Thomas Cheeseman

Thomas Cheeseman (1815 - 1907)

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Thomas Cheeseman
Born in Tetney, Lincolnshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Christs Church, Sculcoats, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Auckland, New Zealandmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Nov 2010
This page has been accessed 1,529 times.

Categories: Artemisia, sailed 28 November 1853.


Christening: 10 SEP 1815
Tetney, Lincoln, England
Mother: ANN

THOMAS CHEESEMAN Thomas Cheeseman was born on September 4th 1815 at Tetney in Lincoinshire where his father was a farmer. He was educated at Humberston Grammar School to the north of Tetney. He applied himself diligently to his training, and, at the age of twenty five was admitted as a clergyman of The Methodist Church. A popular and forceful preacher, he was appointed to a prominent position in Hull.

He married Eliza Cawkwell on October 1st 1844 at Christ's Church in Sculcoates, Kingston-upon-Hull. Their first child, a boy, was born prematurely on June 8th 1845, and christened Thomas Frederick. This child was very delicate and many times nearly died of convulsions saved only by the devotion of his mother and the attention of a good physician. (There were three physicians and forty surgeons in Hull at that time:)

Number 3 William St. where they lived, was built of brick, as were all the houses in the street. The streets were paved, with boulder stones of whin or granite and afforded a tolerably uniform surface. The Methodist Chapel was at the end of the street. The whole area was bombed during the last war, No. 3 being among the few houses left standing in 1945.

One hundred years earlier, William Street was on the doorstep of the farmlands and Thomas, brought up on a farm himself, spent much time wandering beyond the urban development to visit the farms and farmers.He found it: pleasant to roam in the woods and fields, to see the young corn springing, and here and there a farmhouse and barn, to talk with the farmers, to feel the wind blowing from the River Humber across the flats, and to see the gulls flying overhead.

A daughter, Emma, was born November 4th 1846, and at the end of 1847, they were moved to Scarborough. Their household goods were sent by horse drawn wagon, and they traveled by the stage-coach called The "Wellington", which left every day (Sundays excepted), at 6.00am from the 'Cross Keys Inn' in Market Place.

At Scarborough they lived at 24 St. Mary's Street. This was a very different setting from that in Hull. St. Mary's Street was close to Castle Hill, where stood the battered old medieval castle on it's sandstone pedestal. On one side and below, the sea was dotted with the brown sails of the fishing fleet, on the other side were the sloping lands leading to the moors and the dales, while to the north was almost a wilderness. A second daughter, Ellen, was born in Scarborough, on September 6th 1848.

In 1851 Eliza's brother, Thomas Cawkwell, came to visit them from New Zealand where he had done well, and tried to persuade them to return with him. Both Tom and Emma remembered this visit well and his stories of the new colony.

At the end of that year they were moved to Doncaster, and here, on July 16th 1852, Clara was born at Number 2 Priory Place. This was an old refectory with stone flags on the floor, and a big Norman gateway through which the French prisoners had passed during the Napoleonic Wars earlier that century.

At this time Thomas began to suffer from a weakness of the Throat, and although it did not affect his general health, he had to give up preaching. He therefore decided to emigrate to New Zealand. following his brother-in-law and his younger brother George.

Thomas Cheeseman resigned the charge of his parish at Doncaster late in the year 1853 and with his wife and family, and his wife's two sisters - Harriet and Sarah (their father having died some six or seven years before), he left for London where they made many purchases on the advice of Thomas Cawkwell.

On December 2nd 1853 they went on board 'Artemisia' at Tilbury. She was a barque of 550 tons under Captain Samuel Banes and carried some 40 passengers, including many children.. The Cheesernan family, including the Cawkwell sisters, had a large cabin in the stern, said to be the best on board.

