July 15, 1871: James Busby, who held the position of British Resident in New Zealand from 1833 to 1840, passed away on this date. He contributed to the creation of the 1835 New Zealand Declaration of Independence and the 1840 Waitangi Treaty. Busby is a pivotal player in the growth of Australian wine. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1801, he traveled to France in his early 20s to study winemaking and grape cultivation. Treatise on the Culture of the Vine, which was his first book, was based on this experience. His second book, A Manual of Plain Directions for Planting and Cultivating Vineyards and for Making Wine in New South Wales was published six years after he went to Australia in 1824. He left for England again in 1831 and spent four months touring European vineyards, gathering hundreds of grape cuttings that he brought back to Australia. These cuttings are the source of some of the significant Chardonnay and Shiraz varieties in Australia.
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