Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two brewers named Arkell

Former Arkell Homestead, Hillsborough Road, Waikowhai. Photographed 16 June 2011.

In this country in the 19th century, there were two brewers and publicans with the surname of Arkell. Exactly what connection or relationship there was to each other, I still don't know, but the link only ever appeared years after the death of the first. Hopefully, as more of our newspapers appear online at Papers Past, and other national digital heritage databases make their appearance, then a few more pieces will be added to the puzzle.

[Update 23 August 2011: I've just received an email from Doreen M Muller, Arkell family historian, who wrote: "John and Daniel were brothers,  John being the elder by some years." Thanks, Doreen.]

Updated 26 May 2013 with info from NZ Herald.

Updated 19 August 2014 -- image of beer duty stamp provided by Bruce Mai. Thank you, Bruce!

Updated 24 September 2014.

Updated 21 May 2020 -- correcting May Delicia Thatcher's name.

Let's begin with John Arkell.

He first appears with an advertisement on 2 July 1863 in the Otago Daily Times for his White Star Brewery at Caversham, "Arkell & Peake, Brewers of Ale and Porter of the very best quality”.

WE, the undersigned, Hereby Give Notice, that we have this day, by mutual consent, dissolved the Partnership hitherto existing between us as Brewers. The Business, in future, will be carried on by JOHN ARKELL who will pay all debts and receive all accounts in connection with the late firm. (Signed) JOHN ARKELL. JOHN PEAKE. Witnesses— Henry East, Henry Crump. White Star Brewery, Caversham. 2nd August, 1864.
Otago Daily Times 8 August 1864

Later that month, White Star was taken over by Samuel Marks of the Dunedin Brewery. (OTD 18 August 1864) John Arkell apparently used that buy-out to start up another partnership on Weld Street in Hokitika with Samuel Pizzey, the Phoenix Brewery. (Timaru Herald 17 June 1865) This partnership led to a dissolution in March 1866, bankruptcy for Arkell for a time until September 1867, then reestablishment of the partnership as Samual Pizzey & Co up until October 1871. In the latter years at Hokitika, Arkell was also Steward of the local Jockey Club, while brewing Pizzey's beer. (various reports, West Coast Times)

By January 1872, Arkell had a store at Machine Site Road, Murray Creek, Inangahua with Frederick Franklyn. This partnership dissolved that month with Arkell selling his interest. (West Coast Time 6 January 1872; 13 January 1872) Arkell then said he would start a brewery at Inangahua. By April 1872, this was known as the Arkell & McPhee (Murdock) brewery. (West Coast Times 15 January 1872; Grey River Argus 8 April 1872)

In May 1874, Arkell shifted to Old Customhouse Street, Wellington, to take up a brewing partnership as Mace & Arkell. It is operational by August. Arkell hadn't forgotten his heyday on the West Coast: both Mace and Arkell were reported in the papers as having hailed from Hokitika. They also ran the New Zealand Hotel in Manners Street by 1875, then the Brunswick Hotel, Willis Street South sold their brews.
(West Coast Times 26 May 1874; Grey River Argus 2 November 1875; Evening Post  7 September 1876; 1 June 1876)

In 1878 Mace & Arkell’s brewery and hotel interests was sold to a George McCarthy, (Evening Post, 22 June 1878) but as was shown later after John Arkell had died, not all the interests were sold off. He then bought an interest in the Commercial Hotel in Wanganui, entering into partnership with W E McLevie formerly of the Royal Mail Hotel, Hokitika. (Evening Post 28 January 1879; West Coast Times, 14 March 1879)

Next came Arkell's period at the Maitai Malthouse in Nelson. He leased it for 10 years from 1 April 1879 from James Hooper. (Nelson Evening Mail 19 February 1880; 15 May 1880) At this point, John Arkell appears to have had an interest in Auckland. Whether he was up there for medical treatment (although why not at Wellington?) or some other reason is still not certain.

We regret to learn that a telegram was received to-day by Mr B Osborne from Mr Harper, traveller for the firm of Copeland and Co., stating that Mr Arkell, who has for some time been carrying on business in Nelson as a maltster and hopgrower, died suddenly at Auckland this morning. The cause of death is supposed to have been heart disease, from which the deceased was known to be suffering. Mr Arkell leaves a widow and family in Nelson.
Nelson Evening Mail 24 January 1881

He died in the Albert Hotel, Auckland, 24 January 1881, aged only 40 years. William Findlay and Thomas Duncan were appointed executors for Arkell’s estate. (Evening Post, 16 February 1881) Rosie, John Arkell’s widow, died at Nelson 9 January 1885. (Nelson Evening Mail, 10 January 1885) John Arkell's estate, however, continued -- and so we now introduce the second Mr Arkell.

Daniel Arkell

Tracking him is a problem. Daniel Arkell left very few traces of his career path prior to 1878. I was fortunate to find this first reference, a marriage notice from the Sydney Morning Herald of an event which took place back in the Old Country -- at Watford, Herefordshire, in 1876.

ARKELL — WADE. — October 3, at Watford, Herefordshire,
Daniel, youngest son of Mr. John Arkell, to Susannah, only child of the late Frederick Wade, of Sydney, N. S. W., and eldest daughter of Mrs. Pain, Belmore-street, Albion Estate.
Sydney Morning Herald 3 February 1877

Then, he seems to have accompanied his bride Susannah back to Australia, arriving in Sydney on the Barrabool 23 February 1877. (Sydney Morning Herald, 24 February) He then set up what was to become his signature business -- a brewery. Well, at least for a few months.
I have THIS DAY, sold to Mr. Killeher, all my right, title, and interest in a BOTTLED BEER BUSINESS, carried on by me at 161, Kent-street, Sydney.
Witness: W. Ward, June 15, 1876. [1877]
Sydney Morning Herald 21 June 1877

A Mr and Mrs Arkell then left Sydney for Auckland on the Rotorua, 11 July 1877. (Sydney Morning Herald, 12 July) Eight months later, Daniel Arkell is mine host at the Point Russell Hotel, Mercer.
DANIEL ARKELL begs to inform the travelling public that he has made great improvements to the above well-known Hotel, and in addition to other excellent accommodation, there is now added a Railway Refreshment Room at the Station for the special convenience of travellers by every train. The Best of Wines and Spirits. Hancock's sparkling Ale.
Auckland Star 15 March 1878

I suspect that he had an agreement with brewers Hancock & Co, as they were identified as the owners when the hotel burned in 1876. Up until mid 1889, all of Arkell's dealings whether as a publican or a bottler was in conjunction with the Newmarket firm. Later in 1878, he branched out to lease the refreshment room at Mercer train station.

The refreshment room opened by Mr Arkell at the Mercer railway station, has proved not only a success financially, but has given unlimited satisfaction to travellers. Mr Arkell has a smart style of serving up the refreshments, and the hungry traveller can sit down at once to a hot meal, and have ample time to do justice to the same prior to the departure of the train. We understand that the railway department is so well satisfied with the success of the establishment that they have decided to add a ladies' refreshment room, which will embrace a variety of much-needed retiring rooms, and will be fitted up with mirrors &c., so that travelling beauties may attend to their personal adornments.
Auckland Star 30 July 1878

By August 1878, he was Chairman of the Mercer Highway District Board. (Public notice, NZ Herald, 5 August 1878, p1)
On Wednesday there was considerable excitement caused at Mercer, just as the train left for Auckland, by Mrs Arkell, of the Point Russell Hotel, suddenly missing a valuable diamond ring. She discovered her loss a few minutes after the servant had left the hotel. The servant was taking her final departure, having had notice to leave. Mrs Arkell at once told her husband, who went for Constable Walker, and the two ran down the line shouting after the train. The servant was charged with taking the ring, and from her pocket was produced one of Mrs Arkell's pocket-handkerchiefs, in which the diamond ring was wrapped. She was taken into custody, and charged yesterday before Captain Jackson with larceny, receiving a sentence of one month's imprisonment.
Auckland Star 13 September 1878

The manner of catering at the Refreshment rooms at Mercer is thus apologised for in the Auckland Star: — “The lessee of the Mercer refreshment room pays £53 per year to the railway department for the privilege of selling refreshment to the travelling public ; he also pays a further sum of £15 for license to sell liquors. On the arrival of each passenger train at Mercer, a repast is ready on the tables, consisting of two joints of meat, besides butter, jam, &c, and as many cups of tea or coffee as may be required, the charge for which is the reasonable sum of 1s 6d. The lessee labours under a disadvantage in not having separate rooms m which to provide a different class of refreshments. All passengers rush to one common table. The tattooed Maori, in his odoriferous blanket is seen sitting in proximity to the fair belle from the city. Half-drunken men squeeze in amongst the highest aristocracy of the land. With such diversity of people and tastes, the only chance of giving satisfaction lies in the caterer striking the happy medium and giving a good substantial meal at a moderate charge, which appears to have been done by Mr Arkell. With increased accommodation, first and second class tables might be provided at 1s and 2s, or whatever figure would satisfy. At least a select room for ladies should be added."
Waikato Times 8 March 1879

Mercer, 19th May. About two o'clock this morning the Railway Station at Mercer, together with the refreshment room and ladies' waiting room, was completely destroyed by fire. It was caused by a heated stove pipe igniting a wooden wall. The fire was discovered by the people at Riddler's Hotel, and William Morgan gave the alarm. The fire was then bursting through the roof of the station office. Only a few articles of furniture were saved. The stationmaster had been making up accounts till after mid-night. No one slept on the premises. The buildings had recently been enlarged. Mr. Arkell is the proprietor of the refreshment-rooms, which are insured for £50 in the Norwich Union. He estimates his loss at between £40 and £50. The adjoining buildings were saved by the use of wet blankets. Had not the house been wet with rain, the Telegraph and Post Office and other buildings must have been destroyed. They were in great jeopardy, and as it was the furniture had to be moved out. Mr. McDonald, the General Manager, comes by special train (to) view the ruins.
Evening Post 19 May 1879

Waikato Times 25 December 1879

Then, sometime over the course of 1880-1882, Arkell moved north to Auckland, and never left. In April 1882, he purchased 128 Newton Road (2 lots) from Mrs Jane Fairburn and Mrs Susan Jane Bennett (NA 26/269), between what is today St Benedict's Street and Upper Queen Street. He may have lived there for a time, but he worked at Hancock & Co's building in Custom Street. (Advertisement, Auckland Star, 14 June 1882)

He was almost granted a licence for the (then) unfinished Waverley Hotel, but court actions (he sold a glass of sherry at the hotel without a license to do so) and licensing committee objections to the transfer prevented that. (Auckland Star 24 December 1883; 2 April 1884)

Arkell's Gladstone Street bottling store and brewery, Gladstone/St Benedict's Street frontage, possibly 1890s. Ref. 4-RIC96, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Council Libraries. By kind permission.

Then, in June 1886 – Arkell started construction of his Gladstone Street brewery, designed by architect Robert Keals, and built by Thomas Julian. (Auckland Star 18 July 1887) The court case he undertook suing the Council for damage done to his new building by their earthworks in levelling Gladstone Road he eventually lost, to the tune of £500 in total costs. (Thames Star, 26 July 1887) The bridge you see the children standing on remained there through to 1908 at least, connecting the raised street across the deep gully to the building's front door.

Then, in April 1887 comes the first link I have between the two Arkell brewers. 

Re John Arkell deceased.—Mr Harley applied for the appointment of Mr Daniel Arkell of Auckland, as a new Trustee, in place of Mr William Finley, who had renounced. The application was granted.
 Colonist 23 April 1887

Were John and Daniel Arkell brothers? John and Rosie Arkell had young children when John died, so I don't think he was Daniel's father as mentioned in the earlier marriage notice. The children, then still in their minority, were probably the reason for the enduring estate. It certainly gave Daniel Arkell a greater business than just his Eden Terrace bottling concern. For one thing, as executor to John Arkell’s estate, Daniel Arkell now owned the Newtown Hotel in Wellington. (Evening Post 5 May 1891; 7 May 1898)

In Auckland he was primarily a publican, or at least a license holder, up to April 1889, working in with Hancock's. He transfered the  license for the Royal Hotel, Princes St, Onehunga to Capt. Hargraves in March/April 1888, after holding it for around a couple of years. (Auckland Star 1 March 1888) In August 1888, James Murdoch transferred his licence for the Avondale Hotel to Arkell (Auckland Star 8 August 1888) who retained it until further transferring to Michael Foley in June 1889. (Auckland Star 1 May 1889) He was one of Avondale's briefest "publicans", possibly acting as a place-holder for Hancocks to keep the license going while the new hotel was being built.

By December 1888, during his period as Avondale's publican-in-name, Arkell was manager of the Te Aroha Soda and Mineral Waters Co., a subsidiary of Hancock & Co. Arkell’s office as Hancock & Co bottlers (the first use of his bottling plant at Eden Terrace, most likely) was at 83 Queen Street in May, 1889. By July, however, there seems to have been a parting of the ways between Arkell and his employer/partner of the previous 11 years – Arkell warned in public notices that Hancocks and their employees are not authorised to take money meant for him. (Auckland Star 4 May 1889; 31 July 1889) In turn, Hancocks sold the Te Aroha Soda and Mineral Waters company to John Grey & Son in November 1889. (Auckland Star 19 December 1888; 19 November 1889)

Arkell's Gladstone Street bottling store and brewery, from the rear, possibly 1890s. Ref. 4-RIC97, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Council Libraries. By kind permission.

From around August 1889, now in business for himself, Arkell now advertised that he bottled "Dunedin Ale & Stout, and Strachans XXXX Ale" from Gladstone Street. A claim that, a few years later, would cause trouble between him and the Dunedin brewers. From July 1902, they distanced themselves from Arkell in public notices which seemed to go on for weeks.

Auckland Star 11 July 1902

In July 1891, Arkell refused a wholesale license for an outlet on College Road ... (Auckland Star 14 July 1891)

Auckland Star 22 August 1891

... but by August 1891, his Eden Terrace bottling plant and brewery appears to have expanded to both Newton & Gladstone Road frontages. Now we see a trademark appearing, a star rising from the waters (I don't think it's a star sinking beneath the waters ...)

One thing about Daniel Arkell, he was certainly not a pushover. In fact, he was armed.

A man named Thomas Lamb was charged at the Police Court this morning with having on the 21st of May wilfully trespassed on the premises of Daniel Arkell, and refusing to leave when warned to do so.

Captain Harris and Mr J. Gordon were the presiding justices. Inspector Broham conducted the case for the prosecution. Daniel Arkell deposed that the man was discharged from his employ, but he refused to go on Saturday. Constable Howell was sent for and removed him. At 7.30 o'clock witness again heard somebody on the premises and upon calling heard no reply. He then fired his revolver into the ground to frighten the person. He found it was the defendant.

The prisoner stated that he had gone out and visited 22 houses in three hours for Mr Arkell. Upon returning, he was discharged for being so long. He claimed to receive 36s more than the amount paid him.

Inspector Broham said that the man had a wife and family. He suggested that the man should be cautioned and dealt with leniently. This was done, and a fine of 10s and costs, or 24 hours' imprisonment in default, was imposed.
Auckland Star 23 May 1892

He called upon the services of R Keals & Sons to design more premises at Gladstone Street in March 1894, a malthouse and storage premises. (Auckland Star 1 March 1894)

… the tender of Messrs Philcox and Son for £2,292 has been accepted. The new building is to be situated at the rear of the present brewery in Gladstone-street, near the head of Khyber Pass, and will form an extension of the present premises.
Auckland Star 15 March 1894

We would draw attention to a new advertisement appearing on Page 1 from Mr Daniel Arkell, of the Gladstone Brewery, Auckland. Mr Arkell has built up a splendid business in Auckland as a brewer, master, and bottler, and his brands are being extensively sod all over the colony. As he supplies a superior and most reliable article, he should meet with considerable success in the Thames and Up-country districts.
Thames Star 25 June 1896

Then, in 1901, he had his house built, at 461A Hillsborough Road, out in the country (the road was Ridge Road), with a splendid view of the many moods of the Manukau Harbour with a spacious garden and grassland of over 73 acres attached. Once again, he used his preferred architect, Richard Keals. There may not be many of Richard Keals' residences left in Auckland region -- this one, from the outside, is a beauty.
Messrs R. Keals and Sons received tenders to-day for a two-storey residence in brick at Waikowai, for Mr D. Arkell. The tender of Mr W. G. Smith, builder of this city, has been accepted (£2339).
Auckland Star 2 April 1901; NZ Herald 3 April 1901 p6

Arkell's Waikowhai property has a somewhat perplexing title history. We know he began arranging for his house to be built in 1901. The above plan (DP 3537, LINZ crown copyright) dates from October 1904, and shows his house facing Ridge Road, and the formation of "Arkell's Road" (now Dominion Road Extension) which took place in 1902 (advertisement from Mt Roskill Road Board, Auckland Star 8 February 1902). But, then we have the following notice:
Notice is hereby given that the several Parcels of Land hereinafter described will be brought under the Provisions of the Land Transfer Act, 1885, and its amendments, unless caveat be lodged forbidding the same within one month from the date of the Gazette containing this notice : — 4180 ALEXANDER AITKEN, JEANNIE STIRLING Part of Allotments 17, 18 and 21, Section 13, Suburb of Auckland, containing 73 acres 3 roods 21 perches, occupied by Daniel Arkell. Diagrams may be inspected at this Office. Dated this 7th day of October, 1905, at the Lands Registry Office, Auckland.
Observer 14 October 1905

