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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY
Angus and Robertson--1949
à BECKETT, SIR THOMAS (1836-1919),judge,
was born in London on 31 August 1836. His father, Thomas Turner à Beckett (1808-92), brother of Sir William à Beckett (q.v.), was educated at Westminster School. He came to Australia on a visit to his brother, arrived at Melbourne in January 1851, and, deciding to stay, practised as a solicitor. He was nominated to the legislative council in 1852, and after responsible government came in was elected for the Central Province in 1858. He held this seat for 20 years, was a minister without portfolio in the Heales (q.v.) ministry from November 1860 to November 1861, and commissioner of trades and customs from April 1870 to June 1871 in the third McCulloch (q.v.) ministry. He was the author of several pamphlets on legal and other subjects, and was registrar of the diocese of Melbourne from 1854 to 1887, a member of the council of the university, and a trustee of the public library.
His eldest son, Thomas, came to Australia with his father in 1851, returned to London in 1856, and entered as a student at Lincoln's Inn. He won a studentship and was called to the bar in November 1859. Returning to Victoria in 1860 he quickly established a practice, specializing in equity. He was lecturer in the law of procedure for several years at the university of Melbourne from 1874 onwards, and had been leader of the equity bar for some time when he was appointed a supreme court judge in September 1886. He was just 50 years of age and did not retire until 31 July 1917, nearly 31 years later. In 1916 the bar of Victoria presented his portrait by Max Meldrum to the supreme court library, and the opportunity was taken to express the affection in which à Beckett was held. He died at Melbourne on 21 June 1919. He married in 1875 Isabella, daughter of Sir Archibald Michie (q.v.), who survived him with two sons and three daughters. He was knighted in 1909. A younger brother, Edward à Beckett (1844-1932), was a portrait painter. Examples of his work are at the supreme court, Melbourne.
à Beckett was an active man and continued to play tennis until an advanced age. Like other members of his family he had a keen sense of humour, and many stories are told of him and his sayings, both on and off the bench. He was very popular with the bar, though counsel did not always appreciate his direct methods, which were aimed at preventing the unnecessary prolongation of cases. Occasionally he would deliver what he called an "interim judgment" when he considered one party had a hopeless case. Though good-tempered, obliging and courteous, he could be called a strong judge, and he was never afraid to dissent from his colleagues in the full court. It was found that no judge of the period had his decisions less often upset by the high court or the privy council, and he ranks as one of the finest equity judges Australia has known.
The Age, Melbourne, 23 June 1919; The Argus, Melbourne, 23 June 1919; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891.
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à BECKETT, SIR WILLIAM (1806-1869),first chief justice of Victoria,
son of William à Beckett and brother of Gilbert A. à Beckett of Punch, was born in London on 28 July 1806, and educated at Westminster School. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1829 and for some years was much engaged in literary work. He was responsible for A Universal Biography, a substantial work in three large volumes, published about 1835, which, however, seems to be largely based on previous compilations. He also wrote many of the biographies in The Georgian Era, published in four volumes in 1832-4. He went to New South Wales in 1837, in March 1841 was appointed acting solicitor-general, and in March 1843 solicitor-general. He became an acting judge in July 1844, in 1846 was appointed a judge of the supreme court at Port Phillip, and in January 1851 chief justice of the newly formed colony of Victoria. His health had not been good for many years, and he retired on this account early in 1857. He returned to England in 1863 and died at London on 27 June 1869. He was knighted in 1851. He was married twice and was survived by four sons by the first marriage. His eldest son, W. A. C. à Beckett, was a member of the legislative council of Victoria from 1868 to 1876. In addition to the works already mentioned à Beckett published a youthful volume of verse, The Siege of Dumbarton Castle, in 1824, The Magistrates' Manual for the Colony of Victoria (1852), Out of Harness, an account of a tour on the Continent (1854), The Earl's Choice and other Poems (1863).
à Beckett was a man of culture and refinement and an excellent judge, who, in spite of his delicate health, carried out his duties with ability.
The Times, 1 July 1869; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XXI to XXV; British Museum Catalogue; Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891.
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ADAMS, ARTHUR HENRY (1872-1936),poet, novelist and journalist,
son of C. W. Adams, chief surveyor and commissioner of crown lands, Otago, New Zealand, was born at Lawrence, New Zealand, on 6 June 1872. He was educated at the Otago high school and Otago university, where he graduated B.A. and began to study law. He, however, abandoned this, took up journalism at Wellington, and began contributing verse to the Sydney Bulletin. In 1898 he came to Australia as literary secretary to J. C. Williamson (q.v.), and wrote a pantomime, The Forty Thieves, which was produced in Melbourne at the end of that year. In 1899 his Maoriland and Other Verses was published at Sydney. In the following year he went to China as representative of a group of New Zealand papers during the Boxer uprising. Invalided home to New Zealand he shortly afterwards went to London and published in 1902 The Nazarene, A Study of a Man, written mostly in blank verse, which was followed in 1904 by Tussock Land, issued in Unwin's first novel library and reprinted in the same year. London Streets, published in 1906, though only a slender volume, contains some of his best verse.
Adams returned to Australia and then went to New Zealand where he was on the New Zealand Times for a short period. He came to Australia again and from 1906 to 1909 was editor of the "Red Page" of the Bulletin, and was subsequently editor of the Lone Hand, and of the Sydney Sun. In 1909 he published The New Churn and other stories, in 1910 Galahad Jones (title page dated 1909), and in 1911 A Touch of Fantasy (dated 1912). In 1913 a selection of Adams's shorter poems was published under the title The Collected Verses of Arthur H. Adams. This was the last volume of his poems except for a war poem, My Friend, Remember, brought out in 1914. Various volumes of fiction appeared at intervals; The Knight of the Motor Launch (1913), Grocer Greatheart (1915), The Australians (1920), and A Man's Life (1929). Adams also wrote many plays, but Three Plays for the Australian Stage (1914) were the only ones published. The third play in this volume, Mrs Pretty and the Premier, was produced in Melbourne in 1914 and by Arthur Bourchier at His Majesty's Theatre, London, on 31 January 1916. The London production ran for about a month. Adams visited England again in 1928 and after his return confined his work to journalism. He died at Sydney on 4 March 1936. He married in 1908 Lilian Paton, who survived him with one son and two daughters. In addition to the volumes already mentioned Adams published some light fiction under the names "Henry James James" and "James James". These included Double Bed Dialogues (1915), English edition Honeymoon Dialogues (1916), Lola of the Chocolates (1920), and The Brute (1922). He also published under the name of "James James" A Guide Book to Women (1921), reprinted 1927.
Adams scarcely fulfilled his early promise. He wrote some excellent poetry and is represented in several anthologies; his plays are distinctly above the average, and his novels are quite capable. The constant demands of journalistic work were against his doing himself complete justice, and probably prevented him from reaching his full powers in any one of these departments.
The Evening Post, Wellington, 5 March 1936; Otago Daily Times, 7 March 1936; The Argus, Melbourne, 5 March 1936; The Telegraph, Sydney, 5 March 1936; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; personal knowledge.
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ADAMS, FRANCIS WILLIAM LAUDERDALE (1862-1893),miscellaneous writer,
was born at Malta on 27 September 1862. His father, Andrew Leith Adams, then an army surgeon, became afterwards well known as a scientist, a fellow of the Royal Society, and an author of travel books. His mother wrote novels, and his father's father, Francis Adams, was a distinguished classical scholar. Adams was educated at Shrewsbury school and in 1884 published a volume of poems, Henry and Other Tales. In the same year he married and went to Australia.
