• Acheson, Frederick.
• Bland, Rivett Henry.
• Blandowski, William.
• Bleasdale, Reverend Father Dr John Ignatius.
• Bonwick, James Esq.
• Cadell, Captain Francis.
• Clarke, The Hon. Captain Andrew.
• Dobree, Arthur Esq.
• Eades, Dr Richard.
• Elliott, Sizar Esq.
• Embling, Dr Thomas.
• Farwell, Charles Esq.
• Gillbee, Dr William, MRCSE.
• Haines, The Hon Chief Secretary William Clark, MLA.
• Hearn, Professor William Edward, MA, LLD.
• Higinbotham, George.
• Hodgkinson, Clement Esq.
• Hodgson, The Hon John Hodgson, MLC.
• Hope, The Hon Robert Culbertson, MLC.
• Hough [G or J] S.
• Iffla, Dr Solomon, JP, MD.
• Irving, Professor Martin Howy, MA.
• Knaggs, Dr Robert Corbet, MRCSL.
• Knight, Mr John George.
• Ligar, Charles Whybrow.
• Macadam, Dr John, MD, FRSSA.
• Mackenna, Dr John William, MD.
• McCoy, Professor Frederick, FGS.
• McGillivray, Dr Paul Howard, AM.
• McLean, Dr David P, MRCSL.
• McMillan, Angus Esq.
• Morrison, Reverend Alexander.
• Mueller, Baron Dr Ferdinand von, MD, PhD, FRGS.
• Murphy, The Hon Sir Francis, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
• Neumayer, Professor Georg Balthasar von.
• O’Shanassy, The Hon Sir John, MLA.
• Pascoe, Lieutenant John Randall, JP.
• Rawlinson, Mr Thomas E Rawlinson, CE.
• Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil.
• Shiel, The Very Reverend Louis St Frances.
• Smith, Alexander Kennedy, CE. FRSSA.
• Smith, James Esq.
• Stawell, Sir William Foster.
• Turnbull, Dr W M, MD.
• Watson, John Esq.
• Wilkie, Dr David Elliot, MD.
• Wilson, Edward Esq.
• Wilson, Professor William Pakinson, MA.
|Member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria from 1855 to 1860. Civil engineer who worked in the Crown Lands Office in Melbourne and presented two papers to the Institute on railways and motive power.|
|Public servant and company manager.|
Born at Newark, Nottinghamshire in 1811, he migrated to Western Australia in 1829. In 1831 he was asked to lead an expedition through the Darling Range and establish a government farm at York. He accompanied Fitzgerald on an expedition in 1848 to the Murchison River, when A C Gregory was one of the party. In 1852 he arrived in Melbourne as the director of the Port Philip and Colonial Gold Mining Co. He formed the Clunes Quartz Mining Co. and managed the company for thirty years. Bland died at Clunes in 1894 and was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.
Bland was born on 2 February 1811 at Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, son of Dr Thomas Bland and his wife Emma, née Revett. He was educated at Newark Grammar School. Intended for the medical profession, he was sent at 14 to St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He arrived in Western Australia in August 1829 and in December was appointed superintendent of government stock at York. In 1831 Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) James Stirling asked him to lead an expedition through the Darling Range and establish a government farm at York. The farm was soon broken up by order of the government but in reward for his services Bland was granted 1000 acres (405 ha) which he ably farmed. By 1834 he was resident of York and a justice of the peace.
In October 1841 Governor John Hutt recommended Bland for appointment as protector of Aborigines for his 'thorough knowledge of the native character, acquaintance with their languages, great firmness combined with mildness of temper, long experience as a Magistrate, and a high reputation for integrity and respectability which gives him considerable influence among both the colonists and the native population in the York district'. Bland was in this office in October 1843 when he was granted eighteen months leave to go to England for treatment of his eyes. He left in November and returned to York in 1845. When he left there in October 1848 to become private secretary to Governor Charles FitzGerald and clerk of the council, relations between the Aboriginals and settlers had greatly improved, and he was praised for developing good feeling and mutual confidence. Later that year he accompanied FitzGerald in an expedition which verified a lode of galena discovered on the Murchison River by Augustus Gregory who was also in the party. On the return journey the governor was speared in the leg by natives and Bland narrowly escaped serious injury. In 1855 his paper, 'On the character, habits and customs of the Aborigines of Western Australia', was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, of which he was later a member.
As acting colonial secretary in 1849 Bland was welcomed as a just administrator. Unfortunately he had to take leave on 'private business' and in March 1850 sailed for Adelaide. His health deteriorated and he was confined to the house for nine months by rheumatic ophthalmia, through which he lost the sight of an eye. In August 1851 with much reluctance he resigned and next January went to England for medical treatment.
Bland's interests were diverted to Victoria where his business acumen and contacts with the London Stock Exchange led to his appointment as resident director of the Port Phillip and Colonial Gold Mining Co. which had been launched in England with a royal charter and a paid up capital of £100,000 in £1 shares early in 1852. Before Bland arrived in Melbourne he had applied to the colonial government in June for a lease of auriferous land; it was not granted until October 1853, when he reported to his English directors that the land was at Fryer's Creek. Thwarted there and again at Ballarat in 1856, he arranged with some freeholders to begin mining operations at Clunes where he installed an extensive plant. This project was the sole survivor of the English speculation of 1852. Bland arranged in 1857 with Charles Kinnear and others to work the mine on a profit-sharing basis with the Port Phillip Co. which crushed the quartz and extracted the gold. Known as the Clunes Quartz Mining Co. the scheme had a hundred working shareholders as well as the English capital. Bland managed this company for over thirty years and its success must to some extent be attributed to his initiative. The total gold raised in 1857-84 was 506,220 ounces (14,351 kg), valued at £2,029,078 13s. 7d. and yielding a profit of nearly £500,000 from an outlay of less than £20,000.
In 1863-65 Bland was a director of the National Bank, invited by the board probably in the hope of capturing valuable mining accounts. In 1881 he was a juror for the Australian International Exhibition and was offered a medal for his impartial and painstaking efforts. In 1884-85 he presented the first four pictures, paintings by J. A. Turner, to the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. With his technical experience he was well equipped to write his History of the Port Phillip and Colonial Gold Mining Company, in Connection With the Clunes Mine (Ballarat, 1888). He gave evidence to the royal commission on gold mining in 1891.
On 28 March 1838 at Guildford, near Perth, he had married Emily Lutzen; she died in childbirth on 24 August 1845 aged 30. On 26 December 1848 at St George's Church, Perth, Bland married the widow Martha Emma Hinds, née McCallum. She and their four children predeceased Bland who died on 18 February 1894 at Clunes and was buried in the Melbourne general cemetery.
A. Sutherland et al, Victoria and its Metropolis, vol 2 (Melb, 1888); G. Blainey, The Rush that Never Ended (Melb, 1963); G. Serle, The Golden Age (Melb, 1963); Argus (Melbourne), 20 Feb 1894; F. Strahan, The Growth and Extent of Company Mining on the Victorian Goldfields in the 1850s (B.A. Hons thesis, University of Melbourne, 1955).
Born: 21 January 1822 Prussia, Prussia, Germany. Died: 1878?.
Career Highlights: Born Gliwice (Gleiwitz), Upper Silesia, 21 January 1822. Died 1878? (unconfirmed). Arrived Australia 1849, intending to compile 'a natural history, a botanical classification, and a geological arrangement of this country'. Found gold near Castlemaine, Victoria; invented and designed a powerful water pump; attached to the field party of the government geologist, Alfred Selwyn (q.v.) 1853; government geologist of the newly created Museum of Natural History 1854-57; led an expedition to investigate the natural history of the region at the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers 1856-57, collecting 17,400 specimens for the National Museum; did not report back to the Museum on his return and retained most of the specimens; threatened with legal action and sailed for Java and Hamburg 1859; returned to his native Silesia and published scientific papers relating to Australia 1860-62. One of the founders of the Philosophical Society of Victoria 1854. Commemorated by a genus of marine fish, Blandowskius, and of Murray River perch, Blandowskiella.
Blandowski, William. (1822-?)
Naturalist, member of the first Exploration Committee and leadership contender for the VEE.
Blandowski was born in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia in 1822 and arrived in Australia in 1849. He travelled through the colonies compiling a natural history, before making money at the Castlemaine goldrush. He invented a water pump and founded the Geological Society of Victoria in 1852. In 1853 he was attached to a field party led by Alfred Selwyn, the government geologist. Appointed to the Museum of Natural History upon its foundation in 1854, Blandowski was one of the eight original founders of the Philosophical Society of Victoria. Blandowski opposed the transfer of collections from the National Museum to the University of Melbourne by Professor Frederick McCoy and the antagonism between the two men escalated to become irreconcilable. Blandowski led several geological and natural history expeditions around Victoria and to the junction of the Darling and the Murray. Blandowski published a paper which likened prominent members of the Philosophical Society to slimy, slippery fish. He was asked to resign, but the motion did not get a two-thirds majority. He lost interest in the Society but sat on the Exploration Committee until March 1859, when he sailed for Java, then Silesia.
Blandowski was born on 21 January 1822 in Gliwice (Gleiwitz), Upper Silesia, son of a Prussian lieutenant-colonel of the Medical Corps and his wife, née von Woyrsch. The Blandowski family, well known since 1610 and bearing the coat of arms of 'Wieniawa', was of Polish origin and belonged to the Silesian nobility, but later became germanized, abandoning the Roman Catholic faith for the Lutheran. On 31 August 1834 Blandowski entered the Royal Prussian Cadets at Chelmno (Kulm) but was dismissed or left at his own request on 5 August 1836. Whatever his education he was once described as a mining engineer by profession. He arrived in Australia in 1849. His 'original object' was to compile 'a natural history, a botanical classification, and a geological arrangement of this country'. He visited Adelaide, and at least Sydney, Twofold Bay and Cape York by ship and later joined an early gold rush in Victoria, making a small fortune in the goldfields near Castlemaine. It was there that Blandowski became noted as an inventor and designer of a powerful water pump.
His name appeared in the Melbourne Argus, 4 October 1852, as a founder of the Geological Society of Victoria. In 1853 he was briefly attached to the field party of the government geologist, Alfred Selwyn. On 21 May Blandowski asked Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe for an 'allowance' to enable him to complete his 'Illustrated Natural History of the Colony of Victoria'. Impressed by further correspondence La Trobe wrote to the colonial secretary on 8 November that immediate steps should be taken to open a museum and stating that Blandowski was the 'most suitable person to employ'. In December 1853, at the invitation of La Trobe, he submitted a detailed 'Memorandum' of six pages on a 'Museum of Practical Geology'. When the Museum of Natural History, on the recommendation of the Legislative Council, was created in Melbourne, Blandowski was the first officer appointed to its staff as government zoologist on 1 April 1854. On 17 June 1854 he was one of the eight men who founded the Philosophical Society of Victoria; he was appointed to its council, served for a short time in 1856 as honorary secretary, and later became a life member.
At the end of 1854 and early in 1855 Blandowski made several excursions to the coastal areas of Victoria and the region of McIvor (Heathcote) and the Black Ranges, collecting numerous specimens and attempting to compile the first check list of the mammals and birds of Victoria. He had considerable knowledge of physical geography and geology, mineralogy, palaeontology, zoology, ichthyology, botany and ethnology. His drawings were not only accurate in detail but also had artistic merit. He described his findings in seven reports, published in the Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Victoria, 1855-57.
Blandowski's life was considerably affected by Professor Frederick McCoy, who in May 1856 was appointed palaeontologist to the Geological Survey of Victoria and who made himself responsible for the transfer of the collections of the National Museum to the University of Melbourne. Blandowski opposed this transfer and antagonism between the two men deepened beyond reconciliation. The Argus, 29 July 1856, defended Blandowski, stressing his zeal and devotion to his work, and stating that 'the museum almost owes its existence to him'.
On 2 December 1856 the government appointed him leader of an expedition to investigate the natural history of the region at the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers, with a view to collecting specimens for the National Museum. Aided by a German naturalist, Gerard Krefft, and overcoming many personal and physical setbacks often created by his own faults, Blandowski accomplished his task, arriving in Adelaide in August 1857 with twenty-eight boxes containing 17,400 specimens. fter his return to Melbourne he never reported back to duty at the museum. On 2 September 1857 he presented his 'Preliminary Report on Recent Discoveries in Natural History on the Lower Murray' to the Philosophical Society. The council of the society ordered it to be published with the omission of the 'objectionable' pages dealing with nineteen new species of fish named after prominent members of the council (e.g. 'Slimy, slippery fish. Lives in mud'). The council demanded the withdrawal of his 'offensive descriptions' but he refused. A motion asking him to resign failed through the lack of a two-thirds majority. He lost much of his interest in the society but as a member of its Exploration Committee attended meetings till March 1859. Ordered three times by the Victorian government to return his specimens and manuscripts, Blandowski delivered some collections to the university museum on 24 December 1857, but without invoices, lists or memoranda. In 1858 he again clashed with McCoy, and the Melbourne press accused Blandowski of retaining specimens, journals and drawings for his own use. When threatened with legal action he sailed on 17 March 1859 for Java and Hamburg, where he landed in the middle of November. He went to Brunswick and Berlin complaining about the shabby treatment he had received in Australia. Returning to his native Silesia he published some scientific papers relating to Australia in 1860 and 1861 in the Proceedings of the Natural Science Societies of Dresden and Breslau. In 1862 he published a fifty-two page brochure, Australien in 142 Photographischen Abbildungen, in which he claimed that he was in possession of four thousand sketches from Australia. He died on 18 December 1878 in the old psychiatric hospital at Bunzlau (Boleslawiec), Silesia.
Blandowski was an ambitious, eccentric, stubborn, impulsive, quarrelsome individualist, and his scientific integrity was sometimes questioned, but credit should be given to his capacity for hard work and devotion to the founding of national collections. His name has been commemorated in a genus of marine fish (Blandowskius), and of the Murray River perches (Blandowskiella). An important set of his plates, 'Australia Terra Cognita', is held by the Mitchell Library.
Select Bibliography: A. Wakefield, ‘Mammals of the Blandowski Expedition to North-Western Victoria, 1856-57’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol 79, part 2, 1966, pp 371-91; L. Paszkowski, ‘William Blandowski: The First Government Zoologist of Victoria’, Australian Zoologist, vol 14, part 2, 1967, pp 147-72; Colonial Secretary's letters, 1853-55 (Public Record Office Victoria); Governor's letters, 1857-61 (Public Record Office Victoria); Krefft papers (State Library of New South Wales); Gregory letters (State Library of New South Wales).
Bleasdale was a Catholic clergyman interested in science and was President of the Royal Society of Victoria, 1865. He worked on the committee to establish a public museum of natural history in Melbourne in the 1850s, and pushed for the founding of schools of chemistry and mineralogy.
Born in 1822. Arrived Melbourne 1850. Appointed vice-president of seminary, St Patrick's College at Eastern Hill in 1855. Foundation member, Melbourne Microscopical Society. Fellow, Geographical and Linnean societies, and honorary member of Medical Society of Victoria. President, Royal Society of Victoria, 1865. Migrated to California in 1877 and died in San Francisco in June 1884.
Bleasdale was born in Lancashire, England, and received his elementary education in private schools at Preston. In 1835 he began his studies for the priesthood at the English College, Lisbon, completing them at St Mary's College, Oscott, Birmingham, where he was ordained by Cardinal Wiseman in 1845. For five years he served as a military chaplain in Britain before transferring to the newly-formed diocese of Victoria together with priests who responded to the appeal for clergy made by Dr Geoghegan in 1849-50.
Bleasdale's first appointment was in 1851 to the country mission of Geelong and Colac, where he remained until 1853 when he was transferred to the seminary attached to St Francis Church, Melbourne. When the seminary was transferred to Eastern Hill at St Patrick's College in 1855 Bleasdale was appointed vice-president. While he held this appointment his deep interest in scientific subjects was reflected by several changes in the curriculum. Bleasdale had soon acquired a reputation as the outstanding Catholic clergyman in scientific circles. He was a recognized and popular lecturer in a wide range of subjects and a foundation member of the Melbourne Microscopical Society. He was also a fellow of the Geographical and Linnean Societies and an honorary member of the Medical Society of Victoria. In the public pressure for the establishment of a public museum of natural history in the 1850s Bleasdale was a diligent committee worker and advocated the founding of schools of chemistry and mineralogy in association with the proposed museum.
While vice-president of St Patrick's College, Bleasdale founded the Catholic Young Men's Society in 1859 and was its spiritual director. In 1860 he resigned from his seminary appointment and was transferred to St Francis Church, Melbourne. Throughout the 1860s he continued his work as a writer and committee worker. Several articles were contributed to the Argus and the weeklies on technical education in which he was interested. He became a prominent member of the Royal Society of Victoria, and many of his lectures and papers were published in its Proceedings. Elsewhere he published many papers on colonial wine, hoping 'to see Victorians a healthy, sober, jolly, wine-drinking population'. Public recognition of his abilities and interests was achieved when he was appointed to the royal commission on planning an intercolonial exhibition in 1865. This was the first of several similar public appointments which included a trusteeship of the Melbourne Public Library, Museum and National Gallery and membership of the Denominational Schools Board, the Central Board of Health and the Commission for Technical Education. In these public fields he was instrumental in obtaining a government grant of £10,000 to finance a hall for the Technological and Industrial Museum and in 1875 a grant of £2000 for the foundation of a school of chemistry. His abilities as a critic on the subjects of mineralogy and new industries were recognized both in Australasian circles and later in North America.
In the 1860s and 1870s Bleasdale's ecclesiastical appointments included the inspector-generalship of schools and orphanages and a term as private secretary to Bishop Goold. From 1866 he was secretary of the Catholic Education Committee, which he represented at hearings and appeals in connexion with the education bill of 1867 and the Act of 1872. While continuing to serve in this capacity, he was appointed chancellor of the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1874, and formulated much of its financial policy in the years when its independent education system was expanding. His health failed rapidly in these years and in 1877 he resigned from his Melbourne ecclesiastical appointments and migrated to California. From that time he did not participate actively in public affairs but continued to publish papers on subjects which had interested him. After a long illness he died in San Francisco in June 1884 aged 62.
F. Mackle, The Footprints of Our Catholic Pioneers (Melb, 1924); H. M. Humphreys (ed), Men of the Time in Australia: Victorian Series (Melb, 1878); Advocate (Melb), Aug 1884; Argus (Melbourne), 2 Aug 1884.
Bonwick born at London on 8 July 1817, the eldest son of James and Mary Ann Bonwick. James Bonwick, the elder, was a man of some mechanical ability, but he suffered from ill health, and his children were brought up in poor circumstances. His eldest son was educated at the Borough Road school. Southwark, and at 17 years of age teaching at a school at Hemel Hempstead and similar positions followed at Bexley and Liverpool. In April 1840 he married Esther Ann Beddow, the daughter of a Baptist clergyman, and in the following year obtained a position at the Normal School, Hobart, Tasmania. Bonwick and his wife arrived at Hobart in October 1841. He was a successful teacher in Hobart for eight years and published his Geography for the Use of Australian Youth in 1845, the first of his many school books. He went to Adelaide in 1849, but in 1852 made his way to the Victorian gold diggings. He did not find much gold, but his health benefited, and going to Melbourne he established a monthly magazine, The Australian Gold-Diggers' Monthly Magazine, which ceased publication with the eighth issue. He then established a successful boarding school at Kew, near Melbourne. He had already published several school books and pamphlets, when in 1856 he brought out his Discovery and Settlement of Port Phillip, the first of his historical works. About this time he joined the Victorian government service as an inspector of denominational schools, and in 1857 made a tour of inspection through the western district of Victoria. He then made Ballarat his centre and worked there for about four years. During his journeys he suffered from sunstroke and a coaching accident, and became so ill that he had to retire from the service. He was given 18 months' leave of absence, but was unable to continue this work. His head had been injured in the accident. He was never able to ride a horse again, and he was always liable to have an attack of giddiness. He visited England in 1860 and then returned to Melbourne and opened a school in the suburb of St Kilda, which became very prosperous. He paid another visit to England with his wife, leaving the school in the hands of a son and a friend of his.
They, however, mismanaged the school, and Bonwick was compelled to return and put things in order again. He was doing much writing, and in the ensuing years travelled in various parts of Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Among his more important volumes were The Last of the Tasmanians, Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians, and Curious Facts of Old Colonial Days, all three published in 1870; Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought (1878), First Twenty Years of Australia (1882), Port Phillip Settlement (1883), and Romance of the Wool Trade (1887). He had now finally settled down in England and in this year was appointed archivist for the New South Wales government. He traced and copied the information that became the basis of the History of New South Wales, vol. I by G. B. Barton, and vol. II by A. Britton. His materials were afterwards printed as The Historical Records of New South Wales. Though he published other volumes, these records were his principal work until in 1902, at the age of 85, he resigned his position. In 1900 he had celebrated with his wife the sixtieth anniversary of their wedding. She died in 1901 and he felt her loss keenly. He completed and published in 1902 his final volume, An Octogenarian's Reminiscences, and died on 6 October 1906. He was survived by five children.
Bonwick was an amiable, religious man, full of nervous energy and with a passion for work. All things came to his net; history, religion, astronomy, geography, anthropology and trade were among the subjects of his books. Some of the more important have been mentioned, some fifty others are listed in "A Bibliography of James Bonwick" by Dr G. Mackaness (Jnl. and Proc. R. A. H.S., 1937). An even longer list of his writings is appended to James Bonwick by E. E. Pescott. His school books were of great value at a time when it was difficult to obtain suitable books in Australia, and his historical work was always conscientious, though the discovery of materials not then available may have lessened its value in some cases.
Bonwick, James (1817-1906)
Teacher, author, historian and archivist. Honorable Secretary of first Exploration Committee.
Born at Lingfield, Surrey, Bonwick was nominated to manage a school in Hobart in 1841. After two years he opened his own schools. Heavily in debt for building costs he went to the Victorian goldfields in 1852. He returned to Melbourne and worked as a lecturer and proprietor of Australian Gold Diggers Monthly Magazine as well as helping found the Victorian Liquor Law League which promote prohibition. He was inspector for the Denominational Schools Board from 1856 to 1859 when he was a member of the Philosophical Institute and Honorary Secretary of the Exploration Committee. He was involved in a serious coaching accident in September 1859 and received £300 compensation before leaving for England. He returned to Australia several times, before his death in Brighton in 1906.
Bonwick was born on 8 July 1817 at Lingfield, Surrey, England, eldest son of James Bonwick, carpenter, and his second wife Mary, née Preston. Soon after James's birth the family moved to Southwark, London, where he was educated at the Borough Road School in 1823-32. He began his teaching career in 1833 and had charge of several primary schools. While at Liverpool in 1837 he was influenced by a Baptist clergyman who converted Bonwick to Nonconformity and pledged him to the temperance cause. He returned to schools in London in 1838 and in May 1841 he and his wife were selected to manage the proposed normal school in Hobart Town, the chief school of Sir John Franklin's new Board of Education.
Bonwick arrived in Hobart on 10 October 1841 and took charge of the school next January. He resigned two years later because of the poor conditions and established his own boarding school in Hobart, moving it to Glenorchy in June 1847. At this time he produced the first of his many valuable school textbooks. Bonwick also associated with George Washington Walker in the formation of the Hobart Town Total Abstinence Society in 1842 and the Van Diemen's Land Total Abstinence Society in 1846, serving as secretary to both. Through Walker's influence he also became interested in the study of the Aboriginals. No less influential was his association with Henry Melville, who captivated Bonwick with his knowledge of Freemasonry and mysticism. Thereafter Bonwick inclined towards religious eclecticism even to the extent of a brief contact in London with the mystic, Madame Blavatsky.
In mid-1849 he unsuccessfully applied for the inspectorship of schools won by Thomas Arnold and, when an attempt to re-establish his school in Hobart in September failed, Bonwick left in February 1850 for Adelaide. There he opened a private school and identified himself with the cultural life of the city as a lecturer, secretary of the first Australian branch of the Young Men's Christian Association, and a founder of one of the earliest Australian teachers' associations.
Heavily in debt for building expenses, Bonwick left for the Victorian goldfields in February 1852. After a brief stay at the diggings he returned to Melbourne and worked as a lecturer and then proprietor of the Australian Gold Digger's Monthly Magazine, and Colonial Family Visitor. When publication ceased in May 1853 he opened a land agency, in conjunction with which he toured the diggings for a time as a lecturer for the Colonial Reform Association, a radical body pledged to 'unlocking the lands'. At the same time he helped to found the Victorian Liquor Law League which aimed to introduce prohibitory legislation. The land agency proved a failure and in January 1855 Bonwick opened a boarding school near Kew, but early next year had to close it because of poor health. For a time he lived by his writing, and published Discovery and Settlement of Port Phillip (1856) and other works. In June 1856 he was appointed an inspector for the Denominational Schools Board and for the next three years was engaged in this arduous work, which included two extensive horseback tours of western Victoria. He retired after a serious coaching accident in September 1859, received £300 in compensation and in November left for England.
Bonwick returned to Melbourne in July 1862 and at St Kilda opened another school which became very prosperous, having an enrolment of over 150 boys. He continued historical and anthropological work in his spare time, publishing John Batman (1867), Curious Facts of Old Colonial Days (1870), Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians (1870) and The Last of the Tasmanians (1870). In 1869 Bonwick made another visit to England, leaving the school in charge of his son William. The school was mismanaged and Bonwick had to return and arrange a lease in September 1871. He journeyed to England by way of New Zealand and the United States, and briefly visited Melbourne in August 1875 to arrange the final sale of his St Kilda property. Through the influence of Richard Daintree he was appointed an immigration agent to lecture in England for the Queensland government in June 1874; the appointment was repudiated in March 1875. He visited Australia in 1881 and while in Brisbane was again appointed a lecturer by the Queensland government; he toured England from January 1882 to April 1883. Meanwhile he began searching in London for early Australian source material; First Twenty Years of Australia (1882) and Port Phillip Settlement (1883) embodied this research. The wealth of material Bonwick discovered suggested to him the possibility of transcribing it for use in the colonies, similar to a scheme adopted by the Canadian government.
Bonwick's first offer to transcribe was made to the Queensland government, and he was appointed in June 1883 to do this work for a year. Small batches of transcripts were then made for South Australia in 1885 and the Melbourne Public Library in 1886. From January 1887 to 1893 he transcribed for Tasmania and from April 1887 to 1902 for New South Wales. These latter transcripts were used as the basis of the two-volume History of New South Wales from the Records (1889-94), and many of the transcripts themselves were printed in the eight volumes of the Historical Records of New South Wales (1892-1901); they were again used by Dr F. Watson, without due acknowledgment, as the basis for the first fifteen volumes of series I of the Historical Records of Australia (1914-26). The value of nearly all these transcripts is now somewhat limited, either because they have been printed or because the originals have been microfilmed. After ceasing transcription work in 1902 Bonwick published An Octogenarian's Reminiscences, but enjoyed only a short retirement before he died at Southwick, near Brighton, Sussex, on 6 February 1906.
On 17 April 1840 Bonwick married Esther Anne, a teacher, daughter of Rev. Barnabas Beddow, Baptist minister at Exeter. Of their seven children, two died in infancy, the eldest son died before Bonwick, two settled in England, and the other two left descendants in Victoria.
James Bonwick was amiable and quickly made many friends. He was full of nervous energy and had a passion for work, as revealed by his wide range of publications and the huge bulk of transcripts personally copied by him. More than sixty publications can be attributed to him and they reveal the major characteristic of his mind: breadth but no depth. Besides history, geology and anthropology were his most persistent interests, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1865 and of the Anthropological Institute in 1869; yet in those fields he was more a competent and industrious amateur than an original thinker. Though he often gave evidence to select committees on education his philosophy was derivative and based on an overbearing belief in the moral regeneration which educational facilities could achieve. The best of Bonwick's historical works show an extensive, methodical search for facts, but are unimaginative and lack digestion or analysis. Even his religious experience was thinly spread over many shades of Nonconformity and verged on mysticism. With his energy went a peculiar inability to manage his financial affairs, so that despite his extensive publishing ventures Bonwick died relatively poor. His importance is twofold: as a teacher he was a pioneer of new methods which placed stress on the pupil's observation and experiment rather than rote learning; as a historian his great work was as a discoverer and transcriber of factual records, a labour which laid the foundations for later serious study and never received due recognition. Portraits are in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
Bonwick's younger brother, Walter, was born on 21 November 1824 at Southwark, London. He was educated at the Borough Road School and trained there as a teacher. He developed his talent as a music teacher while working in provincial schools. In 1852 he was admitted as a sizar at St John's College, Cambridge, but did not take out a degree. He left for Victoria in 1854 and early next year was appointed one of the first singing masters by the commissioners of National education; he held similar positions under the Board of Education in 1862-72 and the Education Department from 1872 until his death in 1883. He published several collections of popular songs and The Australian School Song Book (1871?).
[E. A. Beddow], Appreciations of James Bonwick (West Norwood, c1906); G. Featherstone, Life and Times of James Bonwick (M.A. thesis, University of Melbourne, 1968), and for bibliography; manuscript catalogue under James Bonwick (State Library of New South Wales); Denominational Schools Board records (Public Record Office Victoria); Bonwick transcripts (State Library of New South Wales, State Records of South Australia, Archives Office of Tasmania, Royal Historical Society of Queensland and State Library of Victoria); private information.
The son of H. F. Cadell, and was born in Scotland in 1822. He was educated at Edinburgh and in Germany, and became a midshipman on an East Indiaman. He fought in the Chinese war of 1840 and afterwards was given a ship by his father. He went to South America, had experience of river navigation on the Amazon, and visited Australia in 1849. He returned to Australia in 1852 and became interested in the navigation of the Murray. In 1850 the South Australian government had offered a bonus Of £4000 to the owners of the first two steamers that should successfully navigate the Murray to the junction of the Darling. Cadell gave orders for the construction of a steamer in Sydney and, while it was being built, explored the Murray in a canvas boat, in which, with four men, he travelled 1300 miles. In June 1853 his steamer the Lady Augusta successfully passed through the breakers at the mouth of the Murray, and on 28 August left Goolwa on a voyage up the Murray with Cadell in command. Among the passengers were the governor, Sir Henry Young (q.v.) and Lady Young. They returned on 14 October having reached a point 1500 miles up the river. A few months later it was ascertained that the Murray was navigable as far as Albury, and the Murrumbidgee to Gundagai. Cadell had carried a considerable quantity of wool and much trade was expected with the Riverina squatters. A gold and silver candelabrum was presented by the settlers to Cadell, with an inscription that it had been presented to him "in cornmemoration of his first having opened the steam navigation and commerce of the River Murray 1853". This was not quite accurate as J. G. and W. R. Randell (q.v.) had constructed an earlier steamer which had traded on the Murray as early as March 1853. It was, however, a much smaller vessel and not eligible for the bonus offered by the government.
Cadell was also presented with a gold medal struck by the legislative council, and he joined with others in forming the River Murray Navigating Company. The establishment of inland customs houses and the refusal of the three colonies to join in the snagging of the river, created difficulties for the company, and the failure of Port Elliot as a harbour led to more than one steamer being lost. The company which had at first made good profits failed and Cadell lost everything he had. He went to Victoria, did exploring work in eastern Gippsland, and in 1865 was in New Zealand in the employ of the New Zealand government. In February 1867 the South Australian government sent Cadell to the Northern Territory "to fix upon a proper site for the survey of 300,000 acres". His selection of a site on the Liverpool River was much criticized at the time, and was eventually rejected. He had been able to give the authorities much valuable information about the country, but the climate of the territory and its great distance from other centres of population made its development a problem which had not been solved more than half a century after his visit. Cadell then took up trading in the East Indies, and when sailing to the Kei Islands near New Guinea he was murdered by a member of his crew, about March 1879. Cadell was an adventurous man of great courage whose work for a variety of reasons was not sufficiently followed up by the authorities of his time. From the very beginning of the founding of South Australia the desire for a harbour at the mouth of the Murray was almost an obsession, and the failure of the efforts made to found one caused much discouragement. But Cadell had shown the value of inland trading in the rivers quite apart from the question of taking cargoes to sea.
Clarke was born at Southsea, Hampshire, England, on 27 July 1824. He was the eldest son of Lieut.-Colonel Andrew Clarke (1793-1847) and his wife Frances, daughter of Philip Lardner. His father entered the army as an ensign when only 13 years of age, by 1813 became a captain and went with his regiment to New South Wales in that year. In 1818 he was in India, and in 1823 while on leave in England was married. He returned to Europe in 1833, was created a knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order in 1837, and succeeded to the command of his regiment in 1839. In 1842 Colonel Clarke took his regiment to the West Indies and was appointed lieutenant-governor of St Lucia, which he left in 1844. In the following year he was appointed governor of Western Australia, where he arrived on 26 January 1846. He became ill not long afterwards and died on 11 February 1847.
Owing to his father's absence from home, Clarke was brought up by his grandfather, Dr Andrew Clarke, and his uncles, James Langton Clarke, who afterwards went to Victoria and became a county court judge, and William Hislop Clarke, the father of Marcus Clarke. He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, and the Portora School at Enniskillen.
At 16 he entered the royal military academy at Woolwich and did a four years' course. He took a high place at his final examination, and in June 1844 became a second lieutenant in the royal engineers. In 1845 he was stationed in Ireland and in the following year, on his father's suggestion, applied to be sent to New South Wales or Tasmania. In July 1846 he was promoted lieutenant and sent in command of a small detachment of royal sappers and miners for service in Tasmania. He sailed in the same ship as Sir William Denison, the newly-appointed governor of Tasmania. A few weeks after his arrival he heard of the death of his father in Western Australia.
Clarke's principal reason for coming to Australia was the hope that he might obtain a position somewhere near his father and mother. In the changed circumstances he was very glad in 1848 to go to New Zealand to assist in improving the communications. Sir George Grey was not only pleased to have his help in making roads, but also employed him in endeavouring to reconcile the Maoris to British rule. However, in August 1849 Sir William Denison wrote to Clarke offering him the position of private secretary to the governor. Clarke accepted and, becoming a member of the legislative council, was able to be a tactful mediator between the governor and the colonists. In May 1853 he was offered the position of surveyor-general of Victoria with a seat in the council. He was still under 30 when he began his duties, which included not only the management of his department, but a share in the government of the colony. In February 1854 he was promoted to be captain, in July he acted as secretary of an exhibition held in Melbourne of the articles to be sent to the Paris exhibition, and about this time was one of the founders of the Philosophical Society, afterwards the Royal Society of Victoria. When responsible government was established Clarke was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Emerald Hill, and as surveyor-general in the first Haines ministry, brought in a bill for the establishment of municipal institutions. This was passed and Clarke may be called the founder of municipal government in Victoria. In 1857 he carried a bill largely extending railways in the colony, and in March 1858 he was asked by the governor, Sir Henry Barkley, to form a government. Clarke's request for a dissolution was, however, refused and he abandoned the attempt to form an administration. In 1858 Clarke decided to return to England. He was anxious to obtain the position of governor of Queensland, and considered he would be in a better position to advance his claims in London. He had good support but the position was given to Sir George Bowen.
Clarke was much disappointed, but carried on his work as a military officer, though he found the routine duties at Colchester, where he had been placed in command of the Royal Engineers, very tedious. He was able to do a useful piece of work for Victoria by firmly refusing to accept obsolete arms for the volunteer forces there. In 1863 Clarke, now with the rank of major, was sent to the Gold Coast to command the forces, and in the following year was brought back to England to become director of works at the admiralty. There be designed many important works, including the Bermuda floating dock in 1868. At the end of 1869 he visited Egypt when the Suez Canal was opened, and suggested that an endeavour should be made by an English company to purchase the canal, but the proposal was opposed by Gladstone and others and nothing came of it. For the nine years from 1864 to 1873 Clarke carried through a series of important works relating to the navy, docks and harbours, and in May 1873 was appointed governor of the Straits Settlements. In 1875 he became a member of the council of the viceroy of India, and head of the public works department. In this position, he formulated many schemes which unfortunately could not at the time be carried out for want of money. In 1881 he was appointed commandant of the school of military engineering at Chatham, and from 1882 to 1886 was inspector-general of fortifications and director of works, in which position he was able to give advice to the Australasian colonies on defence questions. On more than one occasion he was acting agent-general for Victoria, and vigorously pressed the Australian views in connexion with the cession of the New Hebrides to France. He resigned from his position of inspector-general of fortifications on 25 June 1886, and became a candidate for Chatham in the house of commons in July 1886, as an ardent home ruler, but was defeated. In 1891 Clarke acted as agent general for Victoria for a few months, and holding the same position from November 1892 to April 1894, worked hard to uphold the financial credit of Australia during the 1893 financial crisis. He was again acting agent-general in January 1897, and two years later the qualification of "acting" was dropped and he was appointed agent-general. He held this position until his death at London on 29 March 1902. He also acted on occasions as agent-general for Tasmania. He married in 1867 Mary M. E. Mackillop, who died in 1895, and was survived by a daughter. He was created C.B. in 1869, K.C.M.G. in 1873, C.I.E. in 1878, and G.C.M.G. in 1885. He was promoted colonel in 1872, major-general in 1884, and lieutenant-general in 1886.
Clarke was a genial man of strong feelings, able and hard-working. He was only a few years in Australia, but in addition to his work for the extension of railways and municipal government, he was also a strong influence for improved water supplies, telegraph extensions, and the keeping of meteorological statistics. He drew a pension of £800 a year from Victoria, but this was not paid to him while he was agent-general.
Richard Eades practised medicine in Adelaide 1849-52 and Melbourne 1852-67. He was physician to the Melbourne Hospital 1859-66. He lectured on materia medica in the Government Analytical Laboratory and began an extra-mural course for medical students, which hastened the establishment of the University of Melbourne Medical School.
Born 15 August 1809. Died 12 October 1867. Educated Trinity College Dublin (BA 1832, MB 1836) and London (MRCS 1834). Later went to Paris to study botany and chemistry; FRCS Ireland (1844). Arrived in South Australia in 1848 where he practised from 1849 to 1852, then moved to Melbourne. A founder of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, 1855, Council, Royal Society of Victoria, 1860-61. Physician to the Melbourne Hospital 1859-66, official visitor to the Lunatic Asylum 1856-67. Appointed health officer for Melbourne in 1865. First lecturer in materia medica and therapeutics at the University of Melbourne medical school, 1862-67.
Physician and Mayor of Melbourne 1859-60. Vice-president of the Royal Society 1860.