In 1905, Alexander Aitken, Jeannie Stirling Richmond and Samuel Hesketh had title to the property (NA 130/157). Alexander Aitken and Jeannie Richmond were nephew and niece to land agent William Aitken who died in July 1901. Possibly (and I'd need to check the application file on this some time) Daniel Arkell had started coming to an agreement with William Aitken for the property, but Aitken's death intervened, putting Arkell into somewhat of a limbo legally. Meanwhile, Arkell's Road was formed, and in 1905 William Aitken's heirs, along with solicitor Samuel Hesketh, put in a successful claim to a title based on Aitken's estate. Arkell finally secured title formally in November 1905, but the Aitken family included the following in the transfer:

"... reserving to the said Alexander Aitken, Jeannie Stirling Richmond and Samuel Hesketh one half of all minerals (except kauri gum) metals and precious stones ..." (NA130/157)

Arkell apparently secured more land on the other side of Arkell's Road later on.
4716 — DANIEL ARKELL — Parts of Allotment 15, 16, 17, Section 13, Suburbs of Auckland, containing 37 acres 3 roods 25.4 perches, and right of way, occupied by applicant.
Observer 12 September 1908

Auckland Star 30 December 1899

Also in 1901, another brief chapter in Arkell's career -- the time he ran for election as Mayor of Auckland City. When he wasn't supposed to ...

In 1901, the royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (future King George V) occurred. The city fathers, aware that Dr. John Logan Campbell intended giving his One Tree Hill estate to the people of Auckland, thought it would be wonderful if they had the "Father of Auckland" himself installed as Mayor in time to greet the royal visitors. To that end, one candidate (Joseph H Witheford, MHR) was convinced to withdraw, so that Campbell would be appointed Mayor without need for an election.

Observer 23 March 1901

(To the Editor.)
Sir,— I trust Dr. Campbell will accede to the unanimous desire of the Auckland people to accept the office of Mayor. There\, need be no personal trouble imposed upon our venerable fellow-citizen in connection with the matter. It would be such colossal impudence for anyone to contest the election that no fear of opposition need be entertained.—I am, etc., W. J. NAPIER, March 13th, 1901
Auckland Star 14 March 1901

For three weeks, it all seemed to be done and dusted. And then ...

Mr David Arkell announces himself as a candidate for the Mayoralty of Auckland. Dr Campbell is not to have a walk over after all.
Thames Star 8 April 1901

Mr. Daniel Arkell, brewer, at one time in Wellington, is a candidate for the Mayoralty of Auckland.
Evening Post 12 April 1901

He also had policies, which he expressed in newspaper notices.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,— In placing myself before you for such a responsible position as that of Mayor of the City. I am not actuated by any personal motive, nor with ambition for honours, but strictly to look keenly after the interests, welfare, and improvements of the City. I beg therefore respectfully to place before you briefly my views on a few of the most Important matters connected with the City.
1. CITY WATER SUPPLY.-I consider it a shame that this important work has not been carried out long ago. I am in favour of the present scheme, and consider the work should be pushed ahead without delay. We should then have a cheaper supply of water, and would be able to adopt the flush pan system in our closets, and thus do away with the present pan system, which is a nocturnal nuisance and likely to spread the germs of disease in the most healthy locality.
2. SEWERAGE.—I am in favour of a complete permanent system of drainage, and consider that our drains should be more frequently cleansed than they now are.
3. FIRE BRIGADE AND STATION.—I am in favour of the new site, and consider the building should be started without delay, and that the latest improved fire appliances and fire life escape should be obtained. I would also like to see a properly trained Fire Brigade, to be paid annual salaries, the men to be located at the Brigade Station. In this respect Auckland is very much behind other centres of the colony.
4. OUR STREETS.-They speak for themselves, and certainly require a great deal of attention and repair, which should be taken in hand during the coming winter.
5. SWIMMING BATHS.—I am in favour of erecting another Swimming Bath with as moderate an outlay as possible, and feel sure if erected to suit the people the cost would soon be repaid.
6. ELECTRIC LIGHT—This I am strongly in favour of. Auckland is shamefully behind the times in this respect, and now we are to have Electric Trams there is no reason why we should not have Electric Light—this not to be monopoly, but the property of the City.
7. CITY ABATTOIRS.—These should be erected on a more suitable place than the present, and placed under proper supervision; no meat to be allowed to leave for the market without being stamped. This system is adopted in other large cities and found to work admirably.
8. I am in favour of rating on the unimproved land values.
9. VICTORIA PARK.—I am in favour of the Park, but would endeavour to secure the whole of the Patteson-street frontage.
TOWN HALL.—This question has been too many years neglected, and I would be in favour of purchasing the adjoining allotments and erecting a handsome building suitable to the requirements of the City.
DRILL SHED.—I am in favour of a new Drill Shed being erected suitable to the wants of our Volunteers, and the site to be decided on by a vote of the Volunteers of the district. This, however, is not a municipal matter, but one which affects the Instruction and strengthening of our Volunteers, who certainly should be afforded every encouragement, not knowing the day that their services may be again required.
I have the honour to remain,
Yours obediently,
DANIEL ARKELL. April 13, 1901.
Auckland Star 13 April 1901

