Topic: William Barnett Armson

Topic type:

ARMSON'S EARLY CAREER - Melbourne, Dunedin, Hokitika.

Melbourne, Dunedin, Hokitika.

"(William Barnett] Armson was born in London in 1834, the son of Francis William Armson and Jane Barnett [Armson.]"' This statement taken from J. K. Collins's A Century of Architecture is virtually all we know of the architect's early life, education and family background. Armson's Death Certificate provides two more pieces of information: the occupation of his father is listed there as "Architect", and the informant for the details of Armson's death is "F. W. Martin (Nephew)", implying that Armson had at least one sibling, the dif­ferent surname of the nephew suggesting a sister.

According to Collins, the Armson family came to New Zealand in 1852 but left two years later for Vic­toria, Australia, finally settling in Melbourne in 1854.2 The reason for emigrating from Britain to Australasia is not given, but if F. W. Armson was indeed an architect, one can assume that he was in search of greater employ­ment opportunities.

At the age of twenty the young William Armson was articled to the Melbourne architectural and civil engineering firm of Purchas and Swyer for a period of six years.' Although nothing is known of the family's circumstances, a certain amount of material comfort is suggested by Armson's apprenticeship, as in Victoria during the 1850s, £100 was the standard payment to be made by parent or guardian in order for a son to enter into an Indenture of Apprenticeship to the Profession of Architecture,' and this would have been beyond the means of many lower income families. In return for £100 and a promise of diligence and honest behaviour the firm agreed to instruct the apprentice in his chosen profession.`

Following the normal procedure of architectural training in nineteenth-century Australia, Armson would have acquired civil engineering and surveying as well as architectural skills. His engineering training was pro­bably received from C. R. Swyer, who later emigrated to New Zealand where he became Provincial Engineer in Otago. (Swyer later designed the Cargill Monument in Dunedin.) Purchas, no doubt, took care of his archi­tectural education.

Armson's training was fairly typical for the mid-nineteenth century in Australia. He emerged from his apprenticeship with two professions, as did most apprentices, and during his early years in New Zealand always described himself in notices he placed in the newspapers advertising his services as "Architect and Surveyor."

Only three drawings survive from Armson's Melbourne period. They date from 1860-61, shortly after he completed his apprenticeship, and demonstrate that he was already an accomplished draughtsman. The function of the drawings, which form a related group, is not known; they may have been for private commissions but more likely they were for projects being undertaken by Purchas and Swyer.

The earliest of these drawings is a Gothic design for "A Gold Case." The detailed and highly finished draw­ing is executed in pencil with coloured washes suggesting that it was designed to impress the judges of a competi­tion or an important client. This design reflects the influence of eighteenth-century Gothic pattern books such as B. and T. Langley's Gothic- Architecture Improved, (1747), a book which shows Gothic as a purely ornamental style. This was an antiquated notion by the mid-nineteenth century when the Gothic Revival architects were integrating the principal tenets of the Gothic style into the very structure of their buildings, and tells us something of Armson's taste and training.

The Gold Case was probably an interior fitting for a bank, and the other two drawings are elevations of the Bank of Australasia in Collins Street , Melbourne, the heart of the city's commercial district.

The third of Armson's surviving Melbourne drawings is incomplete, but a note in Armson's hand provides an explanation. It reads: "Unfinished from want of time before sailing of steamer." Was the steamer referred to the "Alcyone" which left Melbourne for Dunedin, New Zealand in mid-March 1862?

Armson is listed as one of the thirteen cabin passengers on board this steamer when it arrived in Dunedin on 1st April 1862.' Despite arriving in the country on April Fool's Day, Armson wasted no time in advertising his presence by placing a prominent adver­tisement on the front page of the Otago Daily Times for 7th April 1862.8

Armson's arrival was timely. When Gabriel Read discovered gold in a gully in the Tuapeka in May 1861, the news brought hundreds of prospectors from all over the world, but particularly from the gold fields in Australia which were yielding an ever-decreasing amount of gold. In 1862, gold was extracted from the Clutha and Wakatipu gold fields. These gold discoveries transformed Dunedin from a small church settlement to the foremost town in New Zealand.' People flocked to Otago and the gold revenue brought an era of pros­perity. As order began to emerge from the chaos, related businesses were established, supplying the populace with necessities and then later, luxuries. Com­merce flourished and as Armson correctly anticipated there was much work to occupy an architect.

Unfortunately, as there was no regulating body to standardise the use of the term "architect" in the early period anyone wishing to attract clients could call himself an architect and not be challenged. Competition amongst such "architects" was intense and Armson must have recognised this almost at once and decided to take a safer option and ensure his livelihood whilst still practicing his profession. He applied for the position of architectural draughtsman in the Provincial Engineer's


Department and was appointed at a salary of £300 per annum. Either by coincidence or design, Armson came to work under C. R. Swycr again who already held the position of Provincial Engineer. After only two months Armson's considerable abilities were realised and he was promoted to the position of Assistant Architect at the increased salary of £400 10

Little is known of the exact nature of Armson's work during his years with the Provincial Government of Otago. The Otago Provincial Government Gazette for November 1862 carries a section entitled "Architectural Works". This lists a number of projects with which Armson was probably involved. There is a reference to additions and alterations to schools, police stations, goals, hospitals, court houses, barracks in both Dunedin and Oamaru, as well as mention of some more unusual works such as "Dipping Tanks for Sheep", "Portable Houses for Female Prisoners and Lunatics", "Additions to the Presbyterian Church" and "Fittings at the Immigrants' Barracks."''

Although the provincial architects were far from idle, the next session of the Provincial Government voted to keep the salary of the Assistant Architect the same while the salaries of other officers were increased."12 The anomaly prompted Armson to apply to the Provincial Engineer for an increase in salary. It is amusing to note that he signs himself "W. B. Armson, Architect", as he was to do for the rest of bis life, although the position he held was actually that of an Assistant Architect. This points to the fact that even at this early stage in his career, Armson was a thorough professional in his deal­ings with others. Armson's letter concludes: "It is with extreme reluctance that I have addressed you on a matter so purely personal, but in justice to myself and my professional position, I am compelled to do so."" Thus it was a sense of professional self-esteem rather than personal privation that prompted Armson to write the letter.

Armson's letter was forwarded to the Provincial Secretary by Swyer (to whom it was formally addressed) with an accompanying lever which stated that

Mr. Armson is a very valuable officer, and considering the importance of the position he holds 11 am] of the opinion [thai] his services cannot fairly be valued at a less salary than 0500 a

year. . . ."

This letter also gives an insight into the frustrations of working for the Provincial Government at this time, for it was during the period 1863-4 that the Otago Provin­cial Government realised that it had overextended itself and set about implementing a policy of retrenchment in the face of diminishing revenue.

Armson's letter was successful only in extracting a further 150 per annum from the Provincial Government — bringing his salary to £450."

C. R. Swyer's Report on the Provincial Engineer's Department of 5th September 1863 further illustrates the constraints and difficulties his department was operating under because of the Provincial Government's cost-cutting. He complained that salaries were so low that really competent men could not be induced to take up appointments and that he was under­staffed and was unable to complete many building pro­grammes as a result."


The next year, 1864, the financial difficult), which the Provincial Government faced worsened. The gold discoveries of 1862 had caused the kind of inflationary spending which could only result in disastrous bankruptcy when what seemed like assured long-term prosperity evaporated.

The province fell heavily into debt as gold revenue waned and there were serious repercussions for Provin­cial Government employees. Discontent and criticism seemed to centre around the Engineer's Department, as exemplified by this letter which appeared in The Satur­day Review on 23rd April, 1864:

The Provincial Engineer's Department costs us the sum of £6,955!!! Mr Swycr and a clerk could do all the duties that devolve upon the present staff, comprising as it does a chief at a salary of 050 and about sixteen flunkies!!!This department Should be abolished forthwith, Mr Swyer himself is quite able for the duties."

This trend in public opinion reached its peak with a so-called "Indignation Meeting" of 6th June, 1864. This was a gathering numbering about 2,000 people in the Octagon, and it was organised to press the Provin­cial Government to discharge the whole staff of its officials (about 700 employees). The Provincial Govern­ment's representative responded that the staff of the Provincial Engineer's Department had been given two months notice."

The officers of the Provincial Engineer's Department objected to being dismissed so summarily, however, and presented a petition to the Provincial Council of Otago. The petition begins with the statement: ". . . your peti­tioners have been engaged in Public service for various periods in some instances three years," (Armson had been there 26 months) and continues:

... your petitioners are informed and believe that their engagements are annual, and that they are entitled to receive compensation for loss of office in accordance therewith .. . many of your petitioners are professional men who have


sacrificed all opportunities of private practice on the faith of receiving permanent employment in the public service, and are

therefore injured to a considerable extent by summary dismissal, inasmuch as it would be impossible for them to

establish themselves in practice in Dunedin, at a season of unusual depression, without considerable loss of time and money and that most of them would not have accepted employment at the moderate salaries given by Government unless they had understood that their engagements were annual."

This passage of the petition reads very much as if written by Armson himself, especially the sentence referring to "sacrificing all opportunities of private practice," which echoes a similar complaint regarding being debarred from private practice in the letter of September 1863 where Armson presented his case for an increase in salary.

Not surprisingly, Armson's signature comes first at the end of the petition, followed by Edward Rumsey, which reinforces still further the implication that the organization and writing of the petition were largely done by Armson. The petition made its point and a "redundancy payment" of six months salary was voted." Armson received half his annual salary but as he had correctly envisaged in the petition prior to his discharge, it was difficult to establish himself in practice in Dunedin. However, lie immediately advertised his services upon discharge from the Provincial Govern­ment — a notice appeared twice in the Professional and


Trade Notices column of the Otago Daily Times advis­ing that:

(late Architect to the Provincial Government)
Has resumed the practice of his profession and
has an office in Princes Street Chambers
opposite the Bank of Otago."

Armson appears to have gained little work at this time as no tender notices appear under his name. Competi­tion was fierce; the advertisements for other architects were particularly numerous at this time — Messrs Monson, Lambeth, Luscombe, Smith, Hardy, Green­field, Vahland, Livingstone and Kerr all described themselves as architects and frequently advertised their services alongside the better known R. A. Lawson, David Ross and Mason and Clayton. This crowding of architects is further illustrated by the relationship of the architects' offices to one another. Armson shared rooms with a John MacGregor and H. F. Hardy who described themselves as "architects", and all three were in a building next door to R. A. Lawson and near to David Ross." The kind of competition implied by the surplus of architects would not have fostered friendly relations amongst men forced to work check by jowl and this is evidenced by the fact that there was no move to form an association for the protection of professional standards. It seems to have been very much every man for himself.

For Armson, however, there was an opportunity to escape. His architectural draughtsman while working for the Provincial Government had been Edward Rumsey and it was he who found work for Armson. Ramsey won the contract to design an Anglican church at Oamaru. Tenders were called for "a portion or the Church of England at Oamaru" on 8th December 1864 by Rumsey and Jackson." Ramsey introduced and recommended Armson to the Church Building Commit­tee as an architect able to produce working drawings from Rumsey's design in the event that Rumsev receive a government appointment in Auckland," as a result of a competition lie had entered.

Edward Rumsey (lid, in fact, submit the winning design for the Supreme Court House in Auckland in that year and in order to supervise that project he left Dunedin for Auckland. This gave Armson a secure job and an opportunity to move out of Dunedin whilst still assured of an income. Armson shifted to Oamaru in late December 1864 or early January 1865 and immediately set up practice with a J. Thornley who was already resi­dent 'there. They placed the following notice in the Oamaru Times and Waitaki Reporter on 9th January 1865:

Thornley and Armson

Architects, Civil Engineers, Surveyors

and Land and Estate Agents.

There is no information available to indicate whether the services of these two versatile gentlemen were called upon by the private sector in Oamaru, but since the working drawings for the Anglican Church are signed by both Thornley and Armson, it can be assumed that it was a working partnership.


The church history refers to extra working drawings being necessary because the site for the church was shifted a distance down the slope of the ground," so Armson and Thornley had a challenging problem to occupy them in this contract without searching for others.

Only three bays of the nave and the north aisle of Rumsey's design were built under Armson's supervi­sion. The original ground plan showed an area marked by three dotted lines on the south side, with the word­ing, "Aisle may be added here." Rumsey's letter to the church committee makes it clear that his object in mak­ing the south aisle optional was to reduce costs." The committee agreed with his suggestion to omit the south aisle until after the chancel was erected" and Armson supervised the construction accordingly. St. Luke's is still without a south aisle.

