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Last updated: 28 March 2010

Baxter family

Collection | Ref # ARC-0351 | Held by Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hakena

What is it?


Baxter family


Baxter family

Level of description:



0.48 linear metres

Reference number:



The Baxters were a noted pacifist and literary family, based in Brighton, where they were small farmers and rural workers. John Baxter and Mary McColl, both from Scottish migrant families, married in 1879. They had seven sons - John, Archibald, Mark, Hugh, William, Donald and Sandy - and one daughter, Margaret. During the South African War, Archibald became a pacifist and convinced his family to join his cause - he and five of his brothers were imprisoned as conscientious objectors during World War One (the other escaped conscription as he was married). Archibald married Millicent Macmillan Brown in 1921. They had two sons, Terence and James. Terence was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during World War Two. James became one of New Zealand's greatest poets, and was also a noted social critic. He married Jacqueline Sturm in 1948 and they had two children, Hilary and John.

Scope and contents:

The collection includes family correspondence. A large proportion of this is letters of James Baxter to his parents. There are also letters written by Terence, from detention camp, to James. Correspondence from the earlier generation includes letters written by Donald Baxter while in prison as a conscientious objector. The collection also includes various personal papers of James, among them school reports and financial papers. There are also financial papers of Archibald, and various miscellaneous papers. Finally, there are photographs of several generations of the family, including many of James and his parents.

Dates covered:

Circa 1875 - 1973

Access conditions:

Partial restriction: Access to the personal correspondence and personal papers of James K. Baxter requires the written permission of Mr John Baxter. Other series are not restricted.

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Associated with:




World War, 1914-1918 · World War, 1939-1945 · Farms

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