In 1885 Leicester, An Autobiography was published in London, and in 1886 Australian Essays appeared in Melbourne, where Adams lived for a short period. In these essays we find one on "Melbourne and her Civilization" and another on "Sydney and her Civilization". The first was dated 1884 the second October 1885, and presumably Adams had gone to Sydney in the interim. There he began writing for the Bulletin and other Australian publications. He then went to Brisbane, where his wife died, and remained there until the early part of 1887. In this year he published a novel, Madeline Brown's Murderer, at Melbourne, and his Poetical Works at Brisbane, a quarto volume of over 150 pages printed in double columns. This was followed in 1888 by Songs of the Army of the Night, his best known book. After a short stay at Sydney Adams married again, returned to Brisbane, and remained there until about the end of 1889 writing leaders for the Brisbane Courier. He then returned to England and published two novels, John Webb's End, a Story of Bush Life (1891), and The Melbournians (1892). A volume of short stories, Australian Life, came out a year later. His health was failing rapidly and he was obliged to spend his last two winters in the south of France and in Egypt. After his return to England, realizing he had no hope of recovery, he shot himself on 4 September 1893. He left a widow but had no children. He had nearly completed another volume, The New Egypt, which was published at the end of 1893. His early novel, Leicester, had been largely rewritten towards the close of his life, and it was republished in 1894 as A Child of the Age. The original book was called "an autobiography" but in a prefatory note to the new edition Adams said:--"Beware of taking my characters for myself . . . even when I wrote Leicester I wrote of one entirely unlike myself." Tiberius: a Drama, which has been highly praised, was also published in this year. A collection of his literary criticism, Essays in Modernity, did not appear until 1899.
Adams crammed an immense amount of work into a short life. He often wrote quickly and he revised little. Though most of his prose work is interesting, not much of it is of outstanding merit. Some of his short poems of about 12 lines have a certain Heine-like simplicity which is pleasing, and the blank verse of some of his longer poems is graceful if a little too facile. His Songs of the Army of the Night has often been reprinted, but the reputation of these poems arises from their sentiments rather than their value as pure poetry. Adams felt passionately about all downtrodden races and men. At a time when London Dock labourers worked for fourpence an hour he could not help but raise his voice, and the rhetoric of his "At the West India Docks" echoed throughout the world of labour. Some of his verses caused resentment in Conservative circles, but Adams realized, as few did in those times, how deep was the poverty and misery of a large part of the British nation. It was a time when even such ameliorations as unemployment insurance and old-age pensions were scarcely thought of, and the change that has come about is largely due to men like Adams who were not afraid to express what they so passionately felt.
H. S. Salt, Introduction, Songs of the Army of the Night, 1894 ed.; H. A. Kellow, Queensland Poets; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; information from John Oxley Library, Brisbane.
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ADAMSON, LAWRENCE ARTHUR (1860-1932),schoolmaster,
was born at Douglas, Isle of Man, on 20 April 1860, the son of Lawrence William Adamson, LL.D., grand seneschal of the island and his wife Annie Jane, a daughter of Captain J. T . E. Flint. In 1866 the family went to Newcastle-on-Tyne where the father became high sheriff of Northumberland. At 14 years of age L. A. Adamson was sent to Rugby, was well trained in the classics, and played in the school football team. At Oxford he studied classics and law, took his M.A. degree, and was called to the bar in December 1885. After a bad attack of pleurisy he was advised to live in a warmer climate and on 20 December 1885 left for Australia, intending to practise at the bar in Sydney. But the moist heat of midsummer did not suit his health and he went to Melbourne. While waiting for admission to the bar he occupied himself with coaching and in January 1887 was appointed senior resident master at Wesley College under A. S. Way (q.v.). There he added to his duties the functions of sports master and chairman of the games committee, and, with J. L. Cuthbertson (q.v.) of Geelong Grammar School, helped to frame a code of rules for inter-school athletics. In 1892 he became second master and was also resident tutor and lecturer at Trinity College, Melbourne university. In 1898 he joined O. Krome as joint-headmaster of the University high school. Four years later he was appointed headmaster of Wesley College.
For many years Melbourne had been slowly recovering from the effects of a land boom and all the public schools had suffered. But Wesley's troubles had been greater than any of the others, and when Adamson took charge he found that only 100 boys of the previous year had returned to school. By the end of the year 243 were on the roll and the attendance gradually rose until it reached 600 in 1930. Adamson wanted no more as he did not believe in large public schools, and always held that it was impossible for the head to know the boys in a school whose numbers were much over 500. While in no way neglecting scholarship, Adamson encouraged athletics at Wesley and quickly set up an ideal of sportsmanship of which the keynote was that boys should learn to win decently and lose decently. He advocated good manners with pithy illustrations on the effect of them, he inculcated a sense of honour, he believed in hero-worship, but all the while he was mindful of practical things. His school was the first to have medical examinations for all the boys, and the knowledge of a boy's physical condition was applied to his work in class. Justice was the basis of all his work, and he became not only efficient as a headmaster but thoroughly popular with the boys. There was no want of respect in his nickname "Dicky" and there was a really genuine affection.
Adamson made his influence felt outside his school. He was active during the early years of the Victorian Amateur Athletic Association and was its president from 1901 to 1905. For no fewer than 37 years he was president of the Victorian Amateur Football Association and he did good work for the Victorian Cricket Association during difficult times as delegate, honorary treasurer and president. In education he was not merely the headmaster of a public school. As early as 1892 he was one of the founders of the Victorian Institute of Schoolmasters, and his continual interest in the whole question of education enabled him to do valuable work, before and after the passing of the registration of schools act in 1905, as a member of the registration board, the council of public education, the faculty of arts at the university, and the university council. This by no means exhausts the list of committees on which he served but none of these interfered with his work as headmaster, which went steadily on until a long illness led to his retirement in October 1932. He died a few weeks later on 14 December.
Adamson was 42 years of age when he became headmaster of Wesley, a quiet, somewhat portly man of medium height. He made no special claim to scholarship, he was far too busy to be able to give much time to studies, but he liked to take a class and he got to know the many generations of boys who passed through his hands. He was fond of poetry, he wrote the words and music of some of the school songs, and he collected and appreciated old silver, china and furniture. Possibly part of his success as a schoolmaster came from the fact that he was able to retain much of his boyish outlook. He could still delight in stories like Treasure Island and A Gentleman of France, and he could read Kipling's Stalky and Co. with an appreciation granted to few schoolmasters. He was a lay canon of St Paul's cathedral and a practical Christian of the kind that boys could understand. To read so moving an address as that given to the boys after the close of the war enables one to realize his power over them. He never married, the school took the place of wife and children for him, and his name will continue to be an inspiration and a tradition for generations of Wesley boys to come. His portrait by W. B. McInnes is at Wesley College.
Ed. by Felix Meyer, Adamson of Wesley; Cyclopaedia of Victoria, 1903; personal knowledge.
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AGNEW, SIR JAMES WILLSON (1815-1901),premier of Tasmania,
was born at Ballyclare, county Antrim, Ireland, on 2 October 1815. His father, James William Agnew, was an M.D. of Glasgow university, his mother was originally Ellen Stewart. Agnew was educated at London, Paris and Glasgow, and qualified for the medical profession, M.R.C.S. in 1838, and M.D. Glasgow, 1839. He almost at once went to Australia and arrived at Sydney before the close of 1839. He decided to settle in what is now the Western district of Victoria, but not liking the life, went to Melbourne, where he was offered the position of private secretary to Sir John Franklin then governor of Tasmania. He sailed for Hobart and found that the position had been filled. He was, however, appointed medical officer at the Cascades Peninsula, whence he transferred to the General Hospital at Hobart. This was followed by private practice in Hobart for many years. He had joined the Tasmanian Society, afterwards the Royal Society of Tasmania, in 1841, and in that year contributed an article to its journal on the "Poison of the Tasmanian Snakes". In March 1851 he was elected a member of the council and remained on the council until his death some 50 years later. He was honorary secretary from 1861 to 1893, and for several years a vice-president. He retired from his profession and was elected to the legislative council in 1877. He was a member of the Fysh (q.v.) ministry in that year, without portfolio, and was also in the Giblin(q.v.) ministry which succeeded it, and in the second Giblin ministry from October 1879 to February 1881. He was then absent from the colony on a long visit to Europe. After his return he was elected to the legislative council in 1884, and in 1886 formed a ministry in which he was premier and chief secretary. This lasted a little more than 12 months and he resigned on 20 March 1887. His last years were spent at Hobart where he died on 8 November 1901. He was created K.C.M.G. in January 1895. He married (1) in 1846 Louisa Mary Fraser who died in 1868, and (2) in 1878, Blanche Legge. There were several children by the first marriage, of whom only a daughter survived him.
