Grigg Family Tree

John Grigg, (JP)

John Grigg, (JP)

Male 1828 - 1901  (73 years)

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  • Name John Grigg, (JP) 
    Suffix (JP) 
    Born 21 Apr 1828  Bodbrane, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Nov 1901  Longbeach, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I133  griggfamilytree
    Last Modified 31 Jan 2004 

    Father John Grigg,   b. 22 Feb 1796, Bodbrane,Duloe, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Aug 1845, Bodbrane, Duloe, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Mother Christiana Nattle,   b. 1805,   bur. 19 Mar 1835  (Age ~ 30 years) 
    Married 5 Jul 1827  St Ives Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Daughter of Thomas Nattle
    Family ID F62  Group Sheet

    Family Martha Maria Vercoe,   d. 19 Dec 1884, Longbeach, N.Z. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Jun 1855  Otahuhu, Ackland , New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Emily.Catherine,Nattle Grigg,   b. 12 Dec 1857
     2. John Charles Nattle Grigg,   b. 17 Jun 1861, Otahuhu, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Sep 1926  (Age 65 years)
     3. Annie Abbott Dearden nee Grigg,   b. 1862, Aukland, N.Z. Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Chrissie Anna Grigg,   b. 26 Mar 1856,   d. 10 Jun 1865  (Age 9 years)
     5. Henry Robert Scott Grigg,   b. 26 Oct 1867, Avonbank, Canterbury, N.Z. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Oct 1880, Christ,s College Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 12 years)
     6. Mary .Emiline Grigg,   b. 1 Aug 1859,   d. 11 Aug 1881  (Age 22 years)
     7. Katherine Henrietta Grigg,   b. 23 Aug 1865,   d. 1923, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
     8. Mabel Lillian, Grigg,   b. 1870, Fendalton, N.Z. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1958, Fendalton, N.Z. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     9. Martha Clarissa Plummer,   b. 23 Aug 1872
     10. Edward Francis Joseph Grigg,   b. 28 Oct 1874, Longbeach,New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1953  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 8 May 2014 
    Family ID F81  Group Sheet

  • Photos

  • Notes 
    • [BO::BO][IT::IT][BO:A statue is erected in Ashburton , New Zealand
      recognizing his achievements.:BO]
      A list of New Zealand Freeholders,1882, John Grigg farmer of Longbeach
      Borough of Ashburton, acres value 137,839 pounds.
      Also listed for Invercargill, 300 acres, value 300 pound.
      Chairman of the Ashburton Road Board, 1872-1879 plus many other

      John's will was probated in New Zealand.
      Ammount 83,344 pounds
      Executors; John Charles And Edward Francis Joseph Grigg.

