Wetherstons border


Clare Gleeson is a social historian with particular interests in New Zealand’s musical and gardening histories.  Clare studied history at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington.  Her doctoral thesis looked at domestic music making in New Zealand from 1840 to 1940 and the music trade – those who supplied the instruments (usually the piano) and music to enable this musical activity to take place. She was awarded the Bowen Prize and the Zander and Dryden Families Prize for History by Victoria University of Wellington.

Clare is currently co-curating a website on New Zealand musical personalities active between 1840 and 1920, featuring composers, music retailers and publishers.  Musical Notables of New Zealand was launched in 2019 and is an ongoing project.

keen gardener, Clare’s research interest has more recently focused on New Zealand’s gardening history, in particular those individuals who have contributed to New Zealand’s rich horticultural landscape.

In 2020 Clare was awarded the Pratt Family Scholarship by Heritage Roses New Zealand Inc to undertake research into garden designer Alfred Buxton’s use of roses. She has forthcoming articles in Historic Gardens Review, The Gardener’s Journal and the New Zealand Journal of History.

3 thoughts on “

  1. Hello Clare, I am researching my Begg Family Tree and came across your book “Meet me at Beggs'”. I thought I had found a relation but it would appear that you are a researcher. Do you by any chance know how to contact any living Begg Relation. I am from Alexander Milne Begg’s line who was made Managing Director of “Charles Begg and Company Limited on his sister Elizabeth Warwick Kerr’s death 15 April 1918. Would appreciate any help or direction you may beable to give me. Kind Regards, Trish Hislop, Hastings , NZ


  2. Hello,
    I left Secondary School In 1957 to commence working in Chas. Begg and Co. Ltd., Invercargill Branch as the “Junior” in the Music Instrument Dept. I worked in that dept., later as “head” of Record Dept., leaving in/around 1960. Great Company with dedicated staff in my time there.

    Liked by 1 person

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