Elizabeth Caradus

Hard work, no shirking

Elizabeth Caradus epitomized hard work and commitment in early Auckland.

Elizabeth Russell arrived, aged 11, in Auckland in 1842 on the Jane Gifford. She worked for a cobbler, walking long distances to deliver orders.

When she was 17, she married James Caradus. They had 15 children, including three sets of twin. Seven children died in infancy. James was a ropemaker by trade, but always struggled to get ahead. Seeking fortune, he walked to the Otago goldfields, then travelled to Ballarat (in Australai) and Thames after gold was discovered there.

He left Elizabeth to run their shop Kiwi Grocery in Napier Street, Auckland.

Elizabeth was a founding member of the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) the Auckland YWCA, and the Women’s Franchise League. Hers is the first woman’s name entered as a speaker in Hansard, the record of New Zealand parliamentary discussions.

She died on 5 November 1912, aged 82.

  • <p>The memorial for Elizabeth Caradus is close to Grafton Bridge, in the General/Wesleyan section of the cemetery.</p>
  • <p>Group portrait of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. Elizabeth Caradus is seated at far right. 21 April 1899. <em>Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990421-8-1.</em></p>
  • <p>Looking south east from Ponsonby, towards Mount Eden, with  Napier Street running from centre to lower right. Partington's Windmill is on the skyline. The home of James &amp; Elizabeth on Napier Street showing the shop front is 3rd from the corner, 1900. <em>Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W293.</em></p>

Aerial photo location

Where is the grave?

The grave is in the General Wesleyan section, just north of Grafton Bridge, and uphill of the Hobson Walk.