Outrageous! This Eden Terrace brewer, of seemingly little fame, compared with the founder of the Campbell side of the Campbell & Ehrenfried business empire of breweries and hotels, had the "colossal impudence" to try to spoil the best laid plans of the City Fathers. Such is why I privately call Daniel Arkell "the spoiler". Graham Bush, in Decently and In Order: The Centennial History of Auckland City Council (1971) refers to Arkell as "an undeferential hard-heart" who "perversely made the aged doctor go to the polls."

The City Fathers tried to dissuade Arkell ...
Yesterday afternoon a deputation consisting of Messrs J M. Shera, A. R. Watson and W. J. Courtney waited on Mr D. Arkell in connection with his nomination for the office of Mayor during the ensuing term. Mr Courtney, who acted as spokesman, pointed out to Mr Arkell that the election of Dr. Campbell bore every appearance of being by all classes in the community, and it was difficult to see what object Mr Arkell could have in courting certain and probably ignominious defeat. Before anything more was said Mr Arkell broke in with an assurance that he was determined to go to the poll and abruptly left the deputation, which had no alternative but to withdraw.
 Auckland Star 17 April 1901

Mr Daniel Arkell is apparently determined to go to the poll for the Auckland Mayoralty. A deputation waited upon him to impress upon him the advisability of retiring from the contest for the Mayoralty, as they believed that they represented the voice of the community, and in their opinion, he had no chance of being elected. Before Mr Courtney had spoken to Mr Arkell for three minutes the latter went out of the room and would not hear anything further, but simply contented himself with stating that he would go to the poll. Mr Courtney says that before Mr Arkell left the room he told that gentleman that it was the general desire of citizens that Dr. J. Logan Campbell should be Mayor. He again asked Mr Arkell to retire with a good grace. Mr Arkell declined to retire, and left.
Thames Star 18 April 1901

While the Auckland Star was certainly in full har-rumph mode.
The nomination of Mr. D. Arkell for the position of Mayor of our city has been received with as much amusement as surprise. It is extremely difficult to understand Mr. Arkell's reason for making his debut in local politics at this juncture. He could not have selected a more inopportune moment. Aucklanders have, we believe, rarely been as unanimously in favour of any candidate for office as in the case of Dr. Campbell. He undertook to fill the Mayoral chair at the request of a deputation truly representative of Auckland's citizens. A gentleman who has rendered considerable public service, and who was contemplating offering himself for the position, courteously withdrew when Dr. Campbell was prevailed on to accede to the wish of the many, and allow himself to be nominated. Now Mr. Arkell, who, as far as we are aware, has never taken an active part in municipal or colonial polities, and whose name even is quite unknown to many Aucklanders, comes forward and asserts his unalterable intention of putting the question to the vote. We do not for a moment wish to suggest that any man has not a perfect right to aspire to the highest position in our local government, but the peculiar circumstances of the present case make the nomination of Mr Arkell in questionable taste. Could this gentleman show us that any one section of Aucklanders is desirous of his offering the city his services, a different complexion would be put on the case, but careful enquiry fails to elicit any information as to from what class or body Mr. Arkell expects to gain support. As a business man Mr. Arkell has, we believe, proved his ability, and we should be glad to see him take an active interest in municipal affairs. But to put the city to the cost of a useless election is a proceeding which the majority of citizens will, we feel sure, regard as wholly inexcusable.
Auckland Star 17 April 1901

The Auckland Ratepayers' Association met last evening, Mr Caleb Wood presiding. In reference to the Mayoralty, Mr Wood expressed the opinion that Mr Arkell had acted inadvisedly in coming out in opposition to Dr. Campbell, and putting the city to considerable expense, when his prospect of success were comparatively nil. The Association resolved, on the motion of Mr Wm. Coleman, to declare in favour of Dr. Campbell, and to take all possible steps to forward that gentleman's candidature for the Mayoralty.
Auckland Star 18 April 1901

The result, though, was a foregone conclusion.

