A Pastoral Kingdom Divided

A Pastoral Kingdom Divided

Cheviot, 1889–1894

Cheviot Hills, an 84,000 acre North Canterbury sheep run, was a symbol of vast and impregnable wealth to nineteenth-century New Zealand. But in the 1890s it became the first 'big estate’ acquired by the Liberal Government and broken up into small farms.

Jim Gardner, a former Canterbury University historian, tells the fascinating story of the first great battle of a government championing the rights of land-hungry New Zealanders. But it is also a story about the emerging supremacy of Cabinet government and the development of modern politics.

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Table of contents


1. William Robinson and Cheviot Hills
2. The Robinson inheritance
3. Harry Bell – Between Wellington and Cheviot
4. Harry Bell – Between Sara and Emily
5. Towards a private sale of Cheviot
6. Towards the public sale of Cheviot
7. 'Bursting up the big estates'
8. 'Putting the small man on the land'
9. The decision to acquire Cheviot
10. Turning Cheviot into cash
11. The politics of Cheviot – Cabinet and parliament
12. The politics of Cheviot – A settlement for Canterbury
13. Preparing the site
14. The Cheviot settlement
15. The Cheviot settlers
16. Cheviots to come


Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2015
Pages: 247
ISBN: 9780908912346
ISTC: A02201200002103B
DOI: 10.7810/9780908912346

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'… A Pastoral Kingdom Divided is almost certainly Gardner's finest written contribution to New Zealand historical scholarship.' Brad Patterson, New Zealand Journal of History, 1993

Read Russell Stone's review in New Zealand Books.