Friday, November 24, 2017

Of Entricans & Englands: religion and enterprise in colonial New Zealand.

 Reverend Samuel W. Entrican & Laura Alice England: some research notes

Rev Samuel Walter (Sam) Entrican  born 10 November 1871  at “Craigmonaghan House”,
Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland reland, the 8th child  and 5th son in a family of 11. He graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Royal University of Ireland, Belfast,  and came to Auckland, New Zealand in 1889 as a probationary Presbyterian minister. 

Father: Robert Entrican, born  7 February 1833  Stoney Falls, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, son of James & Sarah (nee  Bogle) Entrican. Died  21 March 1916, Avondale, Auckland, New Zealand

Mother: Jane nee Jack, born 1834  Magheracoltan, Co Tyrone, Ireland,  daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (nee Welsh) Jack. Died  3 August 1925, Auckland, New Zealand.

 They married 7 February 1856 in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland

 “ENTRICAN-JACK: In the First Presbyterian Church,  Ardstraw, on the 7th inst., by the Rev. Andrew Chark, MR ROBERT ENTRICAN, Stoneyfalls, to  JANE, youngest daughter of the late MR ANDREW JACK, Magheracoltan.”
Ex Ardstraw Parish Marriage Announcements 1850-59, collated from the “Londonderry Sentinel and “Londonderry Standard”

Griffiths’ valuation of Ireland 1847-1864 lists Robert Entrican as a tenant of the Marquis of Abercorn, of whom he held a house, offices and  farmland at Ardstraw, Lower Strabane, Co. Tyrone. Robert Entrican offered this property for sale 22 July 1868 – see Entrican Family Notes below

See: Entrican Family Notes 1839-1946- various personal announcements – births, death, marriages etc - relating to the Entrican family in Co Tyrone.

In 1876 Robert is recorded as  a landowner in Co. Tyrone holding the following properties; at Craigmonaghan, Castlederg, a viilage on the River Derg, 104 acres, and at Brocklis, Ardstrawbridge, Newtownstewart, 85 acres.
Ex. Landowners in Co. Tyrone 1876

Robert &  Jane Entrican came to New Zealand in 1890 with their 2 youngest children, all the others in the family (excepting the Rev John Entrican, who remained in Ireland) having preceded them to this country in dribs and drabs – the first two to make the move being sons James Cuthbertson Entrican and Andrew Jack Entrican.

See “Obituary : Mr Robert Entrican, “NZ Herald”,  22 March 1916

Diamond Wedding: Mr & Mrs Robert Entrican, Avondale, Auckland.
“Auckland Star”, 7 February 1916

Death of a Well-Known Citizen: Mr Robert Entrican
“Auckland Star”, 21 March 1916

Both Robert and Jane Entrican are buried at the Waikaraka Park Cemetery ,Auckland, along with their daughter Jennie Jack Entrican.

Robert & Jane Entrican's children

!) Rev. John Entrican B.A. (1858-1944) Presbyterian minister- remained in Ireland. Married Mary Knox Mitchell at Belfast in 1899. Died at Cookstown, buried at Belfast Cemetery, Co. Antrim , Northern Ireland. Associated for many years with the Cookstown Presbyterian Church, Co. Tyrone. Ireland.

2) Andrew Jack Entrican (1858-1936) Arrived in Auckland NZ 11 January 1880 per ship “Ben Nevis” Became a notable merchant, importer, manufacturing agent and civic personage. He was later joined by his brother James Cutherbertson Entrican and Robert James Sims, who married his youngest sister, Nannie Entrican. What was first known as the Entrican Building was built for £10,000 in 1903 and 1904 as a trading store and warehouse for Messrs A.J. Entrican and Co . The company was later known as A.J. Entrican, Sims & Company Ltd. – photo of company building taken between 1940-49  at Auckland Libraries Heritage images
Mr Entrican chaired the Auckland Harbour Board and was Deputy Mayor of Auckland for 21 years. He was a member of the Auckland Fire Board, the drainage board, the Auckland Patriotic Society, the Chamber of Commerce and Merchants' Association as well as a trustee of the Auckland Savings Bank.
In 1970 the building was named Australis House and converted into commercial offices.
In the 1880s Andrew Entrican built a grand Victorian mansion in Ponsonby  (29 Hepburn Street , Freeman’s Bay), currently undergoing restoration. Married Elizabeth Mary Mackay 1883. Buried Waikaraka Park Cemetery, Auckland,  NZ..

