since, and has ever been an enthusiastic Mason, highly esteemed by his brethren.  Courteous, and at the same time firm and impartial, Bro. Pierce has been looked up to as a typo of a true Mason.  When the recent division occurred Bro. Pierce naturally maintained loyalty to the Irish Constitution, but at the same time he made no secret of the fact that he sympathised with those who had seceded, and on more than one occasion expressed the opinion that those who formed the New Zealand Constitution were entitled to every consideration as regards the property which they had helped to build up.  His sudden death will therefore be deeply regretted by Masons of all Constitutions.

 

Dr. Orpen, who attended Mr Pierce lately, gave a certificate to-day as to the cause of death, stating that he believed Mr Pierce's demise was due to heart disease.  An inquest therefore will not be necessary.

 

The Funeral ...

 

Source:  Auckland Star Thursday 21 May 1891, p. 3 cols. D-E.

 

See also:  New Zealand Herald Monday 18 May 1891, p. 5 col. C, and Thursday 21 May 1891, p. 5 col. C-E.

 

Many throughout New Zealand will receive regretfully the news of the death of Mr G. P. Pierce, the General Manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company.  For more than thirty years he has been closely identified with the fortunes of the city of Auckland, but he was well-known in other parts of the colony.  On the afternoon of Sunday, the 17th of May, Mr Pierce, attracted by the beauty of the weather on one of those surpassingly lovely days peculiar to the New Zealand autumn, went out after dinner for a walk with Mrs Pierce to Waikomiti, a neighbouring suburb of Auckland.  On returning along the road to the railway-station there, he was stricken with a spasm of the heart, and sunk down lifeless by the side of his wife.  Those who knew Mr Pierce, his bluff, genial half-humour, his directness, his honesty, his strong sense of justice, and his kindness to young people everywhere, will think that in death as in life he was fortunate, for it is given to few to pass almost painlessly away from so beautiful an earth full of years, honour, and apparent strength by the side of their dearest friend and companion.

 

Mr George Patrick Pierce was a native of Devonshire, England, and born at Plymouth.  He was a son of the late Captain Pierce, R.N., and his mother only died eighteen months ago at the age of ninety-one.  While a lad he went to Ireland, to which his parents had removed.  He was subsequently connected with the firm of Smith, Elder, and Co.  About thirty-five years ago he arrived in Auckland and became a member of the firm of Bain, Pierce, and Co., which traded in Auckland for some time.  Subsequently he retired, and became first local manager, and then general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company – posts which he occupied with conspicuous ability and success.

 

From his first arrival in Auckland he identified himself with Church work, and gained the respect and esteem of the Bishop of New Zealand.  In 1865 he joined, with four other gentlemen – Messrs John Roberton, John Kelly, J. A. Gilfillan, and Captain Salmon – of which Mr John Roberton is now the only survivor, in building old St Sepulchre’s Church, with Bishop Selwyn.  From that date to this he has been closely associated with the church, and always a member of its vestry, having several times been churchwarden.  On various occasions he was elected a member of the General Synod, and has also served regularly as a member for his parish in the Diocesan Synod.  As long as he was willing to hold the office, he was a member of the Standing Committee of the diocese, and for many years past has been Diocesan Nominator, in conjunction with Archdeacon Maunsell.  He was a member of the Standing Commission of the General Synod, and one of the Bishop’s assessors for this diocese.  Of the Orphan Home, Parnell, he has been the secretary almost since the days of Archdeacon Lloyd, its founder.  In fact, there was scarce an office of trust in connection with church work which he had not filled, his name being synonymous with honesty and integrity.

 

Mr G. P. Pierce was not only an old Freemason, but one of the most distinguished members of the craft in the colony.  He was a member and subsequently Worshipful Master of the Ara Lodge, I.C.  When Brother De Burgh Adams, Assistant-Commissary-General, was called home, the choice of a Provincial Grand Master at once fell on Brother Pierce, whereupon the Most Worshipful the Grand Master of the Irish Constitution, the Earl of Leinster, promptly issued his patent to the deceased brother, which was subsequently confirmed by the Earl of Abercorn.  A Mason he lived and a Mason he died, and there is not a brother throughout New Zealand but will learn with sincere feelings of regret of his painfully sudden decease.

 

            Source:  New Zealand Graphic and Ladies’ Journal 30 May 1891, p. 11.

 

George Patrick Pierce, who was called from us so suddenly on Whit Sunday, was at once one of the most prominent and the most unobtrusive of the churchmen of the diocese.  At the time of his death he held no less than nine Church offices;  and it is safe to say that, while he appreciated the confidence in him that his appointment to them implied, he sought none of them.  He was a member of the General Synod, a Governor of S. John’s College, a member of the Diocesan Synod, an assessor of the Bishop’s Court, and a Diocesan Nominator;  a member of the Diocesan General Trust Board, and also of the Pension Board;  Secretary of S. Stephen’s Orphan Home, and a member of the Vestry of the Parish of the Holy Sepulchre.  Until lately he was Secretary and Treasurer of the Selwyn Memorial Fund, to which, indeed, he was one of the largest contributors;  and when the Bishop visited England in 1888 he acted as Treasurer of the Bishop Cowie Testimonial Fund.  In conjunction with the Bishop of New Zealand, he initiated the movement which, joined by four other gentlemen – the Hon. Captain Salmon, Messrs John Anderson Gilfillan, John Kelly, and John Roberton (of whom the last-named alone survives) – resulted in the opening of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1866.  From that time to the time of his death he has been continuously and closely connected with the work of the church in the district of that name, now a parish, and the mother of parishes.  At once liberal and discriminating in his charities, practical in his counsels, and prudent in his cautions, he well earned the title sometimes playfully given him, of “father of the parish”.  His clergyman never went to him in vain for counsel or for help;  and if at times he seemed a “wet blanket”, it was seldom that after experience did not prove that what seemed a damper on enthusiasm was the timely verdict of a prudent caution.  In Mr. Pierce a remarkable shrewdness of perception was balanced by thorough paced honesty, and none was more punctual and conscientious in fulfilling engagements.  As an illustration of this it may be mentioned, that when the fund was being raised for building the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in order to accelerate its growth, Mr. Pierce offered a sum of £100 towards the object, provided £400 more were raised within three months, and when this condition had been fulfilled, it was found that on the very day of making the offer he had placed the £100, as no longer his own, on deposit in the Savings Bank, whence it was drawn, together with the accumulated interest.

 

It is needless to say that Mr. Pierce was a regular and devout communicant:  together he and his wife knelt at the Holy Table on the very morning of the day on which he fell by her side, and “was not, for God took him”;  and the last touch granted to his clergyman of his hand in life was when he laid the consecrated bread in his open palm.  For many years he was a teacher in the Sunday School, and to the last was ready to take a class in any emergency.  Among the boys there never was any reluctance to attend when he was going to be the teacher;  he was “in touch” with each and all, and they were all alive and interested, and although the verge of hilarity was often reached, there was never any insubordination.  What will the Orphan Home do without him?  The children trusted him, loved him, and called him father, and, after leaving the Home, wrote to him from time to time with artless confidence.  Surely the most touching feature of the funeral service was that hymn, “Christ will gather in His own”, sung by them at the grave-side at Purewa;  and the procession past the grave afterwards, as one by one the children, with stifled sobs, dropped their little bouquets upon the coffin that contained the earthly remains of their departed benefactor.

 

It is impossible here to speak of the blank that his removal leaves in the home in which, after the sorrows and bereavements of his earlier life, he for twenty-one years found such happiness, and in which he was the most devoted of husbands and the fondest of fathers;  but assuredly we may feel that as he constantly “visited the fatherless and widows in their affliction”, so it will be requited to the widow and children he leaves – leaves provided for, with all things set in order and arranged, so that the freedom from anxiety he so thoughtfully secured for them during his life might be continued to them after his death.

 

The death of Mr. Pierce is a great public loss;  and yet, in the manner of it, it has proved, and will prove a gain:  for public attention has once more been called to the appeal that quiet integrity, and patient continuance in well-doing, and godliness of life, make to that which is deepest in the hearts of all sorts and conditions of men.  That large gathering of men in S. Sepulchre’s Church, and the congregation subsequently at Purewa, and the words of the Bishop and of Dr. Kidd at the grave-side, will not soon be forgotten;  they will bear fruit in the days to come, and it will be felt that Mr. Pierce has left us the best of all bequests – a worthy example.

 

            Source:  Church Gazette (Diocese of Auckland) Monday 1 June 1891, p. 67.

 

Mr. George Patrick Pierce died suddenly on May 17, after many years of zealous and valuable work for the Church, in the highest offices held by laymen of the Diocese.  At the time of his death he was a member of the General and Diocesan Synods, a Diocesan Nominator, a Governor of S. John’s College, and a Trustee of most of the Diocesan property;  besides holding other offices in connection with the Diocese, and his own parish of the Holy Sepulchre, Auckland.  He was in the proper sense of the words “a good Churchman”, valuing aright the doctrine and discipline of the Church, and in all the relations of life letting his light so shine before men that they might be led to honour the Master whom he served.  He was ever ready to give generously of his money, time, and thought for the relief of the needy, and the advancement of any Christian cause;  and his integrity and straightforwardness were such as to remind us of the poet’s words – “An honest man’s the noblest work of God”.

 

Source:  Supplement to the Church Gazette for the Dioceses of Auckland and Melanesia 1 December 1891, p. 1.

