Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameDaniel Bell WAKEFIELD, 968
FatherEdward WAKEFIELD , 8298 (1774-1854)
MotherSusanna CRASH , 1283 (1767-1817)
Notes for Daniel Bell WAKEFIELD
Daniel Bell Wakefield (1798–8 January 1858) was a notable judge in New Zealand during the mid-19th century.

Wakefield was the second child of Edward Wakefield (1774-1854) and Susanna, née Crash (d. 1817).[1] As a child in England, Wakefield was thought to be rather 'slow' and showed little initiative at school. During his later school years he lived with Francis Place, one of the leading radical reformers of the era and a friend of his father. On leaving school he was apprenticed to learn book-keeping, conveyancing and practical farming, but soon disgraced himself and was sent to Amsterdam to work in a merchant's office.

Place described him as lazy, sulky and disagreeable and probably dishonest but was determined to persevere with Daniel out of respect for his father. It seems that his brothers, Edward Gibbon and Arthur were not particularly impressed with him either, they described him as a dull, ill-mannered fellow most notable for his sloth and indolence.

However, by 1824, he had discovered enough energy to elope with Selina Elizabeth de Burgh (perhaps encouraged by his brother Edward), much to the dismay of her parents who were not impressed by him. Selina however died four years later without issue, by which time, Wakefield's career prospects had been dealt a further blow by the trial, conviction and imprisonment of his brothers Edward and William for the abduction of a young girl.
Nonetheless, he tried to resurrect his career, studying law and entering Lincoln's Inn in 1827. He pursued political ambitions, although his brothers' reputations meant his attempt to become a Member of Parliament for the London borough of Lambeth was to be unsuccessful.
With his brothers, Wakefield then began to look for career opportunities in the English colonies. Edward had dealings in South Australia and involved Daniel. It seemed likely that he might be appointed the region's first judge but he was not appointed and with the other Wakefields withdrew from the South Australia Scheme.

In 1835 he married Anglela Attwood, daughter of Thomas Attwood MP and Elizabeth (Carless) in London.

By 1843, Wakefield was again embroiled in scandal. He had left his wife in disgrace after infecting her with an unpleasant social disease, and had substantial gambling debts. Edward once again assisted: this time Wakefield escaped to New Plymouth, New Zealand, under a false name, "Bowler". Later, he joined his brother William to do legal work in Wellington for New Zealand Company.

In 1847 he was appointed Crown Solicitor, a year later Standing Counsel for the Māori and then Attorney-General for the New Munster Province.[2] His wife rejoined him after a five-year separation, bringing their two children, Selina and Marcus. Tragically, Selina died a few months later, but in October 1849 their third child, Alice was born.

In 1853 brother Edward arrived in Wellington and began a vigorous campaign against Governor George Grey. Unfortunately, Wakefield was drawn into the dispute and maneuvered into a position when he had to resign as Attorney-General. Two years later, however, he was asked to become an acting judge and was sworn in as the first judge to be appointed in New Zealand from among those who had practised law in the country (he is also, so far, the only judge to have been appointed after entering the country under a false name). He retained this position until October 1857, when ill health forced him to resign.
Last Modified 19 Apr 2014Created 11 Dec 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh