Edward & Frances Sealy

Gallery

  • <p>The legend beneath the image reads: "E.P. Sealey. Early surveyor &amp; explorer - after whom Mt Sealey-Sealey Range &amp; Sealey Pass is named - Accompanied Julius Von Haast on the latters[sic] exploration of the 60's."</p>
  • <p>'Southerndown' remained in the possession of the family until the death of Frances in 1912. The new owner, A J McLean, renamed the home 'Ardgour'.</p>
  • <p>Edward Sealy's brother Henry lived in the adjacent estateto the west of 'Southerndown'. Henry's home was later renamed 'Craighead' and the home, Shand House, still stands as part of Craighead Diocesan School.</p>

Edward & Frances Sealy

Edward and his brother Henry arrived in New Zealand in 1859 on the Clontarf. After spending time in Hawkes Bay he worked for the Canterbury Provincial Council in Ashburton and North Canterbury. In 1869 and 1870 Edward, often with his bulky glass-plate camera equipment, explored areas of the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o Moana including the Tasman, Classen, and Godley Glaciers. During the 1870s the brothers became contract surveyors in the South Canterbury area.

Edward married Frances Sanderson of North Canterbury in 1873. The couple honeymooned in Australia, returning to live in their newly built home ‘Southerndown’, then located just outside Timaru in the Highfield area. Together they had five daughters and a son.

In 1876 Edward retired from surveying to take up farming, managing properties with his brother. The same year the brothers were involved in something of a scandal when Edward beat a prominent member of parliament to purchasing land based on his brother’s inside information.

Edward had many interests as an explorer, mountaineer, photographer and naturalist. Some of his butterfly, moth, bird’s eggs and mineral collections are held by the South Canterbury Museum and his photographs of the Aoraki/Mount Cook region were among the first to be taken in that area. His obituary noted aspects of Edward’s character when describing his exploration of the area: -

The courage, determination and coolness required to pack a heavy photographic apparatus over the glaciers and make good use of it, in the days before Swiss guides, ropes and ice-axes were thought of in New Zealand, mark a man of the sterling stamp required for successful pioneering.

General Section, Row 21, Plot 275

General Section, Row 21, Plot 275