Born in Dublin in 15th August 1809 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1832, MB 1836 and MRCS in London 1834). Went to Paris to study botany and chemistry. Became FRCS in Ireland in 1844. Arrived in South Australia in 1848 where he practiced from 1849 to 1852, then moved to Melbourne. A founder of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria in 1855. Physician to the Melbourne Hospital 1859-66, official visitor to the Lunatic Asylum 1856-67. Appointed health officer for Melbourne in 1865 upon the death of Macadam. He lectured on materia medica in the Government Analytical Laboratory and began an extra-mural course for medical students, which hastened the establishment of the University of Melbourne Medical School. First lecturer in therapeutics at the University of Melbourne Medical School, 1862-67. He was a founder member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria in 1855 and vice-President of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1860. He died at his Windsor home on 12th October 1867 and is buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
Eades was born on 15 August 1809 in Dublin, son of William George Eades, wine merchant, and his wife Mary, née Cranwill. He was educated at Trinity Coll‼ affairs. He helped to found the Philosophical Institute of Victoria in 1855 and was a member of its council in 1858-59 and of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1860-61 and vice-president in 1860. In 1854 he represented La Trobe ward in the Melbourne City Council and was mayor in 1859-60. On 28 August 1860 when large crowds gathered outside Parliament House to demonstrate against inadequacies of a land bill, Eades courageously read the Riot Act; although the demonstrators clashed seriously with the police, no stone was thrown at him. He was physician to the Melbourne Hospital in 1859-66 and official visitor to the Lunatic Asylum in 1856-67. He was appointed city health officer on the death of Dr John Macadam in 1865. An early advocate of the Volunteer Forces, he was assistant surgeon to the Metropolitan Company of Artillery. He was a member of the Burke and Wills Exploration Committee.
In 1861 he lectured on materia medica in the Government Analytical Laboratory and with Macadam began an extra-mural course for medical students. The enterprise of Eades and Macadam, at a time when the university could not obtain funds, undoubtedly hastened the establishment of the Medical School. When it opened in 1862, Eades was appointed lecturer in materia medica and therapeutics, a position he held until 1867. He was highly regarded as a physician, and as a fluent lecturer held the attention and the affection of his students. His fine baritone voice, his extensive repertoire of Irish songs and his wit made him very popular at special dinners. He died at his home in Windsor on 12 October 1867, and was buried with Anglican rites in the Melbourne general cemetery.
Eades married first, in 1843 at Dublin Sarah Christine Beare by whom he had two sons and three daughters, and second, at Melbourne in 1856 Charlotte Eleanor McKee, née Beare, by whom he had one son and three daughters. He was survived by one son and two daughters of the first marriage and by his widow and her four children. His family was left in poor circumstances and a public meeting was held on 20 March 1868 at the Mechanics' Institute to raise funds for their relief.
Select Bibliography: C. A. Cameron, History of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Dublin, 1886); University of Melbourne Medical School Jubilee (Melb, 1914); ‘Obituary: Dr Eades’, Australian Medical Journal, Oct 1867, pp 309-12; J. E. Neild, ‘The Medical School of the Melbourne University’, Australian Medical Journal, May 1887, pp 193-99, and June 1887, pp 241-49; Illustrated Melbourne Post, 16 Aug 1862; Argus (Melbourne), 14 Oct 1867; K. F. Russell, History of the Melbourne Medical School (privately held); Medical School letters (University of Melbourne Archives).
Elliott, merchant and innovator, was born on 13 May 1814 at Burnham, Essex, England, son of John Elliott, flour-miller, and his wife Annie, née Bell. After his father died, he was taken at 4 by his mother to New Brunswick, Canada. There he was educated at the national school and served a seven-year apprenticeship to a merchant-auctioneer. In 1835 he left New Brunswick to join an uncle in Launceston, Van Diemen's Land. Next year he married Sarah Neestrip and soon afterwards moved to Sydney, where in 1839 he set up as a grocer. He remained in Sydney until gold was discovered, when he first tried his luck at the Bathurst diggings, then shipped goods to Victoria and finally established a general retail merchant business in Melbourne. Apart from a short stay at Dunedin, New Zealand, in the early 1860s, he lived in Melbourne.
Elliott was born at Burnham, Essex, Elliott mother took him to Canada at the age of four after the death of his father. In 1835 he left to join his uncle at Van Diemen’s Land and moved to Sydney in 1839 where he set up a grocers shop. He went to the Bathurst diggings then to Victoria and then established a general retail business in Melbourne. He was interested in agricultural innovations and won medals for wine fermentation, butter pats and milk churns. He was a councilor of Melbourne City Council and a magistrate. He died at home in Prahran in 1901 and is buried at Cheltenham Cemetery.
Embling was born in Oxford in 1814, he and his wife decided to migrate to Melbourne in 1851 to ease the symptoms of their pulmonary affections from which they both suffered. He became the first resident medical officer of the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum and in 1855 became Member for North Bourke. In 1856 he became Member for Collingwood. He was a keen advocate of the use of camels in desert exploration. Landells approached Embling with regard to buying camels and Embling supported him enthusiastically. Embling remained in politics until 1868 when he returned to medicine. He died in Hawthorn in 1893.
Farwell, Charles Esq.
Born in Hackney, London, his mother moved to Van Diemen's Land in 1836 after the death of his father. Gillbee was educated in Edinburgh and London before sailing to Hobart in 1849. His family reunion was not good and he left for the Californian diggings before returning to England. Gillbee returned to Australia in 1852, opening a medical practice in Collins Street East. He became a noted surgeon and sat on many boards and committees. He was Vice-President of the Royal Society of Victoria. In 1883 he traveled to New Zealand and England and six weeks after his return in 1885, he died. He is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. He left a bequest of £1000 to the National Gallery of Victoria, which resulted in Phillip Fox's 'Landing of Captain Cook' and Longstaff's 'The Arrival of Burke and Wills at Cooper's Creek.'
William Edward Hearn (21 April 1826 – 23 April 1888), university professor and politician, was one of the four original professors at the University of Melbourne and was the first Dean of the University's Law School.
Hearn was born in Belturbet, County Cavan, Ireland, in 1826, the son of Reverend William Edward Hearn (a curate and later a vicar) and Henrietta Hearn, née Reynolds. He was the second of seven sons in the family. He was educated at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Ireland and later studied at Trinity College at the University of Dublin from 1842. There he was highly successful in his study of classics, logic and ethics, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1847.
Also in 1847 he married his first wife, Rose Le Fanu, the daughter of a rector. The two would later have six children: five daughters and one son. Following his studies in arts, Hearn also studied law, at Trinity College and later at King's Inns in Dublin and Lincoln's Inn in London, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1853.
Hearn's teaching career began in 1849, when he was selected as a professor of Ancient Greek at the Queen's College, Galway in Galway, Ireland, which had been established a few years earlier. In 1854, a London based committee of the newly established University of Melbourne selected Hearn as one of four original professors of the University. Hearn was to teach subjects including modern history, modern literature and political science in the Faculty of Arts, although at times during his career he also taught classics. Hearn moved to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1855, where he took up residence in the rooms provided on the university campus. Hearn's students at Melbourne included Alfred Deakin, H.B. Higgins and Isaac Isaacs.
In January 1859, Hearn stood as a candidate for the Parliament of Victoria, in a by-election for a seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, he was embarrassingly unsuccessful. The university's Chancellor, Redmond Barry, was not pleased with Hearn's attempts to enter parliament, and as a result the university council passed a rule prohibiting professors from standing for election, and even from joining any political group, a rule that would last more than a century.
Hearn was admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1860, although he only occasionally practised as a barrister. In 1873, Hearn was appointed as the first Dean of the newly created Faculty of Law, lecturing in subjects such as constitutional law. In 1874 and 1877 he again stood unsuccessfully for parliament, evading the ban on professors running for election on the basis that as a dean, he had lost his professorial title. In 1878 he was finally elected to the Victorian Legislative Council, for Central Province. Hearn was regarded as a good politician, who held conservative views but was less concerned with party politics than he was with the technical business of making legislation, and by 1882 he was regarded as a leader in the Council.
In 1877 Hearn's first wife Rose died, after thirty years of marriage. In 1878 he married a second time, to Isabel St Clair, in Melbourne. The couple had no children. In May 1886, Hearn was elected as Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, however he lost his position on the university's council at the elections in October that year when his term expired and he was not reelected, and as such he was only able to serve one year as Chancellor. Also in 1886 he was made a Queen's Counsel, in recognition of his academic work, since he rarely practised law.
Hearn's last major project was an attempt to codify Victorian law, which resulted in a book published on its theoretical basis, The Theory of Legal Duties and Rights, and a draft bill which ultimately entered parliament for consideration. The codification, influenced by positivist and utilitarian thought, was "based on a Benthamite-Austinian view of jurisprudence." However, the codification was never adopted since "although praised in Parliament, [it] was regarded as too abstract by practising lawyers." Thus although it "provoked formal admiration... it was quietly abandoned in favour of simple consolidation." Although the codification was not adopted, Hearn nevertheless helped through his other work to establish a strong and dominant tradition of positivism in Australia.
Hearn died in Melbourne in 1888. He was survived by his son and three of his daughters.
He published several books over his career. Plutology, or the Theory of the Efforts to Satisfy Human Wants, a political economy textbook which was well regarded by economists such as William Stanley Jevons and Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, although there is some indication that Hearn's book was derived from that of several less well known English writers. The Government of England, a work on British constitutional law, was praised by Dicey as teaching him more about the way in which early constitutional principles were developed than any other work.
Higinbotham, George. (1826-1892)
George Higinbotham (19 April 1826 – 31 December 1892) was a politician and was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, which is the highest ranking court in the Australian State of Victoria.
Higinbotham qualified for the degree of B.A. in 1847 and M.A. in 1853, after a good but undistinguished course, and proceeded to London where he soon became a parliamentary reporter on the Morning Chronicle. Higinbotham entered himself as a student at Lincoln's Inn on 20 April 1848, and on 6 June 1853 was called to the bar.
On 1 December 1853 Higinbotham left Liverpool for Australia on the Briseis and arrived at Melbourne on 10 March 1854, where he contributed to the Melbourne Herald and practised at the bar with much success. In 1850 he became editor of the Melbourne Argus, but resigned in 1859 and returned to the bar. He was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1861 for Brighton as an independent Liberal, was rejected at the general election of the same year, but was returned nine months later.
In 1863 Higinbotham became attorney-general in the Sir James McCulloch government. Under his influence measures were passed through the legislative assembly of a somewhat extreme character, completely ignoring the rights of the Victorian Legislative Council, and the government was carried on without any Appropriation Act for more than a year. Higinbotham, by his eloquence and earnestness, obtained great influence amongst the members of the legislative assembly, but his colleagues were not prepared to follow him as far as he desired to go. In April 1866 a conference of representatives of the two houses was held. Sir Charles Darling the governor had, however, in a dispatch forwarded in the previous December, used a phrase which suggested that he was allying himself with one of the parties to the dispute and was recalled. Higinbotham in his speech made in May 1866 on Darling's treatment declared that the real reason of his recall was that he had "assented to acts of his ministers which Cardwell (secretary of state for the colonies) declares to be illegal". Higinbotham contended that in a constitutional colony like Victoria the secretary of state for the colonies had no right to fetter the discretion of the queen's representative.
In January 1865 the visit of the U.S. confederate cruiser CSS Shenandoah placed the government in a difficult position, and it has sometimes been assumed that the advice of Higinbotham (to not support the U.S. consul's request that the ship be seized as a pirate) as attorney-general must have been faulty in view of the subsequent arbitration proceedings going in favour of the United States. The voting, however, of the arbitrators was three to two, and one of the three appears to have given his decision with some hesitation. Higinbotham did not return to power with his chief, Sir James McCulloch, after the defeat of the short-lived Sladen administration; and being defeated for Brighton at the next general election by a comparatively unknown man, Sir Thomas Bent, he devoted himself to his practice at the bar.
In September 1866 a royal commission on education was appointed of which Higinbotham was made chairman. The work of the commission was done with great thoroughness and economy, and their recommendations were unanimous. Unfortunately one religious body had refused to be represented on the commission, and the feeling that arose caused the work that had been done to be nullified for the time being. In July 1868 McCulloch became premier again, but Higinbotham would accept only a subordinate position in the cabinet. He became vice-president of the board of land and works without salary. In February 1869 he resigned that position and never held office again. Later on in the year, in response to a request that representatives of the colony should be sent to a conference on colonial affairs in London, Higinbotham moved and succeeded in carrying five resolutions declining to send representatives, and repeating his views that the internal affairs of a colony are its own concern and that the colonial office should only look after matters that effect the whole empire. A year later at the election held in March 1871 Higinbotham was defeated by 14 votes. It was a contest between a realist and an idealist. His opponent, Thomas Bent, was a man who understood the art of looking after his own constituency. Higinbotham cared nothing for its special needs and thought only of the good of the whole colony. He welcomed his release from the bickerings of politics and for two years built up his position as a barrister.
Among his other labours as attorney-general, Higinbotham had codified all the statutes which were in force throughout the colony. In 1874 he was returned to the legislative assembly for Brunswick, but after a few months he resigned his seat.
In 1880 Higinbotham was appointed a puisne judge of the supreme court, and in 1886, on the retirement of Sir William Stawell, he was promoted to the office of chief justice. Mr Higinbotham was appointed president of the International Exhibition held at Melbourne in 1888-1889, but did not take any active part in its management. One of his latest public acts was to subscribe a sum of £10, 10s. a week towards the funds of the strikers in the great Australian labour dispute of 1890, an act which did not meet with general approval.
Higinbotham died on 31 December 1892 and was survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters, he had a private funeral at his own request.
Hodgkinson, Clement. (1818-1893)
Clement Hodgkinson (1818 – 5 September 1893) was a notable English naturalist, explorer and surveyor of Australia. He was Victorian Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey from 1861 to 1874.
Exploration in New South Wales
Hodgkinson concluded the chapter on his encounter with the aborigines with the following observation:
"... indeed I think that all endeavours to make them adopt more settled habits will be useless, for what great inducement does the monotonous and toilsome existence of the labouring classes in civilized communities offer, to make the savage abandon his independent and careless life, diversified by the exciting occupations of hunting, fighting, and dancing."
He described the Bellinger River valley as "contain[ing] the finest cedar and rosewood I have ever seen" and noted the fierce defence local aboriginal tribes would put up against encroachment from timber cutters. When Hodgkinson later returned to the valley, members of the Yarrahappinni accompanied him to assure the locals that his intentions were benign.
Landscape design of Melbourne's gardens
Hodgkinson must have appreciated his first stint exploring Australia. In the 1850s he again journeyed from England to the young colony of Victoria. In 1854 his wife, Amelia Diana Hunt, gave birth to a son. A year later his first wife was dead at the age of 26. In 1857 he married Anne Smart and they subsequently had several children, although not without the sadness of the death of a child.
Appointed as District Surveyor for Victoria in 1855. As part of his surveying duties, the township of Warrandyte was laid out in 1856. In 1857-1858 he was the Surveyor General of Victoria.
St Vincent Gardens in Albert Park, now a nationally significant park, is an example of nineteenth century residential development around a landscaped square which Hodgkinson initially designed in 1857 and developed in 1864-1870.
In 1860 responsibility for the government reserves was exercised by Clement Hodgkinson, the new administrative head of the Lands Department, who took a detailed interest in the planning and development of the city parks, including Fitzroy Gardens. This started an extensive period of landscape design of Melbourne's parks and gardens including:
- Prepared a plan in 1862 for the Flagstaff gardens.
- Designed and oversaw the development of the Fitzroy Gardens.
- Queen Victoria provided the grant of land in 1865 for the Edinburgh gardens, in North Fitzroy, which were subsequently laid out by Clement Hodgkinson
- Designed the Treasury Gardens in 1867 as a pattern of diagonally crossing paths lined with trees. Willow trees were planted around an ornamental pond.
- Awarded the task of designing the St Kilda recreational reserve, known today as Alma Park in 1867.
- Made minor changes to Edward La Trobe Bateman's design of the Carlton Gardens after the colonial government resumed control of the site from the Melbourne City Council. Soon afterwards, the gardens were drastically redesigned for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition by the Melbourne architect Joseph Reed and horticulturalist William Sangster. Areas cleared by demolition of temporary buildings from the Exhibitions (including the 1888 Centennial Exhibition), were designed by Hodgkinson, his bailiff Nicholas Bickford, and the later City of Melbourne curator of parks and gardens John Guilfoyle. The Carlton Gardens are now a listed World Heritage Site.
- Other notable parks include Princes Park in Maryborough, which was a combined effort by a trio of important landscape designers in Victoria, Clement Hodgkinson, William Guilfoyle and Hugh Linaker.
Managing Victoria's Forests
During Hodgkinson's final years as Victorian Assistant-Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey he established a programme of reservation, regulation, administration and education to control the use of Victoria's forests. The Central Forest Board was established to oversee the entire system on 6 March 1874, with Hodgkinson on the board. On 11 March 1874 Clement Hodgkinson retired from public service. In 1883 he briefly came out of retirement to sit on a new Committee of Management to inspect the City Gardens he had done so much to create.
Royal Society of Victoria
Hodgkinson was involved in the Royal Society of Victoria, which discussed and advised the colonial government on scientific issues. One of his papers discussed at the Philosophical Institute held at the Museum of Natural History was titled On the favourable geological and chemical nature of the principal rocks and soils of Victoria, in reference to the production of ordinary cereals and wine. Other papers presented included on Hydrometry, and the Geology of the Upper Murray area.
He was Vice-President of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria in 1856 and again in 1858, and Council Member of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1859-1860.
In 1860 he was a member of the Royal Society's Exploration Committee which organised the Burke and Wills expedition.
Hodgkinsonia ovatiflora, commonly referred to as Hodgkinsonia or Golden ash was named after Clement Hodgkinson. The species is found from the Hastings River, NSW to Mackay, Qld. It grows in Subtropical, dry and littoral rainforest, and also open forest.
In 1858 John Hardy named Olinda creek after Alice Olinda Hodgkinson, the daughter of Clement Hodgkinson. Subsequently the suburb of Olinda was named after the creek.
Arrival in Melbourne
Studley in Wadworth, and therefore its use in Melbourne, probably draws on the now World Heritage site of Studley Royal Park Yorkshire, famous for the gardens developed over a hundred years from 1716 by the Aislabie family. The gardens were a popular tourist destination during the 19th century.
The oral source says he and his wife, Annie Buckley Hodgson, with three sons and three daughters arrived in Sydney, Australia in 1837. Later that year they settled in Melbourne.
In 1837 a passenger of the same name is reported travelling from Launceston to Sydney on the wooden paddle steamer James Watt. Image of James Watt. Almost a year later, on the same vessel, a Hodgson is recorded taking passage for Port Phillip.
Re-member reports he 'became a merchant and speculated in land; in 1840 he took a squatting licence over Studley Park, on Kew's eastern bank of the Yarra River. He built house in Flinders Street and country quarters on the Yarra where he established a punt in 1839; insolvent 1841; grazing interests in Heidelberg district from 1842'.
An early-20th-century report says that in 1837 he bought the land on which the Block Arcade now stands for £23, but that he forfeited the purchase and lost his £2/6/ deposit. In 1839, as the land boom was nearing its bust, he is recorded buying 211 acres (0.85 km2) for just over £1,300. 'The investment of money in land has now become a perfect lottery' said the Argus reporting the sale.
On 11 February 1841 Hodgson became the second person to be registered as insolvent in the Port Phillip district. It appears that like many in the 40s he ran out of cash. By 18 October 1842 he received his Certificate signalling the end of his insolvency. In 1842 a Mr Curr purchased at a sheriff's sale 'at a great bargain' a house 'lately the property of Mr Hodgson' on a 'pretty little spot on the Yarra.' In 1843 his Flinders Street properties were sold at auction by the Trustees of the Insolvent Estate.
He clearly solved these early problems.