As they were about to sail, the fact that there was no doctor on board was of great concern because of the large number of children. To the relief of all, a young man of considerable ability was rapidly found by the agent Brown and Campbell and the barque was able to sail on December 3rd. No sooner had they put into the North Sea than the were run into by a Dutch lugger which ripped away their jib boom so they had to put back to Gravesend for its repair. At this point stories differ - family history relates the above version, whereas "White Wings" by Henry Brett, Vol I states - "experienced rough weather in the Channel and was run aboard by an American clipper, which caused considerable damage".

At last they were able to sail again and came to the Canary Is which were considered to be beautiful. In Tenerife Tom and Emma went ashore and returned with oranges to the delight of the family and the envy of the other passengers.

The children's main Christmas memory was of the large dish of 'snapdragon' and their envy while watching the adults plucking raisins from its burning brandy.

The Horse Latitudes brought with them the usual becalmed days. These were followed by the excitements of the Equator and its attendant ceremonies. Captain Banes had told Sarah that the Cheeseman children were to be sure to see the whole spectacle. King Neptune's ambassador came on board over the rail late in the afternoon. He brought congratulations from the "King" but understood certain subjects had not yet been presented. The following day many, including Mr. A.Danvers (a future run holder in Hawkes Bay) were soaped, shaved and dipped. Thornas senior pleaded the cloth as reason for exemption.

More calms were experienced as they sailed south. Then in the south Atlantic they saw Tristan d'Cunha. They continued dipping far to the south so they could catch the 'Roaring Forties' and therefore be blown quickly across the Indian Ocean where they saw Kerguelen. In fact they were so far south (Kerguelen lies about 50 degrees South ), that they saw whales spouting, to their great excitement.

While in the Indian Ocean one of the stewards went into a small cabin in the stern with a lamp. While there, he slipped and fell, breaking the lamp so that his clothes caught on fire. He ran out and caught on Sarah. The steward was ill for some days but Sarah's injuries are not mentioned! Everyone said that the accident could have been much worse.

As they approached New Zealand, skimming past Cape Reinga, Tom, lying on deck heard breakers in Spirits Bay and ran to tell Captain Banes who said he had heard that noise only once before as a young man just before the ship he was on was wrecked on a reef. This time however "Artemisia" was safely turned away from the rocks.

So finally they arrived in Auckland late in the afternoon of 4th April 1854, their journey having taken five months.

The passengers were so thankful to have arrived safely at their destination after their many adventures en route, that they wrote to thank Captain Banes as follows:

To Captain S. Banes Dear Sir, At the end of a Voyage not without its circumstances of peril and providential deliverance we desire to express our sense of the unfailing courtesy and unwearied attention we have had from you during our passage from England.

We wish also, and especially on behalf of the ladies on board, to convey through you, our thanks to Mrs. Banes for the general interestshe has taken in the health and comfort of the passengers.

Accept then dear Sir of our unaffected and cordial acknowledgment ofesteem and gratitude.

Wishing you safety and success in all your future voyaging, permit usto remain

Yours very truly

ARTEMISIA Barque - Voyage 2 Captain Samuel Banes Left Gravesend 28/11/1853, Arrived Auckland 4/04/1854

White Wings, Vol 2, by Sir Henry Brett p. 198 "ARTEMISIA, 550 tons,Captain S. Banes, sailed 3rd December, 1853, arrived 4 April with 40 passengers. Later sailed for New Plymouth. The Artemisia experienced rough weather in the Channel and was run aboard by an American clipper, which caused considerable damage." AGENTS: BROWN & CAMPBELL, Auckland PASSENGERS