Agnew was much respected in Hobart all his life. He was a useful politician, and his general interests, especially in the cultural life of the community, made him one of the best-known men in Tasmania. He fostered the Royal Society and gave many volumes to its library, he was much interested in the museum and botanical gardens and the public library, of which he was chairman. He was also president of the Tasmanian Racing Club and of the Tasmanian Club.
Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1895, vol. II, p. 591; The Mercury, Hobart, 9 November 1901; The Examiner, Launceston, 9 November 1901; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.
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ALEXANDER, SAMUEL (1859-1938),philosopher,
was born at 436 George-street, Sydney, on 6 January 1859, of Jewish parents. His father, Samuel Alexander, was a prosperous saddler, his mother was originally Eliza Sloman. His father died just before the boy was born, and the mother moved to Victoria four or five years later. They went to live at St Kilda, and Alexander was placed at a private school kept by a Mr Atkinson. In 1871 he was sent to Wesley College, then under the headmastership of Professor Irving (q.v.). Long afterwards Alexander said he had always been grateful for the efficiency and many-sidedness of his schooling. He matriculated at the university of Melbourne on 22 March 1875, and entered on the arts course. He was, placed in the first class in both his first and second years, was awarded the classical and mathematical exhibitions in his first year, and in his second year won the exhibitions in Greek, Latin and English, mathematics and natural philosophy; and natural science. On 12 May 1877 he left for England where he arrived at the end of August. He was in some doubt whether to go to Oxford or Cambridge, but chose the former. He sat for a scholarship at Balliol and among the competitors were George Curzon and J. W. Mackail. His tutor thought little of his chances, but he was placed second to Mackail and was awarded a scholarship. At Oxford he obtained a first class in classical and mathematical moderations, a rare achievement, and a first class in greats, his final examination for the degree of B.A., in 1881. Two of his tutors were Green and Nettleship, who exercised a great influence on his early work. After taking his degree he was made a fellow of Lincoln, where he remained as philosophy tutor from 1882 to 1893. It was during this period that he developed his interest in psychology, then a neglected subject, comparatively speaking. In 1887 he won the Green moral philosophy prize with an essay on the subject "In what direction does Moral Philosophy seem to you to admit or require advance?" This was the basis of his volume on Moral Order and Progress, which was published in 1889 and went into its third edition in 1899. By 1912, however, Alexander had altered his views to some extent and considered that the book had served its purpose, had become "dated", and should be allowed to die. During the period of his fellowship at Lincoln he had also contributed articles on philosophical subjects to Mind, the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, and the International Journal of Ethics. He did some travelling on the continent, and in the winter of 1890-1 was in Germany working at the psychological laboratory of Professor Münsterberg at Freiburg. Among his colleagues at Lincoln was Walter Baldwin Spencer (q.v.).
For some time Alexander had wished to obtain a professorship. He made three unsuccessful attempts before, in 1893, he was appointed at Manchester. There he quickly became a leading figure in the university. Unconventional in his attire and his manner of conducting his classes, there was something in him that drew students and colleagues alike to him. He wrote little, and his growing deafness made it difficult for him to get much out of philosophical discussions, though he could manage conversation, An important change in his home life occurred in 1902 when the whole of his family, his mother, an aunt, two elder brothers and his sister came from Australia to live with him. This in some families would have been a dangerous experiment, but it worked well in Alexander's case. His sister became a most efficient hostess and on Wednesday evenings fellow members of the staff, former pupils, a few advanced students and others, would drop in and spend a memorable evening. He was given the Hon. LL.D. of St Andrews in 1905, and in later years he received Hon. Litt. D. degrees from Durham, Liverpool, Oxford and Cambridge. In 1908 appeared Locke, a short but excellent study, which was included in the Philosophies Ancient and Modern Series. He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1908 to 1911 and in 1913 was made a fellow of the British Academy. He was appointed Gifford lecturer at Glasgow in 1915, and delivered his lectures in the winters of 1917 and 1918. These developed into his great work Space Time and Deity, published in two volumes in 1920, which his biographer has called the "boldest adventure in detailed speculative metaphysics attempted in so grand a manner by any English writer between 1655 and 1920". That its conclusions should be universally accepted was scarcely to be expected, but it was widely and well reviewed, and made a great impression on philosophic thinkers at the time and for many years after. His Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture on Spinoza and Time was published in 1921, and in 1924 Alexander retired from his chair.
Before he retired Alexander had longed for some leisure, but it is impossible for men of his temperament to be idle. He continued to do a certain amount of lecturing, giving short courses and single lectures in connexion with the extra-mural department, he examined for higher degrees and also did some reviewing, and he retained until 1930 the office the presenter for honorary degrees. His little orations when presenting were models of grace and skill. He remained on many committees, always ready to give them the benefit of his help and wisdom. He kept up his interest in the British Academy and the British Institute of Philosophy, as well as in Jewish communities in England and Palestine. In 1925 he was honoured by the presentation of his bust by Epstein to the university of Manchester, where it was placed in the centre of the hall of the arts building. He was Herbert Spencer lecturer at Oxford in 1927, and in 1930, amid congratulations from all over the country, the Order of Merit was conferred on him. It was unfortunate that as he grew older his deafness increased, but he still liked to see his friends, there were still good books to be read, and he never lost his love for beautiful things. In 1933 he published Beauty and other Forms of Value, mainly an essay in aesthetics, which incorporated passages from papers which had appeared in the previous 10 years. Some of the earlier parts of the book were deliberately meant to be provocative, and Alexander had hoped that artists of distinction in various mediums might be tempted to say how they worked. He had, however, not reckoned with the difficulty most artists find in explaining their methods of work and the response was comparatively meagre. He was greatly troubled by the sufferings of the Jews in Europe and gave much of his time and money in helping to alleviate them. Early in 1938 he realized that his end was approaching and he died on 13 September of that year. He was unmarried. His will was proved at about £16,000 of which £1,000 went to the university of Jerusalem and the bulk of the remainder to the university of Manchester. In 1939 his Philosophical and Literary Pieces was published with a memoir by his literary executor, Professor John Laird. This volume included charming papers on literary subjects, as well as philosophical lectures, several of which had been published separately. A list of his other writings is given at the end of this volume.
Alexander was above medium height, somewhat heavily built, and wore a long beard. The charm of his personality attracted men and women of all kinds to him and he never lost their affection. He had a quiet sense of humour, was completely unselfish, transparently honest, a guide, philosopher and friend to all. He suffered at times from low spirits, but in company cheerfulness persisted in breaking in. He had great sympathy with children, young people, and women; he loved his kind and it was only natural that he should become the "best-loved man in Manchester". He confessed to be avaricious because "if he were not he could not give to things". The truth was that, though frugal about his personal expenses, he was always a liberal giver. He was fond of bridge but could never become an expert player. As a lecturer in his early years he often hesitated for the right word, and had some difficulty in controlling his voice, but these difficulties disappeared in time, and in later years he had a beautiful voice. He could be both profound and simple without talking down to his audience. When lecturing he could be quite informal, at times dropping into a kind of conversation with his class, and not disdaining a side track if it looked promising. He did not always give the impression that he was much interested in teaching, yet he was a great teacher whose influence was widespread. He was one of the greatest speculative thinkers of his time, a great philosopher, a great man.
John Laird, Memoir, Philosophical and Literary Pieces; The Manchester Guardian, 14 September 1938; The Times, 14 and 15 September 1938; The Times Literary Supplement, 23 March 1940.
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ALLAN, JOHN (1866-1936),premier of Victoria,
son of Andrew Allan, a farmer, was born at Deep Creek near Romsey, Victoria, on 27 March 1866. He became a farmer and established one of the finest wheat and dairy farms in the Goulburn valley. He early took an interest in municipal questions, was a member of the Deakin shire council for many years, and his special interest in irrigation led to his becoming a member of the Rodney Water Trust. He took a leading part in the formation of the Victorian Farmers' Union which was merged, in the Victorian Country party during the war years. In 1917 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Rodney and retained that seat for the remainder of his life. He was soon elected leader of the Country party and proved himself to be a vigorous and logical debater. He joined the H. S. W. Lawson ministry in September 1923, as president of the board of land and works and minister of immigration, but only held office until March 1924, when the ministry was re-constructed. In November 1924 he moved a vote of want of confidence in the G. M. Prendergast (q.v.) ministry and became premier and minister of water-supply. He also became minister of railways in August 1926. Among the legislation, passed by this ministry was a superannuation act for the government service on a contributory basis, and an act making voting at elections compulsory. Legislation was also brought in to assist the financing of wheat growers, and for suspending payments by farmers affected by drought conditions. The ministry was defeated in May 1927. When the Argyle (q.v.) ministry came into power in May 1932 Allan became minister of agriculture and vice-president of the board of lands and works. He resigned his leadership of the Country party in June 1933, and died on 22 February 1936. He married in 1889 Annie Stewart who survived him with four sons and two daughters.
"Honest John" as Allan was called was a picturesque figure in Victorian politics. He had an imperturbable and genial disposition, a sense of humour a clear-thinking brain and a resonant voice. He knew the difficulties of the man on the land from personal contact with him, and as leader of the Country party fought a hard but fair battle for him.
The Argus, Melbourne, 23 February 1936; The Age, Melbourne, 24 February 1936; Year-Book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1925-35.
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ALLEN, SIR GEORGE WIGRAM (1824-1885),politician,
was born at Sydney on 16 May 1824. His father George Allen (1800-77) came to Sydney in 1816 and was the first attorney and solicitor admitted by the supreme court of New South Wales. He was an alderman of the first Sydney city council and was mayor in 1845. He was nominated to the old legislative council in this year, in 1856 was made a member of the new legislative council, and was elected chairman of committees. He was much interested in education and was a member of the senate of the university to which he bequeathed £1000 for a scholarship in mathematics. He died on 3 November 1877. His son was educated under W. T. Cape (q.v.) at Sydney College, where he showed ability in classics and mathematics, and in 1841 was articled to his father and became a solicitor. He was appointed a commissioner of national education in 1853 and held the position until 1867. He was nominated to the legislative council in 1860, in 1869 was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Glebe, and from December 1873 to February 1875 was minister for justice and public instruction in the first Parkes (q.v.) ministry. In the following March he was elected speaker and remained in that position until January 1883. He retired from politics in the following August, and died after a short illness on 23 July 1885. He married Marian, eldest daughter of the Rev. W. B. Boyce (q.v.), who survived him with four daughters and six sons. He was knighted in 1877 and created K.C.M.G. in 1883.
Allen was a man of the highest character, everywhere held in the highest repute, whether as president of the Bible Society or of the law institute, as a director of well-known companies, as a steadfast friend of education, or in connexion with his many charities. As speaker he showed dignity, courtesy and ability, his only fault being that occasionally he was not sufficiently firm with some of the wilder spirits in the house.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 1885; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 24 July 1885; P. Mennell, Dictionary of Australasian Biography.
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ALLEN, SIR HARRY BROOKES (1854-1926),pathologist,
son of Thomas Watts Allen, was born at Geelong, Victoria, on 13 June 1854. He was educated at Flinders School, Geelong, and Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. At the matriculation examination in 1870 he won the exhibitions in classics, mathematics, and English and French. At the university of Melbourne he secured first-class honours in every year of his course, and graduated M.B. in 1876, M.D. in 1878, and B.S. in 1879. In 1876 he was appointed demonstrator in anatomy, in 1882 he became lecturer in anatomy and pathology, and from the beginning of 1883 was professor in these subjects. He was also pathologist at the Melbourne Hospital. He had been editor of the Australian Medical Journal from 1879, but pressure of work now obliged him to give up this office. As a result of strong representations the government of Victoria had provided the funds for a building for the medical school, and Allen was asked to collaborate with the government architects in preparing the plans. He also succeeded in having the collection of pathological specimens at the Melbourne Hospital transferred to the university, and thus began the pathological museum to which he was henceforth to give much time. It eventually became a great collection that was invaluable in connexion with the teaching of the subject. In the same year he was appointed to the central board of health, for which he drew up a set of by-laws for the use of local health authorities, and he did valuable work in connexion with an inquiry into tuberculosis in cattle, and also in connexion with freezing chambers for the frozen meat trade, then in its infancy. In 1886 Allen became dean of the faculty of medicine and succeeded in bringing in an amended curriculum for the medical course. In 1888 he was made president of the royal commission appointed to inquire into the sanitary state of Melbourne; typhoid fever was then common and the commission's report included the recommendation that a water-borne sewerage system should be adopted. This however was not commenced for some years. Allen was appointed president of the intercolonial rabbit commission in 1889; he was only 35, but his reputation was already spreading beyond Victoria. In the same year he was general secretary of the intercolonial medical congress, held at Melbourne. His next important work was the obtaining of recognition of Melbourne medical degrees in Great Britain. The university petitioned the privy council and Allen was sent to England in 1890 to support the petition. He succeeded in satisfying the general medical council that the Melbourne curriculum was among the best in existence and the recognition was granted.
Allen was elected to the university council in 1898, the first professor to be a member of that body. He was a most valuable member, constant in attendance and interested in the welfare of every department. Dr C. J. Martin who was subsequently to have a distinguished career in Europe had been appointed lecturer in physiology in 1894 and Allen encouraged him in every way, eventually recommending that he should be given the title of acting-professor. Martin resigned in 1903 to become director of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, London. Dr W. A. Osborne was appointed to take his place in 1904 as professor of physiology and in 1906 Dr R. J. A. Berry was appointed to the chair of anatomy, Allen taking the title of professor of pathology. A well-equipped laboratory of bacteriology had been established, and Allen could now feel that he had a medical school in which he could take some pride. But though apparently wrapped up in his department, he was able to spare time to do valuable work outside it. There were two medical societies in Melbourne, the Medical Society of Victoria, and the Victorian branch of the British Medical Association, and in 1906 Allen succeeded in healing the breach between them. In the same year there was a strong difference of opinion as to whether the proposed Institute of Tropical Medicine should be established at Sydney or Townsville. A committee was formed with Allen as chairman. Anderson Stuart (q.v.), a man of much personality, was in favour of Sydney, but Allen succeeded in persuading him to withdraw his opposition. Allen was elected president of the Australasian medical congress held in Melbourne in 1908, an honour he valued very much. In 1912 he visited Europe and represented his university at the congress of universities of the empire and at the bicentenary of the medical school of Trinity College, Dublin. He was everywhere recognized as a pathologist of the highest standing. In 1914 came the jubilee of the medical school at Melbourne and the opportunity was taken of presenting an excellent portrait of Allen by E. Phillips Fox (q.v.) to the university, the cost of which was subscribed by its medical graduates. A report of the various proceedings was published in 1914, University of Melbourne Medical School Jubilee. To this Allen contributed the opening chapter "A History of the Medical School". With the coming of the war he quickly realized that his students would do more valuable work by remaining and completing their courses than by enlisting as combatants. He himself worked at great pressure and possibly laid the seeds of his later break-down. In 1919 he published Pathology. Notes of Lectures and Demonstrations, a volume of nearly 500 pages. He drafted a new medical curriculum in 1921, which was adopted, but fell ill in 1923, and though he temporarily recovered, a serious cerebral haemorrhage so incapacitated him that he was obliged to give up his chair. He died at Melbourne on 28 March 1926. He married in 1891 Ada, daughter of Henry Mason, who survived him with three daughters, one of whom, Mary Allen, became well-known in the United States as a painter and lecturer on art. Allen was given the honorary degree of LL.D. by the university of Edinburgh in 1912, and was knighted in 1914. An elder brother, George Thomas Allen, C.M.G., held a distinguished position in the Commonwealth public service.
