Archibald Clark

Auckland's first Mayor

Archibald Clark and his son James McCosh Clark were both Mayors of Auckland.

Archibald Clark (1805 – 17 October 1875) was a 19th-century Member of Parliament for Auckland East , then Franklin in the Auckland Region, New Zealand. He was the first Mayor of the Borough of Auckland in 1851. However the legality of Auckland's elevation to being a Borough was legally contested and overturned in 1852. Auckland was run under a Board of Governors until 1871, when it formally became a city.

His company, Archibald Clark and Sons, manufactured clothing and was a wholesaler. At one stage the company had 500 employees.

Clark is thought to have been New Zealand's first token issuer in 1857.

In the period from 1857 to 1881 bronze and copper penny and halfpenny currency tokens were issued by many New Zealand traders.

The tokens were issued because of a shortage of small coins and 147 varieties were issued. They would not have been universally accepted (like real money), but would have functioned more like the loyalty points schemes we know today.

Records from Heaton and Sons Mint, Birmingham, indicate that they manufactured Clark's tokens. The reverse of a Clarks token bears the title 'New Zealand' above the stock figure of Justice seated on a bale, suggesting a desire to make the tokens different to the Australian tokens that were also common at the time.

Clark’s son, James McCosh Clark was Mayor of Auckland in the 1870s. He erected a large gothic monument (the tallest in the cemetery) to his father in the south-east corner of the Presbyterian sector.

Several members of Archibald Clark family are buried with him including his wife Mary.

  • <p> Archibald Clark, Mayor of Auckland, 1851-1852, c1875. <em>Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A5070.</em></p>
  • <p>Archibald Clark's memorial in the Presbyterian section of the Symonds Street cemetery.</p>
  • <p>Looking south from Partington's Windmill towards Mount Eden with Symonds Street on the left and the Presbyearian cemetery at centre. Clark's monument cans beseen at the centre of the image near to Symonds Street side of the burial ground, 8 Oct 1923. H<em>enry Winkelmann, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W414.</em></p>
  • <p>Assemblage of portraits of twenty-five mayors of Auckland, beginning with Archibald Clark in 1851. <em>Herman Schmidt, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-WPSCH78.</em></p>

Aerial photo location

Where is the grave?

Enter the Presbyterian/Catholic sections of the cemetery from Symonds Street, and immediately turn left on the Rose Walk. The tall gothic monument is easily visible. Site number 12 in the Rose Walk Trail Guide.