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George Yates & Fanny Lethbridge

Ivybridge, Devon - painted abt 1775 by Francis Towne

George Yates Lethbridge b: 14 Nov 1820 at Ivybridge, Devon, the first-born of parents Richard and Louise Lethbridge. He was bapt: 4 Dec 1820. Richard was 44 and Louisa was 40, and their six  children - George 20, Thomas 18, Richard Jnr 15, Mary 13, Emily 10 and Edith 2 years old when the decision was made to immigrateThey arrived at New Plymouth on Nov 7, 1841 on the NZ company vessel Oriental after a 138 day voyage (19 1/2 weeks)

George  mar: 26 Aug 1851 at New Plymouth Wesleyan Church to Frances (Fanny) Perry. She was bapt: 22 Jul 1827 Crowan, Cornwall and immigrated 25 Mar 1841 with her parents John Perry and Frances (Fanny) nee Pascoe. The Perry family arrived at New Plymouth  Sept 3, 1841 on "Amelia Thompson". Fanny Yates d: 23 Feb 1888 in Turakina  and was bur: 25 Feb 1888 at the Turakina Cemetery.) George d: 03 May 1902 in Turakina - bur: 05 May 1902 at the Turakina Cemetery.

Taranaki Herald, 20 Sept 1854:The tenders for depasturing (grazing) on the Town lands, were opened at the office of the Superintendent in the presence of several of the persons tendering: District No. I.— Bounded by the Sea Beach on the North West, by Queen-street on the North East, by the River Mangatuku on the South East, and by Cuttield Road on the South West. G Y Lethbridge (accepted) £20)

George in 1856 along with H L Redhead and Jon Brooking were
responsible for the
accounting expenditure for costing of the public works undertaken in New Plymouth and 1857 the Ratepayers elected R. Brown, F. U. Gledhill, and G. Y. Lethbridge, as Commissioners and George was to represent  the Grey and Bell districts (he resigned May 1864) The family farmed at New Plymouth but in the early 1860's, the Maori uprising meant that Fanny and her children went to Nelson for safety but were able to return when hostilies ceased. George during this period continued his duties as road commissioner for the town and became a contractor supplying food to the Taranaki troops. 

In April 1861 GEORGE YATES LETHBRIDGE,  Butcher of Devon St, Taranaki sold and moved his business to Brougham Street and on 27th May 1865 posted an advertisement that he was selling

During that year he took several trips north by coastal shipping - he was searhing for land to purchase. In Aug 1865, in anticipation of a future move, he started selling stock and his butchery business was sold 14 Oct 1865.

He went to the Wanganui area with his son Frank in Nov 1866 where they negotiated a land purchase. To reach their property named Annbank situated to the north of the Turakina township, , the family travelled down the Beach Highway from New Plymouth to Wanganui then inland to Rangitikei

The Lethbridge Town Board was the local body that governed the district, extending from the Turakina River to the Makirikiri Stream, and including in its boundaries the township of Turakina.  It was established about 1876 and named after its much respected chairman, Mr. G.Y. Lethbridge who held that office there for most of the time until 1925 when Turakina merged with the Rangitikei County Council.

In March 1873 George Lethbridge's wool-shed, at Turakina, was destroyed by fire. The shed contained four bales of lambs wool, a valuable threshing and winnowing machine, together with eight acres yield of oats and twenty tons of potatoes, a new wool-press valued at £150, and other farm implements was totally destroyed - a loss estimated as fully worth £2,000.

George Lethbridge J.P., took his claim for compensation for land taken for railway purposes to the Wanganui Court. He was the largest land holder in the Turakina district and claimed a sum of £1,300 as compensation for about thirty-three acres of land required for the Wanganui-Manawatu Railway but was left very dissatisfied when the Resident Magistrate and Government land purchaser, Mr. C. W. Smith, offered a reduced £498.

DEATH. Lethbridge—At Ann Bank, Turakina.on the 23rd inst;, Fanny, the beloved wife of George Yates Lethbridge; aged 59 years. Friends are informed that the Funeral will leave her late residence, Ann Bank, for the Turakina Cemetery, on Saturday afternoon, the 25th instant, at 3 o'clock

George and his sons began to acquire land in large quantities - in 1897 they held 2200 freehold acres near the railway station leased 7000 acres from Maori owners, held abt 2500 acres at Bonny Glen and 7200 acres of freehold land outside Fielding township, all carrying over 21000 sheep and 1000 cattle. His wool brand G.Y.L was known for its quality in England - this land was later subdivided
The population of the district ascertained by a census in 1896 was 251 and the annual value of the rateable properties of the district is £1581, the rate being 8d in the £. The members of the Board for the same year were: Messrs. G. Y. Lethbridge, J.P. (chairman), R. N. Scannell, A. McDonald, G. Franklin, and D. S. Glasgow; Mr. R. J. Knox is the secretary. Over the time Turakina developed as a small rural service centre with 2 railway stations.

Photograph taken by the studio of William James Harding, Wanganui

DEATH.LETHBRIDGE.—On May 3rd, at Turakina, George Yates Lethbridge. aged 82 years. FUNERAL NOTICE. Friends are informed that the Funeral will leave his late residence, Ann Bank. Turakina. at 2.30 on Monday, the 5th instant.—Purser and Son, Undertakers.

Feilding Star, 6 May 1902: The funeral of the late Mr G. Y. Lethbridge took place at Turakina yesterday, and was attended by many representatives of the old settlers on this coast, The deceased gentleman was born at Ivybride, Devonshire, 1819. He came to the colony in 1840 and settled in New Plymouth and went all through the Maori wars and had the contracts for the supplies to the troops In August, 1851, he married a daughter of Mr John Perry, of New Plymouth.and in 1866 came with his wife and family to Ann Bank, Turakina. In the early days Mr Lethbridge was a member of the Taranaki Provincial Council, was first chairman of the Rangitikei County Council, and has been chairman of the Lethbridge Town Board almost continuously since it started, His wife died in February, 1888. The deceased's family consists of five sons and two daughters, all of whom are married, The sons are all highly respected settlers in the district, one of them being Mr F. V Lethbridge, the present member for Rangitikei. We sympathise with the numerous relatives of the deceased in their bereavement.

Wanganui Herald,  28 May 1904 The-largest deceased person's estate in the Wellington district finally certified for stamp duty this month was that of the late George Yates Lethbridge - £31,225.

Death: George Yates Lethbridge at Turakina. "The late Mr Lethbridge was a representative colonist of many years standing and distinguished for services during the Maori war. Mr Lethbridge was one of the first settlers of Taranaki, having arrived with his father and mother and family by the Oriental on Nov 18th, 1841"

Headstone Inscription: In loving memory of FANNY PERRY wife of George Yates LETHBRIDGE died 23rd September 1888 aged 59 years, also MARY ALICE SORELY, daughter of George Yates Lethbridge, died 11th April 1945 aged 81 years
Headstone Inscription In memory of George Yates Lethbridge born at Ivy Bridge, Devon, England, died at Turakina, N.Z 3rd May 1902, 81 years of age