Notes Title: Mrs Mrs Kirby ANDREWS.
Name ANDREWS, Kirby
Name BADLEY, James
Notes Title: Mr
Notes Title: Mrs
Notes Title: Mrs
Name CHEESEMAN, Thomas
Notes Title: Rev
Name CHEESEMAN, Thomas
Name COLESBY, Joseph
Name DANVERS, Alfred
Name DUNN, Ann
Notes Title: Mrs
Name FORDHAM, John Smith
Notes Title: Rev
Name GARDNER, C Hatton
Notes Title: Mr
Name HARDS, John Thomas
Name HILL, Margaret
Name KNAPMAN, Edward
Notes Title: Mr
Notes Title: Mrs
Name NEWTON, Andr. Jas
Notes Title: Miss
Name PITT, Henry
Name SHEARER, Emeline
Notes Title: Mr
Notes Title: Mrs
Name THOMSON, Henry
Name THOMSON, Mary
Name THOMSON, Thomas
Name TIZARD, Henry W
Name TIZARD, William
Notes Title: Mrs Mr & Mrs John VERCOE
Name VERCOE, John
Notes Title: Mr Mr & Mrs John VERCOE
Notes Title: Mrs
Name WILSON, William
Notes Title: Rev

Extract from A Delving into the Past@ by Jackson, E Vol 1.(993.1)page 67 (note that details in brackets are my additions - corrections to the original)

Early Owners of Allotment 6. (around 1856/7) Seven months later he sold the land for ,700. The buyers were the Rev. Thomas Greenwood(Cheeseman) and his younger brother George Henry, the sons of a tenant farmer of Tetney, Lincolnshire. After five years they sold the estate to the St. John's College Trust Board for 1500.

George Henry Cheeseman had arrived in New Zealand early in 1853 about 18 months before his older brother. He was then a bachelor of 26. Soon after arrival he bought from Thomas Cawkwell allotment 13 paying for it the high price of ,2000. (See page 12 of this section.) Later that year he married 21 year old Mary Watson Forbes, a Scottish girl then living at Pamnure who had arrived in New Zealand on the Slain's Castle in January 1841. Their marriage was solemnised in St Thomas's Church. When their first child was born the couple were living on a farm in Epsom with the Rev. Thomas Greenwood(Cheeseman) and his family and were probably trying to sell their Tamaki farm. It was not until early in 1856 that they did dispose of it; it was then conveyed to W.I. Taylor "as security for

LAND TRANSFER Land transfer from Henry Keesing to Thomas Cheeseman, of allotment called Bird Grove on the corner of Great South Road and Market Road. Solicitor for the conveyance, Thomas Russell in partnership with Frederick Whittacker.

Electoral Roll for the year 1865 - 66 City of Auckland East

Cheeseman George Henry Onehunga Cheeseman Thomas Remuera

ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY EXTRACT Best known of the remaining astronomers of the century would probablybe Thomas Cheeseman who came to Auckland in 1851. Born in 1815,Cheeseman became a Primitive Methodist minister but the cold, foggy winters of England gave him a throat affliction which affected his speech and prevented public speaking and led him to seek the clearer air of New Zealand.

Here his voice was apparently restored to its full vigour for in 1861 he became a member of the Provincial Council and remained one until its abolition in 1876. He was also a member of the provincial education board, first chairman of the Remuera Road Board, chairman of the board of railway commissioners, pushing the country's first railway a full seven miles to Onehunga. His occupation during that time was that of an auctioneer and estate agent in partnership with a brother.

This man of many parts was described in an obituary notice in the New Zealand Herald as a shrewd and far-seeing administrator, a calm and incisive speaker and a politician of outstanding integrity.

At his residence at Maranui, on Little Rangitoto, Remuera, Cheeseman erected an observatory at which he carried on his study of the heavens. The observatory, naturally, became a focal point for others with similar interests and out of this association arose the origina lAuckland Astronomical Society. This was apparently founded by his son, Thomas Frederick Cheeseman, later to become curator of Auckland's first museum, and is believed to have included in its membership Dr Mackellar and Mr Archibald McCosh Clark, the latter at one time Mayor of Auckland.

Cheeseman was given a refracting telescope by Mr Porter, of E. Porter and Company, but there is some evidence that he was himself a skilled telescope maker at a time when only a handful of men knew the art.