See Obituary: Death of a Citizen: Mr A.J. Entrican
“NZ Herald”, 20 February 1936.

3) Robert John Entrican (1859-1928) Married Annie Isabella Lamb 1897. Buried at Wairaraka Park Cemetery, Auckland, NZ.  Father of engineer and forestry expert Alexander Robert (Pat) Entrican

Unnamed infant daughter, died 20 Dec 1862 at Stoney Falls of whooping cough, aged one month.

4) James Cuthbertson Entrican (1864-1951). Note that 'Cuthbertson" was the maiden name of his father Robert's paternal grandmother, Rebecca Isabella Entrican nee Cuthbertson. James came to Auckland, NZ  on the ship  “Tongariro” in 1885. Initially went into business with Robert William Gallaugher, an acquaintance from home, their business being named Gallaugher & Entrican. Like Entrican & Sims they operated as wholesale provision merchants. J.C. Entrican also served on the  Council. When Gallaugher married Ellen Annie Mackay, daughter of Captain Richard Mackay of Ponsonby in 1889, James Entrican stood as a witness at their wedding. (Gallaugher’s wife Ellen Annie Mackay was a sister of Andrew Entrican’s wife Elizabeth Mary Mackay)  After a few years  James Entrican  parted ways with Gallaugher and in 1892 joined his brother to form A.J. Entrican & Co.,  Married 1) Elizabeth Mary McPherson 1892. She died in 1910 and he remarried, 2) Annie Sofia Meyer in 1914. Buried St Ninian’s Churchyard, Avondale, Auckland, NZ.

See ENTRICAN FAMILY at St Ninian’s of Avondale

5) Sarah Bogle Entrican (!865-1924)
Married at Castlederg, Co Tyrone, Ireland, to Robert Alexander Houston 1889 then came to NZ. Sarah and her husband are both buried at Waikaraka Park Cemetery, Auckland., NZ Death notice, ‘NZ Herald” 15 November 1924

6) Elizabeth (Lissie) Deborah Welsh Entrican (1866-1961)
 Married James Black Ramsay 1897. Buried Purewa Cemetery, Auckland.

7) Jennie Jack Entrican (1870-1955) aka Sister Grace (Never married)
Buried with her parents at Wairaraka Park Cemetery, Auckland, NZ.

8) Samuel (1871-1955)

9) Isabella Josephine Entrican (1873- 1931)
Married William Henry Paul in 1905. Buried Hamilton East Cemetery, Waikato, NZ

10) Wilhelmina Grace Entrican (1874-1879) She lies at the Old Urney Graveyard, Co. Tyrone, along with a large number of Entrican, Cuthbertson and Wauchop ancestors
See under Cuthbertson/Wauchop:

11) Ann Amelia Nelson aka Nannie Emmeline Nelson Entrican (1878-1970)
Married Robert James Sims 1908. Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, NZ.
Robert Sims was a partner in Entrican & Sims  - wholesale provision merchants based at Customs Street East. Two Sims’ family homes were built in Mt Albert -one on the south-west corner of Richardson & New North Roads (later demolished) and another at 6 Allendale Road, built post-World War II. Son Francis Harding Sims became a significant medical researcher.

Samuel Walter Entrican arrived in NZ as a probationary minister in 1898. He was admitted to the Presbytery at the Annual Meeting of the Auckland Presbytery

“NZ Herald,” 6 April 1898.

and  was taking services by December that  year
See “Auckland Star”, 17  December 1898
Ecclesiastical notices: Rev. S.M. Entrican for  St Peters Presbyterian Church

Samuel’s sister Jennie Jack Entrican was ordained a deaconess with the Presbyterian Church, taking the name Sister Grace.” NZ Herald” 9 December 1908

Register of New Zealand Presbyterian Church 
Ministers, Deaconesses & Missionaries from 1840

ENTRICAN, Jennie Jack   (known as Sister Grace)
b 3.7.1870
Congregational Deaconess St James Auckland  AP 1906
Ordained Deaconess 1908 - resigned 31.12.1909
Home Missionary Pukemiro WkP  7.5.1926
Congregational Deaconess, St Lukes Auckland  AP  1.8.1929-  resigned 30.9.1937
Congregational Deaconess (Honorary Capacity), St Peters Grey Lynn Auckland  AP  1938-50
Visited in Hospitals and conducted services in the wards of Green Lane Hospital.
Sister of Rev S.W. Entrican
Died 1.9.1955

ENTRICAN, Rev Samuel Walter  M.A.
Licensed by the Strabane Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland
Arrived in New Zealand as a Probationer 1898
Ordained and inducted into the Church, Waikato West  20.3.1902 - resigned  28.12.1905
Mahurangi (Warkworth NSP) 30.9.1908 - retired 12.4.1910.
Brother of Sister Grace Entrican.

