Prohibitionist and Suffragist

Rosannah LODGE, early Christchurch feminist

Thomas Seth LODGE, 2nd husband of Rosannah b c1833-1898 and
Rosannah LODGE [nee WORT/WERT] 1831-1916 with 2 of their HAMILTON grandchildren

With Temperance and Suffragist movement anniversaries this weekend, it only seems appropriate to write a bit about my great great great grandmother. So begins the story of my Rosannah.

Great Great Great Great grandma Jane WORT nee WHEELER
Mother of Rosannah
born 1803 Berkshire, Eng -  died 1876 Christchurch, NZ

She was born in London 6 April 1831, to George WORT/WERT, a hay salesman and Jane nee WHEELER. One of at least 4 daughters and I know nothing of her childhood. She was a loud voice in Christchurch for both the Temperance cause and the Women's suffrage movement, was an artificial flower maker and businesswoman.

She married firstly William Henry MACE at the age of 18 on 14 October 1849 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Lambeth, Surrey, England. Three children were born of this union.

1 Susannah Jane - My G G grandmother

:::b 6 August 1848, Lambeth, London, England
:::d 30 April 1924, Jubilee Home, Christchurch, NZ
    Cause of death: Malignant ovarian cyst & cardiac failure
:::m 14 October 1865,Christchurch to Thomas Morton HAMILTON
:::Buried: St Peter's Anglican Churchyard, Riccarton, Christchurch, NZ
   unmarked grave

2 William Henry
:::b 8 June 1850 Lambeth, London
:::d 7 December 1913, Riccarton, New Zealand
:::m 1stly: 6 April 1874 to Emma GRANTHAM - divorced 1892 [she
:::remarried 1898, Christchurch to Henry Edgar JONES & she
:::died 7 March 1938 in Auckland].
:::M 2ndly: 1897 to Elizabeth HAWKINS
Buried: Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch with his second wife.

He must have been a constant source of embarrassment to his mother. He was a teenage father – the infamous Christchurch Reverend Joseph Twigger’s illegitimate daughter Elizabeth Ann Twigger WILBEE having bore William a daughter - Ellen Letitia Amy WILBEE on 8 October 1869.  Elizabeth was 16 and William was 19.  Ellen went on to marry Henry MENCE and died at Wellington in 1927 after producing 10 children.  

William was a womaniser, and a drop out from Christ’s College. Considering his mother fought for prohibition and was a staunch Temperance figure in her time, he was apparently often drunk.  It seems he was well known in Christchurch and he inherited his mothers business acumen. The official cause of his death was recorded as cardiac disease and heart failure. 

William built the first Indoor Cricket Pavillion in Christchurch.

3 Lucy Susan
:::b 5 August 1853, St Mary le Strand, London

:::d 27 Sep 1863 Court Barton Farm, Riccarton, Christchurch, NZ
    Cause of death: Tetanus
:::Buried at St Peter's Anglican Church, Riccarton, Christchurch


Somewhere along the line prior to 1860, Rosannah’s first marriage broke down.  Her husband William did not go ‘missing at sea’ which was what she told everyone but he was very much alive and so far I [nor others researching this line] have found any divorce details.

William MACE aged 54 who was on trial on 27 November 1879 and had been in custody since the 4th, was imprisoned in Wandsworth for 18 months for "feloniously and carnally knowing and abusing Florence Jane Sargent, a girl under 12 years of age" he pleaded guilty.

He also remarried and his second wife bore him more children.

Facts relating to Rosannah's first husband  [my G G G Grandfather]:
:::23 December 1861 – occupation listed as a Coast guard
:::1871 census – Labourer
:::1881 census – was in Wandsworth Prison

:::1 August 1881 – ‘married’ at Emmanual Church, Camberwell
:::1891 census – Labourer
:::Died 20 September 1900, Lambeth, London

    Occupation: Parish road cleaner

Rosannah married secondly to Thomas Seth LODGE, ‘Gentleman’ on 15 May 1860 at Trinity Church, Trinity Gray's Inn Road, Middlesex, ENGLAND, she was listed as spinster. It was after this that they arrived in New Zealand, according to one researcher about September 1861. There was no issue of this marriage but Rosannah’s children took their step fathers name although it seems, never formally adopted.