The Otago Daily Times reported on St. Luke's after the corner stone was laid on 20th June, 1865, and in its description there is an implied allusion to Armson's view on the finishing of the church:

The whole of the woodwork of the church will be varnished, and we understand that it is intended that every material used in the construction shall exhibit its real nature without disguise by painting or otherwise."

A concern with "truth to materials" is not a characteristic of Armson's secular buildings, but in church architecture he seems to be up-to-date with con­temporary British developments.

After the church was opened, Armson stayed on in Oamaru continuing his partnership with Thornley until November 1865. Contracts must have been few, however, for Armson returned to Dunedin in early December. He boarded the steamship "South Australian" bound for I-lokitika and Melbourne on 20th December, 1865 and landed at Hokitika on 1st February, 1866. 30 No doubt Armson anticipated better work prospects in the new "gold towns" of Hokitika, Ross and Greymouth.

As Hokitika was a port of call on the shipping route from Melbourne to Dunedin Armson may have already visited the town when he arrived in New Zealand in 1861. He advertised on the front page of the West Coast Times on the same day as his arrival:


Architect, etc.,

(Late Architect to the Government of Otago)

Offices at the Queenstown Hotel, Revell Street." The suggestion that he had arranged office accommoda­tion prior to his arrival indicates a certain degree of familiarity with the town.

Armson was not the first or only architect to take up practice in Hokitika. One of the earliest records of pro­fessional activity is a West Coast Times advertisement appearing in July 1865 for "Nees and Luscombe: Archi­tects and Builders."" R. C. Luscombe, as we have seen, was practicing in Dunedin at the same time as Armson in 1862. It seems that Luscombe and a few other Dunedin architects also felt it wise to follow fortune to the West Coast. G. Greenfield, D. Ross and C. G. Smith were three other architects who had all previously prac­ticed in Dunedin and who advertised their services in Hokitika. The decline of the Otago gold fields and the rise of the Westland fields must have encouraged them


to take tip practice in Hokitika which, as the commer­cial centre of the goldfields, was also the focus for archi­tectural activity.

Armson's arrival in Hokitika coincided with the con­version of leaseholds to freeholds in the Hokitika business area," a move which resulted in a large amount of rebuilding and upgrading of existing hastily-erected buildings. Thus, many of Armson's contracts were for additions and alterations mostly centred around Hokitika and Greymouth. No doubt many of his col­leagues undertook work of a similar nature.

By 10th March 1866 the West Coast Times reported in its local events column on the progress of building in the town which they described as

rapidly advancing, . . . a very superior style of structure is superseding the rudely put up stores which were made to suf­fice for the exigences of trade during the first days of the goldfields. Substantial warehouses, new banks and com­modious hotels arc gradually giving an entirely altered character to the architectural appearance of the town."

Photographs of Hokitika dating from 1866 show the architectural character of the town as being classical, with wooden buildings "dressed" to simulate the col­umns and cornices of classical stonework.

This style for commercial buildings was, in many ways, a very practical one. The construction methods afforded quick, cheap erection, simple alteration, and

easy salvage. Their facades gave an air of permanence and civilization to the utilitarian and often temporary substance of the buildings. They were also an important adjunct to the down-to-earth nature of digg­ings life. For all their impermanence, the classical facades of Hokitika's commercial buildings evoked historical and architectural associations which would have been reassuringly familiar to diggers from Vic­torian Britain. The architectural language which Armson used was an international one, and was as comprehensi­ble in Hokitika, as in Dunedin, Melbourne or London. What distinguished the buildings of Hokitika, however, was the rude contrast between the architectural preten­sions of their facades and the often flimsy and rudimen­tary structures behind. The incongruity of building in the style of Greece and Rome amongst the forests of New Zealand's West Coast, so apparent to us today, probably never occurred to Armson and his contem­poraries.

Armson's first building on the West Coast is an excellent example of an edifice which fulfills all these requirements for a gold town building and exemplifies the part architecture played in commercial competition. The office and manager's residence for the Union Bank of Australia, which he began in early April, cost £1,100 and were described as "substantial and convenient for business and as a residence."" Although the bank appears to be constructed of stone a footnote in the Bank Inspector's report notes; "Necessarily they are built of timber and the roof is of iron.'"'