“Auckland Star”, 18 February 1899: Ecclesiastical
Knox Church, Parnell, Evening service Rev S.W. Entrican

In 1900 Rev. Entrican is listed as an Assistant Master at the Auckland Grammar School for Boys and Girls. The Head master at the time was J.W. Tibbs, M.A. Keble College, Oxford.
“Auckland Star” 25 August 1900. Advertisements: Educational

See also: “Auckland Star” May 7, 1900
Mr S.W. Entrican, M.A., brother of Mr A.J. Entrican, has been appointed junior master at the Auckland College and Grammar School”

Rev. Samuel Entrican takes up the call to Mahurangi
.”NZ Herald”  9 December 1908

Rev Entrican took services at the Mount Albert Presbyterian Church during its first year in operation, before it had a dedicated resident minister.
“NZ Herald” 27 December, 1913: Sermons, Lectures, Soirees etc.

On the NZ Expeditionary Force Reserve Roll 1916-1917 but no indication that he served during WWI

 Rev. Samuel Entrican married on 14 April 1920 to Laura Alice England  (1879-1969)

The electoral roll of 1919 shows James Cuthbertson Entrican’s household and that of William Lilly England as neighbours in Mountain Road (now Kitenui  Ave.), Mount Albert, Auckland.  J.C. Entrican’s  home at that time was sited at 11 Mountain Road and is probably the house still standing on Alexis Ave, with entrances on Violet St and Kitenui Ave.

Marriages: Entrican-England
“NZ Herald” 18 September, 1920.

“ENTRICAN-ENGLAND.-On April 14, 1920, at the Mount Albert Presbyterian Church, by Rev. G. Inglis, Rev. Samuel W. Entrican, M.A., fourth (sic) son of Mrs and the late Robert Entrican of Mount Albert, to Laura Alice, third daughter of Mr and Mrs N.L. (sic] England, New North Road, Mount Albert,- At home September 23 nd 24, 16 Walters Road, Kingsland.”

 It was a relatively late marriage for both- Samuel was 49 and Laura aged 41.

 Laura’s parents

Father: William Lilly England (1842 - 11 June 1930), eldest son of John Humphrey England (1817-1887) and Ann nee Rees of ‘Eastbrooke Hall”, Denys-Powell, Cardiff, Wales.  William’s father John Humphey England was a well-known merchant and entrepreneur,  founder & director of the firm England Potatoes Ltd 

Mother: Clara Marian Helen Hill (9 April 1844- 4 July 1926), third daughter of Thomas Barton Hill (1805-1886), curate of St Stephen’s Church in the parish of St Mary’s, Islington, and  his wife Mary nee Roberts, of Islington, London.

William Lilly England's father, John Humphrey England Jnr, was born 7 November 1817 in Islington, London and this Islington link may account for the connection to Thomas Barton Hill and his family He was the second child and first son of John Humphrey England Sr. and his wife, Mary Grey Lilly.

William & Clara married 4 July 1872.

“Wanganui Herald”, 6 July 1872

“MARRIED: ENGLAND-HILL – On the 4th instant, at Campbell Town, by the Rev. George Stannard, William Lilly, eldest son of Mr Jno. H. England, Corn Merchant, Cardiff, South Wales, to Miss Clara Hill”

They celebrated their Golden Wedding on 4 July 1922, 4 years before Clara’s death on 27 June 1926.  Both are buried at Hillsborough Cemetery, Auckland.

“NZ Herald”, 4  July, 1922

 William England’s arrival in New Zealand in 1863 was an eventful one. War with the Maori had just broken out in the Waikato and he was conscripted as he disembarked from the ship “Annie Wilson”, enlisting with the 2nd Waikato Regiment .

