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Sir George Maurice O'Rorke papers.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-A-40

Scope and Contents

A collection of letters, mainly private, to his wife; legal documents; diaries and notebooks; microfilm of press cuttings in the possession of his daughter; and various speech notes and other jottings.


  • 1851 - 1913


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

Sir George Maurice O'Rorke (1830-1916) was Speaker of the House of Representatives, 1894-1902, and first Chairman of the Auckland University College Council, 1885-1916.

He was born in Ireland, the son of an Anglican minister and large landowner. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated in 1852 with honours. He soon migrated to Australia and spent some time as a farmer and gold digger in Victoria.

In 1854 he came to Auckland and began farming at Papakura and Onehunga. From 1857 to 1860 he was clerk of the Auckland Provincial Council, and in 1861 successfully contested the seat of Onehunga and was elected to the House of Representatives. He retained the seat until 1890.

He was married in 1858 to Cecilia, daughter of Alexander Shepherd, Colonial Treasurer from 1842. In 1865 he was elected to the Provincial Council and was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1879 until his defeat in 1890, and again from 1893 until his retirement in 1902. He was then called to the Legislative Council, where he sat until his death in 1916.

O'Rorke was prominent in the development of education in the Auckland province, being a founder and governor of Auckland Grammar School, chairman of the Royal Commission on University and Secondary Education (1878), first chairman of the Auckland University College Council from 1883 and a member of the Senate of the University of New Zealand.


0.2 metres (2 boxes.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Miss F. Shepherd in 1947.


NRAM A905.

Inventory of the Sir George Maurice O'Rorke papers.
Compiled by Mrs. R. Chapman.
February 1971
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand