Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Laurie Brothers, of Newton and West Auckland


I've just received this comment to my earlier post on the New Lynn brickmakers memorial:
 "I am after a LAURIE BROS brick as they were my ancestors and started out in Karangahape road and then moved out west. If anyone could help please email at bmlauries@xtra.co.nz

Thank you,

Brian Laurie." 
So if anyone out there has a spare Lauries brick, do please get in touch with Brian.

This is what information I have to hand on the Lauries.


The Laurie family arrived in New Zealand on the Duchess of Argyll in 1842. The sons Robert, James and Matthew by the 1850s were engaged in brickmaking in the Newton area, behind the present-day site of the George Court building on Karangahape Road. A child of one of the brothers drowned at the Newton works (Reg Laurie recalled the child was Reginald, son of Robert Laurie, but a news report in 1858 named the child as William Allison Laurie.)

The Laurie Brothers’ purchased 100 acres beside the Whau River (present day Hepburn Road site) and there they had three cottages built. Their 100 acre purchase adjoined on three sides a 10 acre purchase by brickmaker John Malam that year: the Laurie family obtained title to this piece of land only after John Malam’s death in 1899, and even then not until 1907. The Lauries were still residing at Newton in the late 1860s, but by 1869 the surviving brother, Robert (1829-1899), had set himself up in West Auckland, with his son Matthew born “at the Whau” In November that year. Another son was born in March 1875, at the residence, “Whau, Brickyards.” It would appear therefore that by the early 1870s, Robert Laurie had a brickyard in operation, alongside the John Malam yard.

The Laurie family were involved with the setting up of the first school in Henderson, operating the “Railway Store” in Henderson township by 1881, and had a brickmaking operation in Waihi.

After Robert Laurie’s death, the Laurie property at Hepburn Road was subdivided.

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