The lives of our Selwood family in the 1850s to 1880s were very closely linked to the Robert Campbell family, both in Buscot, Berkshire, and in Southland, New Zealand.
This connection was primarily a work relationship, the Campbells being the owners/managers, and the Selwoods being the workers/servants. This was somewhat like an “Upstairs Downstairs” (the old television series) connection which spanned two generations, where the Campbells were certainly “upstairs”.
James’s father, Isaac, worked for Robert Campbell senior on the Buscot Estate, and resided in an accommodation block owned by the Campbells and which was part of the Campbell property. James grew up to work like his father on the Buscot Estate as an agricultural labourer, specialising as a gamekeeper.
It was the Campbells who were instrumental in encouraging the young Selwood family to immigrate to New Zealand in 1876, and James worked for 12 years for the younger Robert Campbell on a Southland high country sheep farm called Burwood Station.
In this chapter we will take a closer look at the Campbell family which was so successful and innovative over many decades – the Selwood family making a small contribution to this success. We will first look at Australian-born Robert Tertius Campbell who owned and managed the Buscot Estate, but who initially and primarily made his fortune as a gold buyer in Sydney, Australia.
We will then look at his father, another Robert Campbell who, back at the turn of the 19th century, was a New South Wales, Australia, and southern Pacific Ocean pioneer, and whose success helped fund his subsequent generations. Also in Australia was Robert Tertius’ great-uncle, not surprisingly called Robert Campbell, who successfully introduced the Campbells to Australia. These two Campbells I describe as the Australian Robert Campbells.
We then focus on the son of Robert Tertius Campbell named, believe it or not, Robert Campbell (junior), who was, in his own right, a successful businessman as a high country merino sheep farmer, and as a politician, in New Zealand.
We will then conclude with a brief look at the post-Campbell Otekaieke Estate in New Zealand, and the fate of the Campbell business.