The contest between Dr. J. Logan Campbell and Mr D. Arkell for the City Mayoralty resulted, as was anticipated, in an overwhelming majority for Dr. Campbell, who polled 3517 votes against his opponent's 895.
Auckland Star 25 April 1901

And with that, Daniel Arkell slipped back out of the limelight.

Bruce Mai very kindly sent through an image of a beer duty cinderella stamp in August 2014, dating from 1902, just after the mayoralty run. “Two gallon – Sixpenny New Zealand beer duty stamp that has  “DANIEL ARKEL” July 21  1902, AUCKLAND”

Prohibition, then a rising force, started to clip back sections of his business empire. The Newtown Hotel in Wellington closed on 30 June 1903 due to the previous year’s prohibition poll. (Evening Post 26 November 1902) He still had his brewery at Gladstone Street, managed from 1906 by Herbert J Arkell (NZ Herald 11 April 1906 p4) He finally retired from the business in 1909.

Mr D Arkell, brewer, was presented by his past and present employees on Friday evening with a large gramaphone, suitably inscribed, on the occasion of his retirement from the business, which has just changed hands. The manager, Mr W Duncan, made the presentation, and. Mr. Arkell suitably replied. During the evening a number of songs were contributed by those present, and the gathering terminated with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne."
NZ Herald 4 October 1909 p.6

Arkell left for England for a time in 1910, and in January 1911 his Waikowhai house was offered for lease -- 50 acres all in grass, two-storey 12-room brick house, large stables and coach house, "view over the whole Manukau Harbour". (NZ Herald, 25 January 1911, p3)

Susannah Arkell died on 8 March 1912, and Daniel Arkell followed her on 17 December that year. They were both buried at Waikumete Cemetery. William Henry Knock, a wine and spirit merchant and Thomas Clifford Rowly Thatcher, accountant, were named as executors of Arkell's estate. (NA 26/290) Thomas Thatcher and his wife May (misreported in the newspapers as Mary) were appointed guardians of Arkell's sole heir, an adopted daughter Elsie Bertha Dunlop Arkell, aged around seven years old.

We know about her due to an almost Dickensian-style tale revealed in a court case in 1918.

The action of the guardians of the heiress to an estate worth between £14,000 and £15,000 was challenged in a case which was commenced in the Supreme Court on Saturday before Mr Justice Cooper (says the "New Zealand Herald"). Wm. H. Knock, merchant, of Auckland (the Hon. J. A. Tole, K.S., and Mr Pullen), petitioned for the removal of Thomas C R Thatcher and his wife, Mary Delicia Thatcher (Mr Prendergast), from the guardianship of Elsie B. D. Arkell, a girl about 13 years of age, who is sole beneficiary under the will of the late Daniel Arkell, brewer, of Auckland, by whom she had been adopted. It was also prayed that the petitioner and. Dr. R.. M. Beattie be appointed by the Court as guardians of the child.

Mr Arkell, who died in December, 1912, appointed Messrs Knock and Thatcher executors of his will, and Mr and. Mrs Thatcher guardians of the child. His estate was to vest in the child when she became of age, or married, and in the event of her death before she reached the age of 21 it was to pass to the Jubilee Institute for the Blind. To the guardians he left an allowance of £150 per annum for the child's proper maintenance, clothing and education, and he directed that she should be brought up in the faith of the Church of England.

