The Charlotte Jane
Rockwood Comport Bishop (1847-1925) migrated to Canterbury from London when he was three with his parents, Charles Wellington (1815-1884) and Ellen (30), his siblings Vallance (6) and Agnes* (4), and relatives Edward Bishop (1811-1887), Frederick Bishop (1818-1894), Miss Emma Bishop (23), and Miss Mary Ann Bishop (17).
In January 1851, Charles Wellington Bishop opened his hardware store on Town Section 572. Bishop’s store on Market Place (later Victoria Square) rapidly became the focus of commercial activity as he acted as postmaster and middleman for firewood and building materials. Charles Wellington was also the Christchurch agent for The Lyttelton Times and a member of the Freemasons.
Frederick Bishop, in partnership with Joseph Dann, became a wine and spirit merchant in Christchurch. Edward Bishop also became a wine and spirit merchant and later the Mayor of Christchurch.
Rockwood was educated at Christ’s College, worked on the goldrushes, was a real estate agent and spent over 50 years with the Christchurch Gas Company, being secretary and later general manager.
He was the first Mayor of the Borough of New Brighton (1897-1898), and his name is commemorated in Rockwood Avenue, North New Brighton.
Rockwood’s gravestone lists two wives, Elizabeth and Annie, and at his death he was married to a third, Louisa. According to records, in 1900 Rockwood lived at the Gas Co, Christchurch. He is buried in the Avonside cemetery.
According to one source, the name should be Rookwood, not Rockwood. Bishop married his first wife, Elizabeth Josephine Carey, in 1871 and she died in 1897. He married his second wife, Anne, in 1903 and she died c. 1908. He married his third wife, Louisa Jeanetta Lewis, in 1911.1