Printer, editor, runholder.
Ingram Shrimpton was a printer, originally of Abingdon on the Thames but, later, of the Crown Yard Printing Office, Oxford. He was printer to the Architectural and Archaeological Societies of England and turned out some fine illustrated work for them. He won awards at the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The Canterbury Association, having decided that the new colony should have a newspaper, made arrangements with Shrimpton, and in consequence he sent out in the Charlotte Jane his very able young son, John Ingram Shrimpton, aged only 17, with three printing hands, a small press, types, and everything necessary to produce a paper. The Canterbury Association gave a guarantee that not less than 1,000 copies would be purchased and paid for. A wooden building 28 ft by 14 ft was the office built in Lyttelton, and it was divided into three rooms for composing, editorial, and the press. The first number of the Lyttelton Times was published on Saturday, 11 January 1851; it contained a leader by J. E. FitzGerald who continued to contribute on occasions. Young Shrimpton was the manager. The London Times, was “proud to make the acquaintance of our new contemporary”.
Ingram Shrimpton followed in the John Taylor, arriving in October 1853. His brother John was also on the ship and they were accompanied by their wives and families. Ingram senior took charge of the paper when he arrived and built a new office. In March 1856 the paper became a bi-weekly and the pages were increased from eight to 12. Early members of the staff were John Birch and Francis Knowles. Shrimpton sold the paper in 1856 to C. C. Bowen and Crosbie Ward for £5,000.
Shrimpton went to live in North Canterbury where he bought 424 acres in the coastal strip of country running from Kaiapoi up to the Rev. John Raven's farm. He hoped to become the owner of the rich Coldstream Swamp – first named Clearwater – but unfortunately for him an experienced man with a good deal more capital, John Macfarlane, had the same ambition and Shrimpton had to retire beaten.
During his time there he gave the site for the Church of St. John at Rangiora and was an original churchwarden. He joined H. Kenrick in the Rangiora Steam Sawmills. In March 1865 he went to Timaru and purchased the Timaru Herald from F. E. Younghusband but soon after sold it to A. G. Horton. He then bought Cannington Downs, South Canterbury. Shrimpton was described as a man with a hasty temper but of social gifts.
He died at Timaru on 7 April 1899, aged 86.
by George Ranald Macdonald, Retired Farmer, Kaiapoi R.D.
- Old Christchurch, Andersen, J. C. (1949)
- Lyttelton Times, 10 Apr 1899 (Obit).