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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Harding, Thomas

Harding, Thomas, Swansdowne Farm, Omaka district, near Blenheim. Mr. Harding was born in June, 1833, at Hfracombe, Devonshire, England, where he was educated, and learned farming. He came to New Zealand in the year 1859, and landed at Nelson. For a time he was employed, successively, in the Nelson and Marlborough provinces, was afterwards employed for three years by Mr. Charles Redwood, in the Wairau, and in 1867 he took up the first section of his present farm. “Swansdowne” now (1905) consists of nearly 500 acres of freehold, and over 900 acres of leasehold, land, and is devoted chiefly to sheep and cattle farming; a little cropping is also carried on. A small herd of pure Devon cattle, some of which were imported from England, is depastured. In the year 1879, Mr. Harding took a trip to the Old Country, in order to re-visit his birth-place. He is married, and has one son and two daughter.