James William Thomson
James William Thomson was a 19th century Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...


Early life

Thomson was born in Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. He obtained his education at the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

, where he obtained an MA
Master of Arts (Scotland)
A Master of Arts in Scotland can refer to an undergraduate academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the ancient universities of Scotland – the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh, while the University of...

. He came to New Zealand in 1859 and settled in Balclutha
Balclutha, New Zealand
Balclutha is a town in Otago, it lies towards the end of the Clutha River on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is about halfway between Dunedin and Invercargill on the Main South Line railway, State Highway 1 and the Southern Scenic Route...


Provincial Council

He was elected onto the Otago Provincial Council
Otago Province
The Otago Province was a province of New Zealand until the abolition of provincial government in 1876.-Area:The capital of the province was Dunedin...

 in 1864. He remained on the Provincial Council until its abolition in 1876.

Member of Parliament

Thomson represented the Clutha
Clutha (New Zealand electorate)
Clutha was a New Zealand Parliamentary electorate, from 1866 to 1996.-Population centres:This electorate is in the rural part of Southland.-History:The electorate was established in 1866...

 electorate from 1871 to 1887
New Zealand general election, 1887
The New Zealand general election of 1887 was held on 26 September to elect 95 MPs to the tenth session of the New Zealand Parliament. The Māori vote was held on 7 September. 175,410 votes were cast....

 when he was defeated. He then represented Bruce
Bruce (New Zealand electorate)
Bruce was a rural parliamentary electorate in the Otago region of New Zealand, from 1861 to 1922. For part of the 1860s with the influx to Otago of gold-miners it was a multi-member constituency with two members.-History:...

 from 1890
New Zealand general election, 1890
The New Zealand general election of 1890 was one of New Zealand's most significant. It marked the beginning of party politics in New Zealand with the formation of the First Liberal government, which was to enact major welfare, labour and electoral reforms, including giving the vote to women.It was...

 to 1892, when he resigned. He did not stand for election in the 1893 election
New Zealand general election, 1893
The New Zealand general election of 1893 was held on Tuesday, 28 November in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 20 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 74 MPs to the 12th session of the New Zealand Parliament...

. Finally he represented the Clutha electorate again from 1896
New Zealand general election, 1896
The New Zealand general election of 1896 was held on Wednesday, 4 December in the general electorates, and on Thursday, 19 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 74 MPs to the 13th session of the New Zealand Parliament...

 to 1905
New Zealand general election, 1905
The New Zealand general election of 1905 was held on Wednesday, 6 December in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 20 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 16th session of the New Zealand Parliament...

 when he retired.


Thomson was briefly Minister of Lands in the Grey Ministry.
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