Biography Alfred Domett

Alfred Domett

photo of Alfred Domett
  • Time Period1811 - 1887
  • Place
  • CountryNew Zealand

Poet Biography

Alfred Domett was born at Camberwell Grove, Surrey and educated in Stockwell and then St John's College, Cambridge. Domett was very interested in literature and published many poems while in England, the most famous being A Christmas Hymn.

In May 1842 Domett purchased land in Nelson and sailed on the Sir Charles Forbes, arriving in August 1842. He accepted a seat in the Legislative Council in 1846 and in 1848 was also appointed Colonial Secretary for New Munster. In 1855 he was elected M.P. for Nelson and after the Fox Ministry lost a no confidence vote in 1862 (on the casting vote of Speaker Monro) Alfred Domett became Premier on 6 August 1862.

During his Premiership Domett promoted a programme of settlement and self-defence with 20,000 immigrants being sought. He also proposed the establishment of native land courts. Domett resigned as Premier some 14 months after taking office and was succeeded by Whitaker.

In 1863 he became Secretary for Lands and then Registrar-general of lands, retiring from these in 1871. He also became a member again of the Legislative Council in 1866 where he served until 1874.

He was took pride that he was instrumental in establishing the General Assembly Library in 1858 and actually acted as Librarian in 1866.

He actually returned to England in 1871 where he spent the rest of his life. He received the CMG in 1880 and died on 2 November 1887. His wife, Mary George, was a school teacher, and they had married in 1856.