Chapman Sir Frederick Revans

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Sir Frederick Revans Chapman, 1849–1936.

Fredrick Chapman was born in Wellington and educated in Australia and the UK before returning to New Zealand. Like his father be became a distinguished judge. Early in his career he was resident and Dunedin and became a collector of artefacts from the beach sites of Otago. His collection was bequeathed to the Otago Museum and then displayed in a gallery named after him. The name is no longer used[1] . He was usual in collecting all materials not just finished artefacts and in preparing some publications on his interest.

Skinner's obituary includes some interesting information:

"An excursion into archaeology was in conjunction with Hamilton on the Shag River Site in 1890.Plans and records kept by Hamilton were never published but Chapman carefully preserved the three adzes found by him below the beds of interlaced moa bones.These were characteristically Polynesian confirming Alexander Macky's (sic) discovery in 1872 of an adze of Polynesian type at the bottom of the moa hunter deposits at Moa-bone Point and forecasting the results of Teviotdale's exhaustive work thirty years later." [2]

If he had published this he would have been a more notable figure in the history of New Zealand archaeology.

Chapman is also listed on Archaeopedia as a collector, here.

Chapman has an entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography here.

An obituary by H D Skinner oriented to his archaeological interests was published in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute in 1938 [[1]]. An obituary by Johannes Anderson appeared in the JPS in 1937, [[2]].


1891 On the Working of Greenstone or Nephrite by the Maoris.,Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 479-538 [[3]]

1898 Governor King's visit to New Zealand, 1793, JPS Vol VII:42-43. [[4]]

1898 Koruru, the Maori game of 'Knuckle Bone' JPS Vol VII:114. [[5]]


  1. Pers com M White, 2016
  2. 1924 Excavations Near the Mouth of the Shag River, Otago, Journal of the Polynesian Society 33:3-10.