The Herald obituary says: "He made a hobby of practical astronomy and constructed several telescopes, both reflectors and refractors, for his own use. He made all the pieces of the instruments, grinding the lenses, both object glass and eyepiece, and fixing them in their proper positions in the tubes. They were very complete and efficient instruments."

A grand-daughter, Mrs Grant-Taylor, of Remuera, told the writer recently that she remembers visiting Cheeseman's workshop when he was aged 90. The walls, she said, were covered with lenses and other optical apparatus.

Little is known of Cheeseman's work as an astronomer nor of the activities of the astronomical society, because when he died in 1907 at the age of 92, his nieces destroyed all his papers which must have included the records of the astronomical society.

It seems, however, that he was a dilettante rather than a worker in astronomy. When the transit of Venus occurred in 1881 a party of friends gathered with him to see the rare phenomenon. He reported to the newspaper, however, that no observations were made at his observatory. This fine distinction between seeing and observing is one which is sometimes not realised even at the present time.

That we know less of the other astronomers of the time arises from the fact that they were rarely quoted in permanent records. There is evidence, however, that several of them were observers of some ability.


No. 58348 Place of Registration: Auckland Name & Surname: Thomas Cheeseman Profession or Occupation: Gentleman Sex. Age. Date of Birth: M 92 When Died: 24 September 1907 Where Died: Remuera Where Born: Lincolnshire England How Long in New Zealand: 53 years Name & Surname of Father: Joseph Cheeseman Name and Surname of Mother: Ann Cheeseman Maiden Surname of Mother: Robinson rofession or Occupation of Father: Farmer Where Married: Yorkshire England Age at Marriage: 29 To Whom Married: Eliza Cawkwell If Issue Living, Ages nad Sex M: 61; 52; F:60; 58; 54 When Buried: 27 September 1907 Where Buried: Purewa Cause of Death and Intervals Influenza,Some Days between Onset&Death:Heart Failure Certifying Medical Attendant: Dr MacKellar When last saw Deceased: 24 September 1907

OBITUARY A VETERAN PROVINCIAL COUNCILLOR THE LATE MR T CHEESEMAN With the death of Mr Thomas Cheeseman, which sad event occurred rather suddenly at his residence at Remuera on Tuesday evening, passes away another of the few gentlemen who were closely associated with the early government of Auckland province. The Late Mr Cheeseman was born on September 4, 1815 at Tetney, a village situated between Grimsby and Louth in Lincolnshire, his father being a tenant farmer. He was educated at Humbertson Grammar School, and it was the intention of his parents to put him to a trade, but he chose the Church in preference. He applied himself diligently to the course of training necessary to fit him for the ministry and at the age of 26 he was admitted as a clergyman of the Methodist Church. Quickly becoming a popular and influential minister, and developing into a forceful preacher, he was appointed to prominent positions in the Church, residing successively at Hull, Scarborough, and Doncaster. In 1854 a weakness of the throat, not affecting his general health, compelled him to give up preaching,and he thereupon decided to emigrate to New Zealand. Taking passage with his wife and family in the barque Artemisia, he arrived at Auckland about April 1854 and immediately after landing on colonial shores he threw himself into religious, educational and political matters. His wide knowledge on all questions pertaining to these movements was soon recognised, and it was not too long before the deceased was elevated to responsible public positions.

Mr Cheeseman was appointed a member of the Provincial Council of Auckland at a very early date and represented first Parnell, and then Newton, until the abolition of the Councils was bought about. While Mr Robert Graham held the position of Superintendent of the Province, the deceased for many years acted as a member of the Provincial Executive. In the years 1862 and 1863 he urged in the Council the construction of a railway between Auckland and Drury, with a branch to Onehunga and mainly through his unflagging efforts in that direction the Auckland Drury Railway Bill, providing the construction of such a railway, was passed. A Board of Commissioners, consisting of Mr Cheeseman as Chairman, Messers Newman, Jerome Cadman (the father of the Late Sir Alfred Cadman), and William Rowe, was appointed to supervise the carrying out of the railway scheme, and Messers James Stewart and Samuel Harding were selected as engineers. Considerable progress was made under the regime with the section of railway between Auckland and Onehunga, but the funds available at the time were not sufficient to complete the line, and the work was hung up in an unfinished state until several years later when it was taken up and completed by the New Zealand Government. The Board of Commissioners purchased a considerable amount of rolling stock at the time, and it is stated that some of the carriages are still in use on the Auckland Lines.

