It was mentioned the other day in a paragraph in "The Press" that a local resident had presented the Mayor with two old photographs of Christchurch scenes. It seems that here is the germ of an idea that might well be developed - the securing and preservation, either in the City Council offices or the Museum, of a series of photographs which would show the changes occurring continually in the city and suburbs and almost unnoticed by those who see them taking place. The desirableness of such a collection, its future interest and historical value, can be realised by remembering that the present-day knowledge possessed by most of us regarding the infant city of Christchurch is obtained from pictures reproduced from photographs taken by that pioneer of photography in Christchurch, Dr. Barker.
The views shown in the illustrated lecture on old Christchurch, which used to to given a good many years ago by the late Mr G. R. Hart, in conjunction with Mr E. W. Seager, were, we believe, reproductions of these photographs. They were deeply interesting twenty-five years ago - a century hence I they will be extraordinarily so. In a lesser, but not greatly diminished degree, the same can be said of photographs, if any exist, of the Christchurch of the '80's and '90's. Let any of our readers try to imagine Cathedral square, for instance, as it was then, or High street, or the Carlton road, or, going out of the city, large areas of St. Albans, and Riccarton, and Fendalton. If he has a good "eye-memory" he may be able to picture these places and districts as they were, say, in 1893, but the chances are that his recollection of most of them would be imperfect, to say the best of it. And it would be the same a quarter of a century hence with anyone trying to recall the appearance of a city street or suburban road in 1918.
In any scheme of a photographic history of the city, the parks and public gardens should not be overlooked. The parks naturally alter less than other parts, but even there the growth of the trees has quite changed the landscape, and portions of the gardens have altered even in the past few years almost beyond recognition by anyone who has not lived here all the time.
The matter may seem trivial now, but if it is worth doing at all, as we believe it is, it should be begun without much delay. It is only a matter of comparatively few years before all the old buildings in Christchurch will have disappeared, and all the unoccupied areas around it will be built upon. There is a fine collection of photographs of the pioneers in the Museum; let the present generation see to it that they preserve some adequate record of the Christchurch of which those early settlers laid the foundations.
Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16136, 14 February 1918, Page 6
A Photographic History
To The Editor of "The Press."
Sir, — Following on your leading article under above title in "The Press," February 14th, you will, be interested, to know the recommendation contained in the leader is further reaching than you may have anticipated, and I shall not be required to beg pardon for referring to the subject again. The Rev. Canon Stack, from far-away Great Britain, who had occasion to thank me for finding a much cherished but long-lost photograph taken in the early sixties, proves in the following extract, which I take the liberty of quoting, what a deep interest would be felt in the photographic history of Canterbury, which it appears was contemplated by Dr. Barker about 1865:
"You have given me something that I shall prize highly, the photo of my old church, St. Stephen's, Kaiapoi, taken by Dr. Barker. I have fretted a good deal about the loss of an original copy which Mr S. Barker gave me. It was with several others I treasured when we moved from our villa at Bordighera, Italy, to Worthing, England. The history of the original plate is this: Dr. Barker found in photography a pleasant source of recreation, and conceived the idea of forming a pictorial history of the changing period through which Canterbury was passing in the sixties when the old shanties, raupo huts and tents were being replaced by substantial buildings. So he procured a sort of Gipsy van and fitted it as a photographic studio, and then he made a tour of the province commencing with Christchurch, and its immediate neighbourhood. In the course of his tour he appeared one morning at St. Stephen's, I was away on one of my missionary visits to the Peninsula, but Mrs Stack induced a number of the Maoris to gather round the church door, and the school children, under Miss Taylor, the teacher, and our children and the nurse, Miss Comyns, formed part of the group — Mrs Stack is the lady with crinoline in the foreground. The Paddy O'Rafferty in a belltopper is Te Aika, the white beard is Albert Koti, Wi Naehira and C. Tehoika were in the crowd. On getting home I was not quite pleased to find that the natives presented a rather shabby group, or I would rather they had been in Maori mats, but Dr. Barker was in such a hurry he could not wait till more natives had assembled, and had dressed for the occasion."
