|dc.description.abstract||Charles Gallagher, born in Ireland, for a time prospered when working on American silver mining fields. After arriving in New Zealand in 1883 with his Irish wife and young children, he settled at Thames, where for a while he was a publican and invested in mining as well as doing some prospecting. As so often, he was involved in arguments over the ownership of a silver-bearing claim.
In 1884, the family settled at Te Aroha, where he erected two houses, expensively furnished. Once again, he prospected for silver, unsuccessfully, wasting considerable sums on this endeavour. His financial state was secure until, when he was ill, he settled his money on his wife, and afterwards was angered when she refused to return it because of his ‘intemperate’ habits. The consequence was that while she was in comfortable circumstances, even able to share the ownership of a steamer, he would die penniless.
His private life was increasingly unhappy, marked by heavy drinking and violence against others, especially his wife. He was pathologically jealous of his long-suffering but faithful wife, with tragic consequences on Christmas Day, 1890.||en_NZ