Name: John Godolphin Burslem
Birth: 20 Dec 1842 - Boulogne Sur Mer, France Baptism: 25 Mar 1843 - British Chapel, Boulogne Sur Mer, France Death: 7 Jun 1923 - Klerksdorp, South Africa Burial: 7 Jun 1923 - Klerksdorp, South Africa Cause of Death:
1. In 1851 he lived at 33 Inverness Road,with his father, in Paddington, London 1
2. He served in the 21st Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion in 1861 in Deal, Kent 2
There is some doubt as to this fact. Certainly there is an entry in the 1861 census showing a John G. Burslem serving as a private and "quartered in camp" at Deal in Kent. however the age shows 22 and the place of birth is shown as Marylebone, Middlesex. However it was not uncommon for false ages and other information to be given when joining the Army.
3. He emigrated to to New Zealand in 1864. 3 on board the vessel Napier, together with his brother Nathaniel, arriving in Auckland on 15 February 1865. The Napier left Gravesend on Oct. 25th, took her final leave of Plymouth on the 28th, passing through the Cape de Verde Islands. Experienced very indifferent N.E. trades and crossed the equator on Nov 27th. The S.E trades proved very good. she arrived at the Cape of Good hope on Dec 24th, for the pupose of boarding troops for New Zealand but upon her arrival there Captain Petherbridge was informed that the troops which which were to have gone in the Napier had been forwarded direct from St. Helena.......... The Napier sailed again from the Cape on Dec 30th, after a delay of six days.
THE PIONEER LAND SURVEYORS OF NEW ZEALAND - PART IV - BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
has this to say about him:
"BURSLEM John (l841 - ) He was a surveyor who enrolled in the Waikato Militia at Tauranga on 24th August, 1866. He was then twenty-five years of age. He assisted in the surveying of the confiscated land and on the completion of his term of service was granted land at Te Papa (Tauranga) and at East Wairoa. He was a nephew of P. R.. Burslem (q. v) and a grandson of Sir Nathaniel Burslem.
The author seems to have made a mistake in that his uncle was Francis Henry Burslem who is also listed in the Biographical notes.
4. In Jun 1866 he was involved in a court case for the administration of the estate of his late brother, Nathaniel Burslem in Auckland, New Zealand. 4 He was suing the lawyers who he had retained to accept mail on his behalf and who had subsequently refused to surrender the letter from England without payment of their fee of £1 7s 8d. After much argument by counsel the plaintiff was nonsuited (that is the plaintiff withdrew his charges). A half-brother, William Curzon Godolphin Burslem, had made a claim against the estate.
5. Rank/Regiment: Private, 24 Aug 1866-1867, 1st Waikato Regiment., New Zealand.. 5
The Government, in 1863, recruited men from the South Island and from Australia to form a special militia. These were offered a grant of confiscated Maori land upon the fulfilment of certain obligations. They were to serve in the field until discharged, take up the land allotted to them, erect stockades in townships, remain on their land for three years, and undergo certain military training. Four Waikato militia regiments were raised (about 2500 men) and saw service in the Waikato and East Coast districts. The First Waikato Regiment was dispatched to Tauranga, the Second Waikatos to Pirongia and Kihikihi, the Third Waikatos to Te Kowhai, Ngaruawahia, and Cambridge, and the Fourth Waikatos settled at Hamilton. According to rank, each man was allotted a farming section of 50 acres or more and a town acre. By the end of 1867 it became clear that the severest fighting was over and, accordingly, all these special groups were disbanded on 22 October 1867.
[Source: Encyclopedia of NZ, 1966]
The Electoral Roll of New Zealand for 1875-1876 show him owning a house at Te Papa, Tauranga and also 50 acres at Oruannaiou (19a). Presumably these holding were his land garnts for service in the 1st Waikato Regiment. (see above).
6. He served in the Maori wars from 1867 to about 1872 on the North Island. 6 He saw action at Irehanga (Jan 18, 1867), Wakamarama (Jan 1867 and Feb 15, 1867), Ake Ake (Feb 4 1867), Taumata (Feb 4 1867) in the area around Tauranga and also at Parakau ( Mar 1867) near Rotorua. He was slightly wounded at Wakamarama.
The Daily Southern Cross reported at length on the outbreak of hostilities in January 1867. " On the 12th instant there marched out of camp, Te Papa, to take up a position on the Wairoa (Omanawa Creek), 120 men under Captain Goldsmith; also 20 men of the same regiment, under Lieutenant Pitt, to occupy a position lower down the stream......(in a reconnoitring expedition the Regimental Sergeant Major was killed). This sad affair cast a gloom of Te Papa....... On the 19th the colonel commanding the militia, Colonel Harrington called a meeting of all the non effective men of the 1st Waikito Regiment, his object being to see what numbers of men would volunteer for an expedition being then arranged. On Sunday, the 20th,..........there mustered some 140 men. (The expedition moved into the villages of Irehanga and later Wakamarama where the buildings and crops were destroyed. The expedition came under heavy fire on several occasions and a received a number of deaths and casulaties) . The following men, together with Lieutenant Turner, were highly complimented by the Colonel for their gallant conduct in following Lieutenant Turner when he called for volunteers to scour the bush after the natives had fired on the troops while partaking of their kaikai (food):- Sergeants Rose and Muir, Corporal Herbert, privates Rattigan, McMillan, McMahon, Dickson, Grattan, Luttrell,Baillie and Burslem (non-effectives)......................"
In the later years he served as a despatch rider between the columns pursuing Te Kooti. According to Wikipedia " From 1869 to 1872, Te Kooti and his followers raided throughout the central North Island while being pursued by their colonial and Maori enemies." This statement agrees with the letter written by John Burslem from South Africa and published in the Bay of Plenty Times .
7. He was a Surveyor about 1867 in New Zealand. 7 He assisted in the surveying of the confiscated land and on completion of his term of service was granted land at Te Papa (Tauranga) and at East Wairoa.
8. In 1867 he was awarded the New Zealand Medal,. 6
There is an entry for John Godolphin Burslem in Richard Stowers book - The New Zealand Medal to Colonials. It reads: 1st Waikato Private (8 months), joined Tauranga 24/8/1866; Tauranga; Te Irihanga 18/1/1867 and 15/2/1867, Whakamarama 1/1867 (slightly wounded) and 15/2/1867, Te Akeake 4/2/1867, Tamata 4/2/1867, Purakau (twice) 3/1867 (Tauranga campaign); Born 1843, Newbury, Berkshire; Gazette 1871; 141; AD32/2353; Duplicate medal issued; Later Army Service Corps in Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, Queen's South Africa Medal with clasp "Cape Colony" (Army Service Corps). This entry states that John was living in Tauranga when he joined up and gives the places and dates when he was involved in action; 141 refers to his medal registration number .
9. He owned property from about 1871 to 1889 in Tauranga and Wairoa, New Zealand 8 He assisted in the surveying of the confiscated land and on completion of his term of service was granted land at Te Papa (Tauranga) and at East Wairoa.
The Tauranga property was sold in 1889. The local newspaper reported " At the auction of Burslem's property on Devonport road on Saturday the property was bought in by the mortgagee for£100." There is no information about the Wairoa property.
10. In 24 Mar 1871 The Daily Southern Cross reported:
" On the 24th March an accident, which nearly terminated fatally , occurred to Orderly Burslem, of the Native Contingent, stationed at Rotorua. It appears that he had just drawn a revolver from the Government store, and was on his way to return the one he had prviously used to its owner. On passing the saddler's shop he stopped in to get a strap put on the revolver case. While explaining to the journeyman what he required doing, the man, had taken up the old revolver, one chamber of which was loaded. In handling it , he accidently pulled the trigger, discharging the contents point-blank; and the ball entered Burslem's right side above the elbow, fortunately striking obliquely one of the ribs, following the bone round under the shoulder blade and ultimately lodging near the spine. Dr Armitage was quickly in attendance , and two days afterwards extracted the ball asfter putting his patient under chlorophorm. The wounded man is now progressing favourably."
Two weeks later the same paper reported:
"I have just learned that Mr. Burslem, who was accidently shot, is in a fair way of recovery. The ball was extracted on Sunday last, from just under the shoulder-blade, close to the spine. The patient has now been up for three days.."
This story is believed to relate to John Godolphin Burslem who lived in Tauranga and who,after leaving the militia, served as a Despatch Rider. It is possible that the story relates to his brother George James Burslem who was in New Zealand at about this time but who,as far as can be established, was in the vicinity of Cambridge. 9
11. 1877- abt 1885 he lived at Devonport and Elizabeth in Tauranga, New Zealand 10 The East Coast Electoral Rolls of 1875-1876 and 1879 shows him as being eligible to vote in Tauranga. The Rolls shows him to have a dwelling,Te Papa, which means"Our Place"
12. He was self-employed as an Agent from 1877 to 1881 in Tauranga, New Zealand. 11 In the Autumn of 1877 he was advertising in the local newspaper as " Mutton Hams on Sale - by John G Burslem - Sole agent for East Coast" and as "Mutton Ham Depot - a fresh consignment to hand. These hams gained First Prize at the Hawkes Bay Agricultural Show".
In May 1881 a further story read " we have received copies of a map entitled " The Commercial Map of New Zealand" showing the geographical relations of New Zealand to other countries................This map is offered to the public at 1s plain and 2s coloured. Mr John Burslem being the Tauranga Agent"
13. He was a Member of the Tauranga Mechanics Institute in 1881 in Tauranga, New Zealand. 12 The Mechanics Institute seems to have been a combined libary, reading room and museum, funded by public subscription.
14. In 1881 the following story ran: " Mr. John Burslem was engaged at low water yesterday in staking out the Kaimini Ford for Mr.Galbraith. Three stakes and two pegs have been placed in the ford, the pegs being put at each end for the purposes of showing when the tide is low enough for the ford to be crossed safely. Captain Norris and Mr. R.C. Fraser who are daily using this ford came across it just as Mr. Burslem had completed his work and state that is correctly marked. We expect that those who use the ford will contribute towards the cost of this useful work. It speaks badly for the old residents that a work of this kind should be left toa new chum to carry out." 13
15. He travelled to England from New Zealand in Sep 1883 14 The Bay of Plenty Times reported on Sep 15 1883 " Our readers will notice that another Tauranga man is again to take a trip to the old country. Mr. Burslem will undertake any commissions for friends who wish to avail themselves of his services. This is an opportunity not to be lost, as Mr. Burslem is not making a long stay at home."
In advertisements in the Bay of Plenty Times on Sep 13 1883 John Godolphin Burslem indicates that he will be returning to New Zealand in January 1884
16. He emigrated to Australia from 1885 to 1886 from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 15 There is a record of a John Burslem arriving in Sydney from New Zealand in February 1886.
The Bay of Plenty Times reported on July 20, 1888 " we have seen a letter from a former Tauranga man who is now in Croydon, Queensland......The writer mentions that the following Tauranga men who are in this mining town,viz., Messrs Harvey, Kirk and Burslem......."
17. He was a Miner 1888 - abt 1890 in Croydon, Australia. 16 The Bay of Plenty Times reported on July 20, 1888 " we have seen a letter from a former Tauranga man who is now in Croydon, Queensland......The writer mentions that the following Tauranga men who are in this mining town,viz., Messrs Harvey, Kirk and Burslem......."
Wikipedia says this about Croydon. "Croydon is a town in Queensland, Australia. At the 2006 census, the town and surrounding area had a population of 255.The Shire of Croydon website shows that the historic goldrush town of Croydon is located in the heart of the Gulf Savannah, 562 km west of Cairns. When first settled in the 1880s Croydon was a large pastoral holding covering an area of approximately 5,000 km². Gold was discovered in 1885 and by 1887, the town's population had reached 7,000. Gold was to be the mainstay of the district for four decades. The Mining Warden left in 1926 as there were too few miners left on the field. During its heyday, Croydon was the fourth largest town in the colony of Queensland.
It seems probable that given John Godolphin Burslem's experiencein surveying the confiscated lands in New Zealand and his subsequent activities in gold mining in South Africa he was very much involved in the mining activity around Croydon, probably on the surveying and claims side.
18. He emigrated to to South Africa in 1890. 17 He then moved to Rhodesia with the telegraph laying party.
19. He was involved in a tributing syndicate at the old Orkney Mine about 1892 in Orkney, South Africa. 17 Webster's Dictionary explains it as follows" A system under which a syndicate of miners delivers ore at the pithead at an agreed price. This system may be used where ore deposits are too small and scattered to conduct normal mining activities. "Tributors" work and deliver their ore to the owner and receive payment based on the ore's ascertained value."
20. He travelled to England from South Africa about 1895 18 He married Theodosia Chambers in January 1896. His address on the certificate of marriage is given as 42 Hamilton Gardens, Maida Vale, London.
21. He served in the Anglo Boer War from 1899 to 1902 in Cape Colony, South Africa 19 He served as a clerk in the Army Service Corps.