 

Mr. George Patrick Pierce, for many years well known and greatly respected as the General Manager of the New Zealand Fire Insurance Company, was born at Plymouth, on the 21st of June, 1825, and died at Auckland on the 17th of May, 1891, deeply regretted by all classes of the community.  He was a son of the late Captain Pierce, R.N.  Mr. Pierce placed a memorial window in St. Sepulchre’s Church in remembrance of his father and mother.  While he was a lad his parents removed to Ireland, whither he accompanied them.  Subsequently he was connected with the firm of Messrs Smith, Elder and Co., of London.  About thirty-five years ago he arrived in Auckland and became a member of the firm of Messrs Bain, Pierce and Co., trading for a considerable period in Auckland.  He retired from the connection, however, and became first local and then general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, and occupied both positions with conspicuous ability and success.  From his first arrival in Auckland he identified himself with church work, and gained the respect and esteem of the Bishop of New Zealand.  In 1865 he joined with four other gentlemen in building old St. Sepulchre’s church, under the direction of Bishop Selwyn.  From that date until his death he filled various church offices; as vestryman or churchwarden of St. Sepulchre’s, Diocesan Nominator, Diocesan Trustee, and member of the Diocesan and of the General Synod.  He was also one of the assessors of the Bishop’s Court, and for many years secretary of the Orphan Home, Parnell, founded by Archdeacon Lloyd.  Mr. Pierce was not only a veteran Freemason, but one of the most distinguished members of the craft in the Colony.  He was a member and subsequently worshipful master of the Ara Lodge, I.C., from the early days up to his death.  On the retirement with the troops from New Zealand of Most Worshipful Brother De Burgh Adams, the first Provincial Grand Master of the Irish Constitution of Freemasonry, the choice fell upon Bro. Pierce, as his successor; and by his suavity and courtesy, combined with firmness, strict justice and impartiality, Mr. Pierce gained the love and esteem of every Mason belonging to the various constitutions.  A Mason he lived and a Mason he died, and his funeral was attended by the members of the English, Scotch and New Zealand Constitutions, who paid their last tribute of respect to their deceased Brother at the Purewa Cemetery, and the occasion was marked by a most eloquent funeral oration delivered by the Grand Chaplain, the Rev. D. Kidd.  Mr. Pierce was twice married, and his eldest surviving son by the first marriage, Mr. George Nelson Pierce, is the manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company at Auckland.  He contracted his second marriage with Miss Eleanor Connell, who survives him.

 

Source:  Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Vol. 2, Auckland Provincial District.  Wellington, Cyclopedia Co., 1902, p. 437.

 

Makers of Auckland: insurance business

 

The Dominion’s two greatest insurance corporations – the New Zealand and South British Insurance Companies – were managed in their early years by men who bulked large in the business community.  Mr. G. P. Pierce, who was first local and then general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, came from England early in the 60’s, and was in the first place a member of the trading firm of Bain, Pierce and Co.  This position he relinquished to undertake the management of the then recently established company, which he carried on until the time of his death in 1891.  Besides the prominent position he held in business circles, Mr. Pierce was very prominent in both the Masonic craft and the government of the Anglican Church.

 

As a Freemason Mr. Pierce became the second Provincial Grand Master of the Irish Constitution, his predecessor having been Captain De Burgh Adams, an officer of one of the Imperial regiments then stationed in Auckland.  In church matters Mr. Pierce was one of the principal lay co-adjutors of Bishop Selwyn.  With four others – Messrs J. A. Gilfillan, John Roberton, John Kelly and Captain Salmon – he financed the building of the original church of the Holy Sepulchre, which stood in Symonds Street, just south of the old cemetery.

 

To the end of his life of industry Mr. Pierce was in parish and diocesan office, for many years acting as secretary to the Parnell Orphan Home, which Archdeacon Lloyd had founded.  One of the memorial windows in the church of the Holy Sepulchre was provided by him in memory of his parents.  It is noteworthy that his son, Mr. G. N. Pierce, was one of his successors as Auckland manager of the insurance company.

 

Source:  Weston, Frederick William.  Makers of Auckland.  New Zealand Herald Monday 19 August 1929, p. 6 col. A.

 

 

Further information about George Patrick Pierce and related families is given in:

Jaques, Anthony Patrick Pierce.  George Patrick Pierce and the Pierce family in New Zealand: being a history of a pioneer businessman in Auckland and his association with two early settler families – the Hectors and the Connells.  Unpublished and undated typescript,

17 p., held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum Library (MS 1735).

 

 

 

 

Updated 30 July 2016

George Patrick Pierce, 1825-1891
George Patrick Pierce, 1825-1891

George Nelson Pierce, 1859-1946
George Nelson Pierce, 1859-1946

Florence Sarah Nihill Upton née Pierce, 1878-1954
Florence Sarah Nihill Upton née Pierce, 1878-1954 and children

Florence Sarah Nihill Upton née Pierce, 1878-1954
Florence Sarah Nihill Upton née Pierce, 1878-1954
with Percy Henry Upton, 1874-1960 and Margaret Isobel Upton, 1911-1990

Arthur Patrick Hector Pierce, 1879-1918
Arthur Patrick Hector Pierce, 1879-1918

Arthur Patrick Hector Pierce, 1879-1918
Arthur Patrick Hector Pierce, 1879-1918

Edward Hyde Pierce, 1883-1917
Edward Hyde Pierce, 1883-1917