In 1844, 1845, 1848, 1849 and 1850 the Government Gazette reports him taking out a licence to 'depasture stock, strip bark, and cut timber, (in Bourke) in the district of Port Phillip'. In 1845 he exported 100 tons of bark – probably black wattle bark used for tanning as well as 13 red gum logs. The bark may have been a byproduct of land clearing by Hodgson. In 1846 he exported 27 logs on the Glenbervie bound for London. In 1847 he bought two lots of land in Warnambool for £14 15s.
By 1847 insolvency was well behind him as he was on the 'Burgess list' at an address 'off Little Collins Street' – probably the Bank Place address he used from then on. One had to meet a number of criteria to be a voter or burgess including owning property worth in excess of £1000. In 1847 he is listed in the Directory for the Town and District of Port Philip as 'Hodgson John: settler: Studley: Yarra Yarra'. He is on the Port Phillip electoral roll 1848-49 as owning a freehold property 'suburban, near Melbourne'.
In the 1850s he ran for the Legislative Council which means that he met the Candidate criteria. of owning free-hold property worth £5000.
We know that he ran a store as one of J T Smith's political opponents in 1848 said that Smith 'went through the gradations of shopkeeper and third rate clerk to Mr John Hodgson'
Another sign of Hodgson's financial strength is that he ran a horse stud. He advertised frequently in the Argus for the services of Euclid and Royal William in 1846 and 1847. The charge was £5 5s. for each mare. The stallions stood at 'Mr Hodgson's Paddock, Studley, near Melbourne.'
When he stood for election to the first Legislative Council in 1851 the Argus attacked his candidacy commenting on his business interests as follows: it appears that his profession is of such a nature, as to afford ample leisure to attend to anything be takes in hand, and therefore, industry may be added to his list of public virtues. What that profession is, and with what particular interest we may suppose Mr Hodgson likely to be identified, we acknowledge that we are perfectly at a loss to conceive ; and we never yet met any one able to give us the required information ; except one gentleman, who suggested his connexion with the shipping interest, in consequence of his having a punt somewhere on the Yarra.'
The punt ran across the Yarra from near the end of the current Gipps Street where the Collins Bridge footbridge crosses to Yarra Bend Park. The punt can be seen in Chevalier's painting 'Studley Park at sunrise' (1861)The painting.. By 1861 the punt had stopped operating. It was probably put out of business when the Penny Bridge was constructed from Church Street to the Park in 1857. According to a letter to the Argus the Punt was still operating in 1856 but a coronial inquest reported in the Argus of 1859 said the body had been found 'near where the old Hodgson's Punt crossed the river.'
Hodgson owned land between Flinders Lane, Queen and Flinders Streets - one and half of Hoddle's 'allotments' in section 1 of the new city. He built an 'ambitious' residence known as 'Hodgson's Folly'. 'It was for some time a centre of the social life of the young town, but when its owner decided to go farther afield to the pleasant riverside atmosphere of Studley Park, where he built a new home, it became a boarding establishment for young women'.
His own advertisement in 1840 called 'Yarra House' a 'splendid Mansion, finished in every part in a very superior and substantial manner, containing numerous entertaining rooms of large dimensions, the bedrooms, offices, and cellars are very complete, in all twenty six rooms... The garden achieved colonial fame. The Sydney Herald and the Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen's Land Gazette both carried reports of a 2-foot-long (0.61 m) cucumber grown by his gardener. The newly formed Port Phillip Club rented the building in 1840 for £600 a year. Hodgson put the 'elegant house' up for auction in February 1841, and it was 'bought in at' £3,700.
There is some uncertainty about the 'new home by the river'. One reference says that 'The site of the former St Heliers Convent was originally purchased ...by Major Henry Smyth of Sydney in 1838, and leased to John Hodgson.' Another reference says 'One of these riverside allotments was purchased by Edward Curr, who built a house on the site, and named it St Helier.' The Colonial Times report referred to above suggests that Hodgson built St Helier only to become insolvent. Kerr's Melbourne Almanac and Port Phillip DIrectory for 1841 has his address as 'St Helier's Yarra Yarra, Melbourne'.
This is supported by the Port Phillip Herald 28 January 1842 which reported 'Mr Hodgson's beautiful property (35 acres) on the Yarra, known as 'St Hillier' was sold by the Sheriff on Tuesday for £1160, subject to a mortgage of £1100. The garden is known as the prettiest within many miles of town.'
In the 1847 Directory Hodgson's entry reads 'Hodgson John: settler: Studley: Yarra Yarra'. Hodgson provided various addresses in public advertisements in the Argus, including the Melbourne Club and Bank Place. On 3 June 1852 from the Bank Place address he advertised for rent a "large and substantial Home, suitable for a Public House, one mile from Melbourne".
Hodgson built what became known as Studley House in 1857 in Nolan Avenue Kew. The original house is symmetrical with a double storeyed colonnade of ionic on Tuscan orders supporting a parapet with urns. The net asset value was £200. The house was added to by the squatter James McEvoy, who bought it on Hodgson's death. John Wren, who bought the property in 1902, also added substantially to the house. It is now part of Xavier College. Photos The house is on the National Estate. National Estate listing.
 Public life
Hodgson began his career as a politician on Tuesday 21 May 1850 at the Imperial Inn when Councillor Armitstead, who had resigned short of his full term, nominated Hodgson to succeed him as a Councillor for Lonsdale ward in the south west of the city for the balance of his term. Based on a show of hands by those present the other candidate was declared elected by the Mayor, who was presiding over the Alderman's Court. Hodgson exercised his right to ask for a poll, which was held the next day. The poll opened at 9 am and, as was the practice, the vote was declared every hour. Hodgson was level at 11 am and then drew ahead, holding 127 votes to 82 when the poll closed at 4 pm.
Hodgson and his Committee campaigned energetically, whereas the other candidate's campaign was described by the Argus as "apathetic and listless". One hundred fifty-six electors chose not to vote; the Argus called it a "pygmy contest" and "a very tame and spiritless affair, and the stake so small as to be hardly worth playing for seriously, presenting only the not very tempting bait of a seat in the City Council for the short period of five months". Hodgson was declared elected the next day, and shortly after elected to the Public Works and Finance Committees of the City Council. Five months later at the Council elections, Hodgson proved the Argus wrong. No other candidate stood against him, and he was declared elected as a Councillor for a full term.
His recorded interventions as a new Councillor relate to his Committee roles, seconding motions on sewerage, clean water and the Surveyor's salary. He revealed some of his views by taking a strong stand against the pro-transportation and anti Port Phillip opinions expressed by William Wentworth.
In 1851 Hodgson ran for a seat in the new Victorian Legislative Council. The Argus was not amused: "The next most objectionable man amongst the candidates for the representation of Melbourne, is Councillor Hodgson. Second only in unfitness, for so great a public trust, to the slippery Doctor, Councillor Hodgson has so few of the requisites for a leading public man, that for a long time we could not believe him serious in aiming at such a distinction. Of his political principle's we think pretty nearly as humbly as we do of his capacity ... he appears to court popularity by trying to conciliate all; and he therefore becomes, what all such men are apt to become, something very like a trimmer."
As the election drew close it appeared that Hodgson could beat William Westgarth. The Argus wrote:
Amongst these candidates we find Mr Westgarth, the man of all others who has the best claims to a seat in the new Council and Councillor Hodgson, whose claims are the most supremely ridiculous. And yet a diligent canvass on the part of the latter, has impressed many sagacious people with the belief that Councillor Hodsgon will succeed in ousting Mr Westgarth. The multiplicity of the engagements of the one gentleman has prevented him from attending to his canvass as diligently as he might have done; while the mysteriously convenient nature of the avocations of the second, seems to have left him perfectly at leisure to creep about back lanes, and solicit votes all day and every day.
Hodgson's candidacy did not survive this opposition, and he was not elected.
It may have been some consolation that on 11 November 1851 Hodgson was elected Alderman, or senior Councillor, in his ward.
Hodgson had a continuing interest in the City's developing infrastructure.
As early as 1846 he is noted in the Argus as proposing "a timber bridge across the Yarra Yarra, in the vicinity of Mr Simpson's residence". Simpson was the well respected first "arbitrator" (1836) and later following Lonsdale, the second police magistrate of the new colony. Throughout the 1840s Simpson lived in Little Flinders Street.
He was a member of the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science 1854, the Philosophical Institute of Victoria 1855, 1857–9 and the Royal Society of Victoria 1860. Royal Society
He helped establish the Burke and Wills expedition. At a public meeting in the Mechanics Institute in Collins Street, Hodgson with six others formed the Exploration Fund Raising Committee in August 1958. In January 1860, with its work done, the EFRC was dissolved, and the Royal Society of Victoria formed an Exploration Committee, of which Hodgson became Vice Chair on 25 January 1860. Hodgson attended his last committee meeting on 23 July 1860, ten days before he died, and a couple of weeks before Burke and Willis left Melbourne on 20 August.
He seconded the motion to establish "a Loyal Joint Stock Bank, to be called the Bank of Victoria", and served on the Provisional Committee to establish the Bank. An Act of the Legislative Council established the Bank in 1852. The Bank operated until 1927 when it merged with the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney which itself became part of the National Australia Bank in 1981.
He attended a public meeting that aimed to take preliminary steps for the formation of "a Coal Company for the working of the coal known to exist at Western Port".
Hope, The Hon Robert Culbertson, MLC. (1812-1878)
Medical practitioner and pastoralist, was born on 12 May 1812 at Morebattle, near Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland, son of Robert Hope, landowner, and his wife Joan, née Culbertson.
Hope studied medicine, surgery and midwifery and won a prize in surgery at the University of Edinburgh (M.D., 1834). He then worked as an assistant to John Douglas at Hawick in Roxburghshire. On 18 April 1838 he sailed from Leith as surgeon in the Lady Kennaway and arrived in Sydney on 12 August. He practised medicine in Campbelltown for eight years. On 12 August 1846 he married Catherine Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Rev. Thomas Hassall and granddaughter of Rev. Samuel Marsden.
In 1847 Hope overlanded to the Port Phillip District where his brothers George and James held grazing leases. He practised medicine at Geelong until he and George took up land at Batesford, near Geelong, where Robert built Lynnburn and George built Darriwill. They built a flour-mill at Batesford on the Moorabool River and another on the Barwon River near Inverleigh. When gold was discovered at Ballarat and Bendigo the two brothers increased their fortunes by supplying meat, bread and vegetables to the diggers using the route from Geelong to the goldfields. They were early viticulturists in the Geelong district and their vineyard or the Moorabool River thrived until phylloxera ruined the vines in 1877. They had a joint interest in Darriwill, Barwonleigh and Lake Wallace station near Edenhope.
In 1856 Robert was elected to the Legislative Council as a member for South-Western Province. To assist him in his political work he bought Summerlea in St Kilda. In the council he quickly won repute for his conservatism and his severe judgments on the behaviour of his fellow members. He took a stand against every attempt to reduce the privileged position of men of property in elections to both the assembly and the council. He also defended the pastoral tenants of crown lands against free selectors. In 1860 he was chairman of the Board of Agriculture. He retained his council seat until 1864 and represented South-Western Province from 1867 until failing health forced him to resign in 1874. He had been chairman of committees in 1864 and 1870-74. He was a joint founder of the Mechanics' Institute at Batesford, a justice of the peace, president of the Geelong and Western District Agricultural and Horticultural Society and a leading Presbyterian.
Hope died at Hawthorn on 24 June 1878. Of his nine sons and two daughters, Robert managed a cattle station in Queensland for his father before buying Birrark station near Condobolin; Thomas Culbertson practised medicine in Geelong; Charles became assistant manager of Goldsbrough Mort & Co. and John was a government surveyor in East Gippsland.
|Dr Solomon Iffla (1820-1887) was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of Isaac (Solomon) and Hannah Iffla. He gained the diploma of Licentiate, Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, in 1846, and married Rachel Henriques (c.1816 –1874) in 1847 in Kingston. Iffla migrated to Adelaide in about 1851, where he practiced in in Grenfell Street, and then moved to Melbourne in July 1853 where he was one of the first Jewish doctors. He was a Council member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria (1856 and 1857; Life Member 1858; Vice-President 1859) and the Philosophical Society of Victoria (Council Member 1855), Council member of the Royal Society of Victoria (Council Member, 1860; Life Member 1860-1872). In local affairs he was a South Melbourne Councillor between 1877 and 1880 and Mayor between 1879-80.|
Professor, headmaster and civil servant, was born on 21 February 1831 at St Pancras, London, son of Edward Irving (1792-1834) and his wife Isabella, née Martin. His father was the famous Scots preacher who was declared a heretic by the Church of Scotland and founded the Irvingite or Catholic Apostolic Church; Thomas Carlyle called him 'the freest, brotherliest, bravest human soul mine ever came in contact with'. From King's College School, London, Martin won a Balliol College scholarship and matriculated in November 1848. He was the university junior mathematics scholar for 1850 and obtained first-class honours in classics and second-class in mathematics (B.A., 1853; M.A., 1856). He had signed the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England at matriculation, holding that subscription did not preclude his special witness as a member of the Catholic Apostolic Church, but he would not take holy orders as required for most Oxford fellowships. In 1854 he became classics master of the non-denominational City of London School.
In November 1855 Irving was chosen to succeed the first professor of 'Greek and Latin Classics with Ancient History' at the University of Melbourne. He arrived at Melbourne in 1856 and began teaching in July. Early next year his title was changed to professor of classical and comparative philology and logic. Although students were few, he delivered eighteen lectures a week in Greek, Latin, logic and English. In the final honours school he introduced rhetoric and aesthetics applied to English literature. In 1858 he successfully urged the examination for degree of students who were unable to attend lectures, but the council rejected his schemes for an associate in arts diploma for non-members of the university in 1857 and for the abolition of compulsory Greek for arts degrees in 1858. As an examiner of matriculation English, Greek, Latin, French and German he became an ally of schoolmasters advocating curriculum change.
In January 1871, with the offer of a higher salary and better accommodation for his large family, Irving became non-resident headmaster in charge of secular studies at Wesley College, Melbourne. A resident clerical president was responsible for religious education and the care of boarders. Under Irving the school achieved great success at public examinations. Numbers grew rapidly to a peak in 1873, not surpassed at Wesley until 1900. He deplored the low level of matriculation requirements and built a sixth form of boys staying at school after matriculation. He placed an Arnoldian stress on character formation and trust in the sixth form as 'a democracy of gentlemen'. In December 1875 he bought the Hawthorn Grammar School. Numbers doubled in his first year, new buildings followed and the school became one of the biggest in the colony. He continued to insist on English, arithmetic and Latin as studies most apt to develop 'the faculties of imagination and correct reasoning', but the school also offered Greek, mathematics, history, geography, chemistry and book-keeping. Games were stressed as 'an indication of a school's vigour'.
As a councillor in 1875-1900 and vice-chancellor from May 1887 to May 1889 Irving was an ardent university reformer. In the senate and council of the university he led a 'caucus', composed mainly of schoolmasters, who constantly challenged the administration of the chancellor, Sir Redmond Barry. In Barry's absence overseas, Irving attempted in vain to unseat the chancellor and not until Barry died in 1880 were new chairs instituted in natural philosophy, engineering, pathology, chemistry and English, French and German languages, while the addition at matriculation of natural science subjects and an honours standard marked the culmination of ten years' agitation. The 'caucus' caused Chancellor (Sir) William Stawell's resignation in 1882, but growing opposition to the influence of outside educational interests in the university delayed the appointment of a successor. Irving, a reluctant nominee, failed by one vote for the chancellorship in May 1887 when Dr Anthony Brownless was appointed in conservative reaction to the unstable years of factional strife.
Irving's equable temperament, administrative capacity, vitality and manifest probity inspired confidence. In 1872 he was offered the post of permanent head of the Victorian Department of Education. He was chairman of the Victorian board of the Australian Mutual Provident Society in 1878-84. Intended for the post of full-time, salaried vice-chancellor he was proposed by the University of Melbourne Council in 1888 but rejected by the professoriate. In February 1884 he was appointed one of the three foundation commissioners of the Public Service Board of Victoria, and left Hawthorn College in charge of his son, Edward. When the board was disbanded in 1893 Irving was granted a pension. He left Australia in 1900 and apart from a brief visit to Melbourne in 1906 lived in England. A devoted adherent of the Catholic Apostolic Church he died on 23 January 1912 among his fellow believers at Albury, Surrey.
Large and athletic, Irving had a commanding presence. James Froude, who had known his father, described 'the same finely-cut features, the same eager, noble and generous expressions' in the son but found him 'calmer and quieter'. Irving had won his college and the university sculls in 1852, and founded the University of Melbourne Boat Club in 1859, stroking the fours. He was a founder of Victorian amateur rowing. An expert rifle shot, he encouraged the sport in schools. He joined the Volunteer Rifles in 1862 and was lieutenant-colonel in command of the First Battalion Victorian Militia in 1884-90. He had married Caroline Mary Brueres in 1855; they had four sons and five daughters. She died in 1881 and on 6 July 1882 Irving married Mary Mowat; they had one son and three daughters. Two daughters of the first marriage, Margaret and Lilian, were principals of Lauriston Girls' School, Armadale, while a son, Godfrey George Irving (1867-1937), became deputy quartermaster general in the Australian army.
Select Bibliography: J. Lang, Victorian Oarsman (Melb, 1919); E. Nye (ed), The History of Wesley College 1865-1919 (Melb, 1921); G. Blainey et al, Wesley College. The First Hundred Years (Melb, 1967); Age (Melbourne), 20 Dec 1871, 15 Dec 1875, 23 Dec 1876; Argus (Melbourne), 20 Dec 1871, 20 Dec 1876, 25 Jan 1912; Professorial Board, Senate and Council minutes (University of Melbourne Archives).
|(1809-1877) Arrived in Australia 1851.|
Knight arrived in Melbourne, Australia in February 1852 and after a week on the goldfields, joined the Public Works Department. Although earning a large salary, Knight did not stay long in the public service. On resigning he began to practise as an architect in partnership with a Mr Kemp. A third partner, Peter Kerr, was added to the firm, but Kemp soon afterwards returned to England.
The original design of parliament house was entrusted to Knight and Kerr, and in 1856 the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council chambers were built. Knight was the senior partner and there seems to have been a tradition that the design was really his. Thirty-five years later the writer of Knight's obituary notice in the South Australian Register who appeared to speak with knowledge said: "Parliament house ... is a monument to Mr Knight's artistic genius and his cleverness in planning its construction". In 1859 Knight with Captain Pasley reported on the estimated cost of completing the building with different kinds of stone, but after the completion of the parliamentary library building in 1860, nothing more was done for 17 years, when Knight had left Victoria. Peter Kerr was then appointed architect and prepared a new design for the west facade, and for the grand hall and vestibule which was adopted.
Knight ceased practising as an architect in or about the year 1860, and in 1861 organized an exhibition held in Melbourne of the Victorian exhibits for the London exhibition of 1862. Knight took these exhibits to London and arranged them most successfully. In 1866 he again arranged an exhibition in Melbourne of articles from Victoria which were sent to Paris for the exhibition of 1867, with Knight as secretary of the Victorian section. About this period he was also appointed a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Melbourne.
 Northern Territory
In 1873 Knight entered the service of the South Australian government and became secretary, accountant, architect, and supervisor of works, in the Northern Territory. He was subsequently chief warden of the goldfields, and filled a variety of other positions before becoming stipendiary magistrate, and finally in July 1890, government resident at Palmerston.
Knight died in bed at the administrators residence on Sunday evening, 10 January 1892, of a severe asthma attack, following a long illness of bronchitis and influenza. Knight was survived by three sons, two married daughters and his wife, who was then living in London. He was a man of much geniality of temper and great ability, with a special talent for organizing. To a friend who could not understand how a man of his ability could allow himself to be buried so long in a place like Palmerston, Knight replied that he liked the climate and enjoyed the life there. He appears to have been not merely a magistrate and administrator, but an arbitrator in all disputes, and a kind of uncrowned king of the Northern Territory.
Vice-president of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1861.Born in Ceylon, Ligar joined the Royal Engineers and then the Royal Ordnance Survey. He went to Ireland to carry out mapping surveys, before being appointed Surveyor-General of New Zealand in 1841. From 1858 to 1869 he was Surveyor-General of Victoria, but trying to reduce costs made him unpopular. He was a councilor of the Royal Society of Victoria from 1859 to 1868 and vice-president in 1861. He resigned his post in 1869 and lived on the Mediterranean coast before moving to Texas. He died in Texas and was buried at Willow Springs, Parker County.
Born in Glasgow, Macadam was appointed lecturer in chemistry and natural science at Scotch College, Melbourne. He arrived aboard the Admiral in 1855 and held the post for ten years. He became a member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria in 1855 and was honorary secretary from 1855 to 1860. He was active in the move to obtain a royal charter, which the society achieved in 1860. He served as vice-president in 1863. He was appointed Victorian Government analytical chemist in 1858 and health officer for the City of Melbourne in 1860. In 1862 he became lecturer in chemistry for the Medical School of the University of Melbourne. In ill-health in 1865, he sailed to New Zealand to give evidence in a murder trial. He fractured his ribs on the return voyage and complications set in. On his next trip to New Zealand in September 1865, for the postponed trial, he died at sea and his body was returned to Melbourne where it is buried in Melbourne General Cemetery. The macadamia nut was named after him by Mueller, (however, macadamized roads were named after a Scottish engineer).
Born in Dublin, McCoy was worked at the Dublin Geological Society, mapping Ireland and cataloguing shells and organic remains. He then went on to work in Cambridge and Belfast, before being nominated as one of the first professors of Melbourne University, a position he held from 1854 to 1899. He was Director of the National Museum of Victoria from 1858 and vice-president of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1861 and 1870 and president in 1864. He died whilst at work, aged 73, on 13th May 1899 and is buried in Brighton Cemetery.
Surgeon, 104 Collins-street East, Melbourne.
Lived in Beunos Aires.
Acting consul for the Argentine Confederation in Australia, promoted to Consul General.
Left Australia for Europe mid-1862.
Scientist and medical practitioner, was born at Edinburgh, son of William MacGillivray and his wife Marion, née Askill. His eldest brother John became a notable naturalist. Paul was educated at Marischal College in the University of Aberdeen (M.A., 1851), where his father had been appointed professor of natural history in 1841. While still a student Paul, with some help from his father, published A Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Ferns growing in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen (1853). When his father died in September 1852 MacGillivray relinquished his study of science and turned to medicine in London (M.R.C.S., 1855). Later that year he migrated to Melbourne.
MacGillivray began to practise at Williamstown and joined the local volunteer naval brigade as a medical officer. In 1862-73 he was resident surgeon of the hospital in Bendigo and then took up private practice there. Although his great love was still natural science, MacGillivray revealed an aptitude for surgery. His many papers on surgical matters included three works in 1865-72 on the management and treatment of hydatid cysts. In 1874 he was elected president of the Medical Society of Victoria.
MacGillivray was also well known as one of the foremost naturalists in Australia. In 1857 he was elected a member of the Philosophical Institute (later Royal Society) of Victoria and from 1859 began to publish in the society's Transactions a series of important illustrated papers on the Australian and related representatives of the Phylum Polyzoa (Bryozoa), commonly known as 'sea-mosses'. The fine descriptions and figures from his own hand in Professor McCoy's Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria (Melbourne, 1878-90) are models of precision and clarity and remain, together with MacGillivray's 'The Tertiary Polyzoa of Victoria' (Transactions of the Royal Society of Victoria, 4, 1895), standard bases for any research on Cainozoic Polyzoa. For the Royal Society of South Australia he also wrote on the fossil polyzoans of that colony.
On 2 December 1880 MacGillivray was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. On 20 June 1881 he gave the inaugural address to the Bendigo School of Mines Science Society on the objects worth accomplishment. He was an energetic member of the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria and other institutions. Although modest and 'habitually silent and reserved with strangers', he was respected for his probity and sincerity in advocating educational and scientific progress.
For publication by the Royal Society of Victoria he had nearly finished a large monograph on the 'Polyzoa of Victoria' when he died on 9 July 1895 at his home in Bendigo. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, née Shields, five daughters and a son who had served in the South African Mounted Police before settling in Western Australia. MacGillivray's collections and valuable library were bought by the government for the National Museum of Victoria.
McMillan was born on 14 August 1810 at Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland, the fourth son of Ewan McMillan. He emigrated to New South Wales from Greenock in the Minerva, his journal on this voyage indicating intensely religious, narrow and intolerant views. He arrived in January 1838 with letters of introduction to Captain Lachlan Macalister, who made him a manager on Clifton station near Camden. McMillan was 'disgusted at the inhuman treatment of the convict labourers', and requested a transfer away from the settled colony. Macalister appointed him manager at Currawang in the Maneroo (Monaro) country and he began there in February 1839. In this year he learned much bushcraft, befriended Aboriginal tribes and after an eventful journey in May climbed Mount McLeod (The Haystack) and glimpsed the plain and lakes country of Gippsland. On this journey his Aboriginal guide, Jimmy Gabber, attempted to murder him in his sleep and, realizing that the Aboriginal was terrified of the strange country, McMillan turned north to Omeo after nine days although he had provisions for six weeks.
Macalister, in the drought-stricken colony, received the news of prospective new pastures with enthusiasm and agreed to finance an expedition to explore the plains and seek a route to Corner Inlet from which stock and produce could be shipped.
With convict assistants, McMillan brought a bullock wagon from Currawang to Omeo in August 1839 and set up a station at Numbla Munjie (Ensay) with Monaro cattle and equipment ready for the summer expedition. After an abortive start in December 1839, he reinforced his party with two Omeo Aboriginals, Cabone Johnny and Friday, and moved down the Tambo River on 10 January 1840. His other men were Alan Cameron, Matthew Macalister and Edward Bath. They experienced little trouble, and Aboriginals did not attack them, but spoiled beef limited the explorations and lack of food forced a return after the Thomson River had been crossed. A few more miles would have given McMillan a view of the port essential to the new country. McMillan crossed the Tambo, Nicholson, Mitchell, Perry, Avon, Macalister and Thomson Rivers, realized the possibilities of the lakes system and reported enthusiastically to Captain Macalister on the quality of the country. In 1840 McMillan set up a station at Nuntin near the mouth of the Avon River for Macalister and selected his own property, Bushy Park, farther up-stream. He made two unsuccessful attempts, under leaders appointed by Macalister, to reach Corner Inlet, but finally found the way through the range with Tom Macalister and reached the port on 13 February 1841.
In March 1840 Strzelecki led his party though Numbla Munjie and, after Matthew Macalister had guided them, they followed McMillan's tracks through the new country and Strzelecki gave his own titles to salient features already named by McMillan. In his report to Governor Sir George Gipps and in a circulated pamphlet, Strzelecki made no mention that he had followed another man's trail and much of the credit properly due to McMillan was denied him. The two never met and McMillan remained hostile to 'the foreign imposter' until he died. He had called the area Caledonia Australis but Strzelecki's title Gippsland, in honour of the governor, was preferred, although McMillan's other names were officially adopted.
McMillan settled at Bushy Park and until 1860 lived according to the social standards of the day. He engaged in the cattle trade to Hobart, grew wheat, bred sheep for wool and tallow, and at one time held leases over five properties. He smoked a pipe, enjoyed a convivial drink and raced horses against his neighbours' favourites. He entertained widely and was for many years president of the Gippsland Caledonian Society. His home became a haven for newly-arrived Scots to learn the language and aspects of the new life. McMillan took a sympathetic interest in the welfare of the Aboriginals. He was elected as the first representative for South Gippsland to the Victorian Legislative Assembly on 22 September 1859 but resigned after fourteen months. McMillan had invested heavily in cattle and his properties were deeply mortgaged. Disastrous fires and unsuccessful speculations depleted his resources and all his properties except Tabberabbera passed to mortgagees in October 1861. Frustration, disappointment and nagging illness were to accompany him through his last years.
In 1864, to his obvious delight, he was offered the leadership of the government's Alpine Expedition to open tracks in the mining areas of Omeo, Dargo and Matlock. He recruited his party at Stratford, and near the Crooked River in March his men discovered a rich gold deposit which they named the Pioneer. A rush to the area resulted in McMillan losing most of his original party by the end of May and he had difficulty in engaging new hands. Nevertheless over 220 miles (354 km) of track were cut by the Alpine Expedition in the next twelve months. The work was arduous and at times McMillan blazed the route crawling on hands and knees through thick scrub. Early in 1865 his health deteriorated rapidly, he could not hold his men and he found difficulty in administration; details of his expenses were challenged by officials, who were unduly slow in approving wages and provision allowances. In May 1865 the party was disbanded and McMillan set out alone to complete the last task: blazing a trail from Dargo to the Moroka River. One of his pack-horses fell and rolled on him causing severe internal injuries. He set out for Bairnsdale but reached only as far as Iguana Creek, where he died in Gilleo's Hotel a few hours later on 18 May 1865.
He was buried in Sale cemetery after a Presbyterian service. He was survived by his wife Christina, née MacDougald, whom he had married in 1857, and by two sons, Ewan and Angus. They were left without sufficient means and a month after his death the government voted £2000 for their benefit.
McMillan pioneered Gippsland and spent the rest of his life contributing to its welfare. His popularity was testimony to the change wrought by the country in the narrow, bigoted young man who arrived in the colony. He died while extending the boundaries of the province he had discovered. Although he received little wealth from Gippsland and resented the credit given to Strzelecki as an explorer of the new district, his journals and letters and those of his contemporaries reveal him as courageous, strong and generous, with a great love for his adopted country.
A portrait in oils is in the shire of Alberton chambers, Yarram, Victoria.
Select Bibliography: T. F. Bride (ed), Letters from Victorian Pioneers (Melb, 1899); R. Mackay, Recollections of Early Gippsland Goldfields (Traralgon, 1916); C. Daley, ‘Angus McMillan’, Victorian Historical Magazine, vol 11, no 3, Mar 1927, pp 143-56; Shillinglaw papers (State Library of Victoria).
Congregational minister, was born on 22 February 1813 at Kilkenny, Ireland, said to be son of a Scottish Highlander 'whose settlement in Ireland was due to his being wrecked upon its coast'. Morison arrived at Hobart Town in the ministry of Rev. Frederick Miller whose Brisbane Street Chapel he joined in August 1832. His promise as a preacher and layworker led him to consider the Congregational ministry and he returned to Europe early in 1834 to enter Highbury College, London. He was probably in Dublin in 1838 when he responded to the appeal of the Colonial Missionary Society and returned to Hobart in December with Rev. John West. Morison was appointed to Pittwater by the Van Diemen's Land Home Missionary Society with a commission to preach 'anywhere in general'; he itinerated widely from Tasman Peninsula to Deloraine, preaching in forty-two stations at least three times each year and opening chapels at Cambridge and Carlton. The chapel at Richmond was completed after he left. In all, six churches looked to him as their founder.
When Rev. William Waterfield resigned from Collins Street Independent Church in 1843 Miller recommended Morison to supply the vacant pulpit for two months. He arrived in Melbourne in July and was soon called to the pastorate, where he ministered vigorously for twenty-one years, clearing the church debt almost immediately and building up the membership from 21 to 586. As the only Congregational minister in Port Phillip and secretary of the newly-formed Port Phillip Colonial Missionary and Christian Instruction Society, he attempted to extend his parish but had little support until Rev. Benjamin Cuzens arrived at Geelong in 1849, Rev. Thomas Odell at West Melbourne and William Moss at Prahran in 1850. He became the first chairman of the first Congregational Union of Victoria in June 1852 and was a leading figure in its affairs until its dissolution in 1856. Although Morison took the position of English Dissenters against state aid, some of the views derived from his Irish Congregational background were regarded as Tory by his more radical colleagues. In 1851-52 he applied to Charles La Trobe for land grants for church sites, a measure leading to friction with the union which interpreted his action as a 'gross violation of the voluntary principle'. Though he travelled widely on horseback and preached at the goldfields much of this work was given up after the arrival of Rev. J. L. Poore and the founding of the Congregational Home Mission in 1854. In 1860, when the new Congregational Union and Home Mission was founded by Poore and others, representatives from the Collins Street Church were conspicuously absent. Morison would not accept the union's authority, particularly over land, and this stand led him to resign his pastorate in 1864.
Recognized for his intellectual qualities, Morison was a popular lecturer, a constant contributor to the local journals and author of several pamphlets. In 1853 he was appointed to the first council of the University of Melbourne where he exercised a liberalizing influence, supporting such privileges as the admission of women. In 1865 he was admitted to the Presbyterian ministry and 'passed several weary years' at Clunes in 1869-72, 'cut off from all the congenial society to which he had been accustomed'. On resignation he returned to Melbourne, rejoined the Congregational Church and was appointed professor of Hebrew, church history, philosophy and apologetics in the Congregational College. He held that post until he died at South Yarra on 14 April 1887. On 27 November 1851 he had married Salome, daughter of Philip Pitt of Cliftonvale Hunting Grounds, Van Diemen's Land, and granddaughter of Richard Pitt; of their eight children, five survived their parents.
Born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Mueller and his two sisters sailed to Adelaide in 1847 seeking a warmer climate due to ill-health. He worked as an assistant chemist before moving to Melbourne in 1852 when La Trobe appointed him the first Government Botanist of Victoria - a post he held for 43 years from 1853 until his death. From 1853-73 Mueller was Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens and in 1855-56 was naturalist to the North Australian Exploring Expedition under A C Gregory. He was instrumental in absorbing the Victorian Association for the Advancement of Science into the Philosophical Institute of Victoria and he was chairman of the Philosophical Institute in 1859 and a founder of the Royal Society of Victoria. He made an immense contribution to the study of botany, much of his work has still not been superseded. He died in South Yarra in 1896.
Francis Murphy was born in Cork, Ireland, trained as a doctor in Cork, Dublin and London, and emigrated to Sydney in June 1836. He was initially appointed colonial surgeon for the Bungonia district in 1837, but soon relinquished medicine for his agricultural and pastoral interests. In 1840 he married Agnes Reid, and in 1847 they moved to Port Phillip and took over the Tarrawingee run on the Ovens River. After separation from New South Wales, Murphy became a Member of the Legislative Council for the Murray district. When the Council met in November 1851 he was elected Chairman of Committees, a position he held until March 1853 when he became President of the Central Roads Board. He remained a Member of the Legislative Council until 1855 and was involved in the debates on the form of the proposed new constitution. When Victoria achieved responsible government in 1856 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly in the seat of Murray Boroughs: he held that seat until 1866, and between 1866 and 1871 held the seat of Grenville. For the whole period he held the position of Speaker. In the first election for Speaker, Murphy undertook to follow the English precedent of not engaging in debate, and in practice he was an impartial and firm Speaker. Murphy sold his property, Tarrawingee, in 1853 and moved to a house at Collingwood with his family. He was knighted in 1860. Although he lost the seat of Grenville in 1871, later that year he won Eastern Province in the Legislative Council, which he held until his retirement in November 1876. He died at South Yarra on 30 March 1891, and was survived by his wife, three sons and six daughters.
Sir Francis Murphy pastoralist and parliamentarian, was born in Cork, Ireland, son of Francis Down Murphy, head of the Cork Convict Transport Department, and his wife Mary, née Morris. Educated for the medical profession in Cork, Trinity College, Dublin, and London (M.R.C.S., 1835), he migrated to Sydney in June 1836. Appointed by Governor Bourke colonial surgeon to the Bungonia district in January 1837, Murphy abandoned his medical career after acquiring pastoral and agricultural interests in the area.
A successful farmer and prominent in local affairs, particularly as magistrate on the Goulburn bench for eight years, Murphy married Agnes, daughter of Dr David Reid, in 1840. Six years later they moved to Port Phillip, following Agnes's brother David who had overlanded in 1838, and took over the Tarrawingee run on the Ovens River. At one stage running 13,000 sheep and employing 42 hands, Murphy worked Tarrawingee until at the first elections for the Legislative Council after separation he became member for the Murray district. When the council met in November 1851 he was elected chairman of committees, a post he relinquished in March 1853 to become president of the Central Roads Board. Tarrawingee was sold that year. Murphy lived with his family at Mayfield, a substantial house on the Yarra River at Collingwood. He stayed after the district became a noxious industrial suburb, not holding himself aloof but engaging in local roads, bridges and clean-air issues, and was a member of the East Collingwood Volunteer Rifles, eventually with the rank of major.
In the Legislative Council from 1851 to 1855 Murphy introduced useful pastoral legislation and was instrumental with others in preserving provision for National schools in Victoria. In 1854 he was on the committee which recommended government action on railways, and active in debates on the form of the new constitution to come into effect in 1856. His record as head of the Roads Department was mixed. Often accused of neglecting busy country routes in favour of little-used town roads, he was also praised as an efficient administrator who blended his patronage with integrity.
Murphy resigned from the Roads Board in November 1856 to take up the main role of his career in government, as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. One of the oldest and most experienced members returned at the first elections under responsible government, he won the chair by 39 votes to 17 in a contest with C. J. Griffith, who had stated his intention of joining in debate, while Murphy promised to take no part in accordance with English precedent. He was Speaker for fifteen years, holding the seat of Murray Boroughs until 1866 when he moved to the Grenville electorate, which he lost at the elections of 1871. He was a member of the 1861 royal commission on Burke and Wills, sat by invitation on the commission which in 1864 decided the site for the New Zealand capital, chaired the Industrial Exhibition Commission in 1866 and was on the royal commission on intercolonial legislation in 1870. In December 1871 he won a seat for Eastern Province in the Legislative Council, retiring in November 1876. At the same time he resigned as trustee of the Public Library and two years later from the Council of the University of Melbourne, of which he was a founding member.
Murphy was a conservative but during his years in the Legislative Assembly adopted no defined political stance; according to critics, he tended to support the stronger in any contest. Twice he gave substantial aid to the liberal cause. In 1861 his support during the election campaign for J. H. Brooke's proposal to make land available for small farms by issuing occupation licences had assisted the return of the radical Heales government. More importantly, Murphy's ruling as Speaker in 1865 that the combination of appropriation and tariff legislation was not a tack encouraged the constitutional deadlock which brought to a head conflict between the Houses of Parliament. At the election which followed in January 1866 the Opposition campaigned against him in Murray Boroughs, but he soon obtained ministerial aid in securing a new seat. Overall, however, Murphy more resembled a senior civil servant than a politician. Impartiality and unique experience partly explain his long tenure as Speaker at a time of extreme political and institutional fluidity. He was also firm and dignified in control of the House, helpful to members new to procedure, punctilious in attendance and manner. Members observed that he was alert throughout the most tedious debate, always politely interested, never resorting to 'ironical language'.
Murphy was well paid for his conscientiousness, for most of his term at £1500 a year. He was appointed K.B. in 1860. A pension of £1000 was proposed when he retired as Speaker in 1871, but reduced to a lump sum of £3000 under pressure from members who argued that he was not in need. Indeed his personal fortune was large. On the profits from his early pastoral speculations he accumulated extensive town property and other investments, often in association with Sir James Palmer. He became a director of the National Bank in 1863 but resigned in 1870 when as chairman of the board he was criticized for poor management of the bank's affairs.
Murphy visited Europe several times between 1876 and 1883 and then lived in retirement. Aged 82 he died on 30 March 1891 in Melbourne; after an Anglican service he was buried at Boroondara cemetery. He was survived by his wife, three sons and six daughters, among them Francis Reid, member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, and Frances Emma, wife of Herbert James Henty.
Select Bibliography: G. Blainey, Gold and Paper (Melb, 1958); G. Serle, The Golden Age (Melb, 1963); Parliamentary Debates (Victoria), 1856-71; Argus (Melbourne), Nov 1856, 31 Mar 1891; Leader (Melbourne), 24 May 1862; Age (Melbourne), Oct-Nov 1871.
Born Bavaria, Germany, 1826, von Neumeyer, was a Bavarian Ship's Officer who had obtained his doctorate at Munich in 1849. He first arrived in Melbourne in 1852. Convinced of the importance of meteorology, he returned to Europe in 1854 and obtained the instruments necessary to establish an observatory in Melbourne. Initially working as a private citizen, he established a number of observing stations throughout Victoria, mainly at lighthouses. Neumayer set up the Flagstaff Observatory, Melbourne in 1858, employing Wills as a surveyor. He completed a detailed magnetic survey of Victoria 1858-1864 and in 1859 he was appointed as Government Astronomer. Neumayer was as councilor of the Royal Society in 1859 and vice-president in 1860. He played a leading role in the early scientific life of Melbourne before returning again to Europe in 1863. He died at Neustadt in 1909.
O'Shanassy was born near Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland, in 1818, the son of Denis O'Shanassy, a land surveyor. His father dying when he was 13, O'Shanassy had little schooling and went to Melbourne in 1839. He tried farming for a few years, returned to Melbourne, was elected to the city council, in 1845 opened a draper's shop in Elizabeth-street, and conducted it for about 10 years with success. In 1851 he was elected a member of the legislative council for Melbourne, and became recognized as a leading member of the opposition. He advocated manhood suffrage, opposed the property qualification, and did his best to have the land opened up for settlement. In December 1854 he supported the government at a public meeting held in Melbourne at the time of the Eureka stockade, but in the same month succeeded in carrying a motion in the council, cutting down the proposed expenditure for the coming year from £4,582,000 to an amount not more than the estimated revenue of £2,400,000. He was already taking a prominent position among the Irish members of the community, and led the deputation to welcome Charles Gavan Duffy (q.v.) when he arrived in Melbourne in January 1856. With the establishment of responsible government O'Shanassy was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Kilmore. He was offered the treasurership in Haines' (q.v.) ministry but declined it. He sat in opposition, and on 3 March 1857 carried an adverse vote against the government. He had considerable difficulty in forming a ministry, and three of its members on going to the country were defeated. The ministry lasted only a few weeks and was displaced at the end of April. W. C. Haines became premier again and O'Shanassy leader of the opposition. In March 1858 he was premier for the second time, and succeeded in passing an act increasing the number of the members of the legislative assembly to 78 and also widening the franchise.
O'Shanassy was a good speaker, with some knowledge of finance, and was extremely ambitious; he was premier three times but never held any other office. A sincerely religious man of fine character, he was for some time the recognized leader of his compatriots and co-religionists, and it was greatly to his credit that he systematically adjured his followers to remember that they were Australians, and that the importing of old world agitations would do no good and cause much ill-feeling. He was a striking and strong personality in the early days of political life in Victoria.
O’Shanassy, Sir John. (1818-1883)
Politician and businessman, he was Chief Secretary of Victoria from 10th March 1858 to 27th October 1859.
Born at Thurles, County Tipperary, O’Shannasy sailed to Australia to join relatives in Sydney. He was persuaded to buy a property near Western Port. The property failed and O’Shannasy moved to Melbourne and opened a drapery shop in Collins Street in 1845. His political career began in 1846 when he was elected to Melbourne Council. In 1851 he became member for Melbourne in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and in March 1857 he became premier. His ministry only lasted a month after three of his ministers were defeated in elections and he was in opposition to the Haines ministry for a year. Haines was defeated in March 1858 and O’Shannasy became premier for the second time. He agreed to commission Landells to purchase camels in India and approved a Government contribution of £6000 towards the exploration fund. O’Shannasy was defeated in October 1859, but returned for a third term as premier in August 1861, resigning on 27th June 1863. He died in Belfast in 1883.
Sir John O’Shannasy - Premier and foremost public man of Victoria.
By William Westgarth
One of O'Shanassy's oft-repeated jokes, told with the humorous twinkle of his eye, was that "All men are born free and equal, and must remain so !" He was wide as the poles asunder from the radical leveller, as this joke of his might help to show. Indeed, he was decidedly conservative, in a general socio-political sense of the word. While in strong sympathy with the mass of his countrymen, he might have limped at times alongside even of Parnell, to say nothing of Davitt and O'Donovan Rossa. He had more than O'Connell's dread to pass irretrievably outside the law, although he might not have scrupled to drive the proverbial carriage and six through law's usual dubieties of expression, particularly in certain sections of the Victorian Education Acts.
As one of the earliest Irish colonists from the old country, he soon rose to the leading position amongst his fellow-colonist Irishmen. His qualities, alike in physique and mind, easily gave him that position. His tall, massive form, with the imperturbable good-humored smile that, even when annoyed by an opponent, he could hardly dismiss from his face, except, perchance, by a blend of the sarcastic; his deliberate manner in speaking, and his sonorous voice, gave him this surpassing influence. But in colonial public life, where he had to encounter greater competition and sharper criticism than in his own smaller Irish world, he lay under some disadvantages. Like his friend and occasional opponent, Fawkner, he had an ungainly gait and rather mannerless address; he had, too, a rich Clonmel brogue, and certainly he had not enjoyed an education at all commensurate with his great natural endowments. But, all defects notwithstanding, he steadily rose in political estimation, and for the simple reason that his views of public affairs were characteristic of the statesman more perhaps than those of any others associated with him.
He first entered public life in 1851, as one of the three representatives for Melbourne in Victoria's first Parliament. But, doubtful perhaps, with his anti-radical temperament as to the fickleness of large town populations, as well, possibly, as the dread of his liability to get compromised by the over-zeal of supporters, he changed the venue to the small semi-Irish town of Kilmore, where his seat was always secure, until, in his advancing years, he condescended to the less laborious sphere of the Upper House.
I saw much of O'Shanassy at the outset of Victorian legislation, when he and I, in 1851-3, sat together as colleagues for Melbourne in the single chamber of that inaugurative time, and afterwards when we were associated in the Goldfields Commission, 1854-5. Often I noticed the unerring bent of his mind towards the statesman's broad view of subjects of political controversy. As a sincere Catholic he was sometimes trammelled as he ran with liberal Protestant majorities. In the education question, for instance, as already hinted, seeing that Victoria stands amongst the most advanced in the rigid secularity of its teaching, to the extent, at least, of what of instruction is provided--and gratuitously provided--by public money. But in general he was anxious to be reasonably accordant with public opinion--so much so, indeed, in that "profane" direction (as Gibbon might have phrased it) as not to be quite reckonable with the extreme of the Jesuit or Ultramontane section of his church.
I recollect and record with pleasure one of the Goldfields Commission incidents illustrative of O'Shanassy's high public qualities. We had completed at Castlemaine, near the original Mount Alexander, our considerable tour of goldflelds inspection; and as we sat round the table of the only public room of the small hotel or public-house of the place, the evidence completed, and all the proposed changes decided on, there remained yet one question. Our proposed chief pecuniary change abolished the indiscriminate, and, to the many unsuccessful, most oppressive charge of 30 shillings monthly license fee, and substituted a yearly fee or fine of only 20 shillings. And what was this, or the documentary receipt that represented it, to be called? Reduced as the amount was, it was still a tax, and any ingenuity that could dignify or otherwise reconcile a tax, was worthy of the best statecraft. As chairman, and not having at the moment a suggestion of my own, I had to knock at the heads of my co-members. I turned to one, then another, and yet another, but without response. Even the original brain of Fawkner sent forth no sign. At length I came to O'Shanassy, who happened to be at the far end of the table. He had been waiting his turn, and the answer came promptly, "Call it the Miner's Right." It was but one out of many instances of his statesmanlike turn. The Miner's Right, of course, it was called. The name passed on to many other goldflelds. I noticed it in British Columbia shortly after, with its new gold discoveries; for the Commission's report had attracted much attention, owing to the forefront position which golden Victoria had already assumed in the world.
O'Shanassy was born at Ballinahow, near Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, son of John O'Shanassy, surveyor, and his wife Margaret, née Dwyer. His education was curtailed when his father died in 1831 and he was apprenticed to B. B. Armstrong, a Tipperary draper and wine and spirits merchant. In 1839 he married Margaret McDonnell of Thurles.
Deciding to follow a relation who had settled in Sydney, they sailed from Plymouth in the William Metcalf on 26 July. Arriving at Hobson's Bay on 15 November, they met Rev. Patrick Geoghegan who, impressed by O'Shanassy's intelligent manner and robust physique, dissuaded the migrants from proceeding to Sydney. O'Shanassy bought a small property, Windriet, near Western Port, but lack of capital, drought and low prices made him sell it and move to Melbourne where he opened a small drapery shop in Collins Street on 26 May 1845. Later he transferred to Elizabeth Street; for about ten years he was a successful draper, largely through his wife's shrewd business sense and perseverance.
O'Shanassy's political career began in 1846 when he won a by-election to become a member of the Melbourne Council. In November he was defeated at the council elections; as a Catholic he probably suffered from the ill feeling generated by the 'Orange' riots in Melbourne on 13 July. He soon became identified with popular agitations such as the separation movement and opposition to any revival of transportation and to the sale of crown lands to finance assisted immigration. After the separation of Victoria he was returned as a member for Melbourne at the first Legislative Council elections in September 1851. For five years he was the virtual leader of the opposition to the official and nominee elements and squatting interests that dominated the council. He then thought that the squatters should pay higher rents and taxes. In June 1852 he championed the miners' cause, urging the government to sell land near the goldfields for agricultural purposes. In 1853 he was one of the twelve members of a select committee on the goldfields which recommended a modification of the licence fee. In 1853-54 he served on a select committee to inquire into the best form of constitution for a colony on the threshold of responsible government. During the constitutional debates in the committee and later in the council, he attempted to modify the conservative attitudes of his opponents. A firm supporter of a bicameral legislature, he thought that the new Legislative Council should represent property but not excessively so. The committee recommended a property qualification of £10,000 freehold for legislative councillors, but finally O'Shanassy's proposal of £5000 was accepted. His suggestion of a six-year tenure for councillors who would retire by rotation every two years was overruled; he also claimed that the £1000 property qualification for the franchise was too high. Three of his proposals for the Legislative Assembly were defeated: a property qualification of £200 for electors, triennial parliaments and equal electoral districts. However, he opposed the ballot which was enacted early in 1856. He spoke strongly against the proposition that the Constitution could only be altered by the assent of two-thirds of the members of each chamber but later had the satisfaction of carrying an amendment for an absolute majority.
The growing tension between the government and the miners led to the establishment of a commission on the goldfields in November 1854. O'Shanassy was appointed one of the six commissioners, but before witnesses could be examined, the miners rebelled at Eureka. At a public meeting in Melbourne on 5 December 1854 he was one of the speakers who deplored the resort to arms and called on all classes to submit to law and order. From 18 December to 4 January 1855 the commissioners visited the main mining areas; on return to Melbourne they heard additional evidence and submitted their report in March. Their recommendations vindicated the miners' grievances. The report owed most to the deliberations of William Westgarth and the practical common sense of O'Shanassy who suggested the term 'miner's right' to combine a cheap licence fee with eligibility for the franchise. He also initiated the suggestion that the old Legislative Council should be enlarged by twelve members, eight representing the goldfields and four nominees.
By the mid-1850s O'Shanassy was a man of consequence in Melbourne. He was a founder and president (1845-51) of the St Patrick's Society, aiming to lift it above exclusively Irish-Catholic associations. For many years the leading lay Catholic, he pressed their educational claims on the Denominational Schools Board. He was one of the first trustees of the Public Library. His business activities prospered. He actively promoted some early building and land societies and in 1855 the Colonial Bank, popularly the 'Diggers' Bank', and was chairman of its directors until 1870. In 1853 he paid £1200 for sixteen acres (6 ha) in Camberwell; within a few years he had an imposing mansion, Tara, and a commanding view of the city. To the east, Burwood village rejoiced temporarily in the name of Ballyshanassy.
With the advent of responsible government O'Shanassy was a successful candidate for the two Legislative Assembly constituencies of Melbourne and Kilmore at the September 1856 elections. He chose to represent Kilmore and held the seat until December 1865. The first two parliaments in 1856-61 were characterized by political instability, faction and intrigue; no group in the assembly could command a secure majority despite six ministries. O'Shanassy sat in opposition to W. C. Haines's administration. One of his political allies was then C. G. Duffy, a recent arrival. As a member of the 'Irish Catholic' group Duffy wished to reach an understanding with urban democrats and goldfields' representatives on the issue of liberalism against the conservatism of the landed interests. The abolition of the property qualification for members of the Legislative Assembly in 1856 was an outcome of that tentative alliance. Next year Haines lost office because of alleged misappropriation of immigration funds. O'Shanassy became premier on 11 March 1857. He tried to form a stable ministry by making overtures to centrist politicians in preference to any alliance with the 'left'. These manoeuvres were symptomatic of his growing conservatism. He formed his administration with difficulty but three members of his cabinet were defeated at the ministerial elections. After seven weeks of nominal power he was forced to give way to another Haines ministry on 24 April 1857. Although in opposition for almost a year he exerted much influence. He strongly supported the alteration of oaths of office from a religious form to one which required a simple oath or affirmation. He welcomed the government's reluctant concession of manhood suffrage for assembly elections but attacked the retention of the plural voting provisions. Early in 1858 the government yielded to the pressure for triennial parliaments.
In March the Haines ministry was defeated on the increase of members bill which also included the principle of equal electorates. O'Shanassy became premier for a second time on the 10th; he again sought a parliamentary majority by conciliating centrist politicians. In broad terms his ministry represented urban finance-capital. Owing to a pledge of the previous government, he was committed to raising a loan of £8 million for railway construction. Earlier loans had been raised through financial agents and through them from the British public. This time the agency was six local banks, members of the cabinet (including O'Shanassy) being directors of some of them. By this arrangement he won modest repute as a financier. In May the council rejected his electoral bill by two votes. Instead of seeking a dissolution on the issue of equal electorates he clung to office but in October accepted the council's amendments which, although permitting the assembly to be enlarged to seventy-eight members, negated the principle of the one vote one value. He confessed to second thoughts about equal electorates which ignored the elements of 'wealth, labour, land or intelligence'. An important decision of the ministry was to extend state aid to the Jewish religion. O'Shanassy's growing distaste for anything savouring of radicalism was attested by the resignation of Duffy, minister of lands, early in 1859. Duffy wanted sterner measures against the squatters and a system of generous deferred payments for small farmers. By contrast O'Shanassy advocated the sale of agricultural land near towns at a fixed price of £1 an acre, the auction of better lands and the continuation of annual pastoral licences. He managed to retain office by lengthening the parliamentary recess that preceded the election in August. However, the ministry was defeated and O'Shanassy resigned on 27 October 1859 after losing a motion of no confidence in the assembly by 56 votes to 17.
In the second parliament O'Shanassy remained in opposition. At the election in August 1861 the premier, Richard Heales, improved his position, yet within three months his ministry was defeated on the budget. O'Shanassy then formed his third, strongest and most successful ministry on 14 November. His former opponent, Haines, was treasurer and Duffy, minister of lands. All three were united in their determination to retain state aid for religion and denominational education but the tide in parliament and the electorates was turning against them. In 1862 they were forced to accede to the Common Schools Act which numbered the years of state-aided denominational education. The government's most ambitious project was the Crown Lands Act which aimed at opening up much agricultural land to selectors, but its clauses were too loosely drafted to prevent wholesale evasion of the law. Other notable measures were the Local Government Act and the Municipal Act Amendment Act. The government was responsible for two important administrative reforms: the Civil Service Act which classified salaries and set out principles for promotion; the Electoral Act Amendment Act abolished public nomination and imposed a deposit of £50 for candidates at assembly elections. One of its provisions appeared to place the ballot in jeopardy; O'Shanassy opposed the principle but denied that the offending clause was designed to subvert it. The purpose of the Distillation Act was to encourage the making of colonial spirits by means of a differential duty, and an Immigration Act was designed to attract skilled labourers from Europe to assist the wine industry. The ministry was defeated by twelve votes in the assembly over the estimates of revenue from pastoral runs and O'Shanassy resigned on 27 June 1863, little realizing that he would not hold office again. Until December 1865 he was the unofficial leader of the Opposition to James McCulloch's ministry. The government won a landslide victory at the election in August 1864, McCulloch having 53 supporters to the Opposition's 14. As a free trader and a firm upholder of the constitutional rights of the Legislative Council, O'Shanassy denounced the 'tacking' of the proposed customs duties to the appropriation bill in 1865. The restricted scope for political manoeuvre in the assembly and ill health were the main factors in his decision not to contest the election early in 1866. Meanwhile in 1862 he had joined the squatter ranks by buying the run Moira, 44,500 acres (18,000 ha) in the Riverina; later he held many pastoral licences in Queensland such as Berribone cattle station in 1873.
O'Shanassy decided to spend a year overseas. At a public dinner in Melbourne on 10 May 1866 he received a testimonial of £1500 and left in the Great Britain on the 16th. In Rome Pope Pius IX appointed him a knight of the Order of St Gregory in recognition of his services for Catholic education. In Tipperary he revisited childhood scenes and enjoyed the prestige of a migrant who had prospered in distant parts. In London the secretary of state for the colonies attended a banquet in his honour on 1 May 1867. He sailed in the Great Britain and arrived in Melbourne on 13 July.
O'Shanassy's absence abroad coincided with the greater part of the constitutional deadlock over the tariff and the Darling grant. He continued to support the stand of the Legislative Council, and was one of the ex-executive councillors who had signed a protest against the conduct of Governor Darling. Though jealous of the status of the Upper House he favoured some reduction of property qualifications for its members and electors. In May 1868 he was elected to the council for Central Province, and was returned unopposed in August 1872. He received honours appropriate to a conservative leader in the council: C.M.G. in 1870 and K.C.M.G. in 1874. In his new role O'Shanassy had mixed fortunes. He carried an important amendment to the land bill of 1869 which allowed selectors to convert their selections into freehold on easy terms, but opposed in vain the temporary introduction of payment of assembly members and the abolition of state aid to religion. His estrangement from Duffy provoked perhaps his greatest political miscalculation. Personal and political differences separated them and Duffy had replaced his former colleague as leader of the Catholic interest in parliament. In 1871 Duffy became premier of a liberal ministry which included prominent radicals such as Graham Berry. In 1872 O'Shanassy was at pains to thwart and defeat the government; Duffy thought that his compatriot was one of his 'most vehement and vindictive opponents'. But Duffy's downfall in May cleared the way for the introduction of 'free, secular and compulsory' education which both had opposed.