I wish to stress the fact that the most laudable and hard work of beginning the pictorial history should be kept in view, and the now scattered negatives, as well as the prints from negatives damaged and broken, should be collected, and good enlargements made, for the purposes of the photographic history. It will be the work of many to unite in restoring the pictures to some central depot from which copies may be printed to supply the standard record albums to be preserved in the Canterbury Museum.—
Yours, etc., J. L. W. March 16th.
Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16165, 20 March 1918, Page 9
Fifty Year's Progress in Canterbury,15 December 1900, page 16.
born 24 January 1834 Great Dunmow, Essex, England arrived Lyttelton 3 October 1857 on the "Glentanner" died 22 May 1910 at his residence 131 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch in his 77th year. buried 25 May 1910 Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Christchurch.
In the early 1890's William Henry Bush made a collection of photographs of early settlers to Canerbury which he donated to the Canterbury Museum. Many of these photographs where taken by the photographer Charles Henry Manning. For details of this collection see - The Early Settlers of Canterbury.
Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8175, 18 May 1892, Page 3
Press, Volume L, Issue 8669, 19 December 1893, Page 2
An Old Colonist. To the Editor of the Press,
I understand Mr William Bush, the pioneer painter of the trade in
Christchurch, and who was seventy years of age on Sunday last,
contemplates visiting his talented daughter, Miss M. E. Bush, in London.
He is such an old identity, having arrived here in 1857, and has done
so much for the city, especially in keeping green the memory of old
pioneers and pilgrims by his splendid collection of portraits of them in
the Museum, I think he should not be allowed to leave our shores, even
temporarily, without some recognition, and I hope that steps will be
immediately taken to render the contemplated trip more pleasant and
agreeable, by relieving him of some of the burdens. It could very easily
be done if we extend to him the generosity he has always extended to
others.— I am etc.,
THOS. KENT. Per ship Cressy December 27th, 1850. Christchurch, Jan. 29th, 1904.
Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11805, 1 February 1904, Page 9
Mr. W. H. BUSH is a native of Great Dunmow,
Essex , England, and was born on the 24th of January, 1834 ... Mr. Bush, who is
well known in Christchurch, and the oldest local surviving member of the guild
of house decorators, arrived in Lyttelton by the ship "Glentanner" on
the 3rd of October, 1857. Probably no man living is better acquainted than he
is with Christchurch and the human side of the history of its people. For a
long time he devoted himself to the work of collecting photograph s of the
pioneer and pilgrim settlers of Canterbury, and he presented his collection to
the Christchurch Museum in January, 1895. Since then it has at attracted, and
must continue to attract and interest visitors to the Museum. Mr Bush is the father
of Miss M. E. Bush, pianist and vocalist, whose notice appears in another
section of this volume.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand
Volume 3. - Canterbury Provincial District - 1903, page 357.
Published by The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 153 Manchester Street, Christchurch
Press, Volume LXV, Issue 13606, 15 December 1909, Page 10
Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13626, 8 January 1910, Page 13
Mr William Bush.
William Henry Bush, one of the very old residents of Christchurch, died
yesterday. The late Mr Bush was a native of Great Dunmow, Essex,
England, and was born in 1834. He arrived in Lyttelton by the ship
Glentanner on October 3rd, 1857, and carried on business in Christchurch
for a large number of years. He took a particular interest in the
progress of the new city, and for a long time devoted himself to the
work of collecting photographs of the pioneer and pilgrim settlers of
Canterbury. In 1895 he presented his collection to the Christchurch
Museum, and the photographs have now quite an historic value.
Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13740, 23 May 1910, Page 7
He married Elizabeth Jane Grant the daughter of William Grant and Hannah Lloyd, born 17 November 1841, Bon Common, London (RootsWeb posting). Elizabeth Jane Bush (Bess) died on Christmas morning 1899 at 131 East Belt, Christchurch.