      [BO:Arrived in New Zealand 1854, a 26 year old Cornishman born at
      Brodbane Manor Farm, near Duloe which his people had farmed for three
      generations. He was educated privately at the naval college at Stoke.
      He was crippled in a chilhood scalding accident and considered too
      frail to succeed to the family farm. He was groomed to be a clergyman,
      but when his father died when he was 19 he took charge of the farm.
      John became engaged to the daughter of a neighbouring farmer who was
      taking his family to New Zealand,He arranged to migrate too but missed
      his boat, The Ship "Polar Star" having sailed with his luggage was
      lost at sea with all passengers and crew.
      He sold Brodbane in 1853 and made arrangements for care of his brother
      and sisters,John sailed on the "Blackwall" for Melbourne 1854 then
      went onto Aukland late 1854.
      In 1861 Grigg travelled to the South Island and bought a vast tract of
      land into which no man had ventured. Much of it was inpenetrable
      swamp, but John Grigg set out to drain his 30,000 acre wilderness and
      make it produce food.
      He built his own brick kiln and made his own drain pipes; he cut
      ditches from 2 to 14 feet deep leading to the Hind River , and he laid
      150 miles of drain.
      John Grigg lived to see his estate become the largest agricultural
      farm in the world. when he died in 1901 there were 220 Longbeach Farms
      many of them owned by former employees . Many of them helped through
      difficult years by him.
      Before he moved his family to Longbeach he was both a vestryman and
      churchwarden of St Michael's, Chestry.
      Physically he was a man of medium height and physically active , he
      was impulsive, inpetuous, generous, quicktempered.
      He was among the first to ship refrigerated lamb to the U.K., to his
      son at Cambridge. He became Chairman of the Canterbury Frozen Meat
      The property passed to his son, Mr John.Charles.Nattle.Grigg.
      At this time the area was decreased and, with subsequently reductions,
      had fallen to 4,000 acres by 1926. In that year it was inhereted by
      the present owner, Mr John.Hutton Grigg who now farms 3,000 acres::BO]
      Chairman of the Ashburton Road Board, 1872 -1879 plus many other
      [ John Grigg]
      John Grigg was baptised in the parish of Duloe, Cornwall, England, on
      23 May 1828. He was the eldest of the three sons and one daughter of
      Christiana Nattle and her husband, John Grigg, a yeoman farmer. His
      mother died when he was about six or seven.
      John Grigg was locally educated at a dame school and grammar school in
      Bodmin, where he lived with his pious, evangelical grandmother. He was
      then sent to a public school in Plymouth to begin training for a
      career in the church. John had been determined to be a farmer, but
      this had been considered too strenuous after a childhood accident left
      him partially crippled. However, his doggedness finally persuaded his
      father to relent.
      His father died when John was about 16 or 17, and on inheriting the
      property, Bodbrane, he became responsible for providing for his
      stepmother and siblings. He had met and fallen in love with Martha
      Maria Vercoe; when she emigrated to New Zealand with her family, John
      Grigg decided to follow. After two years of negotiations he sold
      Bodbrane, and left for Australia on the Blackwall in 1854, arriving in
      New Zealand before the end of the year. He leased land at Otahuhu and
      began mixed farming. On 7 June 1855 he and Martha were married at
      Trinity Church, Otahuhu. They farmed at Otahuhu for 10 years, where,
      after one unsuccessful venture exporting potatoes to Australia, Grigg
      proved his versatility. His early achievement in establishing a
      pure-bred flock of Leicester sheep is indicated by his success as a
      show-ring exhibitor at the New Zealand Exhibition held in Dunedin in
      1865. He also experimented successfully with cross-breeding Leicesters
      and merinos and imported much modern agricultural technology.
      In late 1863 Grigg persuaded his brother-in-law, Auckland financier
      and businessman Thomas Russell, to join him in a partnership. They
      bought Longbeach, an area between the Rangitata and Ashburton rivers
      in Canterbury; 2,315 acres were freeholded, with another 30,000 held
      on lease. Much of the land was swamp, but Grigg diverted the Hinds
      River to drain it. By 1865 12,000 acres of Longbeach had been
      freeholded; the remainder was progressively purchased.
      Grigg left Auckland in 1866. He bought a house for his family in
      Christchurch, where they stayed until 1871 when the first wooden house
      on the estate was enlarged to accommodate them all. Grigg initially
      concentrated on raising cattle for sale to the West Coast goldfields.
      When demand dropped, he diversified into grain production and began to
      stock sheep as well as Clydesdale and thoroughbred horses, and
      Berkshire and Yorkshire pigs. Known primarily as a stockbreeder, Grigg
      also made Longbeach famous for cropping thousands of acres of grain.
      Longbeach saw major changes in the 1880s. John Grigg was quick to see
      the advantages of the frozen-meat trade. He was the founder and a
      long-serving director of the Canterbury Frozen Meat and Dairy Produce
      Export Company, and carcasses from Longbeach formed part of the first
      refrigerated cargo sent to London in February 1882. Partly owing to
      Grigg's support, Canterbury became the New Zealand leader in this
      trade. Stimulated by the new market Longbeach eventually increased its
      holding of sheep from 11,000 in 1881 to 41,000 in 1892.
      There were problems, however. When the land boom of the 1870s ended,
      Thomas Russell insisted on selling the heavily mortgaged property.
      John Grigg refused, and Longbeach's stock were offered for sale in
      November 1882, when the self-contained village on the site helped to
      accommodate and feed hundreds of potential buyers from all over New
      Zealand. Grigg himself bought two-thirds of the stock and gradually
      reduced the size of the property to 15,000 acres; some of the land had
      already been sold, mainly to employees. Grigg survived the worst of
      the depression by a combination of thrift and insistence on
      excellence. In the same period he moved into dairy farming, importing
      Dutch Friesian cattle in 1883.
      A dedicated nonconformist churchman in England, Grigg joined the
      Anglican church in New Zealand. He took an active part in local church
      affairs as a lay reader and a member of the General Synod. He admired
      Bishop George Selwyn and shared with him a sympathetic attitude toward
      the Maori.
      John Grigg was involved in public life as well as farming. He chaired
      William Moorhouse's unsuccessful campaign for the superintendency of
      Canterbury in 1870. In the 1880s he attributed the effects of economic
      depression and the consequent lack of public confidence to Sir George
      Grey's leadership. When Sir Julius Vogel spoke at Ashburton in June
      1884, Grigg was sufficiently impressed to offer himself, successfully,
      as a Vogelite candidate in a by-election for Wakanui in July. Too
      honest to act as a docile subordinate and fearful that Vogel and
      Premier Robert Stout would introduce a land tax, Grigg decided he was
      unsuited to party politics and resigned his seat in June 1885.
      Believing he had come to support Grey, his erstwhile constituents
      burned him in effigy. Grigg also served on the Ashburton Road Board
      from 1872 to 1879, the Ashburton County Council from 1878 to 1884 and
      1887 to 1896, the local school committee, and other local bodies. He
      was a fellow of Christ's College and a member of the board of
      governors of Canterbury College from 1879 to 1894.
      A man of medium stature with penetrating blue eyes and a generous
      beard, John Grigg has been described as active, quick-tempered,
      impulsive and generous. A background of generations of yeomen farmers
      combined with a strong faith gave him a genuine regard for the land.
      His forthright nature and ability to foresee and adapt to change were
      qualities well suited to the role of a pioneer.
      When John Grigg died at Longbeach on 5 November 1901, seven of his 10
      children (five daughters and two sons) survived him. He was buried
      beside his wife, Martha, who had died on 19 December 1884; the graves
      are close to the one-time Prebbleton church which John had bought and
      placed in the homestead grounds. Their eldest son, John Charles Nattle
      Grigg, who had been running the estate for several years, inherited
      Longbeach on his father's death.
      Burdon, R. M. New Zealand notables. Series 3. Christchurch, 1950
      Stevens, P. G. 'Grigg, John'. In An encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ed.
      A. H. McLintock. Wellington, 1966
      Stevens, P. G. John Grigg of Longbeach. Christchurch, 1952
      Lawrence, Morag. 'Grigg, John 1828? - 1901'. Dictionary of New
      Zealand Biography, updated 22 April 2002
      The original version of this biography was published in the Dictionary
      of New Zealand Biography Volume Two (1870-1900), 1993
      © Crown Copyright 1993-2002. Published by the Ministry for Culture and
      Heritage, Wellington, New Zealand. All rights reserved.