O'Shanassy's pastoral interests proved to be a political embarrassment. In 1873 William Joachim selected 2880 acres (1170 ha) of the Moira run on behalf of himself and his eight children. O'Shanassy disputed the legality of selection by minors; litigation in Sydney and before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided the case substantially in Joachim's favour in 1876. Meanwhile Duffy had left for Europe and did not contest the election in 1874. Wishing to reassert himself as the leading Catholic politician, O'Shanassy resigned from the council in April and contested his old assembly seat of Kilmore. The sitting member, Lawrence Bourke, had obeyed O'Shanassy's orders to vote against Duffy in the crucial division which had defeated his government in 1872, but rejected his former leader and refused to retire in his favour. Duffy's supporters ran their own candidate, Thomas Hunt, a Kilmore journalist and appropriately, from Tipperary. They referred constantly to the Joachim case in a electorate where the majority of voters were Catholic and pro-selector. Hunt won the seat. The local paper observed that O'Shanassy had 'changed [and] times have changed'. In January 1876 he suffered a similar humiliation at a by-election for Villiers and Heytesbury, Duffy's old seat. A minor consolation was his appointment in 1875 as chairman of the royal commission on volunteer forces.
O'Shanassy was returned to the Legislative Assembly for Belfast at the election of May 1877. His main aim was to retain state aid for non-government schools which would cease in 1878. However, his room for political manoeuvre was again limited. The Berry ministry (1877-80) had a huge majority and was committed to payment of members, reform of the council and a higher tariff which included a stock tax. O'Shanassy opposed all these measures and complained that the stock tax was unfair to squatters. In the grave constitutional deadlock between the two Houses, redress of Catholic grievances rated a low priority. On 24 September 1878 he introduced a bill to provide for the payment for instruction in sectarian schools according to secular results; early in December he withdrew it. He became a prominent activist in the Catholic Education Defence Association formed on 5 July 1879. At the election of February 1880 he campaigned against Berry on the education issue and embarked on a brief career of making and unmaking ministries. He found to his cost that he could help to destroy governments in evenly-divided assemblies but that he was not the 'king-maker' of the late 1850s who could form a ministry. After the election he and his seven Catholic supporters held the balance of power between Berry's 43 Liberals and James Service's 35 Conservatives. Berry's party was accordingly relegated to the Opposition and when the Service ministry took over in March 1880 they refused to consider Catholic claims and also fell. At the ensuing election O'Shanassy supported Berry who had promised to set up an education commission to examine Catholic grievances. After another Berry ministry was formed in August, the Liberal caucus agreed to the Education Commission on terms which satisfied the Catholic bishops. But O'Shanassy also sought power for himself, wanting either the premiership or at least equal status with Berry and the right to nominate three members of the ministry. For understandable reasons Berry did not agree and, ignoring his promises on education, remained in office for an uneasy year. Meanwhile Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, a prominent Irish Catholic and a former 'Berryite', refused to join a ministry which was allegedly anti-Catholic, but his initiative resolved the impasse over reform of the council. In June 1881 he moved a successful motion of no confidence against Berry which O'Shanassy supported. In the contest for the spoils of victory O'Loghlen won: he formed a coalition ministry which did not include O'Shanassy. O'Loghlen, like Berry, did not want to share power with an aspiring but failing 'king-maker'; moreover their only common political ground was the education issue. During 1882 O'Shanassy was in impotent opposition. O'Loghlen appointed a royal commission whose tasks included the examination of the alleged educational grievances endured by Catholics. O'Shanassy objected to 'alleged'. He made his last important speech in June 1882 at the height of the furore over the 'Grattan Address' which he deplored. He said that he had warned its promoters not to import old-world loyalties into a new land and to remember that they should act as Australians in their adopted country. At the election in March 1883 he lost Belfast to a young Australian Catholic. No doubt his sentiments expressed in the campaign went against him: 'Young Australia indeed; time enough for young Australia to speak in twenty years' time'. It was ironical that he had alienated native-born Catholics and Irish Home Rule supporters by refusing to be associated with the visit of W. and J. Redmond just before he died on 5 May 1883. Predeceased by his eldest son, he was survived by his wife who died on 13 July 1887 and by two sons and three daughters. He had become affluent, his New South Wales properties alone being valued at £75,000 in 1885. It is likewise ironical that, in the wake of the 'Grattan Address' and Home Rule controversy, few were interested in erecting a monument to a man who had been thrice premier of the colony.
O'Shanassy's political mentor was Daniel O'Connell and, like the 'Liberator', he sought to preserve his limited programme of reform from the taint of radical innovations. Until 1863 he was able to enlist substantial support both in parliament and in the electorate; but for his identification with the Catholic community his political position might have been stronger. He then drew closer to the Conservatives when colonial liberalism sought further conquests and his business and pastoral interests made him less sympathetic to popular movements and more equivocal on land reform. However, the Conservatives saw scant profit from an alliance with a prominent leader of the Catholic laity. He also started to lose ground among some of his fellow Irish Catholics who rejected his politics despite his forthright stand on the education issue. His estrangement from the more democratic Duffy was symptomatic of a wider alienation. O'Shanassy's bustling ambition and a strong strain of egotism contributed to his growing isolation. He was partly successful in his determination to be nothing less than premier between 1857 and 1863, but his later terms were unacceptable and helped to sabotage the very cause closest to his heart. Yet he had qualities which attracted followers for some years. He had an impressive physique and undoubted intelligence. Conscious of his limited educational opportunities, he read widely but sometimes his speeches suffered from his untrained and unsystematic habits of study. On some matters he held enlightened views, particularly on the necessity of Federation and on the general role of Irish Catholics in a new country. When Melbourne was a village O'Shanassy was a practical and exemplary pioneer; in the hectic 1850s he was a vigorous politician who did not stint his energies in the public interest; and at his death he was entitled to a little of the credit for 'marvellous' Melbourne.
G. Serle, The Golden Age (Melb, 1963); W. H. Archer, ‘Sir John O'Shanassy: a sketch’, Melbourne Review, 8 (1883); Argus, 7 May 1883; G. R. Bartlett, Political Organization and Society in Victoria 1864-1883 (Ph.D. thesis, Australian National University, 1964); S. Dew, The Belfast Electorate 1863-1883 (B.A. Hons thesis, Monash University, 1969).
The son of Rev. Townsend Selwyn, canon of Gloucester cathedral, and his wife, Charlotte Sophia, daughter of Lord George Murray, bishop of St David's, and grand-daughter of the fourth Duke of Athol. He was born on 28 July 1824 and was educated by private tutors and afterwards in Switzerland. At the age of 21 he joined the English geological survey under Sir Henry de la Beche and (Sir) A. C. Ramsay. He had invaluable experience in the preparation of geological maps of western England and north Wales, and earned great commendation from Ramsay. In 1852 he was appointed director of the geological survey of Victoria, where he built up an excellent staff including R. Daintree (q.v.), C. D. H. Aplin, C. S. Wilkinson (q.v.), R. A. F. Murray (q.v.), H. Y. L. Brown (q.v.) and R. Etheridge (q.v.), with (Sir) F. McCoy (q.v.) as palaeontologist. He was a strict disciplinarian and from the beginning set up a very high standard of work in his department. During his 17 years as director over 60 geological maps were issued which were among the best of their period; they were models of accuracy which established a tradition of geological mapping in Australia. Selwyn was also responsible for several reports on the geology of Victoria, and added much to the knowledge of gold-bearing rocks. He discovered the Caledonian goldfield near Melbourne in 1854 and in the following year reported on coal seams in Tasmania.
In 1869 the geological survey was terminated by the government of Victoria on economical grounds. In the same year, on the recommendation of the retiring director, Sir W. E. Logan, Selwyn was appointed director of the geological survey of Canada. Selwyn took up his duties on 1 December 1869. There was an immense area to be covered, and though the staff was increased, it was necessarily inadequate. His period of 25 years as director was full of activity and a large amount of work was done. In 1870 he made a valuable report on the goldfields of Nova Scotia, in the following year he was on the other side of Canada exploring in British Columbia, and in the next year he was working between Lake Superior and Winnipeg. All the time he was keeping in mind that however interesting problems might be from a scientific point of view, a government survey must be able to collect the facts and bring them to bear on questions of public utility. Every year he presented a Summary of the geological investigations made by his staff. He retired from his directorship on 1 December 1894 and died at Vancouver, British Columbia, on 19 October 1902. He married in 1852 Matilda Charlotte, daughter of the Rev. Edward Selwyn and was survived by three sons and a daughter (Dict. Nat. Biog. 2nd Supp). He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1871, of the Royal Society of London in 1874, and received the Murchison medal from the Geological Society in 1876, and the Clarke medal from the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1884. He was made chevalier de la légion d'honneur, Paris, in 1878, and C.M.G. in 1886. A list of his publications and maps will be found in the Proceedings and Transactions, Royal Society of Canada, vol. X, section IV, pp. 191-205. A list relating to his work in Australia will be found in Bulletin No. 23 of the geological survey of Victoria. Selwyn was tall, quick and alert, and somewhat highly-strung. His writings are scholarly and extremely well composed. He had great force of character with a gift for seeing what was really important in any problem, and no care was too great if it led to the solution. He belonged to the highest class of structural geologists and his work was of the greatest value wherever he was employed.
Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil.
Selwyn was the son of Rev. Townsend Selwyn, canon of Gloucester cathedral, and his wife, Charlotte Sophia, daughter of Lord George Murray, bishop of St David's, and grand-daughter of the fourth Duke of Athol. He was born on 28 July 1824 and was educated by private tutors and afterwards in Switzerland. At the age of 21 he joined the English geological survey under Sir Henry de la Beche and (Sir) A. C. Ramsay. He had invaluable experience in the preparation of geological maps of western England and north Wales, and earned great commendation from Ramsay. In 1852 he was appointed director of the geological survey of Victoria, where he built up an excellent staff including R. Daintree, C. D. H. Aplin, C. S. Wilkinson, R. A. F. Murray, H. Y. L. Brown and R. Etheridge, with (Sir) F. McCoy as palaeontologist. He was a strict disciplinarian and from the beginning set up a very high standard of work in his department. During his 17 years as director over 60 geological maps were issued which were among the best of their period; they were models of accuracy which established a tradition of geological mapping in Australia. Selwyn was also responsible for several reports on the geology of Victoria, and added much to the knowledge of gold-bearing rocks. He discovered the Caledonian goldfield near Melbourne in 1854 and in the following year reported on coal seams in Tasmania. In 1869 the geological survey was terminated by the government of Victoria on economical grounds.
In the same year, on the recommendation of the retiring director, Sir W. E. Logan, Selwyn was appointed director of the geological survey of Canada. Selwyn took up his duties on 1 December 1869. There was an immense area to be covered, and though the staff was increased, it was necessarily inadequate. His period of 25 years as director was full of activity and a large amount of work was done. In 1870 he made a valuable report on the goldfields of Nova Scotia, in the following year he was on the other side of Canada exploring in British Columbia, and in the next year he was working between Lake Superior and Winnipeg. All the time he was keeping in mind that however interesting problems might be from a scientific point of view, a government survey must be able to collect the facts and bring them to bear on questions of public utility. Every year he presented a Summary of the geological investigations made by his staff. He retired from his directorship on 1 December 1894 and died at Vancouver, British Columbia, on 19 October 1902. He married in 1852 Matilda Charlotte, daughter of the Rev. Edward Selwyn and was survived by three sons and a daughter (Dict. Nat. Biog. 2nd Supp). He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1871, of the Royal Society of London in 1874, and received the Murchison medal from the Geological Society in 1876, and the Clarke medal from the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1884. He was made chevalier de la légion d'honneur, Paris, in 1878, and C.M.G. in 1886. A list of his publications and maps will be found in the Proceedings and Transactions, Royal Society of Canada, vol. X, section IV, pp. 191-205. A list relating to his work in Australia will be found in Bulletin No. 23 of the geological survey of Victoria.
Selwyn was tall, quick and alert, and somewhat highly-strung. His writings are scholarly and extremely well composed. He had great force of character with a gift for seeing what was really important in any problem, and no care was too great if it led to the solution. He belonged to the highest class of structural geologists and his work was of the greatest value wherever he was employed.
|Catholic bishop, was born on 24 December 1815 at Wexford, Ireland. He was educated at St Peter's College, Wexford, and from 1832 at the Franciscan College of St Isidore, Rome, where he remained teaching theology and philosophy after his ordination in 1839. Returning to Ireland he became guardian of the convents of St Francis at Cork and Carrickbeg. He was recruited for the Australian mission, and arrived in Melbourne with Bishop Goold in the Koh-i-noor on 12 February 1853. He was appointed president of St Francis's seminary, later St Patrick's College, and was secretary and manager of the Catholic education board of Victoria. Because of ill health he was transferred as archdeacon to Ballarat in 1859 and remained until 1866, when he was appointed to succeed P. B. Geoghegan as bishop of Adelaide. Consecrated by Goold on 15 August, he was installed on 16 September.|
Sheil's episcopacy was one of great expansion. By 1871 twenty-one new missions had been established, nineteen new churches built, including one of his first undertakings, St Laurence's at North Adelaide opened in January 1869, and the number of priests had increased from seventeen to thirty. Catholic education also grew rapidly. In 1866 the teaching congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph was founded by Mother Mary MacKillop and Fr J. Tenison-Woods, and next year Sheil appointed Tenison-Woods director general of Catholic education. By 1871 there were sixty-eight Catholic schools in the diocese; thirty-five of them conducted by Josephite nuns. He had also recruited a community of seven Irish Dominican nuns in 1868.
Despite initial high expectations, Sheil was not a success as bishop. He spent less than two years of his episcopate in Adelaide: he travelled to Rome and Ireland from April 1867 to December 1868 and from October 1869 to February 1871 to recruit clergy and to attend the Vatican Council, and carried out intercolonial visitations in 1869 and 1871. These absences and his poor health left the diocese virtually leaderless and resulted in bitter clerical administrative factionalism and lay disunity. The most serious and dramatic result was his precipitous and uncanonical excommunication of Mother MacKillop, the temporary disbanding of her congregation in September 1871 and the subsequent appointment, after his death, of an Apostolic Commission to investigate diocesan affairs.
Amiable, urbane and zealous, Sheil was better suited to teaching and scholarship than to coping with the problems of the Adelaide mission. He suffered greatly from the heat and, in the last years of his life, poor health contributed much to his erratic and autocratic behaviour. He moved to Willunga, south of Adelaide, in December 1871 and died there of a carbuncle on 1 March 1872. He was buried in Adelaide's West Terrace cemetery.
Engineer and member of the 25 man Exploration Committee of 1857. Born in Hawick, Scotland he worked as an engineer for his fathers company in Galashiels before working in Exeter for the Great Western Railway. In 1853 he was awarded a five year contract to build and manage the Melbourne Gas and Coke Co. He set up his own foundry at Carlton and built gas works at Ballarat, Castlemaine, Sandhurst and Newcastle. He contracted for many other companies, designing railways and gas and water supply networks. He was a keen advocate of understanding the power of nature and was a member of the Institute for the Advancement of Science and the Philosophical Institute of Victoria. Smith was elected to the Legislative Assembly as Member for East Melbourne and remained in politics until his death in 1881. He died at home in Studley Park and is buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
Smith was born near Maidstone, Kent, England, in 1820 and was educated for the church. He, however, took up journalism and at the age of 20 was editing a country newspaper. In 1845 he published Rural Records or Glimpses of Village Life, which was followed by Oracles from the British Poets (1849), Wilton and its Associations (1851), and Lights and Shadows of Artist Life and Character (1853). In 1854 he emigrated to Victoria and became a leader-writer on the Age and first editor of the Leader. He joined the staff of the Argus in 1856 and wrote leading articles, literary reviews, and dramatic criticism. He also wrote leading articles for country papers. Feeling the strain of over-work in 1863 he intended making a holiday visit to Europe, but was offered and accepted the post of librarian to the Victorian parliament. Smith was not content to merely carry out the routine duties of his position, he had always been a tireless worker, and during his five years librarianship he reclassified and catalogued about 30,000 volumes. The office was temporarily abolished in 1868, and Smith resumed his duties on the Argus, and continued to work for it until he retired in 1896 at the age of 76. He still, however, did much journalistic work, and even when approaching the age of 90 was contributing valued articles to the Age under the initials J. S. He died at Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne, on 19 March 1910. He married and was survived by a son.
In addition to the works mentioned Smith was the author of From Melbourne to Melrose (1888), a pleasant collection of travel notes originally contributed to the Argus, and Junius Unveiled (1909). He also published many pamphlets, some of which are concerned with spiritualism, in which he was very interested during the last 40 years of his life. He contributed a large amount of the letterpress to the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, and edited The Cyclopedia of Victoria (1903), a piece of hack-work in which he could have taken little pleasure. He wrote a three-act drama, Garibaldi, successfully produced at Melbourne in 1860, and A Broil at the Café, also produced at Melbourne a few years later. He was a member of the council of the working men's college and a trustee for many years of the public library, museums, and national gallery of Victoria. A good linguist he was interested in the Alliance Française and the Melbourne Dante Society, of which he became the president. These activities led to his being made an officer of the French Academy, and a chevalier of the order of the Crown of Italy.
Smith was a thoroughly equipped journalist who with his well-stored mind and fine library could produce an excellent article on almost any subject at the shortest notice. During his 56 years of residence at Melbourne he had much influence on the cultural life of the city.
Born at Old Court, Mallow Parish, County Cork, Ireland in 1815, Stawell read law in Dublin and London before migrating to Australia in 1842. He became a Member of Parliament and a Judgeand in 1857, became Chief Justice of Victoria. He was president of The Philosophical Institute of Victoria from 1858-9, and chairman of the Exploration Committee. Burke bequeathed his watch and papers to Stawell, who was the chief mourner at Burke's funeral. He died in Naples in 1889 and was buried in the English Cemetery there.
|Publican of the Albion Hotel, 37 Bourke-street, Melbourne, author and contributor to Punch.|
Wilkie, Dr David Elliot. (1815 - 1885)
Physician, leading member and treasurer of the Exploration Committee.
Born in Edinburgh 1815, Wilkie studied in Edinburgh and Paris before sailing for Adelaide in 1838. He was disappointed at the state of the colony, so moved to Melbourne where he practiced medicine. In 1858 he became editor of the Australian Medical Journal. Wilkie was prominent in founding the Melbourne Mechanics Institute in 1839, where he became treasurer. With Mueller and Macadam he formed a national collection of natural history specimens under the Philosophical Society of Victoria. He became a council member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria and active member of the Exploration Committee. He died suddenly in Paris in 1885.
Wilkie was born on 14 August 1815 at Rothobyres, in Haddington near Edinburgh, third son of Rev. Daniel Wilkie (1782-1838) and his wife Jane Clerk, née Elliot. Educated at the University of Edinburgh (M.D., 1836), he studied for two years in Paris, and in 1838 was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, after presenting a thesis 'On Acute Pericarditis'. Attracted by the ideals of the founders of South Australia he arrived in Adelaide late in 1838 as surgeon-superintendent of the Lloyds. Disappointed by the state of the colony, he moved to Melbourne in March 1839 and from June practised in partnership with David Patrick, becoming an honorary of the first public hospital in 1840. Wilkie became a manager of the church and of Scots School, and on 20 October 1842 married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. James Clow. In December he became an elder of Scots Church and remained a member in the period of disruption.
Soon successful, Wilkie specialized in diseases of women and children, and was an honorary physician to the Melbourne Hospital for many years. His address on the alleviation of foetal distress on 1 December 1846 was the first-recorded scientific paper in Port Phillip. Earlier that year he was chairman of the committee which drew up the rules and regulations of the Port Phillip Medical Association of which he became first secretary. He was first president in 1852 of its successor, the Victoria Medical Society, and president in 1858 of the subsequent Medical Society of Victoria. From 1846 he had campaigned for rigorous academic qualifications for admission to medical practice; the Acts of 1854 and 1862 owed much to him. A pioneer of preventive medicine, he was a vigorous critic of the Yan Yean water-supply scheme and active in combating such diseases as cholera, diphtheria and smallpox. He published several medical and scientific papers, was editor of the Australian Medical Journal in 1858 and a member of the Medical Board of Victoria in 1874-78.