Mr Cheeseman was appointed a member of the first Education Board constituted under the Provincial Council for Auckland, his fellow committeemen being Revs, David Bruce, J. F. Lloyd, A. Reid and Messers J. Brennan, A. Clarke, H. M. Jervis, Laughlin Brien and W. Phillipps. Of these gentlemen, Mr Bruce is believed to be the only one who survives. At the same time, Mr Cheeseman served on the committee of the Y.M.C.A., and other societies in Auckland. In addition he took considerable interest in local government and was the first chairman of Remuera Road Board, and occupied the position for a number of years. Through his influence in the Provincial Council a number ofeducational and other reserves were obtained, both for Remuera and neighbouring suburban districts. In 1858 he entered into partnership with his brother the late Mr G.H. Cheeseman, as auctioneers and landand estate agents. A few years later the firm amalgamated with that of Mr W. Hunter, the business being carried on under the name of Cheeseman and Hunter. Mr Cheeseman retired from the firm in 1866 and after being conducted by Messers Hunter and Nolan for some years the business was ultimately merged into the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company. After the passage of the first land Tax Bill he was appointed by the Government as valuer and assessor, and earned the confidence of the Department as well as of the public, by the fairness and straightforwardness of his valuations. He was also employed in the same capacity by the Public Works Office and the Government Insurance Department, carrying out a portion of this work until 1899, when advancing age compelled him to relinquish the work.

The deceased made a hobby of practical astronomy, and constructed several telescopes, both reflectors and refractors, for his own use.He made all pieces of the instruments, grinding the lens, both object glass and eye-piece, and fixing them in their proper positions in the tubes. They were very complete and efficient telescopes. At his residence at Remuera he had an observatory fully fitted up and provided with revolving roof and shutters, presented to him inrecognition of is valuable assistance, by the American astronomers who came out to New Zealand to observe the last transit of Venus. He retained full use of his faculties right up to the last, and notwithstanding his advanced age, his mind was as bright and active as ever. Three weeks ago he was attacked by influenza, and although he succeeded in getting over that illness, symptoms of heart failure were manifested and deceased passed away at about nine o'clock on Tuesday evening. His wife pre-deceased him by 15 years, and he leaves a family of two sons (Mr T. F. Cheeseman, curator of the Auckland Museum and Mr W. J Cheeseman, building contractor) and three daughters.

The late Mr Cheeseman, who outlived most of his political contemporaries, was always regarded as a gentlemen of unquestioning honesty and integrity, actuated always by the highest motives, and adhering unfalteringly to what he considered was right. He was an assiduous worker, thorough and methodical in his plans, and a shrewd and farseeing administrator, a calm but incisive speaker, always just and impartial to an opponent. He was of a generous and sympathetic nature, and supported with vigour all causes tending to advance the welfare of the masses. His loyalty to the interests of the province,and his confidence in its development, made a deep impression on those with whom he came in contact. The very large circle of friends he made will deeply deplore his demise, the interment will be of a private character.


This person was created through the import of gt tree 2010-10-25.ged on 08 November 2010.

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On 6 Aug 2017 at 02:02 GMT Sharon Casteel wrote:

Cheeseman-470 and Cheeseman-72 appear to represent the same person because: Same wife; same son Thomas Frederick. Death date needs resolving but shouldn't prevent a merge.

Thomas is 30 degrees from SJ Baty, 35 degrees from Orville Redenbacher and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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