The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Bathgate, Hon. John

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Bathgate, Hon. John, M.L.C. New Zealand, was born in Edinburgh in 1809, and educated at Edinburgh High School and Edinburgh University. He was admitted as a writer and practised his profession in Peebles, holding the office of Procurator Fiscal for the county for many years. He went to Dunedin, N.Z., in 1863, as General Manager of the Bank of Otago. He was elected a member of the Provincial Council of Otago in 1869, and for a time held office in the executive as Provincial Solicitor. He was appointed major of Volunteers in 1866, and practised as a barrister and solicitor in Dunedin from the year 1869. In 1871 he was elected to the House of Representatives for Dunedin city, and on Oct. 11th, joined the short-lived Waterhouse Ministry as Commissioner of Customs, which office he exchanged on the 29th for those of Minister of Justice and Commissioner of Stamps. On March 3rd, when Mr. Waterhouse retired in favour of Sir Julius Vogel, Mr. Bathgate retained his portfolios. During his term of office he carried a district county bill and an insolvency bill; and on Feb. 20th, 1874, he retired from the House, and was later appointed to a district judgeship in Otago. Having obtained a year's leave of absence, he went to England, where he embraced every opportunity of bringing the colony before the public by lecturing and otherwise. Shortly after his return to the colony the office of District Judge at Dunedin was abolished, and in 1885 he was called to a seat in the Legislative Council. He died Sept. 21st, 1886. Mr. Bathgate was the author of "New Zealand: its Resources and Prospects" (London and Edinburgh), 1881.