Photographs of the bank reveal that Armson did not intend the use of timber to be obvious. He has given the building all the characteristics of a classical stone building, a stepped forward pedimented frontage, voussoirs, and quoins as well as engaged pilasters and motifs resembling the triglyph and metopes of a classical frieze. Armson's interest in being truthful to

materials hags here been subordinated to the client's con­cern for an imposing facade.

Supervision of this project did not prevent Armson from commencing others and during April 1866 lie undertook the design of The Cafe de Paris for Mr P. Solomon." In this building again, the majority of the facade derives from classical precedent.

By the time Armson completed the Cafe de Paris his professional standing seems to have become more secure, for he no longer advertised his services with the regularity of his first months in Hokitika.

His next commission was additions to the Corinthian Hall for J. F. Byrne, another classical building which, when the additions were complete, was described in the West Coast Times as "most imposing, excellently finished, and really an ornament to that part of town."',

Following this period of establishment, commissions seem to have flowed thick and fast. The editorial describing the completed Union Bank building must have enhanced his reputation even further. The bank is described as "a very creditable and well-finished struc­ture, and quite in keeping with the appearance of the town." The writer goes on to describe the exterior as "unpretentious in appearance, but yet tasteful being corniced on three sides, and the front windows [being] surmounted with plain label heads."" Praise such as this for Armson's abilities led to his being much in demand for all kinds of work. In the following months he designed additions to a bookseller's, alterations to a hotel, a cottage for the town coroner, alterations to a clothing store and another hotel, altered the Bank of New Zealand in Greymouth, erected a new two-storied hotel, designed additions to a shop, sunk and slabbed a well and designed a billiard room to supplement the facilities of the Café de Paris.

Considering the variety and profusion of these com­missions, Armson's next move is difficult to understand — he applied for the position of Town Surveyor to the Municipal Corporation of Hokitika. Having experienced the frustrations of selling his architectural skill to the Provincial Government in Otago and being insufficient­ly rewarded, it is puzzling why he should want to re­enter public service when his private practice was pro­spering. When he made his application, the councillors were still discussing whether their Town Surveyor should be debarred from private practice, so Armson could not have been certain that there would be any financial advantage.

As it was, Armson was one of five applicants for the position." After voting on the candidates four times, the council remained equally divided — four votes had been cast for both Armson and his opponent, a Mr Frew. Fortunately for Armson the chairman gave his casting vote in his favour." Perhaps Armson's accomplishments in the short time he had been in Hokitika helped swing the vote. By comparison, Frew was relatively unknown, and is not to be found advertis­ing his services in the Professional columns of the West Coast Times, although Harnett's Directory lists him as an "Engineer, surveyor, etc.""'

Armson's salary was decided by the Hokitika


Municipal Corporation only after some discussion and division of the councillors. They were opposed on the issue of whether the salary of the Town Surveyor should be fixed at £750 per annum "thereby securing the whole of his services" by which they meant that he would be debarred from any private practice of his profession while employed by the Municipal Corporation, or whether his salary should be fixed at the lower sum of £500 per annum with the right of private practice." Par­simony overruled the motions proposing these generous amounts, and Armson's salary was settled at 000, £150 less than the sum the Otago Provincial Government had paid him, but since he retained the right to take on com­missions privately, his financial outlook in Hokitika was considerably brighter than it had been in Dunedin. Despite the fact that competition for architectural work in Hokitika was equally as fierce as in Dunedin, Arm- son's reputation as a thorough professional seems to have ensured his continued prosperity, and during the period of his employment by the Municipal Corporation his tender notices in the West Coast Times do not seem to diminish in number.

Armson took up his appointment as Town Surveyor on 30th October 1866" yet less than one month later he called for tenders for the erection of a hotel in Buller.

As Town Surveyor, the work he undertook seems trivial by comparison with the architectural work he was recently involved with and the frustrations he en­countered with the bureaucracy of the Municipal Cor­poration must have been annoying. Letters from Arm-son recorded in the Municipal Council's Letter Book testify to many petty hindrances which must have made working conditions difficult for Armson. His request for six wheelbarrows, for example, was denied," and his purchasing power limited to £5."

