suffrage_petition
Surname: 
Porter
Given names: 
Elizabeth
Given address: 
Woodend
Sheet No: 253
Town/Suburb: 
Woodend
City/Region: 
Canterbury
Notes: 

Biography and image contributed by Wendy Crane.

Elizabeth Judson was born in 1850 at Strathern, a village SE of Nottingham, to parents Sarah and William Judson.  She was 10 when in 1859 the family of five children emigrated to N.Z. on the Clontarf. It was a terrible journey of 4 months of violent storms, a fire, and measles - 5 adults and 28 children died, including baby Martha, and Sarah Ann (2) was nearly thrown overboard as dead.

Elizabeth Porter

Life was difficult in the early days, and although there was a local Wesleyan school, Elizabeth had to assist at home, and her education suffered.

In 1864, only 14, she married William Lincoln Field Porter, a farm labourer who had been working his way around the South Island. Lincoln had arrived in Auckland in 1848, where he lived for a time with his grandfather. The couple settled in Woodend, and Lincoln worked at the Waikuku flax mill, where in 1875 he lost his right arm. He then operated a carrying business with coach and horses between Christchurch, Woodend and Rangiora.

Between 1865 and 1889 Elizabeth and Lincoln had 12 children, though their first and fourth babies both died. Most of the family went out to work on reaching their teens. In 1896 their home was destroyed by fire, and the people of Woodend generously gave funds and labour to help build a four-room cottage.

A leg injury caused Elizabeth to become lame.

She was 43 when she signed the Suffrage petition.

She died in May 1909 before reaching her 59th birthday. Lincoln died in 1922 aged 83.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'Elizabeth Porter', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/suffragist/elizabeth-porter, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 16-Jan-2018

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