He later spent a couple of years on the goldfields at Coromandel and on the West Coast , he became a shopkeeper (with mixed success as he was declared bankrupt twice- once in 1880 and again in 1888) and more profitably as a grain merchant – living around Hawera and Wanganui before returning to the West Coast where he ran a business at Westport for several years from 1890. By 1905 he was living in Hastings. In 1915 he moved with his family to Tauranga where he financed his son Harry, a seedsman, into a business on the Strand. This burnt down in 1917 and a court case was held to establish whether the fire was accidental or deliberate arson for the purposes of insurance fraud  – the decision reached by the jury was that the origin of the fire could not be established. William England was called as a witness and described at the time as a retired grain merchant – mention was made at the time of an earlier fire in Normanby in 1887 involving an England family business.

Following this incident it appears that the England family made their final shift to Mt Albert, Auckland.  William England was described in a later obituary as “a staunch supporter of the Presbyterian Church”.

“Auckland Star” 4 August 1930
Obituary: Mr W. Lilly England

Their daughter Laura England was one of 9 children.  She became a teacher of “elocution and dramatic art, voice production and singing”, training at the Walter Bentley College of Elocution and Dramatic art in Sydney and the Laurence Campbell School of Public Speaking and Dramatic Art, also in Sydney.

Around 1910-11 she and her youngest sister Clarice moved to Auckland, where they shared a home at 8 Howe Street, Ponsonby, and made a living by giving lessons in elocution and music respectively from a studio at the Pierce Buildings. “Auckland Star”, 24 February 1912.

Advertisements: Educational
Elocution lessons Miss Laura England; Teacher of pianoforte, harmony and theory. Miss Clarice England. Studio: Pierce Buildings, corner Synmonds Street and Khyber Pass.

The sisters then went to Sydney to undertake further study, returning to the family home, at that time 300 Frederick Street, Hastings, in 1914  where they again advertised  for pupils. The England family moved to Tauranga in 1915 and on 16 February 1915 the England sisters announced via the “Bay of Plenty Times” that they had taken their business to Tauranga and by 1916 were taking pupils at Devonport Road,  opposite Third Avenue. In addition Laura was also advertising that she would travel weekly to nearby Te Puke to teach pupils there. In 1917 she returned to Auckland, this time with her family, and resumed classes there.

The two sisters also gave many concerts, recitals and “entertainments” over the years, wherever they happened to be living, and were particularly involved with “Patriotic Concerts”- benefit fund-raisers for the war effort during WWI.

See “Bay of Plenty Times” 3 November 1915,
“Dramatic Recital and Entertainment: Tonight the Misses England give their dramtic recital and entertainment in the Opera House. Miss Laura England has earned well-merited praise elsewhere for her elocutionary talent and Miss Clarice England is a pianist of real ability”

William & Clara England's children

1) Annie Margaret England  (1873-1958) Married Colin Livingstone 1906. Buried Hastings Cemetery, Hawkes Bay.

2) John Humphrey England (1874 –1951) Buried Hillsborough Cemetery, Auckland.

3) Clara Lilly (known as Marion) England  (1876-1945) Married Frederick Lewis Thomson on 25 Dec 1922. Died 26 Jan 1945 at Birkenhead, Auckland and buried at Glenfleld Cemtery, Auckland.

4) William Earle Lilly (Willie) England (1877-1948). Married Emilie June Ethel Gilson 1903. Buried at Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

5) Laura  (1879-1969)

6) Ada Elizabeth England (1880-1882) Born & died at Hawera, South Taranaki, NZ.

7) Henry Hill (Harry) England (1881- 1959). Married Althea Hudson Allan 1923. Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

8) Thomas Rees England  (1883 -1948) Attended Wanganui Collegiate School. Served WWI - Pte 12/348, (Signaller) Auckland Infantry  Regiment, 1st N.Z.E.F. Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

9) Clarice Elizabeth England (1890- 1981) Never married. Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

Samuel and Laura Entrican's famil

They had just one child, son Bernard A. Entrican (1925-1996)

Several Entrican households were set up in Mt Albert, based around the Mt Albert Presbyterian Church, established in 1913. James Entrican was on the committee set up to found the church, shelped establish a Sunday School and served as its first  Superindendant. He also remained a constant and significant benefactor, contributing much time and money to the cause. His sister Jennie, Sister Grace Entrican,  served from 1919-1933 as President of the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union attached to the Mt Albert Church.  Another sister, Nannie Sims nee Entrican. served as church organist for many years, also pianist for the Ladies’ Guild and   her husband Robert James Sims acted as Manger, Elder and Sunday School Superintendant.

