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Resign or else! : the "Wanganui affair", May 1920 / [by William Mitchell].

Identifier: MSS-Archives-A-311

Scope and Contents

Described by the author as the final draft of an attempt to explain a baffling, tragic and almost forgotten episode in New Zealand literary and criminal history. D'Arcy Cresswell, New Zealand poet, tried to blackmail the Mayor of Wanganui, Charles Evan Mackay, into resigning as mayor on the grounds of being a homosexual. Mackay shot Cresswell (who survived) and was sentenced to 15 years' hard labour for attempted murder. Mackay, after serving his sentence, was himself shot dead in a street incident in Berlin during the rise to power of the Nazis. Mainly covers the period 1920-1929. An appendix to the account contains a photocopy of Wm Rothenstein's portrait of Cresswell; a biographical note on Charles Evan Mackay; a photocopy photograph and a description of the Sargent Gallery in Wanganui from the foundation stone of which Mackay's name was erased; and sundry other items.


  • 1986-12-12


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted


0.01 metres (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mr W. Mitchell, Takapuna, June 1987.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand