skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell


English-born New Zealand public servant and naturalist. Son of Gideon Algernon Mantell. Emigrated to New Zealand, arriving in 1840. Commissioner for extinguishing native titles, Middle Island (South Island), 1848–51; commission of Crown lands for the Southern District of the Province of New Munster, 1851–6. Visited England, 1855–9; returned to New Zealand and was elected to the House of Representatives for Wallace, 1861–6. Attempted unsuccessfully to secure the fulfilment of promises made to the Ngai Tahu at the time of the original land purchases. Retired from the House and accepted a seat on the Legislative Council, 1866. Worked with Charles Lyell and Richard Owen.