Until October 1859 Marlborough was part of the Province of Nelson. This was the result of the Provincial institutions set up by Governor Gray in 1853.
Dissatisfaction with the state of affairs that existed between the pioneering landowners in the Marlborough area (known as Wairau) and the Nelson Provincial Council led to moves toward separating the two areas.
The supporters of the separation met regularly at John Godfrey's Sheepskin Tavern at Renwick to discuss action.
A petition signed by all but six of the Wairau settlers was taken to Auckland by Mr Adams, of Langley Dale, and presented to the Governor.
Names on the petition are still known in the Renwick area today. Many are direct descendants of the signatories - Adams, Butt, Brydon, Goulter, Gifford, Hammond, Maher, Watson, Wratt and Trolove. (A full list of the signatories can be viewed as part of this display.)
On October 4th 1859 the establishment of the new Province of Marlborough was gazetted to take effect from November 1st 1859.
The elections to constitute the newly created Provincial Council resulted in the following men being voted to the Council. William Adams, William Baillie, Cyrus Goulter (Speaker), John Godfrey, William Eyes, Henry Dodson, James Sinclair, Arthur Seymour, Charles Elliot and Joseph Ward.
At the Blenheim Courthouse on 1st May 1860, Mr William Adams was elected the first Superintendent of the Marlborough Province. The separation agreement was signed at Langley Dale. Governor Thomas Gore Browne traveled to Marlborough for the occasion.
From this date Marlborough saw a steady development with progress on every sheep station throughout the district. The 'Golden Fleece' was to prove the main source of wealth, and from the resultant tax revenue the Provincial Council was able to go ahead with roading, bridging, establishing schools, administering the law and maintaining order.