The Ballard Of James Macandrew

James MacandrewBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

My walk finished by taking me past the Otago Settlers Museum, or Toitū which it is otherwise known as. Outside this museum, is a bust of a very grim and stern looking fellow called James Macandrew, which I now detoured past to see. 

James Macandrew was born in Scotland and was an early Otago pioneer. He had a distinguished political career, several places are named after him and of all the prison stories I know, the tale of James Macandrew is one of my favorites. Around the time of the 1860s when Otago was experiencing an economic boom that local’s misguidedly thought would last forever, James Macandrew was the Otago superintendent. A role that is a bit like a modern day mayor. However, after reaching the esteemed post, he was found guilty of fraud. Not keen on spending any time in jail, he declared his home a prison where he astonishingly continued to govern the province from. Three months later he was removed from his post, his declaration of his home being a jail was overturned and he was sent back to prison. 

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