Thomas Bracken

(523 words)
  • Peter Lineham (Massey University)

In addition to being a journalist and politician, Thomas Bracken was a prolific poet whose verse reflects New Zealand colonial and romantic traditions. His most significant contribution to literature was to write the lyrics for the poem that became New Zealand’s national anthem just over a century later.

Thomas Bracken was born in Clonee, County Meath, Ireland on 21 December 1843. At the age of 12 he was sent to his uncle’s care in Melbourne. As a young man he worked on a sheep station near Bendigo and published his first volume of poems in Australia, The Haunted Vale (1867). Bracken arrived in New Zealand in 1869, and, after a period of time as a journalist, began to edit a weekly newspaper, the Saturday …

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Lineham, Peter. "Thomas Bracken". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 January 2008
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]