1. Hannah Matilda Bush reg.
born 10 July 1864 at Dunmow Cottage, Hereford Street East, Christchurch, (Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1262, 12 July 1864, Page 3) married 5 July 1893 at St John's Church, Caulfield,
Victoria Frederick Blake Gentry second son of the late Charles Gentry of
Nelson. (Press, Volume L, Issue 8528, 6 July 1893, Page 1)
2. William Grant Bush reg. 1866/1102 William Grant Bush
(eldest son) married 6 July 1910 at St John's Church, Latimer Square,
Christchurch to Clara Emily Louise Clack eldest daughter of Richard
Harding. (Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 13785, 14 July 1910, Page 1)
3. Benjamin John Bush reg.
John Bush married 16 January 1901 at St John's Church, Latimer Square,
Christchurch to Euphemia Maud Piper, eldest surviving daughter of Henry
piper, Upper Riccarton. (Star , Issue 7042, 7 March 1901, Page 3). While painting the Kirwee Hotel on Thursday, Mr John Bush, son of Mr William Bush, painter, Christchurch, had his left arm broken. A long ladder was blown down by the strong wind, and in attempting to save it, Mr Bush was struck on the arm. He Was brought down to Christchurch, and yesterday Dr Oven4en set the arm. Star, Issue 7929, 6 February 1904, Page 5
4. Martha Eleanor Bush reg.
5. Rose Alice Bush reg. 1870/29620
6. Charles Bush reg. 1872/29339
7. George Henry Bush reg.
Henry Bush married at St. Mary's Church, Manchester Street,
Christchurch to Charlotte Elizabeth widow of the late W, F. Hallett.
(Press, Volume LXI, Issue 11799, 25 January 1904, Page 1)
Mr W. Bush, of Cashel street west, painter, has undertaken the task of collecting portraits of the early settlers in Canbury (sic) for presentation to the Museum. He has already secured a large number, all of which have been photographed in uniform style and size by Mr C. H. Manning. With a view of completing the collection, anyone who arrived in Canterbury earlier than 1855 is invited to call at Mr Manning's studio in Colombo street any morning during October to be photographed. In the event of inability to attend in person, a recent photograph or picture may be sent and will be copied and returned. Mr Bush is particularly anxious to secure a separate group of the Mothers of Canterbury who arrived prior to 1855, and trusts that these ladies will permit their photographs to be taken, to be handed down to posterity as mementoes of the early colonists.
Star, Issue 7397, 19 October 1892, Page 3
The Veterans' Club.(cricket) The Veterans fairly opened their season this morning on the Hagley Park ground ... During the luncheon adjournment Mr C. H. Manning, an honorary member of the Club, photographed the members, most of whom are included in the pictures of old identities being prepared for the Canterbury Museum by Mr W. Bush and we are informed that copies of either picture can be obtained at Mr Manning's by early settlers at a nominal charge.
Star, Issue 7401, 24 October 1892, Page 3
Old Times Souvenir. — Mr W, Bush is adding daily to the "Old Time" souvenir group of portraits which he is collecting. Those who send in their photos are requested to note on the back the year of arrival and the ship in which they came out.
Press, Volume XLIX, Issue 8311, 24 October 1892, Page 4
The Early Settlers of Canterbury.
As no less than seven hundred have been already photographed by Mr C. H. Manning, at the invitation of Mr Bush, he wishes to notify that the invitation is closed from this date, and thanks all who responded to his invite. It is imperative that the taking of any more early settlers should be discontinued at present, so as to enable Mr Manning to finish all the work already on hand. Any individual who came by any one of the first four ships, who has not already been taken, will oblige by giving Mr Manning a sitting on behalf of Mr Bush at the earliest convenience, but the taking of all subsequent arrivals to that time must be suspended until further notice owing to carnival time and Christmas holidays. The grouping of those already taken, will now be commenced by Mr Manning, under Mr Bush's instructions, and, when completed, will be placed on exhibit by Mr Bush, either at Mr Manning's studio or at some large and suitable premises in the city for a short period, until removed to the Museum. Facsimile photo copies of each individual already taken singly for this great historical work may now be obtained from Mr C. H. Manning only, at his studio, at a nominal charge. The larger groups, when classified, will be reduced to a uniform size, 15 x 12, and will be obtainable also. This great undertaken will be finished by the second week in February next, 1893, and the execution of such a work, the first in the annals of New Zealand, will, without doubt, be greatly appreciated by all old Canterbury residents, and be handed down to posterity.