Allen lived for his work but was also interested in literature and in art. He was not without vanity, lacked humour, and made comparatively few close friends; but there was an immense earnestness in his character, and a constant striving after the best, which commanded respect. He had untiring energy, great powers of organization, and a remarkable memory. His post-mortem demonstrations were models of their kind; he was ambidextrous and showed absolute control of the materials, complete knowledge, and had a burning desire that the students should understand everything that could be learned from the particular subject. His lectures were concise and orderly, consistently keeping a very high level of instruction, and his department was run with tact and efficiency. When he first became a lecturer he shouldered everything that came his way and gradually became the guiding force in the department. Halford (q.v.) had laid the foundations, and considering his manifold duties had done remarkable work, but it fell to Allen to develop a really great medical school at Melbourne. Another of his monuments is the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute which, the memorial plate to Allen at the Royal Melbourne Hospital states, owed its origin to his inspiration.
The Medical Journal of Australia, 10 April 1926; The Lancet, 17 April 1926; The British Medical Journal, 10 April 1926, 2 March 1935, p. 432; The Argus, Melbourne, 29 March 1926; H. B. Allen, A History of the Medical School; Liber Melburniensis, 1937; Debrett's Peerage etc., 1926; personal knowledge.
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ALLEN, WILLIAM (C. 1790-1856),joint founder of St Peter's College, Adelaide,
was born probably before 1790. Entering the navy of the East India Company he afterwards transferred to the merchant service, and for about 25 years traded from India. About 1833 or 1834, when Allen was captain of a ship, the crew rose in mutiny and killed one of the mates. Allen knocked the leader down with an oar and practically quelled the mutiny single-handed. He came to Adelaide in the Buckinghamshire in March 1839 and bought land in the neighbourhood of Port Gawler. In 1845 he was a part proprietor of the Burra copper mine and, joining in the foundation of the South Australian Mining Association, subsequently became its chairman. He took an interest in the Church of England and in the words of Bishop Short (q.v.) became "the greatest temporal benefactor--next after the Baroness Burdett-Coutts--whom the diocese has yet been permitted to know". On 24 May 1849, when the foundation-stone of St Peter's College was laid, William Allen and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge were referred to as "being the Principal Founders". Allen's gifts to this school, one of the earliest public schools established in Australia, eventually reached £7000. His benefactions were not confined to institutions connected with his own denomination, and he was well known for his private charity. He died suddenly at Adelaide on 17 October 1856. Under his will £5000 was left to the diocese of Adelaide to be used in increasing the incomes of the clergy.
The South Australian Register, 18 October 1856; Ceremony of Laying the First Stone of the Collegiate School of St Peter's, Adelaide; F. T. Whitington, Augustus Short, First Bishop of Adelaide, p. 156.
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ANDERSON, SIR FRANCIS (1858-1941),philosopher and educationist,
son of Francis Anderson, was born at Glasgow on 3 September 1858. He was a pupil-teacher at the age of 14, and proceeding to Glasgow university had a brilliant course and graduated M.A. He was awarded Sir Richard Jebb's prize for Greek literature, took first place in the philosophical classes of Professors Veitch and Caird, and won two scholarships. He was for two years assistant to the professor of moral philosophy and came to Melbourne in 1886 as assistant to the Rev. Dr Strong (q.v.) at the Australian Church. This was a valuable experience to Anderson as his work brought him in contact with both the best and the worst types of human nature. In 1888 he was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the university of Sydney, and was the first Challis professor of logic and mental philosophy from the beginning of 1890. He held this position until the end of 1921, when he retired and became emeritus professor.
Anderson was president of the mental science and education section at the meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science held at Brisbane in January 1895 and gave an address on "Politics and Education", and on 26 June 1901, at a conference of teachers, in an address on "The Public School System of New South Wales", spoke frankly on "the defects, limitations and needs of the existing system of education". Mr J. Perry, the minister of public instruction, immediately called a conference of inspectors and principal officers of his department, and in 1902 J. W. Turner and (Sir) G. H. Knibbs (q.v.) were appointed as commissioners to inquire into educational systems in Europe and America. Their report confirmed Anderson's strictures, the pupil-teacher system was abolished, and the training of teachers at the Teachers' College was reconstructed. Thirteen years later Anderson was able to report an immense improvement in the state of education in New South Wales (see his chapter on "Educational Policy and Development" in the Federal Handbook prepared for the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Australia in 1914). Anderson was president of the social and statistical science section at the meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science held at Adelaide in 1907, and gave an address on "Liberalism and Socialism". This was followed by a paper on "Sociology in Australia. A Plea for its Teaching" given at the Sydney meeting held in 1911. Following on the discussion a resolution was unanimously passed recommending the institution of a chair of sociology in Australia.
At the time of Anderson's resignation at the end of 1921 it was proposed to have his portrait painted, but he suggested that instead of this a frieze emblematic of the history of philosophy should be placed in the philosophy lecture room of the university. Eventually two panels were painted for it by Norman Carter, one representing Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the other Descartes, Bacon, and Spinoza.
Anderson became the first editor of the Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy from 1923 to 1926, and he also took a great deal of interest in the tutorial classes and Workers' Education Association movements. Another interest was the League of Nations. He died at Sydney on 24 June 1941. He was twice married (1) to Maybanke Selfe Wolstenholme, and (2) to Josephine Wight who survived him. He was knighted in 1936. Some of his papers and addresses were published separately as pamphlets. His monograph on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity was issued by the Association of Psychology and Philosophy.
As a teacher Anderson was always interesting and free from pedantry. He had a gift of exposition and was passionately in earnest especially when some great truth was in question. His greatest interests lay in moral philosophy and sociology; logic and psychology had less attraction for him, though in his early days at Sydney he had had to cover every branch of his subjects including even politics and economics. He was a good friend, a great worker for education, and a distinguished figure in the cultural life of his state.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 1941; H. T. L., The Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, August 1941; Calendar of the University of Sydney, 1923, p. 782; Burke's Peerage etc., 1937; S. H. Smith and G. T. Spaull, History of Education in New South Wales.
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ANDREWS, RICHARD BULLOCK (1823-1884),politician and judge,
was born in 1823, practised as a solicitor in England, and came to South Australia about 1853, in which year he was appointed a notary public. He practised at Mount Barker but after being admitted to the South Australian bar in 1855 came to Adelaide. In June 1857 he was elected to the house of assembly for Yatala and was attorney-general in the Torrens (q.v.) ministry from 1 to 30 September. He was again attorney-general in the Dutton (q.v.) and Ayers (q.v.) ministries in 1863, 1865, 1867 and 1868. He had been made a Q.C. in 1865 and in January 1870 resigned from parliament to become crown solicitor and public prosecutor. In March 1881 he was appointed a judge of the supreme court. He fell into ill-health, was obliged to take six months leave of absence at the end of 1883 and died at Hobart on 26 June 1884 leaving a widow and a daughter. A man of commanding presence, amiable and just, with a gift for concision, Andrews was an excellent public prosecutor and had the qualifications of a good judge. His health however gave him few opportunities of showing this during the short time he was on the bench. In private life he was interested in viticulture, and made some good wines during the eighteen-sixties.
The South Australian Register, 27 and 28 June 1884; The South Australian Advertiser, 27 June 1884.
