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Lord Ranfurly, Founder of Ranfurly House 1856 - 1933

Uchter John Mark Knox, the 5th Earl of Ranfurly, was born in 1856. He was the great-great-great-grandson of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvanian in the United States in 1682. Lord Ranfurly was the first appointment in 1897 from British aristocracy to the post of New Zealand Governor, previously being military based appointments. He came well provisioned bringing 30 servants, 60 tonnes of baggage and 600 dozen of wine.

He served as Governor until 1904 and as well as donating the Ranfurly Shield to the NZ Rugby Football Union, raised funds and built Ranfurly House as a war memorial and to house war veterans. He died in England in 1933 and was buried in Lansdown Cemetery Bath. His descendants lost details of his grave’s location and it was discovered by accident in a derelict state in 2012.

As a mark of respect to the vision and contribution made by Lord Ranfurly to New Zealand, rugby, and war veterans, Ranfurly Village Ltd and the Auckland RSA together completed a full renovation of his grave.

A rededication ceremony was held onsite on 13 November 2013 attended by a number of interested parties including Sir Lockwood Smith NZ High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ian McRae President of the NZRFU, Brigadier Michael Dudman Auckland RSA, Graham Wilkinson Director of Ranfurly Village and Rose Simmonds great-greatgranddaughter of Lord Ranfurly.

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