COAT OF ARMS
Robert Colthart (1841-1935) of Crawfordjohn, Scotland and Sheffield, New Zealand
Robert Colthart was born on November 10, 1841 in Shuttlefield, Crawfordjohn Parish, Lanark County, Scotland. He was the son of William Colthart and Janet Cock. In 1862 at age 21, Robert emigrated to New Zealand sailing on the ship "Queen of Mersey". He settled on the South Island where he initially worked as a road contractor on the west coast road. Around 1866 he was united in marriage to Margaret Fullerton in Christchurch, Canterbury District, New Zealand. Margaret, the youngest daughter of Edward Fullerton, was born in 1846 at Clougher, Down County, Ireland. She emigrated to New Zealand with her sister in 1863.
After the wedding Robert and Margaret settled at Kowhai Bush, Canterbury, on land which later comprised the dairy farm at Mt Torlesse Station. After selling the Kowhai Bush property Robert bought the Broomfield Estate, near Springfield, Canterbury, and accepted the position of clerk to the Malvern Road Board. When the district was later sub-divided he was appointed clerk of the East Malvern and later South Malvern Boards. Robert and Margaret had nine children: Annie (1867- 1899), Margaret (1870-1955), Agnes (1872-1957), Robert (1875-1963), William (1877-1972), Edward (1879-1955), Thomas (1881-1957), Mary (1883-1975) and James (1889-1983).
Robert and Margaret sold Broomfield in 1882 and bought the "Roecombe" property at Sheffield where they lived until their retirement. Robert was looked upon as the "father" of Canterbury Tennis. He had encouraged the game in Canterbury, importing the first tennis racquet and tennis ball. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photo of Robert with his tennis racquet. His interest in tennis began while farming at Broomfield. He laid a full sized tennis court on his lawn, which was also used for bowls, croquet and quoits. Branches from Macrocarpa trees, which at the time were well established in the district were used in the manufacture of tennis racquets. Robert took his tennis teams' - Broomfield, the first tennis club in Christchurch - all over Canterbury seeking competition. His private courts at Broomfield and Roecombe were always available to the local residents. He played regularly until his eightieth year and still played tennis occasionally into his nineties. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger photo of Robert and his wife and youngest son James. During the South African war he joined the Malvern Mounted Rifles and for a long period was one of its most enthusiastic members. Robert died on 25 August 1935 at the age of 94. He is buried in the Waddington cemetery. His wife, Margaret, a keen supporter of the local Presbyterian church, died a year earlier on 26 July 1934 at the age of 88.
The children of Robert Colthart:
For more information on this Colthart family send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write: Shirley and Robert Colthart, "Roecombe" 87 Fendalton Road, Christchurch, New Zealand. Additional family information is available on chart 83 of Alfred Coulthard's book "A Coulthard - The History of a Surname".
Page last updated 09/30/2000. © Copyright 1999. Terry Meinke. All rights reserved.