Star, Issue 7413, 7 November 1892, Page 3
Star, Issue 4532, 30 December 1892, Page 2
Press, Volume L, Issue 8435, 18 March 1893, Page 1
some kind friend let Mr C. H. Manning, photographer of Christchurch,
know how many people he is sending mad. He is a nice sort of fellow,
and a good photographer, and I'm sure he doesn't mean to do it. Perhaps
he subscribes to the S.P.C.A. He
can't be cruel; and yet how very many people whom he is driving
towards Sunnyside are thinking him the most adjective wretch on the
face of the globe. And
'it's all along o' those early Colonists of Canterbury.' How long is
he to have that awful collection in his window. I have to pass it often
and every time a hideous fascination draws me to gaze on those
simpering, scowling, inane faces. As specimens of art they're excellent;
as samples of humanity — Oh Lord — they are awful. Men I know in town
as clever accountants there appear as grinning donkeys. Good husbands
and kind fathers show there behind masks of sullenness almost amounting
to brutality. One or two shrewd hard headed farmers surely must have
been caught after having not only wetted but thoroughly soaked a good
bar gain in grain. Even
the worthy Dean of Christchurch looks more as perhaps he did at that
first Jockey Club ball at the Golden Fleece, than as we now like to see
our loved and respected Very Rev. For the credit of the Settlement my
friends urge Mr Manning to pass on the crowd. For the peace of their
progeny in mercy hide those awful pictures of their illustrious
may grin, Meath look harmless, and even a bishop look a trifle
inflated, and no one be any the worse. But for goodness sake let us
remember the men and women who did glorious work in the foundation of
our Settlement, as we have seen them at their honest, kindly earnest
work, and not in their 'Sunday clothes' smiling painfully at nothing
and trying to look wise.
(From "our Own Correspondent.) Those early colonists - Allow me to thank Mr C. H. Manning for removing from his window that awful collection of grinning, scowling, and inane photo masks which, under the name of Early Settlers, made his shop studio I beg his pardon horrible and that side of Colombo Street a nightmare for so many weeks. The pen is mighty sometimes. It moved that unique show into the next street where they frighten away the public from a house decorator's premises.
Pioneers. - The third and fourth of the groups of large framed photographs of the pioneers of "Early Canterbury" have just been completed in an artistic manner by Mr C. H. Manning. These pictures are now on view in Mr Bush s shop in Cashel street, and are attracting a good deal of attention. The work is rapidly approaching completion, and three more frames of the photographs of those who arrived in the years 1854-55 will shortly be on exhibition. The groups which will prove of great historical value are to be placed in the Museum, and will form one of the most popular exhibits in that institution.
Press, Volume L, Issue 8583, 9 September 1893, Page 7
Contributions to the Museum.
The Curator acknowledges with thanks the following donations to the Canterbury Museum during the three months ending 30th September, 1893:- Three groups of photographs of Canterbury pioneers and pilgrims, Mr W. Bush... Photographs of moa, Messrs E. Wheeler and Son...
Press, Volume L, Issue 8603, 3 October 1893, Page 3
Press, Volume L, Issue 8667, 16 December 1893, Page 4
Mr W. Bush, House Decorator, 200 Cashel Street, Christchurch
Mr Bush has received a notification from the Museum authorities that they cannot afford further space for the display of the pictures of the old settlers in the Museum. The series, therefore, will not be completed.
Press, Volume LI, Issue 8740, 12 March 1894, Page 6
The Old Settlers' Portraits.
It was an excellent idea of Mr W. H. Bush to form a collection of the photographs of the early settlers of Canterbury, and to place it in the Museum, and it is a thousand pities that the powers that rule the Museum have decided that there is no room for the collection therein. The portraits of the men and women who laid the foundations of Canterbury are as interesting, in their way, as moas, mummies and minerals are in theirs. Even the most careless visitor to the Museum would probably find them attractive. It must be remembered, also, that collections such as that formed by Mr Bush are extremely rare for while it is true that all settlement have preserved the portraits of some few of their most prominent pioneers, it is a very uncommon thing to find gathered together in one place representations of the faces of well nigh the whole body of the early settlers. Mr Bush's collection comprises over five hundred portraits of person who came, to the shores of Canterbury either before the arrival of the historical "first four ships," or in the fifteen years following the formal founding of the settlement.