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ANGAS, GEORGE FIFE (1789-1879),a founder of South Australia, philanthropist,
was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, on 1 May 1789. He was the seventh son of Caleb Angas, a prosperous coach manufacturer and shipowner, and was educated at a boarding school under the Rev. J. Bradley. At 15 he was apprenticed to his father as a coachbuilder. After serving four years he went to London for further experience and in 1809 returned to Newcastle to become an overseer in his father's business. On 8 April 1812 he was married to Rosetta French. During the next 20 years Angas steadily developed his business, spending some time in Honduras. On his return to Newcastle he took much interest in Sunday schools (he had been brought up in a religious household), and became one of the two secretaries of the Newcastle Sunday School Union. He continued his support of this kind of work for the rest of his long life. In December 1822 he became president of the Newcastle Seamen's Society and on his removal to London in 1824 was an active member of the British and Foreign Seamen's Friend Society and took a personal interest in the seamen employed on his own ships. During the first years in London Angas went through a period of financial depression and had many business anxieties; but in the main his affairs prospered. He was twice asked to stand for parliament but declined partly for reasons of health. He was largely instrumental in founding the National Provincial Bank of England, afterwards one of the most important banks in England, and sat as a director on its first board. He had become a comparatively wealthy man, anxious about the wise use of his money. A new interest came to him in the foundation of the South Australian Land Company, and he soon began to set out his views on the proposed settlement. His principal points were the exclusion of convicts, the concentration of the settlers, the taking out of persons with capital and intelligence, and especially men of piety, the emigration of young couples of good character, free trade, free government, and freedom in matters of religion. He was disheartened by the failure of the company to get the support of the government, but nevertheless associated himself with the South Australian Association formed in 1834 with Robert Gouger (q.v.) as secretary. In the long negotiations about the price to be paid for the land, Angas was in opposition to Wakefield (q.v.) and fought for the price to be reduced to 12 shillings an acre. There were difficulties too in raising money for preliminary expenses and Angas eventually formed the South Australian Company of which he was appointed chairman of directors. Land was purchased from the South Australian Association and on 22 February 1836 the John Pirie set sail, loaded with emigrants, provisions and live stock, and two days later it was followed by the Duke of York and the Lady Mary Pelham. The heads of departments of the company were all furnished with letters giving minute instructions regarding almost every problem that might arise. All three vessels arrived by the middle of August. That so much had been achieved was principally due to Angas but his difficulties were by no means over. Three powerful bodies were concerned in the success or failure of the settlement, the colonial office, the board of commissioners, and the South Australian Company, and it was still unsettled which would be the controlling body. Early in 1837 there was friction between the commissioners and the company but gradually these troubles were overcome. The establishment of the South Australian Banking Company in 1837, as suggested by Angas, was an important factor in the early growth of the colony. Angas was working hard for it in England, lecturing, writing pamphlets, and supplying information to the newspapers. He helped also to establish the South Australian School Society and sent out German colonists, and missionaries for the aborigines. Despite his work in these directions Angas found time to establish in England the Union Bank of Australia, and to do work for the colonization of New Zealand. It may in fact be said that only the energetic actions of Angas and Wakefield prevented New Zealand from becoming a French colony. The government recognized the work of Angas by offering him first a knighthood and then a baronetcy, but both were declined.
In 1839 Angas through no fault of his own was in danger of financial ruin. He had advanced much money to settle German emigrants in South Australia and had sent out his chief clerk, a Mr Flaxman, who spoke German, to look after them. Flaxman, thinking he saw an opportunity to make money for both his employer and himself, invested largely in land. Angas had great difficulty in finding the necessary money. He was compelled to borrow considerable amounts and to sell his interests in the Union Bank and other companies. While still under these anxieties he heard that the British government had dishonoured the drafts drawn by the governor, Colonel Gawler (q.v.), and that the colony was thus in danger of ruin. Angas appealed to the government, and as a result of his efforts it was decided to guarantee a loan and the dishonoured drafts were paid. During 1842 Angas was doing much lecturing on South Australia throughout England, and he also wrote a pamphlet, Facts Illustrative of South Australia, which was widely distributed. Gawler had returned to England and suggested to Angas that he should settle in South Australia. At the beginning of 1843 his affairs were in a bad state (in his diary he speaks of being "at my wits' end"), and in April 1843 he sent his son John Howard Angas (q.v.) to the new colony, to look after his land and to try and retrieve his fortunes. The boy was less than 20 years old but he was helped by the gradual recovery of the colony from its troubles, and the land eventually became valuable. His father's difficulties in England still continued and in 1847 everything was at its worst. It was not until 1850 that Angas was able to sell his properties in the north of England. Fortunately, too, the German settlers were now repaying some of the money Angas had advanced to them. His health had been feeling the constant strain for some years, prospects were now better in Australia, and it was felt that a change would be all for his good. On 3 October 1850 with his wife and youngest son he sailed for Adelaide, and arrived in the middle of January 1851.
Angas was now nearly 62 years old, a late age to settle in a new country, but he was met by his two sons and his eldest daughter and he could not but feel that he was surrounded by friends, for his efforts for the good of the colony were everywhere well known. A few days after he landed a public dinner was given in his honour, and he renewed his acquaintance with the officers of the South Australian Company. He was soon elected a member of the legislative council for the Barossa district. He interested himself especially in education and other public business, and found that every hour had its occupation. His health improved and his affairs so prospered in Australia that he soon discharged all his English liabilities. He began to buy high-class merino sheep and cattle and in 1855, finding many emigrants were out of work, thought it his duty to make work for them. One piece of work was the building of a bridge with stone piers over the Gawler near his house at Angaston. In 1857 he paid a visit to England in order to complete matters in connexion with his father's estate and did not return until September 1859. He continued his parliamentary work and fought hard but unsuccessfully against the colony being saddled with the responsibility of the Northern Territory. In 1866 he resigned his seat in the legislative council feeling he was no longer able to discharge his duties properly. He had long been contributing liberally to schools, churches and benevolent institutions, and continued to do so for the rest of his life. He was now very wealthy and his benefactions amounted to thousands of pounds every year. In 1869 he published a History of the New castle-on-Tyne Sunday School Union which was compiled with the help of his secretary W. R. Lawson. In 1867 his wife died. She had been his friend and companion for 55 years. Though retired from parliament he still lived a busy life managing his estate, and when past 82 years of age he was able to say that time passed more agreeably with him then than ever before in his past life. In his eighty-seventh year he had a serious illness but recovered. He completed his ninetieth year on 1 May and died on 15 May 1879. He was survived by three sons, two of whom (John Howard Angas and George French Angas) are noticed separately, and three daughters.
George Fife Angas was a sincerely religious man and the Bible was the great influence of his life. That he also became very wealthy arose from the fact that he was naturally a first-rate business man of excellent judgment. But he did not seek wealth, and when it came he was chiefly exercised in considering the wisest way of spending it. There was no limit to his hours of work and this at times affected his health and temper, but essentially he was a thoroughly good and great man. He was somewhat puritanical in his outlook and disapproved of dancing and theatres. That was part of his early training and, having a passion for hard work himself, it was difficult for him to realize the need for relaxation felt by other people. He ranks high among the early philanthropists of South Australia, but his greatest importance lies in the invaluable part he played in saving the South Australian colonization scheme when it was in grave danger of being completely wrecked, and his consistent fostering of the colony in its early years.
Edwin Hodder George Fife Angas, Father and Founder of South Australia; A. Grenfell Price, Founders and Pioneers of South Australia; The South Australian Register, 17 May 1879.
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ANGAS, GEORGE FRENCH (1822-1886),artist and naturalist,
eldest son of George Fife Angus (q.v.) and his wife Rosetta French, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne on 25 April 1822. As a youth he studied drawing and lithography and in 1842 published A Ramble in Malta and Sicily illustrated with his own sketches. In September 1843 he sailed for South Australia and arrived at Adelaide on 1 January 1844. Soon afterwards he went into the lake country near the mouth of the Murray with W. Giles, manager of the South Australian Company, hoping to find suitable country for sheep and cattle runs. In April he accompanied the governor, Captain Grey (q.v.), and his party on an exploring journey along the south-east coast of South Australia. Subsequently he visited New Zealand, came back to Australia, and spent some time at and near Sydney. He returned to England in March 1846. An interesting account of these travels with illustrations by the author was published in two volumes in 1847 under the title of Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand. In the same year appeared two volumes of his drawings, The New Zealanders Illustrated, and South Australia Illustrated. Each book has many large coloured lithographs after paintings by Angas which show him to have been a very capable artist. The volume on South Australia is especially valuable for his reproductions of specimens of aboriginal art. He next travelled to South Africa and published The Kaffirs Illustrated in 1849. Returning to Australia he became secretary of the Australian Museum at Sydney, and held this position from 1853 to 1860. He was at Adelaide in October 1861 but returned to London shortly afterwards. He published Australia a Popular Account in 1865, and Polynesia a Popular Description in 1866. His book of verses, The Wreck of the Admella, which appeared in 1874, has little value as poetry. Angas was a fellow of the Linnean Society and of the Zoological Society. Several of his papers on land and sea shells and Australian mammals were published in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, and he also did a large amount of miscellaneous writing for various periodicals. He died at London on 8 October 1886. He married in 1849, Alicia Mary Moran. There were four daughters of the marriage.
