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James Frederick Stuart-Wortley JP (16 January 1833 – 27 November 1870) was a politician in New Zealand and the UK.


Stuart-Wortley was born in York, UK, in 1833 and was the third son of the 2nd Lord Wharncliffe and his wife, Lady Georgiana Elizabeth Ryder.[1] He was the younger brother of the 1st Earl of Wharncliffe (1827–1899).[2] Charles Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie and James Stuart-Wortley were his uncles.[3] Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby was his maternal grandfather.

In 1850 he travelled to New Zealand as a colonist on the Charlotte Jane, one of the First Four Ships sent by the Canterbury Association.[4] In his first year, he lived with other bachelors in LytteltonCharles Bowen, Thomas Hanmer, and Charles Maunsell—in a place dubbed "Singleton House" by Charlotte Godley.[5]

He bought 500 acres (200 ha) of land at Tai Tapu near Halswell.[6] In October 1852, he purchased Run 53, located between Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora and the Selwyn River / Waikirikiri. He on-sold the land in June 1853 and it became part of the Harman and Davie's Station.[7] Stuart-Wortley then started Hawkeswood Station in partnership with others. This station was located north of the Waiau River.[7]

On 27 August 1853, he was elected to the 1st New Zealand Parliament as a representative of the Christchurch Country electorate,[8] which consisted of rural Canterbury and much of Westland. He was 20 years and 7 months when elected; so was not yet 21, the minimum age to qualify as an elector. The other qualifications in 1853 were to be male, a British subject, to own a certain value of land, and to not be serving a criminal sentence.

He resigned his seat on 18 July 1855[8] and returned to the United Kingdom.[9] His seat stayed vacant until the next election, which was held on 20 December 1855 in the Christchurch Country electorate.[10]

After the first session of Parliament finished in August 1854, Stuart-Wortley travelled with Frederick Weld from Auckland (where Parliament met in those years) to Tauranga, Maketu and Rotorua.[11]

He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in early 1858.[12] He returned to England later in 1858.[6]

In the UK, he stood for election to the House of Commons at the 1865 general election, when he was an unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate for Sheffield.[13]

Stuart-Wortley died in England in November 1870, aged 37.[14] His elder brother Edward built St Mary and St John's Church, Hardraw as a memorial to him.[15]

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