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Jonathan Burton was a farmer in Colyton during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was born in 1844, in Reading, Berkshire, and was originally apprenticed to the carpentering trade. However, after three years he switched to plastering, and spent eight years working in the trade in England, after which he emigrated to New Zealand.

Burton arrived in Aotearoa in 1873 on the Douglas, landing at Wellington. He spent three months carpentering in Whanganui, and then returned to both Wellington and the plastering trade, establishing a business there that he ran for over twenty years, with and without partners. Burton worked on several significant buildings in Wellington, including the National Mutual Buildings, the Supreme Court, and the Government Life Insurance Buildings.

Burton's farm in Colyton consisted of 204 acres of land, and was named Reading Farm, after his birthplace. The house was called Berkshire House as further homage to his old country. He was married to Caroline 'Carrie' Burton. The names of their children, if they had any, are currently unknown. Burton died on December 21, 1918.

The above photo is accredited to a 'Bunting'. This may mean that Burton was photographed by F. W. Bunting, a photographer located in the Manawatu who operated during the time this may have been taken.


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