Angas was a competent writer and, allowing for the conventions of the time, an excellent artist. The national gallery at Adelaide has a large collection of his paintings, and he is also represented at the Mitchell library at Sydney and the Commonwealth national library at Canberra.
W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, July 1887; E. Hodder, George Fife Angas; George French Angas, Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand, and other works by him; Royal Society Catalogue of Scientific Papers; Introduction, Guide to the Australian Museum, 1890.
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ANGAS, JOHN HOWARD (1823-1904),pioneer and philanthropist,
was the second son of George Fife Angus (q.v.) and his wife Rosetta French. He was born on 5 October 1823 at Newcastle-on-Tyne and when only 18 years of age was told by his father that he must prepare himself to go to South Australia to take charge of his father's land. As part of his preparation he learned German, so that he might be able to converse with the German settlers. He left England on 15 April 1843 and was still only in his twentieth year when he arrived. The colony was in financial difficulties, and he needed all his courage, caution, and good judgment. With better times the estate began to pay, good shorthorn cattle and merino sheep were purchased, and when his father arrived in 1851 it was realized that the property was now a valuable one. In 1854 the younger Angas went to Europe on a holiday and on 10 May 1855 was married to Susanne Collins. He returned in 1855 and settled at Collingrove near his father's estate. He became a breeder of stud cattle, horses, and sheep, and is known to have given as much as £1000 for a single ram. The prizes won by him at shows for live-stock and wheat were numberless. In 1871 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Barossa but resigned in 1875 on account of his health. In 1887 he re-entered politics as a member of the legislative council and remained a member for seven years. He made numerous gifts to all kinds of charitable movements, religious institutions, and hospitals, and gave £10,000 to the university of Adelaide to found scholarships. He died on 17 May 1904 and was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Angas was a worthy son of his father. When he was developing the land at Barossa he had to make important decisions while little more than a boy and was a fine type of early pioneer. Like his brother, George French Angus (q.v.), he had some talent as an artist, but the responsibilities thrown on him in early life prevented him from developing it to the same extent.
The Adelaide Register, 18 May 1904; E. Hodder, George Fife Angas; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891.
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ARCHER, THOMAS (1823-1905),Queensland pioneer,
son of William Archer and his wife Julia, daughter of David Walker, was born at Glasgow on 27 February 1823. When he was three years old he was taken to Narvik in Norway, where his parents lived for the rest of their lives, and at the age of 14 he went with an elder brother to Australia, arriving at Sydney on 31 December 1837. Other brothers followed and land was taken up in New South Wales. In 1841 the brothers moved over what is now the border between New South Wales and Queensland, taking about 5000 sheep with them. Travelling approximately on the line of the present towns of Warwick and Toowoomba, they crossed the main range at Hodgson's Gap, and established themselves for four or five years in the country to the north. They also did a good deal of exploratory work as far north as the Burnett River. In 1849 Thomas Archer went to California, had a little but not great success at the diggings, and then went to Europe. In 1853 he married Grace Lindsay, daughter of James Morison, and then returned to Queensland. The rough life, however, did not suit the young wife's health and a return was made to Scotland in 1855. Part of the next five years was spent in Norway, and most of the time between 1860 and 1872 in Scotland. Archer had retained an interest in the Queensland station, and the eldest son having been established at Edinburgh university, the family set sail for Australia in March 1872 and spent about eight years at the station at Gracemere, some seven miles from Rockhampton in central Queensland.
Archer was back in London with his family in 1880 and from November 1881 to May 1884 was agent-general for Queensland. He was reappointed to the position in 1888 and resigned in December 1890. While agent-general he published two pamphlets, The History Resources and Future Prospects of Queensland, and Alleged Slavery in Queensland. He lived in retirement near London until his death on 9 December 1905. His wife survived him with children. He was created C.M.G. in 1884.
Archer was one of those pioneering pastoralists who did much valuable exploratory work in the early days, but who do not get into the history of exploration because they did not fit up expeditions with definite objects in view. His brothers Charles and William did exploratory work in the country near Rockhampton, and Charles with Mr Wiseman, a police magistrate, fixed the site of that town. Another brother, Colin, sailed with a cargo up the Fitzroy River when it was almost if not quite unknown. Colin went to Norway and became well known as a naval architect, builder of the Fram and designer of the unsinkable sailing "Rescue Boats". Thomas Archer's eldest son, William Archer (1856-1924), became famous as a dramatic critic, playwright, and miscellaneous writer. He was not born in Australia, and visited it only once, in 1876-7, when he came out to see his parents and stayed six months with them at Gracemere. His A Ramble Round gives pictures of Melbourne and Sydney at that period. The connexion of William Archer's family with Norway led to his study of the Norwegian dramatist Ibsen and, ultimately, to a great change for the better in the English school of play-writing.
C. Archer, William Archer: Life, Work and Friendships; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Times, 11 December 1905; The Age, Melbourne, 13 December 1905; British Museum Catalogue. See also, William Clark, Journal of the Historical Society of Queensland, April 1919, pp. 327-37.
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ARCHIBALD, JULES FRANCOIS, originally John Feltham (1856-1919),journalist,
was born at Kildare, near Geelong, Victoria, on 14 January 1856. Early in life he substituted Jules Francois for his baptismal names John Feltham; possibly he felt that his personality had some affinity with the French spirit, and it has been suggested that he believed he was partly of French descent. His father, however, was a sergeant of police of Irish stock, much interested in literature, his mother, originally Charlotte Jane Madden, came from an English family. She died when the boy was five years old. He was educated at a Catholic school at Warrnambool, and at 14 was apprenticed to Fairfax and Laurie, lessees of the Warrnambool Examiner. His employers afterwards founded the Standard, on which the editor Henry Laurie, afterwards professor of philosophy at Melbourne university, used a ruthless blue pencil; a fact not lost on Archibald who had already begun to write. At the end of his indentures he went to Melbourne, obtained with difficulty some casual work on the Herald, and then was given a junior reportership on the Daily Telegraph at thirty shillings a week. Finding he had no prospects, he got a clerical position in the education department but left it in 1878 to go to Maryborough, Queensland. He was for a few months in the far north but in 1879 decided to try his fortune in Sydney. He found it snobbish and conservative--in his own words, it was a cant-ridden community. He himself was only 23 years of age, but the urge for journalism was in him and he had a hatred of all shams. On 31 January 1880, with his friend John Haynes, he published the first number of the Bulletin, a poor thing in its early number, as he himself admitted, but destined to become a national organ of great influence.
The Bulletin was a weekly paper and was illustrated from the beginning. It had the usual early struggles, but was strengthened by the advent of W. H. Traill (q.v.) as editor and manager when in 1882 both Archibald and Haynes, who were unable to pay the costs of the Clontarf libel action, were sent to jail. They were released when the amount of the costs was raised by public subscription. Traill sold Archibald a quarter interest in the journal, and he acted as editor when Traill was away. In 1886 Traill sold the remainder of his interest and Archibald again became editor. He held the position for 16 years and was a great editor, with an instinct for good writing, and a talent for finding able assistants.
