Mercury Theatre: The Architect

Edward Bartley


Bartley was born in Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. He arrived in New Zealand in 1854 and married Elizabeth Hannken in February 1859.

Trained as a carpenter and joiner, he worked as a builder when he arrived in the colony. In 1872, he went into partnership with another builder, forming Matthews & Bartley, Builders.

He moved to the North Shore in 1872, later building his own home in Victoria Road, Devonport. He became a prominent Devonport resident and was active in local politics.

He was active in the Eight-Hour Movement, a member of the Royal Rifle Company Volunteers, the Auckland choral Society, the Microscope Society, Tthe Photography Society, the Museum Institute, the Auckland Institute of Architects and was a founding member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1906.

Along with his sons Alfred, Arthur and Frederick who became architects he also trained Malcolm Keith Draffin (1890-1964).

Keith Draffin would go on to be one of the architects of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The firm of Bartley & Son continued under Alfred Bartley after the retirement of Edward Bartley in 1914.

During his long career he served as architect to the Anglican Church, the Auckland Savings Bank and the Auckland Hospital & Charitable Aid Board.

The Mount Eden Public Library designed by the firm Bartley and Wade was probably his last building.

For the 1913 Auckland Exhibition he was a member of the Building Committee which selected the designs and oversaw the construction of the exhibition buildings in the Auckland Domain

Edward Bartley in 1913

Bartley’s work is found from Whangarei to Cambridge. His notable Auckland buildings include;

Auckland Savings Bank, Queen Street, 1881

St John’s Church, Ponsonby Road, 1882

Jewish Synagogue, Princes Street, 1884

Costley Home for the Aged Poor, Greenlane, 1889.

Jubilee Building, Royal Institute for the Blind, Parnell, 1892

KING’S THEATRE, Newton, 1910

Mt Eden Public Library, 1912.

Edward Bartley’s Devonport Home where he died in 1919.

Edward’s wife Elizabeth was born in Sydney, Australia in October 1838 and came to New Zealand in 1840 with her mother. The family settled first in the Coromandel, later moving to Auckland.

She probably met Edward through the Auckland Choral Society. They were both amongst the foundation members in 1856

Elizabeth died in December 1921 and was buried with Edward, at the O’Neill’s Point Cemetery, North Shore.

Children of Edward Bartley and Elizabeth Hannken

Arthur Edward (1859- 1940)

Frederick Adolphous (1862- 1899)

Alfred Martin (186?- 1929)

Matilda Louisa (1867-1868)

Emily Bertha (1869-1944)

Harold Edgar (1871- 1872)

Mabel Theresa (1872-1873)

Albert Ernest (1873- 1940)

May Elizabeth (1875- 1951)

Eva Rosine (1877- 1954)

Percival Leonard (1878- 1908)

Amy Zealandia (1879- 1880)

Claude Victor (1881- 1919)