After two failures Wilkie was elected to the Legislative Council for North Western Province in 1858 but was defeated when his ten-year term expired. He was minister without office in the Heales government from November 1860 to November 1861 and chairman of committees in the council in 1864-68. Though regular in attendance, he rarely spoke. He had been prominent in 1839 in founding the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute (from 1873 the Melbourne Athenaeum) of which he was treasurer in 1856-78. An inveterate collector and classifier of specimens of natural history, he and his friends Sir Ferdinand Mueller and Dr John Macadam helped Andrew Clarke to form a national collection initially under the charge of the Philosophical Society of Victoria (1854). He was later a council member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria (Royal Society of Victoria from 1860), and was a leading executive member and treasurer of the Exploration Committee which sponsored the Burke and Wills expedition; with Mueller and Macadam he jointly published seven reports between 1857 and 1863.
Wilkie took little part in public affairs after 1870 but was in excellent health when he retired in 1881. He was a director of the Australian Alliance Assurance Co. from 1862 and of the Land Mortgage Bank of Victoria, and a member of the Port Phillip Club. He visited Europe in 1884 and died unexpectedly in Paris on 2 April 1885, survived by his wife, four of his five sons and five daughters. Two sons became solicitors, one a doctor and one a sharebroker. Wilkie was buried in Greyfriars cemetery, Edinburgh. A man of integrity and versatility, he was an ornament to the medical profession.
H. B. Graham, The Honourable David Elliot Wilkie M.D.: A Pioneer of Melbourne (Syd, 1956), and for bibliography; Medical Journal of Australia, 7 Apr 1956.
|Journalist and philanthropist, was born on 3 November 1813 at Covent Garden, London, third son of John Wilson and his wife Mary. His father, son of a small Nottinghamshire farmer, was apprenticed to a linen-draper and became a partner in a firm of linen merchants. The business prospered and was transferred to Bond Street and the family moved from Hampstead to a Surrey estate. Educated at a Hampstead school Edward left at 16 to enter the business. At 21, after his father's death, he moved to Manchester which he believed to be 'a better field for exertion and enterprise', worked in a large firm, dabbled in journalism, studied French, read widely and, to the regret of his family, became keenly involved in radical politics. Early in 1840 he helped to launch a calico-printing firm near Manchester; it failed after a year and Wilson found that his two partners had not told him that they had borrowed their capital. He lost his inheritance and savings.|
In a miserable frame of mind, Wilson decided to migrate to try sheep-farming, and sailed for Sydney in August 1841. He soon moved to Melbourne and took up a small farm on the Merri Creek near Brunswick. In 1842 he leased the Eumemmering cattle-run at Doveton near Dandenong with J. S. Johnston, but they did not prosper and sold out in 1846. For the next eighteen months Wilson dabbled in various activities; letters to the Argus over the signature of 'Iota' attracted attention. In 1848 he visited South Australia on horseback and was delighted by Wakefieldianism and the success of small-scale agriculture. 'It is England', he wrote, 'with a finer climate, with a virgin soil, with freedom from antiquated abuses, with more liberal institutions, with a happier people; and this is what I always thought and hoped Australia would become'. Later that year Johnston persuaded him to buy the Argus from William Kerr for £300; Wilson had to borrow money and Johnston became joint-proprietor in 1849. The issue of 15 September 1848 was Wilson's first; from 18 June 1849 the paper became a daily. Circulation declined to about 250, but by the close of 1850 equalled the combined circulation of rivals and by late 1851 had risen to 1500. Wilson successfully met the challenge of the gold rushes. The Argus absorbed the Melbourne Daily News from 1 January 1852 and only the Herald and the Geelong Advertiser survived as competitors for the goldfield market. He brought out forty compositors from England and in mid-1852 doubled the paper's size and reduced its price from 3d. to 2d. Circulation rose from 5000 in May 1852 to almost 20,000 late in 1853, advertisements snowballed and the number of employees grew to about 140. But costs were outrageous and Wilson was almost ruined. He was saved by Lauchlan Mackinnon, who late in 1852 bought the partnership which Johnston had sold to James Gill in January. Mackinnon took over the management, raised the price to 4d. and increased advertising rates, thus ensuring the journal's prosperity. Wilson and Mackinnon were regarded by their printing employees as hard but fair employers, even when in 1857 they effectively reduced wages by introducing another contingent of migrant compositors.
For over five years Wilson provided the most influential opposition to the government of Charles La Trobe and the Colonial Office. G. W. Rusden remarked that 'he lent his great energy to the disastrous task of lowering respect for lawful authority'. Wilson won strength and support from his prominence in the 1849 campaign to prevent the landing of convicts. The upright La Trobe was christened 'The Hat and Feathers', pilloried often for his 'sneaking treacherous course', libelled as a tool of the squatters and accused of nepotism and corruption. No allowances were made for the emergencies of 1851 and 1852, and the diggers were inflamed by exaggerated reports of the venality and inefficiency of the goldfields administration. The climax in April-May 1853 was the standing advertisement in the paper: 'Wanted a Governor. Apply to the People of Victoria'. In a dispatch of 3 May La Trobe condemned the 'studied and systematic incitement to disorder' by the Argus. His friends had rallied to his support and in April 1849 Wilson had been committed for libel against (Sir) William à Beckett, but the charge was withdrawn probably because à Beckett was the only judge available; in March 1851 Henry Moor won a farthing from Wilson for libel; (Sir) William Stawell, T. T. à Beckett and others took over the Herald in order to fight the Argus but could not compete financially.
With the influential slogan, 'Unlock the Lands', Wilson's other main offensive was on the pastoralists' 'ruinous monopoly'; he continued to classify members of the Legislative Council as squatters or liberals long after the squatters had lost their dominance. His attacks on the council and the Melbourne Town Council were unrelenting; William Westgarth, an ally, frequently wished he could be saved from his friend. The propagandist tone of the Argus was extreme; yet it was not untypical of the English press of the day, even of The Times which was Wilson's ultimate model. He believed in the virtue of controversy for its own sake; he desired above all to stir the colonists from their apathy and to promote political consciousness; he carried his dogmatic belief in the independence of the press to the extreme of shunning personal contact with politicians and government officers. He was incorruptible, and fearless in making enemies; his desire for commercial success was far less important than pursuit of truth and justice as he saw them. Though frequently mistaken and unfair, he exposed many governmental inefficiencies and scandals. His columns were open to any radical group or charitable movement.
Wilson's appearance matched his public role: a tall, swarthy, sombre man, a commanding figure with dark penetrating eyes behind spectacles, looking like a well-to-do tradesman rather than a gentleman. Yet even the most unlikely contemporaries such as Rusden contrasted his fierce and intolerant public role with his personal charm, geniality and generosity. He drove himself unremittingly as editor, writing much and keeping very long hours. 'Get a rough trotting horse and do your ten or twelve miles [16 or 19 km] a day', he advised a successor. ' "Cold bathing" and horse-exercise were my solutions in time of greatest pressure'.
Late in 1853 Wilson began to have doubts about his policy; the Argus was toned down and veered and wavered as the democratic movement it had helped to create gathered strength. There is much to be said for David Blair's attack in 1854 ('Caustic', The Anatomy of the Argus, Melbourne): 'The diggers showed signs of revolt; the government yielded … You have systematically shelved the diggers' interests ever since'. Governor Sir Charles Hotham was treated lightly by the Argus, and Wilson grew to regret many of his early excesses. By early 1855, he was looking for a successor as editor; he retired in September but did not find a replacement till August 1856 when George Higinbotham was appointed. Meanwhile he had set up as a model gentleman-farmer near Keilor and enjoyed the relaxation. He had shown 'signs of being overfagged, and thought it better to stop in time', he told (Sir) Henry Parkes and warned him against overworking and burning out. Parkes thought Wilson 'a Radical of the Radicals' when they met in Sydney; Wilson was captivated by Parkes and looked forward to working together, 'hunting sycophancy, and corruption, … and unpatriotic selfishness to their kennels … There is so much of similarity in our positions; so much resemblance in the kind of work we have to do, and I believe, in the sincerity of spirit and purity of purpose with which we have entered upon its performance …'
Wilson welcomed the arrival of (Sir) Charles Gavan Duffy in 1856 and promised him a list of fifty desirable reforms of which he produced twenty-six: the first was 'Justice to the Aborigines'. Later, in 1874, he shocked members of the Royal Colonial Institute by his vigorous condemnation of British treatment of aboriginal peoples. He spent time investigating the penal systems of Victoria and Tasmania and had presented radical evidence to the select committee on penal discipline in 1857: the whole system was erroneous, criminals should be treated 'to a great extent as lunatics', and capital punishment should be abolished. He also founded a ragged school for the gutter-children of Melbourne. But his chief interest early in his retirement was the introduction of European birds, fish and animals; in February 1861 he formed the Acclimatisation Society, as an offshoot of the Victorian Zoological Society, and was largely responsible for the foundation of parallel societies in the other colonies and of nine Victorian branches.
Despite his radical views, Wilson became alarmed at the speed of democratic advance. Victoria, he wrote to Parkes in April 1858, needed 'an adult population born upon the soil to keep in check the evil and restless designs of the hungry adventurers with us. I fear the game is up … It is a bitter pill for me and particularly as the Argus is an aider and abettor. Higinbotham is a most estimable man, but occasionally wild in his opinions'. In December 1856, May 1857 and April 1858 the Argus included a civilized series of exchanges between proprietor and editor on the subject of democracy, part of which was republished as Enquiry into the Principles of Representation, the most important contribution to the contemporary debate. Wilson still called himself a 'staunch democrat', supported direct taxation, and approved of manhood suffrage; but he believed that equal representation would give the working class perpetual power, and tyranny and class legislation would be inevitable. The problem of the day was 'conservatising democracy', property had to be protected, the best solution would be to represent equally the eight major economic interests of society. In Principles of Representation (London, 1866), which was written with the help of his old friend Catherine Spence and reprinted from the Fortnightly Review, Wilson proposed a House of Commons composed of 180 local members and 25 representatives of each of 19 interests (of whom unskilled labourers and women were two).
Wilson always allowed his editors a free hand on policy; the precise circumstances of Higinbotham's resignation as editor in 1859 are not known. H. E. Watts and Gurney Patmore were appointed as editors and the Argus began its ninety-year run of unmitigated Toryism. Wilson was no more content: he later referred to Watts so infuriating him 'with his Tory articles, that really one felt almost impelled to head a mob to go and break one's own office windows'.
In the late 1850s Wilson travelled widely among the Australasian colonies. His travel-jottings were published as Rambles at the Antipodes (Melbourne, 1859). His sight was now beginning to fail and in 1859-60 he visited England for advice, travelled on the Continent and served on the committee of the General Association for the Australian Colonies. In 1862 he again went to England; on the homeward voyage his sight deteriorated so badly that he returned immediately, and late in 1864 he had an operation for cataract; he regained good vision in one eye, but decided to remain in England close to the best medical aid. He lived at Addiscombe near Croydon, but in 1867 bought Hayes Place, Kent, the eighteenth-century home of the Pitts. Surrounded by nephews and nieces, he dispensed endless hospitality aided by a small army of servants; the amenities included a small zoo which contained emus, kangaroos and monkeys. Colonial visitors were always welcome; he was on close terms with the Darwins, Archbishop Tait, Edward Lear and Hugh Childers; children adored him.
Wilson continued to be very active in public affairs, and used the National Liberal Club as his London headquarters. In 1863 and 1864 he led the protest against the continuation of transportation of convicts to Western Australia, especially when a British royal commission reported in June 1863 in favour of it: 'In the first place Sir' (he asked the editor of The Times on 1 August), 'will you allow me to observe that we colonists claim to be the equals of you Englishmen — in no sense whatever your inferiors?'. Concurrent letters from him to the Argus helped to persuade the Victorian government to organize the eventually successful resistance.
In 1864 Wilson was active in the formation of a society to promote assisted migration, and in 1869 read a paper to the Society of Arts on 'A Scheme of Emigration on a National Scale'. In 1870 he gave another paper to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science 'On Colonies as fields of experiment in Government', and recommended observation of the 'intensely interesting experiments' proceeding in 'so vast and varied a laboratory'. He was a founder of the (Royal) Colonial Institute in 1868, and a member of its council until 1875; when he then was appointed a vice-president, he was the only councillor who was neither titled nor a privy councillor. He often spoke in discussions, gave several papers and was a pioneer imperial federationist who looked forward to direct representation of the colonies in the House of Commons. He was a member of the institute's committee formed in August 1869, which proposed an imperial conference and a standing committee to advise the imperial government, and which was the proximate cause of the Higinbotham resolutions. Wilson's letter to The Times headed 'National Disintegration', on 10 November 1869 rallied support for the subsequent 'Cannon Street meetings'.
The Argus continued to prosper: all debts were cleared by the early 1860s and the annual net profits rose to about £22,000 in 1872. Wilson and Mackinnon had taken in Allan Spowers as a junior partner in 1857. All three proprietors remained in England and control of the Argus was given entirely to the local board except when the proprietors jointly issued instructions, which rarely occurred; Wilson's representative on the board was Gowan Evans whom he paid £1000 a year. After a disturbed period of editorship, Wilson's protégé F. W. Haddon, who had been his private secretary, was appointed in 1867 after a period as editor of the Australasian. Wilson remained interested in developments in journalism, read all the London papers every day and looked forward eagerly to the penny illustrated daily. He held to his view that a newspaper should be as cheap as possible and that all profits should come from advertisements. He looked back with pride to the period when John Bright displayed the Argus as an example of what a newspaper could be in the absence of stamp and paper duties.
But Wilson was entirely frustrated in his plans for the Argus—'the great work of my life'—for he had lost control. Although he held a majority interest, Mackinnon and Spowers took a purely business-like view and under the terms of the partnership agreement regularly combined against him to resist any change, especially the price reduction from 3d. to 2d. for which he constantly agitated. The circulation of a few thousand barely increased with the years, while the Age sold four or five times more; Wilson fumed at the growing influence of his 'arch-enemy … that wretched beast and impostor', David Syme. Wilson deeply feared that Syme might wreck the Argus and issued frequent warnings and exhortations. His partners saw no reason to disturb such a profitable enterprise and Mackinnon, though fond of Wilson, came increasingly to refer to his timidity, morbid depression, inclination to panic and the total lack of business capacity of the 'poor man'. Each side offered to buy the other out.
There were added depths of irony which increased Wilson's distress. His determination that his editors must have a free hand came under increasing strain as Haddon, in his view, followed a militant and offensively expressed ultra-conservative policy. Wilson welcomed his profits, for he had plans for their ultimate use, but held firm to his radical views. In 1877 he wrote to his old friend Johnston, who was Mackinnon's representative on the board, berating him for abandoning his liberal ideals: 'I feel just as much … identified with the cause of the people at large as ever I did in our old days of '48 and '50, when we fought such sturdy battles against La Trobe and his pack of parasites. It seems all very well to rave about the vices of universal suffrage and the rest; but … we must manage to get along with [it]'. He was sick and tired of the Argus's 'meanness of spirit' and 'old-womanish Toryism'.
After several heart attacks, Wilson died peacefully on 10 January 1878. His remains were taken to Melbourne and interred on 7 July according to the rites of the Church of England. He was unmarried. In his will he made twenty-six legacies of £100 a year to old female friends in the colonies, but the bulk of his estate was used to form the Edward Wilson Trust which since his death has distributed several million dollars to Victorian charities, especially hospitals. A bust by Thomas Woolner is in the State Library of Victoria.
Wilson was an outstanding journalist who was briefly of crucial importance and commanding influence. A vivid and vigorous writer, he had the great journalist's qualities of high moral conscience, absolute honesty, intolerance of hypocrisy and disregard of self-interest; his emotions, however, sometimes led him into indefensible positions. His radicalism was standard English of his time, but was strengthened by marked independence of thought and intellectual curiosity in diverse fields. Always humane, he lost much of his early shyness and awkwardness and mellowed into a convivial man of considerable charm.
Professor of mathematics, was born at Peterborough, Northamptonshire, England, and baptized on 1 February 1826, son of John Wilson, silversmith, and his wife Elizabeth, née Parkinson. Educated at the Cathedral Grammar School, Peterborough, he won a sizarship at St John's College, Cambridge, and was admitted in February 1843 (B.A., 1847; M.A., 1850); senior wrangler, first Smith's prizeman, and fellow of St John's in 1847-57, in August 1849 he became founding professor of mathematics at Queen's College, Belfast. In 1850 he published A Treatise on Dynamics.
In 1854 Wilson was chosen as professor of mathematics, pure and mixed, at the newly established University of Melbourne; he had weighed prospects of a greater personal influence and a trebled salary against academic exile. One of the four foundation professors, he arrived in Melbourne on 31 January 1855 and gave the university's first lecture on 13 April. Students were few. Three days later an apprehensive Wilson and his colleague William Hearn issued a pamphlet, which rejected the 'Oxford model' held responsible for the University of Sydney's 'want of success', and urged that the study of classics be optional. The university council rejected the scheme and a similar proposal in 1857. Besides Euclid, trigonometry, algebra, analytical geometry and calculus, Wilson taught in the B.A. course natural philosophy 'illustrated by models and experiments'; he spent £500 on apparatus in the first year. In a two-year course he lectured on mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, heat, meteorology, optics, astronomy, electricity and magnetism. He also set and corrected the matriculation papers in mathematics. In 1858 he devised the first engineering course at an Australian university and the three-year course leading to a certificate of civil engineering was begun in 1861. Two of his students were William Kernot and Henry Andrew.
Wilson deplored what he termed an 'incomplete' university without residential colleges to provide moral and religious education, the encouragement of study after graduation, tutorial teaching, training for the clergy, and the cultivation of 'university spirit and feeling'. In September 1865 he became secretary of a committee set up to found an Anglican college at the university. In 1872 Trinity College was opened and he was a trustee from November 1871 and secretary of its first council.
With an extensive knowledge of architecture and the arts, Wilson served on the royal commission on fine arts in 1863-64. He was a member and a vice-president of the Philosophical Institute (founded 1855) and was active in the affairs of its successor, the Royal Society of Victoria. He was keenly interested in astronomy and in Belfast had founded and directed an observatory. In November 1856 in a paper read before the Philosophical Institute he advocated Melbourne as the site for the southern hemisphere observatory so long planned by the Royal Society, London; a committee was formed to induce the government to achieve Wilson's 'noble object'. In June 1858 he demonstrated a model of a 4-ft (122 cm) reflector for the proposed Melbourne observatory, which opened in 1863. Wilson had been its secretary from 1860 and was a most active member of its Board of Visitors. In December 1871 he had charge of the small equatorial telescope of the expedition which set out to observe the eclipse of the sun off Cape Sidmouth, Queensland. At Mornington, south of Melbourne, he established an observatory as part of the transit of Venus observations on 9 December 1874. He had written a report of his findings to his friend Robert Ellery when on 11 December he died of apoplexy, aged 48. He was buried in the Moorooduc cemetery. A bachelor, he had lived in the university's quadrangle apartments; at the time of his death his two nephews were being educated under his care.
A little man of fiery temperament, Wilson was at times outspoken and punctilious but was never factious. His ready analysis of issues, his constancy, correctness and unremitting industry made him most effective in the advocacy of causes. He was a thorough and lucid teacher.
|Biographical information from:|
|• Bright Sparcs|
|• Serle, P. 1949. Dictionary of Australian Biography Angus and Robertson|
|• Pike, D. et al., 1966. Australian dictionary of biographyMelbourne: Melbourne University Printers.|
|• Australian Dictionary of Biography Online.|