One interesting piece of design work Armson under­took during this period was the design of a seal for the Municipal Council. This featured "a Maori in native garb . . . and a digger, heavily accoutered — as if just ready to start on a mining campaign." 47

Armson's main duties as Town Surveyor seem to have revolved around the forming, metalling and curbing of Hokitika's streets. He encountered some difficulty in this work; a letter to the Council expresses his concern over his ability to carry out the forming of roads when "people persist in erecting cottages in the middle of the prospective street. '"48

Some friction seems to have arisen between Armson and the councillors over his time-consuming but thorough surveying methods. The dispute centred around a bridge which two councillors wanted replaced before the next rainstorm, and when Armson replied that he needed to survey first, the councillor crossly replied that he did not see the use of the Public Works Committee passing resolutions and giving instructions if these were not carried out by Armson. At the same meeting mention is first made of a competition to find a design for a new Town Hall, and the meeting was con­cluded with Armson being instructed to select a site out­side the town boundary for a manure depot." Among other duties, Armson was also required to decide upon positions for public urinals around the town."

One of Armson's sidelines in Hokitika was to act as an agency for a sharebroker and mining agent" and he


was also engineer and surveyor to the short-lived Ross and Hokitika Tramway Company." As Armson had plenty of employment during this period perhaps these other demands on his time led to his resignation as Town Surveyor on March 1st 1867."

Armson's private practice still flourished. During the months of February and March lie advertised for tenders for a Union Bank of Australia to be executed at the Waimea." He also designed further additions and alterations to the Café de Paris" and produced draw­ings for an Episcopal church to be built at Ross." This church is described by the West Coast Times as "a very pretty one" and "in every way worthy of its purpose."" Seven days later, Armson an called for tenders for the erec- tion of a Episcopal church at Greymouth.

In the later months of 1867 Armson designed a store for James Chesney and Company — a simple wooden affair with a prominent divided balustrade along the roofline — additions and alterations to a bookseller's (the Times reports that the "handsome front" is "an ornament to that part of town") and designed a grand­stand for the Stewards of the Hokitika Annual Races.

In early 1868 he designed a shop, additions and alterations to the Greymouth Tramway Terminus and the Bank of Australasia at Hokitika. Then there was a three month gap before tender notices for additions and alterations for the Shakespeare Hotel and the Union Bank of Australia at Greymouth appeared.

His second cottage design was advertised as com­pleted and awaiting tenders on I st August 1868 and this presumably was the cottage for James Chesney for which a drawing survives. It was a simple, one-storied house with French windows, a verandah and decorated barge boards.

His commissions for the last two months of 1868 were additions to two hotels, one in Greymouth the other in Hokitika, and extensions and business premises for a Mr McBeath.

In early 1869, Armson designed some very solid-looking brewery buildings, additions and alterations for another hotel and had two commissions in Greymouth, one for additions to a shop and the other for the design of a two-storied building for a Mr James Taylor, which still ill stands, just off Mawhera Quay.

On 6th March 1869 Armson received the most impor­tant commission of his Hokitika period when he was appointed architect of the Town Hall and Literary Society building." He was required to produce plans and specifications in one week, although the building took five months to complete. Compositionally, the facade of the Hokitika Town Hall is a re-working of the same classical theme explored in the Melbourne bank drawings and in the drawing for Government Buildings, Dunedin. The Town Hall in many ways can be seen as Armson's "monument" in Hokitika, commemorating the years he spent there, just as the Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin of 1883 is an architectural memorial to all his life and work. Although it survived until recently, the Town Hall has now been demolished.

After the completion of this building in Hokitika Armson went on to design a bank at Ross, a shop in Hokitika and the Bank of New South Wales in Greymouth and finally a Bank of New South Wales at Ross in February 1870. The tender notice for this last named bank is the last mention of Armson in the West Coast Times for 1870. What became of him between February when he was in Hokitika and December when he re-appeared in Christchurch is not known. Armson may have taken a trip to Britain during this period, visited his parents in Australia or just taken a well-earned holiday. His departure from Hokitika does not seem to have been noticed — he was not prominent in


local affairs except in his professional capacity — and there are no newspaper reports of Hokitika losing his professional services. Even if there is no contemporary account summing up his West Coast career prior to his departure for Christchurch, his buildings remained standing long after he left, silent testimonials to his valuable contribution in establishing the architectural character of nineteenth-century Hokitika, a character which has now all but disappeared.

(1) 1.I. K. Collins), A Century o Architecture. Christchurch, 1965,


(2) Ibid.

(3) Ibid.

