William Charles HODGSON
- Born: Cir 1825, Lancashire, England
- Marriage: Harriet Ann GILL on 26 Aug 1857 in Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.
- Died: 28 Jul 1894, Nelson, Nelson, New Zealand at age 69
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXVIII, Issue 146, 30 July 1894, Page 2
DEATH OF MR. W. C. HODGSON.
Deep regret will be felt not only in Nelson but in many other parts of the colony, at the news of the death of Mr William Charles Hodgson, for many years Inspector of Schools for the Nelson Education District, and for a considerable time for that of Marlborough. For tho last year or two the state of Mr Hodgson's health has caused much anxiety to his friends. He has had several threats of a severe kind, but up to Saturday week they were not much more than threats, and he has quickly recovered. On the forenoon of Saturday, the 21st inst. he complained of pains and weakness in his limbs, but in the afternoon he seemed to be in his usual health, and was chatting with a number of his friends in capital spirits. He went home a little after five o'clock, and not much more than an hour later had a seizure, which was repeated by a severer one early the next morning. He was attended by Drs Cressey, Hudson, and Roberts, who gave him every possible attention, but it is doubtful whether after the second seizure he was ever more than half conscious. He lingered on for a week, but it was evident that the end was close at hand, and he died on Saturday evening about seven o'clock. Mr Hodgson was a very old colonist. He was born in Lancashire in 1825, and would have been sixty-nine years of age in September of this year. He had the advantage of an excellent education, and from his father he inherited a love of scholarship and literature generally whioh marked him through life. In 1843 the family migrated to New Zealand, Mr Hodgson senr. having become a proprietor under the New Zealand Company's scheme for the settlement of Nelson. The rural section allotted to him was at Wakapuaka, aud until a house was built on it tho family lived in the town of Nelson. Mr William Hodgson worked hard on the farm, and was for long pretty time the mainstay of the family. For about fifteen years he was a practical farmer, not only directing operations but using bis own hands freely. He did not, however, give up his literary tastes, or even neglect the study of ancient languages, and at last he came to town and became teacher of the public school, which was held in the old brick building in what are now called the Queen's Gardens. When his brother, th< late Mr B Hodgson, died Mr William Hodgson took up his business for a short time. He was afterwards appointed Inspector of Schools under the Provincial Government, and continued to hold tbe office after the abolition of the Provinces, He performed his duties as Inspector with rare zeal, energy, and knowledge. They involved a great amount of travelling in parts of the country which even now are difficult of access, but which twenty or thirty years ago could only be reached by a man of activity and strength. Many of of his journeys had to be performed on foot, and so long as he had charge of the Marlborough district; he had the danger and discomfort of visiting all sorts of out-of-theway places in the Sounds in every weather by boat. As time went on the work became too much for one man, and several years ago Mr Hodgson ceased to be Inspector for Marlborough, but the number of schools in the Nelson district increased so rapidly that there was no abatement of work. Rather more than a year ago he wished to retire from office, but an arrangement was made by the Education Board to retain his services at a reduced salary for the more easily accessible schools, and to appoint an assistant for the others. This arrangement lasted till quite lately when Mr Hodgson finally retired, and he was fully enjoying the leisure earned by many years of hard work when he was seized with the illness which put an end to his life. Probably no other man in Nelson had so many friends as Mr Hodgson. He was full of knowledge, a shrewd observer, possessed of a keen sense of humour, and was one of the most delightful of companions. In all relations of life he did well, and to the members of his own family, his friends outside his own household, and those with whom he has been concerned officially, his death is a severe loss. To him the cause of education in Nelson is deeply indebted, and his name ought ever to be associated with it. Mr Hodgson had not only a keen appreciation of literature, but very decided literary ability of his own. His official reports were models of what such documents should be, and in his time he did a great deal of writing for various journals. He was one of the little band which made the articles in the old Examiner newspaper celebrated throughout the colony, and his shrewdness and good taste made him an excellent reviewer of book 3. It is a misfortune that he never turned his hand to making a permanent record of his own experiences as a colonist. He told his adventures inimitably, and he had plenty of them. With his experiences and power of expression he could have produced a highly interesting book. Mr Hodgson had been a widower for several years at the time of his death. He leaves a number of children and grandohildren, who at all events may be assured that they have widely spread sympathy in their bereavement.
William married Harriet Ann GILL, daughter of Unknown and Jemima GILL, on 26 Aug 1857 in Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand. (Harriet Ann GILL was born in 1837 in Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England, christened on 9 Mar 1851 in St. John The Baptist, Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England and died on 25 Dec 1923 in Brightwater, Nelson, New Zealand.)