Given names: 
S. W.
Given address: 
Sheet No: 1

The 1893 electoral roll lists: Sarah Witts Hewinson, Fendalton, Household duties

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

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Posted: 21 Sep 2021

This is my great great great grandmother on my mother's side. Her youngest son, Henry, was my mother's great grandfather. I'm proud to be part of her heritage and what she contributed to women's rights.

Denise Rose ROGERS (nee Davenport)

Posted: 03 Jan 2019

"S.W. HEWINSON" "FENDALTON" - 22nd signatory on SHEET ONE.

SARAH WITTS-HEWINSON - 1848-1943 - Born SARAH SMITH in Cheshire, England in 1848.

She married ELI WITTS-HEWINSON at St Mary's Church, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1870.

They sailed to New Zealand from London on 26 September 1873 aboard "The Star of India" - a journey of 97 days via the Cape of Good Hope with over 300 passengers in very cramped conditions.

Sarah & Eli disembarked at Lyttelton on 1 January 1874 with their three English-born children: Sarah Jnr, Mary & William to start a new life in Christchurch..

Sarah would live in Christchurch for the remainder of her long life and would go on to have 8 more children: Bertha, Emma, Frances, Eli Jnr, Lilly, Amelia, Louisa and Henry.

My paternal Grandmother was Lilly Maude (birth unregistered) born in Christchurch in 1882 who married my Grandfather: Leonard Benjamin DAVENPORT.

During the time that Sarah and her family lived in Christchurch, her husband Eli was the resident gardener of a large private property in Fendalton and we believe a cottage was provided as part of his employment.

Twenty years after arriving in New Zealand Sarah signed SHEET ONE of the NZ Suffrage Petition, five signatures below that of Kate Sheppard. Maybe they were neighbours or acquaintances.

SARAH WITTS-HEWINSON died in Christchurch in 20 September 1943 - aged 95 years (exactly 50 years after the Suffrage Bill had passed into law. All Eleven of her children having survived her.

I believe that Sarah must have been quite an open-minded lady as she allowed he daughter, Emma to attend weekly drawing classes at the Arts School in Christchurch (as an extension of her 4-year Trainee Teacher programme). I remember my Grandmother Lilly telling me that she also attended The Arts School on Saturdays but as an "Artists' Model" !?

On 19 September 2043 it will be 150 years since the Women of New Zealand were given the right to vote (and it will also be exactly 100 years since my Great Grandmother SARAH WITTS-HEWINSON died). My three grandaughters ISABEL, EVA & ELLA will be 42, 33, and 26 respectively. They have a memorable Women's Suffrage heritage in their great, great, great grandmother, SARAH WITTS-HEWINSON.

Biography updated by Denise Rose ROGERS (nee Davenport) of Pohara Beach, Golden Bay on 3 January 2019 the Great Granddaughter of Sarah Witts- Hewinson.


Posted: 13 Jun 2017

Sarah Witts-Hewinson signed the suffrage petition as "S W Hewinson" but her surname is actually hyphenated as shown. She is my paternal grandmother's mother and lived in Glandovey Road, Fendalton, Christchurch at the time. I note Kate Sheppard (K W Sheppard) of Riccarton also signed the same page as my grandmother so wonder if they were acquaintances. Kate Sheppard is depicted on our current $10 note. (Denise Rogers - 13 June 2017 )