22. About 1902 he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasp "Cape Colony",. 19
23. He travelled to England from South Africa from Jul to Nov 1909 20 He travelled on the "Dover Castle" and disembarked in Southampton about July 20, 1909. He had joined the ship in Durban,Natal and his occupation is shown as Clerk. He returned to South Africa in November 1909 on the "Goorkha", disembarking at the Cape. His occupation is shown as Goldiner. This is probably a transcription error of Gold Miner.
24. He was caretaker before 1910 in the old Wolverand Mine, South Africa. 21 A report of SK Consulting Engineers dated September 1 2005 indicates that the Rietland Mine and the adjacent Wolverand mine started mining operations in 1888.
25. He was a member of a Masonic Lodge before 1923 in South Africa. His obituary states that he was not associated with a Lodge at the time of his death but five officials of Royal Albert Lodge acted as pall-bearers.
26. He had an estate probated at £20 in 1924 in London, England. 22 Probate was granted to Harold Herman Guest, solicitor.
Spouses and Children
1. *Theodosia Chambers (Abt 1853 - ) Marriage: 11 Jan 1896 - Scottish National Church, Bond Street, London
1. UK Census (Various), 1851. Surety: 3.
2. UK Census (Various), 1861 Census. Surety: 0.
3. Mitchell Libarary, Sydney, Australia, Log book of the Napier. Mss 2344 YV 541. Referenced Log of Logs, vol 1 by Ian Nicholson. Surety: 3. .... Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Daily Southern Cross. February 16 1865. Arrival of the Napier. Listed as Capt. Burslen and J. Bur-len. Surety: 3.
4. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Daily Southern Cross, Jun 5 1866, page 4. Surety: 3. .... New Zealand National Archives (Births, Marriages and Deaths), Agency LS, Series 69, box 6, record 276a. Surety: 4.
5. (Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand. Reprint of obituary in Record of Kerksdorf and Western Transvaal , June 15 1923), Surety: 3. .... Richard Stowers, The New Zealand Medal for Colonials, Entry. Surety: 3. .... Ancestry.com, New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981. Electoral year 1875-76, East Coast, Hawkes Bay. Search for Burslem. Surety: 4.
6. Richard Stowers, The New Zealand Medal for Colonials, Entry. Surety: 3.
7. Pioneer Land Surveyors of New Zealand, Part iv, Biographical Notes. Surety: 3.
8. Pioneer Land Surveyors of New Zealand, Part iv, Biographical Notes. Surety: 3. .... Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times Nov 18 1889. Surety: 3.
9. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Daily Southern Cross, Apr 4 1871 page 2 and April 21 1871, page 3. Surety: 2.
10. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times - multiple references from June 3 1876 to Dec 11 1884. Surety: 3. .... Ancestry.com, New Zealand Electoral Rolls 1853-1981. Electoral year 1875-76, East Coast, Hawkes Bay. Search for Burslem. Surety: 4.
11. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times including Oct 24 1877 p2, Dec 5 1877 p2 and May 17 1881 p2. Surety: 3.
12. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times. Jan 20 1881 page 2. Surety: 4.
13. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times. Mar 17 1881. Surety: 3.
14. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times. Sep 13 1883 Page 3 and Sept 15 1883. Surety: 3.
15. Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922 (Ancestry co.uk), Search for John Burslem. Surety: 1. .... Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times. July 20, 1888. Surety: 4.
16. Historical Newspapers of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast), Bay of Plenty Times. Jul 20 1888. Surety: 3. .... Pioneer Land Surveyors of New Zealand, Part iv, biographical notes. page 325. Surety: 2.
17. (Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand. Reprint of obituary in Record of Kerksdorf and Western Transvaal , June 15 1923), Surety: 3.
18. Marriage Certificate/ Licences etc, Copy of Marriage Certificate. Surety: 4.
19. Richard Stowers, The New Zealand Medal for Colonials, Entry. Surety: 3. .... Register of 2nd Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 (www.casus-belli.co.uk), Search for Burslem. Surety: 4.
20. Ancestry.co.uk, UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960. Southampton, England ,1909, July, Dover Castle. Listing of Mr.J.G.Burslem. Surety: 2. .... Findmypast.co.uk, Passenger Manifests. Ship Goorkha to the Cape, South Africa, Nov 27 1909. Surety: 3.
21. (Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand. Reprint of obituary in Record of Kerksdorf and Western Transvaal , June 15 1923), Surety: 4.
22. Ancestry.co.uk, England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 [database on-line]. Search for John Godolphin Burslem. Surety: 4.
23. (India Office - British Library.), Search for Burslem. Surety: 4.
24. Gentleman's Magazine, 1850 page 683. Surety: 4.