(4) J. M. Freeland, The Making of a Profession. Melbourne, 1971, p. 204.

(5) Ibid.

(6) B. and T. Langley, Gothic Architecture Improved by Rides and Proportions. London, 1747, Plate 52.

(7) Passenger list in Otago Doily 'Times. Dunedin, 1st April 1862,

p. 2.

(8) Otago Daily Times. 7th April. 1862, p. I.

(9) K. C. McDonald, City of Dunedin: a Century of Civic Enter­prise. Dunedin. 1%5, p. 83.

(10) Otago Provincial Council, Votes and Proceedings, Session X VII. 1863. records W. Armson's name in the Return of Officers in the Provincial Establishments as being first appointed Draughtsman on 21st April 1862 and on 19th June 1862 appointed Assistant Architect. Votes and Proceedings p. 6.

(11) Otago Provincial Government Gazette. 24th December 1862,

p. 3.

(12) Votes and Proceedings, Sessions XVI-XVII. 1862-1863, pp. 33-40.

(13) W. B. Armson's letter to Provincial Engineer, 17th September 1863, National Archives, 'OP7/2456.

(14) Ibid.

(15) Ibid. Note to this effect added on to top of letter.

(16) Engineer's Report, Provincial Government Gazette. 5th September 1863, p. 216.

(17) The Saturday Review. Dunedin, 23rd April 1864, p. 63.

(18) Ibid. I I th June 1864, p. I.

(19) Votes and Proceedings, Session XVIII. 1864, pp. 7-8.

(20) Ibid. p. 145.

(21) Otago Dail, Times. 8th July 1864, p. 7.

(22) H. Knight, Princes Street by Gaslight. Dunedin, 1976, p. 31.

(23) Otago Daily Times. I I th July 1864, p. 4

(24) Oamaru Tones and Waitaki Reporter. Oamaru, 9th January 1865, P. 4.

(25)    W. R. Naylor, Anglican Centenary: A Narrative covering one hundred veto's of the Church of England in North Otago, Oamaru,1962, p. 20.

(26)  Ibid. p. 27.

(27)  Ibid.

(28)  Otago Daily Times. 1st July 1865, p. 5.

(29)  Oamaru Times and Reporter. 23rd November 1865, p. 5.

(30)  Otago Daily, Times. "Shipping Notice", 19th December 1865, P. 1.

(31)  West Coast Times. Hokitika, 1st February 1866. p. 1.

(32)  Ibid. 9th July 1865, p. 1.

(33)    M. J. Halket, Westland's Golden Sixties. Wellington, 1959, p. 46.

(34)  West Coast Times. 10th March 1866, p. 3-

(35)  Inspector's Report Hokitika Branch Union Bank of Australia. A.N.Z. Bank Archives, Series 8, 31st January 1868.

(36)  West Coast Times. "Monthly Summary", April 1866. p. 3.

(38)  Ibid. "Monthly Summary", 13th August 1866, p. 1.

(39)  Ibid. 20th July 1866, p. 2.

(40)              Minutes, Hokitika Municipal Council, 1866-68. 16th October 1866, pp. 27-30. West Coast Historical Museum. Hokitika.

(41)              Ibid. pp. 29-30.

(42)              Harnetts Westland Directory. 1866.

(43)              Minutes. p. 75.

(44)              Ibid.

(45)  West Coast Times. 9th February 1867, p. 2.

(46)              Minutes. Letter Number 12 from Town Surveyor.

(47)  West Coast Times. 5th February 1867, p. 2.

(48)              Ibid. 9th February 1867, p. 3.

(49)              Ibid. p. 2.

(50)              Ibid.

(51)              Ibid. 24th December 1867, p. 3.

(52)              Ibid. 28th November 1867, p. 2.

(53)              Minutes. 1st March 1867, p. 115.

(54)              West Coast Times. 29th February 1867, p. 3.

(55)              Ibid. I I th April 1867, p. 3.

(56)              Ibid. 13th April 1867. p. 3.

(57)              Ibid. 2nd September 1867, p. 2.

(58)              Hokitika Municipal Council, Letterbook B. p. 239. West Coast Historical Museum. Hokitika.





Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion


Tags: Armson

William Barnett Armson

First Names:William Barnett
Place of birth:London
Date of Birth:1834
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License
William Barnett Armson by admin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License