John Robson Wanless

John Robson Wanless

Male Abt 1845 - 1889  (~ 44 years)

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  • Name John Robson Wanless 
    Born Abt 1845  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Census 1861  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • with parents, age 16, born London CU
    Census 1871  Montreal, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    with his parents 
    Alt Birth London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 1861 census says born London, Upper Canada
    GRAD Est 1865-1871  Montreal, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    McGill University 
    • John Robson WANLESS
      M.D., Mast. Surg. McGill Univ. Canada.,
      Lic. Phys. Surg. and Midwif. Homoeopathic Med. Board of Canada
      [NZ Gazette 1882 Register of Medical Practitioners]

      "his youngest son, John Robson Wanless, M. D., C. M., is a graduate from McGill College, Montreal, and an assistant to his father, whom he gives promise of succeeding."
      [Cleave's Biographical Cyclopędia of Homœopathic Physicians and Surgeons]
    Residence 1871  Montreal, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Lovell's 1871 directory:
      Wanless, John R., M.D., C.M., 646 Lagauchetiere
      -- same address as his father. "C.M." traditionally means "master of surgery".
    IMMI 16 May 1877  New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • His obituary said he came to NZ in 1877 as a ship's officer on the Piako and decided to stay. The article below describes his arrival.

      Star, Issue 2845, 16 May 1877, Page 2 [http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/]
      SHIP PIAKO, FROM LONDON.

      This fine ship, belonging to the New Zealand Shipping Company's fleet, commanded by Captain James Fox, was signalled yesterday at noon. The Titan took her in tow off the Heads and she dropped anchor shortly after 3 p.m. She has had a fine weather passage of 85 days from land to land, and 89 from the Lizards to anchorage in harbour. The steam launch Lyttelton went down to her with the Agent, &c, and, the ship being cleared by the Health Officer, all were at once allowed on board. The Piako is an exact counterpart of the Opawa in every respect, save one or two slight alterations in her saloon, which are an improvement. Amongst these may be mentioned a nice stove at the after end of the saloon. She has brought 46 passengere, all told, who appear to have enjoyed the passage thoroughly. They speak in high terms of the kindness and attention shown by Captain Fox, Dr. Wanless, and the officers of the ship. Amusements have been plentiful and of a varied nature, concerts and readings having been given every week. Upon two occasions amateur theatricals were indulged in. Two papers have been kept in circulation during the passage, one "The Saturday Review", edited by Mr McNeale, and tbe other "The Piako Gazette", under the supervision of Mr Whitcombe. The weekly issue of each paper was eagerly looked for, both causing a great deal of fun and amusement. The health of the passengers has been very good indeed, there having been no sickness worth noticing during the voyage. The accommodation for second and third cabin passengers in the 'tween decks was extremely good, there being plenty of light and ventilation. One incident during the voyage that created a good deal of enjoyment and excitement was a boat race between crews selected from the saloon and second cabin passengers. It took place in the tropics, tbe ship being becalmed. The lady passengers were afloat in one of the large life boats, under the charge of the chief officer. The race resulted in a victory for the saloonites.