They promptly got stuck in to colonial life. Thomas was a sometime butcher amongst many other things. “He and John ROWLEY went into partnership as butchers. They leased part of T.S. 883, which was later Ballantyne's corner section at 10 Pounds per annum; but they were further along in Colombo Street. They assigned their lease 17 June 1861 to Samuel GOODMAN, Shoemaker. Later Thomas was in partnership with J.G. HART and later still with James NICHOLSON January 1865.”₂ Thomas also owned ‘Tom’s Cafe’. Whilst he was embroiled in his various businesses and having a go at inventing things, his wife Rosannah got on with the task of being a mouthpiece for the Temperance movement and the women's suffrage movement. She built a ‘Sailors Rest’ at 57 Gloucester Street, Christchurch and they resided next door at 55. This is approximately where the Christchurch Art Gallery is now. On the 21 June 1887 she opened the doors of ‘Lodge’s Temperance Rest’. This was demolished in 1963


The hotel was a hive of activity over the years. Articles from National Library New Zealand website show that many Saturday night soirees were held extolling the virtues of being tea total and some rather exciting events, such as the new fangdangled sciopticon 5


Rosannah's reputation appears to have been well known even before she opened the 'Rest'. She continued for years to bring entertainment to the masses via her 'Hotel', including a concert held by the sailors of Her Majestys ship Opal in aid of the 'Rest'; Bellringers of Christchurch et al. The poor were also attended to with free soup and encouragement to send children along for a bite to eat.




Thomas and Rosannah appear to have been quite characters in their time and
this is indicated by even more clippings from paperspast. [The editing facilities
on this site have nearly done my head in so this will do for now, also I cannot get some of the formatting to appear as it does in edit mode, very frustrating!].

Rosannah in later life

There are many family stories that aren't of a kind nature to Rosannah!

Thomas died on 18 October 1898 and Rosannah on 5 December 1916.

They are both buried in St Peter's Anglican Churchyard, Church Corner,Riccarton

8 December 2013: William MACE criminal notes

1. Thank you to distant cousin Linley Robinson for her research shared
2 McDonald’s Biographical Dictionary
3. Indebted to site owner ‘Vic’ of
4 Clipping accessed Star, 22 June 1887 page 5
5 Clipping accessed Star, 9 August 1887 page 2
6 Clipping accessed Star, 11 July 1889 page 1
7 Clipping accessed Star, 9 March 1888 page 2
8 Clipping accessed Star, 2 October 1888 page 3
9 Clipping accessed Star, 29 July 1887 page 2
10 Clipping accessed Star, 27 May 1889 page 2


  1. Fantastic story and wonderful collection of research. Those Temperance matrons must have been staunch and no-nonsense for their time!

  2. I always found it a shame for Rosannah that her own son William was an alcoholic and rather an embarrassment to the family as shown in the post above. He however did slightly redeem himself by helping the cricketing community in Christchurch by building the first indoor pavillion

  3. Great story, our ancestors certainly lived anything but ordinary lives.

    Mrs Merritt' also ran a temperance hotel at the corner of Hazeldean Road and Harper Street.

    An old Hotel in the temperance stronghold of Sydenham, became a Maternity Hospital, much to the consternation of many who thought it not suitable. But it did its job and went on to be the training ground for many well known Christchurch nurses.

  4. Hi Wendy

    Thanks for the comment :)

    Yes these were VERY hardy women weren't they! Swimming against the stream for those days that's for sure but obviously had their reasons. One of Rosannah's seems to be her drunken, womanising son William. I don't know what her first husband was like but maybe he was also an impetus.

    I love the lost Christchurch site to bits :)and i've now added it to my favourite links under NZ on my blog here :)


  5. Being a women's libber of long standing I was delighted to read that Rosannah, also my #G grandmother was involved in the Suffragette movement.

    1. Hello Joanna!
      Please do contact me via email. I might have you on my genealogy records or we may be able to help each other :)


  6. Glad to find this information- thank you!

    1. You're welcome Sarah! Pleased that you found it useful. Do contact and let me know where you fit in to the tree!


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