The Rev Samuel Entrican was also involved with the church, taking sermons during its first year and later teaching Sunday School classes. He  also served as a member of the Session in 1918. He and  his wife Laura were regular attendees at Sunday services, They are recalled thus: “Rev. Sam Entrican sat in the front seat near the pulpit and read the New Testament Scriptures from the original Greek text, while Mrs Entrican sat beside him, a neat little figure in black with a fresh florist’s spray, often of orchids, in her lapel”.  Apparently ancient Greek was okay, however in 1945 when Austrian Choirmaster Georg Tintner went classical and began teaching the Mt Albert Presbyterian Choir Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” in its original Latin, shocked Elders declared it too “popeish” and Tintner’s contract with the church was promptly cancelled.

See “The First Hundred Years of the Mt Albert Presbyterian Church 1913-2013”, complied by Joyce L. Ross.

Also close by,  just behind Richardson Road,  was another bastion of Irish Protestant enterprise, “Rahiri House”, then at 15 McLean Street, home of Andrew Caughey of the long-running firm Smith & Caughey. This home was gifted by Caughey in 1923 to the newly formed Plunket Society for use as a Karitane Hospital - in the 1950s it backed onto my grandparents' house at 14 Richardson Road and I was fascinated by this grand old home sitting amidst a jumble of utilitarian nurses' dormitory blocks. "Rahiri House" still stands today, now part of the Hebron Christian College at 1 McLean Street.

See “Rahiri House" -  the Caughey family home.
Mount Albert Historical Sociey Inc , newsletter issue 37, January 2017
Samuel and Laura Entrican lived for many years at 6 Richardson Road (Robertson Road till 1907), Mount Albert, Auckland.  Their address had changed to no 10 by 1957, due to infilling along Richardson Road around that time. Possibly some of this this was caused by the widowed Laura selling off part of her property after Samuel's death. Laura’s youngest sister Clarice Elizabeth England, who never marrIed, always lived with them as companion/housekeeper . Following his wife’s death in 1926 her father William Lilly England  also joined the Entrican household and died there in July 1930 . Brother Henry Hill England was added to the England enlave at 6 Richardson Street in his retirement years  - did he and his wife separate? His wife Althea died in 1974 and is buried at Purewa Cemetery. Auckland. Laura’s sister Clarice and brother Harry stayed on at what was now 10 Richardson Road after Laura herself died.

My grandfather at 14 Richardson Road  (formerly no 10) always kept on eye out for the widowed Mrs Entrican and would act as handyman when required. I recollect as a child visiting with my grandmother and meeting two kindly ladies, one quite elderly, who must have been Laura Entrican and her sister Clarice England. I  have vague memories of a porch/conservatory filled with plants (possibly the orchids which made up Mrs Entrican’s Sunday corsages) and a darkish  kitchen with an old range, either wood or coal-fired, plus a bird in a cage, recalled by my sister as being a pet myna. Mrs Entrican had never cut her hair and I was greatly impressed to see her with it down one day after she had just washed it - it reached well past her knees, almost to her ankles.

Samuel Entrican died 19 February 1955 aged 83 yrs and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland.

Laura Entrican nee England died 16 September 1969 aged 90 yrs and was also buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

Laura's siblings Clarice and  Harry England lie at the Waikumete Cemetery. as well. Henry died in 1959 and Clarice in 1981.


  1. Wow, what a fantastic mine of Entrican information. My Great Grandmother was Sarah Bogle Entrican - which confused me as your article mentions a Sarah Bogle Entrican, but of different parents. My GGrandmother's parents were John Cuthbertson Entrican of Stoneyfalls who married his cousing Rebecca Entrican of Gortlougher on 2nd August 1852. I have some information on both of thire fathers and I think there was a third brother called Moses

  2. Robert Entrican, who married Jane Jack and came out to New Zealand, was a younger brother of John Cuthbertson Entrican, who married his cousin Rebecca Entrican and lived all his life in Ireland. Both brothers named daughters after their mother, Sarah Bogle. wife of James Entrican.