15th January 1805 to 14th September 1877
Henry Phillips came from the Phillips Brewing family. They started brewing in the late
18 th Century in Stamford England. He was the fourth son of Joseph and Judith Phillips.
He came to New Zealand on the Sir George Seymour Dec 1850 with his wife Mary-Ann (nee Physick) and 6 children and plenty of capital! His daughter Emma Phillips married Tom H Potts (botanist) and came to New Zealand separately. He had 9 children in total.
Henry initially settled in Phillipstown, Christchurch. Named after Henry and the farm he bought was named St Martins after the village he was brought up in England.
He is best remembered as the hospitable owner of Rockwood Station (bought 1852) near Windwhistle where he lived until his death Sept 1877. He is buried along with his wife Mary-Ann and 2 sons – James and Henry, on the edge of Rockwood’s native bush.
Henry leased “The Terrace Station: from Sir John Hall for some years and in 1862 purchased The Point Station from the Studhomes.
Both Rockwood and The Point remain in the family.
His main interests where establishing the orchard and gardens at Rockwood. It is believed he was the first to bring Rhododendrons to Canterbury. He was also a keen fisherman having released trout in the Selwyn and its upper tributaries.
Lady Barker was a guest, who rode over The Phillips Saddle between Steventon, Whitecliffs, for one
of Henry’s sociable parties.
His Obituary stated “….. He was one of the oldest magistrates in the Colony, and though not a public man in the ordinary acceptation of the term, will carry with him the regretful affection of a very large number of true friends”.
Information provided by Rockwood Station