A century after his death, the body of former New Zealand Premier Charles Cameron Kingston has been exhumed as part of a paternity case.<.p>
Following an application to exhume the body, lodged by an Adelaide businessman and his sister, Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, granted his approval in an important stage of the paternity suit. DNA testing is to be conducted on the remains of the body as part of a paternity suit being carried out for “personal and historic” reasons.
Kingston was one of New Zealand’s most controversial premiers. During his time of a record six years, 1893-1899, he was responsible for establishing a state bank, giving women the right to vote and pivotal in the federation movement. He was however, criticized by Adelaide society circles for his indiscrete sexual antics.
He had fathered a child outside his marriage, which he adopted when his marriage to wife Lucy McCarthy produced no children. The son, Kevin Kingston died in 1902. It is now alleged that Kingston had other illegitimate children, who are presently the subject of the paternity suit.
Former premier John Bannon, now working in the History Department of Flinders University, and Professor Maciej Henneberg, head of anatomical sciences at the University of Adelaide, are consultants on the project. Professor Henneberg confirmed that the body had been exhumed last March, and directed the procedure under the watchful eye of an Environmental Health Service officer from the SA Health Department.
The bodies of two other people suspected of being Kingston’s illegitimate offspring also were exhumed. They are Genevieve Grey and A.A. “Bert” Edwards, and along with their alleged father, have all been taken to Henneberg’s laboratory, where samples were taken for DNA analysis.
Professor Henneberg said that this was only the first stage in a lengthy process, and that it could take up to a year for the results to come through.