      Captain Fox was presented with a testimonial by the passengers, expressive of their regard for the kind and urbane treatment they received at his hands. The Piako has a large quantity of general cargo on board, and will be berthed at tbe Gladstone Pier to-day. She commences discharging tomorrow morning, and will be despatched for London on June 23.
      Captain Fox reports that the Piako left Gravesend on Feb. 5, and took her final departure from the Lizard on the night of Feb. 15. Had strong westerly winds across the Bay. Got the N.E. trades in 35 N, 22.18 W, on Feb. 22, lost them on March 27, in 4.33 N, 23.17 W; they were extremely light and shifty all the time. Fell in with the S.E. trades on March 14, in 1.28 S, the equator having been crossed the previous day in 20 W. The ship had to tack in 3 deg S, the wind then being S.S. W. From March 13 to March 22 nothing but variable winds, chiefly southerly, were experienced, the ship only making 13 degrees of southing and 5 degrees of westing the whole time. Sighted Gough's Island on April 3, in 41.3 8, and experienced fine weather to the meridian of the Cape, on April 14. Owing to the prevalence of south-east winds, the ship was driven down nearly to the parallel of the Cape, when she tacked and stood two days to the southward. The easting was run down between 4G and 48 S, the westerlies being good the whole time. Made Stewart's Island on Friday last, at 11 a.m., the water being in a very disturbed state owing to the earthquake wave. Signalled Otago heads on Saturday afternoon, and next day had a strong north-east gale, with very thick and dirty weather. Ran as far as Akaroa, and sounded in 29 fathoms at noon on Tuesday, the wind being south south-west and thick rain. Dodged about until yesterday morning, and was off Akaroa heads at daylight, the vessel coming up before a light southerly wind. Arrived off the heads at noon, and was taken in tow by the Titan, anchoring off the break water at 3.30 p.m. The following ships were spoken on the voyage:
      American ship, Independent, in 20 S, bound to Boston.
      March 21 Ship Carlisle, Melbourne to London, 62 days out.
      March 27 Melpomene, ship, London to Melbourne, in 33 S, 47 days out.
      March 5 Coriolanus, ship, London to Sydney, 18 days out, and remained in company with her for several days.
      ---------------------------------------------
      1877 Jul 02      Registered as a Medical Practitioner
      [NZ Gazette 1882 Register of Medical Practitioners]
    Residence 1882  Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John Robson WANLESS
      .... ... ..      M.D., Mast. Surg. McGill Univ. Canada., Lic.
                Phys. Surg. and Midwif. Homoeopathic Med. Board
                of Canada (1)
      1882 ... ..      Resident at Wellington
      [NZ Gazette 1882 Register of Medical Practitioners]
    Court 1883  Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Otago Daily Times , Issue 6685, 19 July 1883, Page 1
      Bankruptcy Statement: John Robson Wanless of Dunedin, medical practitioner, filed a statement saying he is unable to meet his engagements with his creditors.