Mr Tole, in opening the case for the petitioner, said that under the will Miss Arkell inherited an income of between £850 and £900 a year. In May 1915, Mr Thatcher sent her to St. Cuthberts College, but after seven months he took her away to what might be called the back blocks at Waiharakeke, near Raglan, where he had acquired a farm. There she was required to do what could be described as menial drudgery, and was certainly injurious to her health. Mr Knock became doubtful whether the money paid to the Thatchers was being expended in accordance with the will, and, at his insistence, the girl was sent back to St. Cuthbert's College in February last. On her arrival there her wardrobe was found so deficient that clothing had to be borrowed for her. In May she was removed by the Thatchers to Mrs Moore-Jones's School, where she still was. Mr Tole read affidavits by Drs. Milsom and Beattie to the effect that the girl had told them that she was required to rise at 5 .a.m. and to milk four cows morning and evening, that she was not always able to attend school, and that on Saturdays and holidays she was sent out to cut scrub; also that the Thatchers frequently beat her and threw plates at her. It was also stated in the medical affidavits that she was anemic, and of less than average height and weight, and that her education was backward.

Mr Justice Cooper interrupted Mr Tole with a remark that the statements just quoted were purely hearsay on the part of the deponents and could not be accepted as evidence, seeing that the girl herself was a competent witness. The affidavits filed were so contradictory that it was necessary that Miss Arkell should come before the Court for examination.

Mr Prendergast said the child's explanation was that the statements made by her consisted principally in answering "Yes" and ''No" to questions.

After further discussion His Honour adjourned the case to a date to be fixed, both counsel undertaking that until the further hearing neither of their clients should approach the girl.

Affidavits filed by the respondents stated that the child was taken to the country under medical advice; that she was having proper education at the local school and by means of private tuition, and that when it was considered that her health permitted she was sent to boarding school. The deficiency in wardrobe was accounted for by the fact that Mrs Thatcher, on her way to St. Cuthbert's with the girl was taken ill, and had to be removed to the Auckland Hospital, being thus unable to complete the wardrobe by purchases in the city. It was denied that the girl was ever called upon to do milking or other farm work. She had, it was alleged, always been weak in constitution, and the local schoolmaster's testimony is quoted to the effect that she appeared well cared for and happy in her environment.
Ashburton Guardian 1 August 1918

Was the case ever continued? I don't know yet. But Elsie Arkell married Percival Ernest Thatcher, son of her guardians, on 3 January 1923, and died 14 February 1924, aged 19. (BDM online) She was buried in Hillsborough Cemetery.

Executors Knock and Thatcher sold the Newton Road property to John Spinley a bootmaker and his wife Agnes Kate in 1913 (NA26/290). The Gladstone Road property, leased by Arkell to gum dealer Max Lichtenstein from 1910, was sold outright to Lichtenstein in August 1912, before Arkell's death (NA26/292). As for Arkell's grand country homestead at Waikowhai, Percival Thatcher, Elsie's husband, inherited William Knock's trusteeship in 1923, and with his father subdivided the property from August 1925. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd opened their Mt Joseph Orphanage at the homestead in 1931, selling the property only in 1985 when it was converted to become part of the current Hillsborough Heights retirement complex.

Update 29 June 2011: I was given the wonderful opportunity today of having a close look at the building which still exists at 29 St Benedict's Street, now altered internally as apartments, at the invitation of one of the residents (many thanks!)

It was pointed out to me that a spring of water flows from St Benedicts Street down into the gully where Daniel Arkell built his bottling and brewing plant, which would explain why, despite all the strife with the Council over the levels, Arkell still sited his business there. The remains of an old well appears to be intact beside the southern side of the tall building. The following images come from today's visit to the site.


  1. Great Story and fantastic post Lisa. I'm seriously intrigued!.

    Loved the photos they are awesome

  2. How can i find out what has happened to 128 newton road after it got sold in 1913?

  3. Pop along to Auckland Council Archives, under the Auckland Central Library (open Monday to Friday, 2-5pm), ask to see the valuation field sheets file for Newton Road, and the papers for No. 128 will tell you powners, occupiers, alterations, rateable value and sales dates. Checking that in that way is free.

    Also -- postal directories (in books & microfiche) at the central library will show who was occupying the site, through to the 1970s. That's also free.

  4. Hi, I found your blog after visiting the burial site of a relative to find that Daniel Arkell is buried in the same plot - along with other Pain family members, including my grandfather. I saw the reference to the marriage to Suzannah, who seems to have Pain family heritage and the cemetery plot has Pain family members buried there. My question is, is Daniel Arkell related to the brewers Arkells in the UK - the firms was established in 1843 and still exists today. It was started by John Arkell and the history is described in

    Appreciate it if you can help


    1. Check out the public family trees at You should be able to access them if you don't have a subscription via your nearest main library.