BUSH, William Henry

William Henry Bush
Photographic Collector

  William Henry Bush
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,
Sir,— 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.
Mr 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. 1864/13054
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. 1867/23559
Benjamin 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. 1869/26645

5. Rose Alice Bush reg. 1870/29620

6. Charles Bush reg. 1872/29339

7. George Henry Bush reg. 1873/41063
George 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)

8. Arthur James Bush reg. 1875/15005

9. May Bush reg. 1877/10175

10. Ralph Leslie Bush reg. 1881/4460


Anonymous said...

I have very much enjoyed reading this article on Mr Bush and the article on The early settlers collection. Does anybody know what has happen to the collection? Does the canterbury museum have it in its collection or does another person have it for viewing?

Early Canterbury Photography said...

I certainly hope the collection has survived, I am planning to contact the museum regarding its current status. It is certainly a collection that the museum has kept quite about considering its historical importance.