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Dunedin's Buried History

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HARRIS, JOHN

John Hyde Harris 1826 - 26 July 1886

John Hyde Harris was born in Oxfordshire and trained as a lawyer before sailing to Otago in 1850, becoming Dunedin's second lawyer. His ambition was to create a fortune worthy of his Clarendon ancestors, an old aristocratic family.

Within a year Harris married Anne Cargill, daughter of William Cargill, who became the first Superintendent of Otago in 1853. Family life must have been challenging as Harris went into politics and was often at odds with his father-in-law, siding with his brother-in-law William Cutten. Harris was a member of the "little enemy", prominent Englishmen who were the thorns in the side of the Scottish founders of Dunedin. Harris became the Superintendent of Otago after defeating John Richardson from 1863 to 1865 and he was president of the successful 1865 Dunedin Exhibition. He gained a prominent position in national politics when he became the Solicitor-General in Stafford's government (1867-68). Harris had acquired high social standing in Dunedin, worthy of his Clarendon ancestors.

Harris also speculated on land, on the Taieri and in North Dunedin. Tragedy struck, however, in the late 1860s when his investments failed and he lost £28,000; he declared himself insolvent. Forced to resign from politics and return to being a lawyer, he never recovered his losses. In the end he died in Dunedin in 1886 after a year of imprisonment for debt, with only a hundred pounds in the bank.

Amanda Kennedy


John Hyde Harris

Monumental Inscription


IN
MEMORY OF
EDITH ELEANOR HYDE-HARRIS
SECOND DAUGHTER OF
JOHN HYDE-HARRIS
AND
ANNIE CUNNINGHAM HIS WIFE
SHE DIED
ON THE 6. DAY OF JANUARY 1874,
AGED 17 YEARS.
BEAUTIFUL IN LIFE,
BLESSED IN DEATH,
GLORIOUS IN THE RESURRECTION.
JOHN HYDE-HARRIS,
DIED JULY 24th 1886
AGED 59.

On the left side of the monument:-

IN MEMORY OF
MARY STUART
BELOVED WIFE OF
EDMUND HYDE-HARRIS
DIED APRIL 6th 1963.

On the right side of the monument:-

IN
MEMORY OF
ANNIE CUNNINGHAM HYDE-HARRIS
SECOND DAUGHTER OF
CAPTAIN WILLIAM CARGILL 74th REGT.
AND WIFE OF
JOHN HYDE-HARRIS ESQUIRE
SHE DIED
18th JANUARY 1881
AGED 51 YEARS.
HIS SON EDMUND DIED 25th APRIL 1906
HIS DAUGHTER ANNIE MARIA CARGILL
DIED 11th DEC. 1929
AND HER HUSBAND ANTHONY McMASTER
DIED 8TH NOV. 1925
HIS GRANDSON
EDMUND ANTHONY HYDE-HARRIS
DIED 12th OCT. 1955
AGED 68 YEARS.



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