2017 Professor Charlotte Macdonald
Emily’s Place: why the nineteenth century might enchant and torment us
In central Auckland’s Emily Place – also known as Te Rerenga-ora-iti – stands a memorial to Reverend John Frederick Churton (1799-1853). Churton was highly regarded by residents of colonial Auckland, the memorial stone marking in italics the esteem in which he was held by all classes. Churton was a lawyer, a clergyman and presided over the garrison church of St Paul’s. In our midst is the nineteenth century making of contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand, a chapter in the dynamic, innovative, and often violent expansion of empire across the nineteenth century world. What has this History to tell us and who is the Emily whose name also marks this significant place?