      Dunedin Bankruptcy Files - 1883
      WANLESS John Robson - Dunedin - Medical Practitioner
      http://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/SimpleSearchResults.do
    Residence 1886-1888  Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • In the Otago newspapers, he is mentioned several times in this period as attending wounded victims or being a good chess player.

      In 1888 he was fined £20 for evading the Stamp Act, in a case of trading shares through a broker where he had handed the broker a blank transfer and the name of the purchaser and the other details were filled in when the shares were sold [apparently this was illegal, and follow-up articles and letters to the editor seemed to think he had been made an example of to enforce a new law and if anything his broker was at fault].
    Died 21 Jan 1889  Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Obituary 22 Jan 1889  Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Otago Daily Times , Issue 8397, 22 January 1889, Page 2

      DEATH OF DR J. R. WANLESS.

      Wo regret exceedingly to record the death of Dr J.R. Wanless. The deceased gentleman was of Scotch-Canadian extraction. He was born in Montreal, where his people still reside, his father occupying an honourable position in the medical world there. He was a graduate of McGill College, aud held diplomas in both the allopathic and homeopathic departments of medical science. After finishing his university career he practised for a short time in his native city, and then went to London to gain further knowledge. In 1887 [incorrect; it was 1877] he came out to the colony as medical officer in charge of the ship Piako. He resided for a short time in Wellington, and then came to Dunedin. He had not intended to make the colony his home, but gradually he grew so much in love with it that he resolved permanently to remain in it. He has resided here gor the last nine years. Though holding diplomas in both the allopathic and homeopathic schools, he devoted his whole attention to the latter. The disease which carried him off began to manifest itself about two years ago, but it was only a few weeks since that it assumed a serious aspect. Everything that thoughtful friends could do was done, but the malady defied all skill. Dr Wanless himself was quite aware of the issue, and met it with that calm fortitude which carried him through life. He died last night at 8.15 o'clock, at the early age of 42.
      As a professional man Dr Wanless proved himself possessed of exceptional ability, and was remarkably successful in his practice. Quiet and unassuming, he could not be brought to use even the ordinary means by which many legitimately push themselves forward into position and power. In his private life he exhibited qualities which endeared him to a wide circle of friends. He believed that "men, like columns, are only strong when they are upright" ; and straightforwardness and integrity were his marked characteristics. His intellectual gifts were of a high order; but being naturally shy and retiring, they were fully known only to those who were intimately acquainted with him. He was not perhaps a wide reader - the demands of his professional life did not allow sufficient time for that - but he was an acute thinker, aud his inquisitive mind loved to probe wider and deeper preblems than those necessitated by his mere professional work. He was an accomplished chessplayer, and his death creates a serious blank among the enthusiasts of that game. By his death also the homeopathic sphere is left without a medical representative in Dunedin. That is a vacancy, however, which can be supplied with comparative ease; but those who knew Dr Wanless as a friend and a physician will seriously doubt if any other can ever quite fulfil the place which he occupied in their trust and affection.
    Occupation Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Wellington & Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    doctor of homeopathic & surgical medicine 
    PROB Apr 1889  Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Dunedin probate files
      WANLESS John Robson - Dunedin - Doctor of Medicine
      http://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/SimpleSearchResults.do

      Otago Daily Times , Issue 8461, 6 April 1889, Page 3
      Notice to creditors against the estate of John Robson Wanless, late of Dunedin, Doctor of Medicine, who died at Dunedin on or about 21 Jan 1889. Executors: Samuel McMordie Strain & William Simpson Angus.
    Buried Northern Cemetery, Dunedin, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I111  22: James Wanless Dundee, Scotland & Varna, Ontario, Canada
    Last Modified 23 May 2016 

    Father John Wanless,   b. 27 May 1813, Dundee, Angus, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 1901, Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Mother Margaret McDonald,   b. 5 Mar 1814, Dundee, Angus, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1901, Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 18 May 1835  Dundee, Angus, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F37  Group Sheet

  • News
    Letter from John Robson Wanless to his parents, while on a voyage to Kamchatka in the Bering Strait (1867)
    Letter from John Robson Wanless to his parents, while on a voyage to Kamchatka in the Bering Strait (1867)
    From the London (Ontario) Free Press: We have been favored with extracts from letters written by a son of Dr. Wanless, formerly of this city, to his parents. They are dated in Ptropaulopski, Kamtschatka, 26 Sept, 20 Oct, and 10 Nov, and are all by way of San Francisco. Mr. Wanless has the rank of Lieutenant in one of the parties which are employed in putting up the overland telegraph through America and Russia.
    The expedition sailed on the 27th July from Victoria and was on the Pacific from that time, amid storms and calms, til the 26th Sep, when they reached their destination. They saw plenty of whales and grampuses. (Goes on to describe Kamchatka.)

  • Sources 
    1. [S47] Cleave's Biographical Cyclopędia of Homaeopathy, Egbert Cleave, (1873 http://www.homeoint.org/history/cleave/w/waulesj.htm).

    2. [S44] Cemetery records.

    3. [S44] Cemetery records.
      John Robson Wanless, Medical Doctor died 21 January 1889,aged 43, born Toronto, Canada, in New Zealand 9 years. Died of Aortic valvular disease of heart, dropsy and exhaustion. Son of John Wanless a Doctor, mother's name not known. Unmarried. Buried in a plot purchased for him by a fellow Doctor - Dr Strain, there is a small headstone.

    4. [S26] Old Parochial Registers, FHL 0993404: OPR of Dundee, Forfar, Scotland (Reliability: 3).
      18 May 1835 - John Wanles, surgeon[?], and Margaret McDonald, both OTP