A Singular Man: The Life of Dr Andrew Sinclair 1794-1861
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Thesis Governor Robert Fitzroy appointed Dr Andrew Sinclair as colonial secretary to New Zealand in January 1844. No one in the country knew who Dr Sinclair was, or if he was qualified for a top government job in a troubled colony. Ignorant of the judicious plan and patronage that enabled Fitzroy’s choice, the author of Dr Sinclair’s entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography attributes the appointment to a chance meeting in Sydney. Other authors have judged Dr Sinclair’s political career as unremarkable, yet acknowledged that early European settlement in New Zealand was fraught with tension between missionaries, indigenous Māori, government, independent and New Zealand Company settlers. This biography of the Scottish-born imperial traveler, Royal Navy surgeon, renowned scientist and capable government official uses methods of post critical ethnography and draws on primary and secondary sources to expose flaws in published records. Using the medium of creative non-fiction, the thesis presents insights into a remarkable life touched by major themes of imperialism, industrialisation and colonisation. Exegesis The exegesis explains the context, background and aim in writing the thesis A Singular Man, how the work draws on the methodology of post-critical ethnography, and uses the chronicle as a storytelling tradition. The metaphor of woven tartan introduces the concept of global themes of 19th century imperial Britain as warp, and personal life experiences of the main character as weft threads. Writing history through the lens of an individual life story allows the author to examine these global themes as they touch the life of the subject. An summary of relevant literature reflects the richness and complexity of the pattern used to develop the thesis.