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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


FERGUSSON, General Sir Charles, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., LL.D. (Glasgow), Bt.


Third Governor-General of New Zealand.

Sir Charles Fergusson was born on 17 January 1865, the eldest son of Sir James Fergusson and Lady Edith Christian, daughter of the Marquess Dalhousie. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and joined the Grenadier Guards. He served with the Egyptian Army under Kitchener, taking part in the Sudan campaigns of 1896–98, and rising to the position of Adjutant-General (1900–03). He was Major-General commanding the 5th Division, Irish Command (1912–14), and was thus one of the senior officers present at the fateful conference at the Curragh in March 1914, and succeeded in circumstances requiring great diplomatic skill to hold his division to its duty.

Fergusson commanded the 2nd and, later, the 17th Army Corps in France, before becoming (1918–20) Military Governor of Cologne. He contested, unsuccessfully, South Ayrshire as a Unionist in 1923, and on 13 December 1924 assumed office as Governor-General of New Zealand, which he retained until 8 February 1930. The Fergussons were extremely popular in New Zealand, identifying themselves in the happiest way with the people's welfare, and doing all in their power to assist in the social and industrial development of the Dominion. Sir Charles was chairman of the West Indies Closer Union Commission in 1933, and Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire from 1937–51, where he died on 20 February 1951.

Fergusson married, on 18 July 1901, Lady Alice Mary Boyle, second daughter of Lord Glasgow, by whom he had four sons and one daughter.

by Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.

  • The Times (London), 21 Feb 1951 (Obit).


Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.