Levin, Nathaniel William

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LEVIN, NATHANIEL WILLIAM (1819–1903), pioneer New Zealand merchant and communal leader. Probably born in London, he arrived at Port Nicholson (Wellington) in 1841, opened a store, and prospered, although the store was destroyed by an earthquake in 1848. Levin became a dynamic force in local commercial and maritime enterprises, establishing interests in the whaling trade and exporting wool. He built his own wharf and owned a fleet of sailing ships. A justice of the peace and foundation member of many public institutions, he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1869, but retired to London in 1871. Earlier he took part in the affairs of the embryo Wellington Jewish community, his name appearing as a trustee to the Crown grant of the Jewish cemetery land. He was the father of William Hort Levin mp. The town of Levin was named after the family.


Journal and Proceedings of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, 3 (1949–53), 305a; L.M. Goldman, History of the Jews in New Zealand (1958), index. add. bibliography: New Zealand Dictionary of Biography; R. Gore, Levins, 18411941 (1956).

[Maurice S. Pitt]