Sir William Jukes Steward

Category Three: Nationally Recognised Notable New Zealanders

Date of birth

20 January 1841 at Reading, England


31 October 1912


Married Hannah Whitefoord 4 December 1873


One son and three daughters (born in Oamaru)


  • King Edward VI Gramma School, Ludlow
  • Dr Benham’s Commerical School, Gloucester


  • Travelled to New Zealand on the “Queen of the Mersey” 1862
  • Draper, Christchurch 1863
  • Editor, Oamaru Times 1867
  • Otago Provincial Council 1875-76
  • Mayor of Oamaru 1875-77
  • Member of House of Representatives for Waitaki 1871-75
  • Newspaper Proprietor (purchased the Waimate Times 1879) and later the Ashburton Mail and Guardian
  • Represented Waimate in Parliament 1881-1912 (in 41 yeas in Parliament missed attendance only once due to steamer breakdown)
  • Speaker of the House 1891-1893
  • Member Legislative Council June 1912
  • Also known as “The Beast with a Bill” a title given to him by his parliamentary colleagues, because of his passion for the introduction of bills to the House


  • Knighted 1902
  • Memorial tablet erected in St Augustine Church, Waimate

Other activities

  • Member Waimate High School Board
  • Member Ashburton High School Board
  • Member South Canterbury Board of Education
  • Served on Dock Trust and its successor the Harbour Board
  • Instrumental in establishing Government settlements at Nukuroa, Waitaki and Wainono
  • Promoted the acquisition of the Waikakahi and Pareora Estate for closer settlement


  • Volunteer Rifle Companies
  • Horticultual Society


  • Volume of Poems “Carmina Varia” 1867
  • “The Rhyme of the Mapourika” 1903
  • “Parliamentary Procedure” 1904
  • “The Vision of Aorangi” 1906

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021