Edward Baigent arrived in New Zealand almost 140 years ago, and except for a few months in Nelson, spent his entire life in Wakefield. Unfortunately neither Edward Baigent nor any of his children seem to have kept diaries, or been prolific letter writers. The information this thesis is based upon, does thus come almost entirely from early newspaper articles, diaries of Baigent's contemporary settlers, and old ledgers and journals, dating back to 1870, which were found by chance last year in the demolition of an old building on Baigents' Rutherford Street property. The completion of this thesis would not have been possible if not for the willing assistance I have had from a number of people. Special thanks must go to Mr John Bush, who began collecting information relating to the Baigent family several years ago, with the intention of eventually writing a family/company history. With characteristic unselfishness, Mr Bush passed on to me all the material he had accumulated, and I am extremely grateful for the initial help he provided. To Mrs M. Palmer, a great grand-daughter of Edward Baigent, I also extend my special thanks. Mrs Palmer has always taken a great deal of interest in the Baigent family, and wherever possible, has been of great assistance to me. Nelson is fortunate that early events were faithfully recorded by newspaper reporters almost immediately settlement was commenced. The Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle which began in 1842 and continued until 1874, provided much valuable information on the early years of settlement in the Nelson Province. An almost complete file of this paper is available at the Nelson Public Library, and to the staff of the Library I wish to record my thanks.