The pictures are arranged in fourteen frames, of which the museum authorities can find room for only three, that containing portraits of people who were here before the "First Four," and those of settlers of 1851 and 1852. It is to be fervently hoped that a home may be found elsewhere for the whole of this very interesting collection, for it must not be separated. If the bulk of the pictures be placed in some building other than the Museum, the three frames of portraits of the earliest settlers should accompany them. It seems a pity, however, that they cannot all be lodged in the Museum, where they would be seen by the public. Indeed, it would be well if there were added to the Museum a collection, not only of portraits of the old Settlers of Canterbury, but of documents and relics of the early days of the province. Such a collection would grow in value with the growth of time, and in years to come would probably be regarded by the general public as the most interesting feature of the Museum — the most interesting, because the one appealing most directly to certain of the most powerful of their sentiments.
The formation of the collection is a task which might well have been undertaken by the Early Settlers' Association, which, it is to be feared, must itself be numbered with things of the past. However, it may perhaps be revived, or, if not, a society might be formed with the special object of preserving records and relics of the foundation and progress of the settlement. Such societies have been formed elsewhere, for instance, in the American States — not only in the older ones, but in the comparatively young State of Kansas, which has its Historical Society. Excellent work has been done by these organisations, and a society on similar lines here would do much good by preserving memories and mementos which are well worth preservation, but which are in danger of being lost.
Star, Issue 4900, 15 March 1894, Page 2
An Interesting Photograph.
Yesterday Mr W. Bush showed us a photograph of the members of the first police escort which left Christchurch for the West Coast. The picture, which was taken in 1864, is in capital state of preservation. Mr Bush will be glad to show it to anyone interested.
Press, Volume LI, Issue 8872, 15 August 1894, Page 4
The museum authorities are surely a queerly constituted set of people. One would suppose them to be anxious on all occasions to secure for the institution over which they preside such records, mementoes and remembrances of early settlers of Canterbury as may at any time be obtainable.
It is not so, however, and why it should not be so is just one of those things that "no fellah can understand." Our well-known townsman, Mr W. Bush, patriotically enough, set himself to work some time since to get together the photographs of settlers who arrived in Canterbury between the years 1845 and 1860, and he has been very successful indeed. He has arranged and framed the photographs as they became available, and inside every frame he has placed a record of the people, the ships they arrived in, and other valuable information. These groups of photographs are of the greatest value, historically and otherwise, and Mr Bush ia worthy of the best thanks of the people of Canterbury for the good work he has accomplished.
He has succeeded in getting, though very grudgingly, enough space for several of the frames in the Museum; but on applying for space for an additional number of frames, he has been met with a letter from the authorities, stating that they will accept the additional two frames on condition that no more are sent forward!
It may not be considered by the Museum authorities that these pictures are of as much value as the concentrated entanglement of a cobweb, or the fossilised remains of a June bug, but those who are to come after us will know how to appreciate the patriotism of the man who furnished a public institution — at his own personal cost — with an invaluable record of the old identities of Canterbury.
Star, Issue 5037, 24 August 1894, Page 2
Musical Celebrities.— Mr Bush, whose collection of portraits of early settlers has attracted so much attention of late, is how forming a second collection consisting of photographs of the musical celebrities, both visitors and residents, who have appeared in Christchurch. The collection, which is expected to be ready in two or three months' time, will be exhibited at Messrs Milner and Thompson's.
Star, Issue 5047, 5 September 1894, Page 1
R. MacDonald's Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies states that Charles
Manning was "best known for the fact that he took nearly all the
photographs in Bush's famous collection of Early Settlers, now in Canty
Press, Volume LII, Issue 15649, 22 July 1916, Page 8