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Charles William Schultze

Australia and New Zealand

THE EVENING POST. November 18 1929

Though possessing a name with a German appearance, Charles William Schultze was by birth a Scot, the son of an Edinburgh merchant. As a young man he sailed to Australia and in Sydney obtained a position in the firm of Wellers Brothers.

The name of Weller is well known in the early history of Otago. Three brothers, Joseph, George and Edward there appear to have been, and they were enterprising merchant ship-owners and whalers. Towards the end of 1831, McNab tells us, they established a whaling station in Otago harbour, where they encountered almost as much trouble from the opposition of Jones as from the none-too-friendly natives.

In 1832 their station was totally destroyed by a fire which burned down 80 houses (probably most or them were raupo huts). But they persevered, building and buying ship after ship, and overcoming obstacle after obstacle. One of their schooners which was in Port Nicholson in 1824 assisted in the rescue of Guard and his comrades belonging to the Harriet.

Giving evidence before the Legislative Council of New South Wales in 1839, George Weller claimed to have purchased 400,000 acres of land in Otago from Tairoa, a prominent chief, and announced his intention of settling a colony of white people upon it. A month or too later Schultze was sent down on behalf of the firm in the schooner Henry Freeling which was to bring back for the Australian market a cargo on Otago potatoes.

Unfortunately she was wrecked at Tautuku about September 1839, and it was some months before Schultze found his way back to Sydney in the Weller's schooner Lucy Anne. Though that he new of Otago, it is known that Schultze's interest in that province was not dead, for in 1844, when the New Edinburgh scheme was definitely postponed, we find him obtaining a refund of the money that he had paid to the New Zealand Company for two sections of land.

Having married a daughter (Annie Meek Weller (1820)) of one of the partners, Schultze was closely associated With the firm, for whom he returned to New Zealand in 1842 on a trading voyage in the schooner Shepherdess, which he commanded, After a few voyages to Tahiti for cargoes of fruit for this market (the last was in 1844) he decided to remain in Wellington, and started in business as a flour miller at Kaiwarra. The mill, built these by him and Mr. Matheson, contained two pairs of stones, and was successfully operated by Schultze for 20 years until he retired from business. The dam was visible until the erection of the Atlantic Union oil tanks on the spot a year or two ago. The granary was established in Willis Street.

Schultze, like most of the successful businessmen of the day took a strong interest in the public affairs of the province. He was an officer of militia in the days when active service was always a propility, being gazetted captain in 1863. From 1863 until his death he was a Justice of the Peace.

When self-government came into force, Schultze who had been a member of the Settlers Association, did not long remain outside politics. At the first election he was defeated by Brown, but in 1854 he was elected to represent Wellington City in the Provincial Council and he continued in the council with a gap of a few months until 1865.

During Fetherston's Superintendency he was Speaker from 1861 to 1865, and on four occasions he was called upon to act in the absence of Fetherston as Deputy-Superintendent. This service was recognised by a handsome personal gift or a silver cup from the Superintendent. In the council Schultze was a useful member but his speakership was not altogether a bed of roses. Politics ran high in those days, and an opposition paper referred to Schultze in such uncomplimentary terms that he left impelled to take action to vindicate not less his personal character than the dignity of the Speakership. The slanderous sheet, relying upon its unique world wide knowledge of personalities declared that he was the ugliest and most ill-behaved man in any assembly in the British Empire. A Jury found for Schultze and awarded him ?200 damages. This he never received, for the good reason that the paper Caused publication.

Schultze was a good Presbyterian, and was a member of the building committee of St. Andrew's Church in 1866. He was also a prominent freemason, being an early member of the Pacific Lodge. He was one of the first directors, in 1877, of the Wellington Steam Tramways Company.

He died on 2nd March 1879, leaving a widow, one son and several daughters.

People related to this content: Annie Meek Weller (Born:1820-05-07), Charles William Schultze (Born:1813-06-18), Edward Weller (Born:1814-07-06), George Weller (Born:1805-12-26), Joseph Brooks Weller (Born:1802-08-01),

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