In 1902 his health began to fail, he had to hand over the editorship to Edmond (q.v.), and except for the part taken in the founding of the Lone Hand magazine, he was inactive for some years. In November 1908 he had a mental break-down but recovered, though he was never quite his old self again. In 1914 he sold his interest in the Bulletin. He became literary editor of the newly-established Smith's Weekly in March 1919, and was working until a fortnight before his death, on 10 September 1919, following an operation. His wife predeceased him and he had no children. Under his will a sum of money was left to provide a prize each year for the best portrait painted by an Australian artist, preferably of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics. The value of the prize is usually about £500. Another sum was left to provide a fountain in Sydney to commemorate the association of France and Australia in the first world war. The sculpture on this fountain is the work of Francois Siçard. Other sums were left to charities.
Archibald was a man of medium height, bearded, slightly sardonic in expression, frail, nervy and mercurial, a wit and an excellent raconteur. A brilliant journalist and editor, with a gift of irony and satire, he was also a discoverer and encourager of new writers, appreciative of their good work and giving full credit to them, although it was said of him as a sub-editor that he sharpened the point of every paragraph. He was not a great student of politics, he had little knowledge of finance or business; but his personal charm and loyalty drew brilliant associates to him, and through the Bulletin he was for many years a great influence in Australia in politics, finance, art and literature.
The Lone Hand, 1907-8; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 12 September 1919; Mrs MacLeod, MacLeod of the Bulletin; The Bulletin, 18 September 1919; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; The Catholic Press, 18 September 1919; Vance Palmer, National Portraits; copies of birth and death certificates.
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ARGYLE, SIR STANLEY SEYMOUR (1867-1940),premier of Victoria,
son of Edward Argyle, was born at Kyneton, Victoria, on 4 December 1867. He was educated at Hawthorn and Brighton Grammar Schools and the university of Melbourne, where he graduated M.B., B.S. in 1891. He also studied in Great Britain and obtained the diplomas L.R.C.P. and M.R.C.S. He was in general practice at Kew, near Melbourne, for about 15 years from 1894, was elected to the Kew council, and was mayor in 1902. He then specialized in radiology and was the first radiologist to be appointed to the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. During the 1914-18 war he served in the Army Medical Corps of the A.I.F. in Egypt, Lemnos and France, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1920 he was elected to represent Toorak in the Victorian legislative assembly, and held the seat until his death.
Argyle quickly came into notice in parliament, in September 1923 was given the positions of chief secretary and minister for health in the second Lawson ministry, and held the same positions in the third Lawson and the Peacock (q.v.) ministry which succeeded it. When Allan (q.v.) became premier in November 1924, Argyle was again chief secretary and minister for health until May 1927. Early in 1927, with Professor R. J. A. Berry, he visited the United States to study hospital methods and to bring before the Rockefeller Foundation the project of establishing a hospital in conjunction with the medical school of the university of Melbourne. The ministry was defeated in May 1927, but when Macpherson (q.v.) formed his government in November 1928 Argyle resumed his old positions. As a result of his American investigations, the site on which the new Royal Melbourne Hospital was afterwards built, was reserved for this purpose. The government was defeated in December 1929, in 1930 Argyle succeeded Macpherson as leader of the Nationalist party, and on 19 May 1932 became premier, treasurer and minister of public health in a government which lasted nearly three years, a period of depression and difficulty. Argyle brought in the practice of work in lieu of sustenance, extended the Yarra boulevard, and endeavoured to co-ordinate the traffic systems of his state. In April 1935 the Country party withdrew its support from the government, and Argyle became leader of the opposition until his death on 23 November 1940. He married in January 1895 Violet, daughter of Thomas Lewis, who survived him with two sons and two daughters. He was created K.B.E. in 1930.
Argyle was a man of public spirit who abandoned an excellent specialist's practice to take up politics. He was an honest and industrious administrator, and though a vigorous fighter, was always a perfectly fair opponent.
The Argus, 1 January 1930, 25 November 1940; The Age, 25 November 1940; The Herald, 23 November 1940; Year Book of Australia 1924-1936.
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ARMSTRONG, HELEN PORTER (Dame Nellie MELBA), (1861-1931),soprano singer,
was born at Burnley-street, Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, on 19 May 1861. She was the third child of David Mitchell, a well-known and successful Melbourne contractor, and his wife Isabella Ann Dow. Both parents were musical, her father having a good bass voice; her mother played the piano, harp and organ skilfully. Two of her mother's sisters had voices of unusual beauty. The child lived in a musical atmosphere, and at six years of age sang at a school concert. Her first singing lessons came from an aunt, but afterwards she was sent to the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne, where she received some lessons from Madame Christian, a good teacher of the period; but more of her time was given to the piano and organ. She was full of health and spirits, which not infrequently led her into trouble with her teachers; there is a tradition that there was some feeling of relief when she left the school. In 1881 her mother died and in the following year she paid a visit to Queensland, where she met Charles Nisbett Frederick Armstrong, youngest son of Sir Archibald Armstrong, Bart. They were married at Brisbane on 22 December 1882. In the following year a son was born to her, and when the child was two months old she went back to her father's house and never returned to her husband. She had received some training in singing from Signor Pietro Cecchi, a retired Italian singer, but her special talent was considered to be her piano playing. However, having sung and played one evening at government house, the Marchioness of Normanby, wife of the governor of the period, told her that although she played brilliantly, she sang better and that if she gave up the piano for singing she would become famous. Mrs Armstrong resumed her lessons from Cecchi, and on 17 May 1884, singing as an amateur at a concert given at Melbourne for the benefit of Herr Elsasser, a local musician, she was received with great enthusiasm.
During the next two years she made many appearances at concerts, and towards the end of 1885 was engaged as principal soprano at St Francis's church, Melbourne, but a provincial concert tour undertaken at this period had so little success that in some cases the receipts did not cover the expenses. Early in 1886 her father was appointed Victorian commissioner to the Indian and Colonial exhibition to be held in London, and on 11 March she sailed with her father and her little son to Europe, with the intention of studying for a career in grand opera.
Mrs Armstrong had brought letters of introduction with her, but Sir Hubert Parry would not break his rule against hearing students in private, and although Sir Arthur Sullivan gave her a hearing, the whole measure of his encouragement was that if she would work hard for a year he might be able to give her a small part in one of his operas. Wilhelm Ganz was favourably impressed, but she sang twice at concerts in London without arousing much interest. Other disappointments were met with and it was decided that she should go to Paris and present a letter from one of Marchesi's former pupils, Madame Elise Wiedermann, wife of the Austro-Hungarian consul at Melbourne. When she arrived an appointment was made and after hearing her sing Marchesi rushed out of the room to tell her husband that she had at last found a star. Coming back she told Mrs Armstrong that if she would study seriously for one year she would make something extraordinary of her. Lessons began at once, but although Mrs Armstrong had an allowance from her father and lived economically, she was often short of money. In December 1886 at a concert given at her teacher's home she sang for the first time under the name of Madame Melba, and always afterwards was known by that name. A few months later Maurice Strakosch, a well-known impresario of the period, heard her singing at Marchesi's house, and obtained Melba's signature to a contract which would have tied her to him for 10 years at a quite inadequate salary. When the directors of the Théatre de la Monnaie at Brussels offered to engage Melba to sing in Rigoletto Marchesi promised to make the necessary arrangements with Strakosch. However, he would not agree, and a week before the performance Strakosch was invoking the law to prevent her appearance. He, however, died suddenly on 9 October 1887 and on the evening of the thirteenth Melba made her first appearance in grand opera. Her success was immediate, and she was acclaimed as a great singer. She was treated with generosity by the directors of the theatre, and in her first season also took the leading part in Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Delibes's Lakmé, and Ambrose Thomas's Hamlet. On 24 May 1888 she appeared at Covent Garden in Lucia di Lammermoor. The critics were comparatively lukewarm, and although the public showed some appreciation of her work Melba was glad to be back in Brussels in October repeating the triumphs that had begun 12 months before. In February 1889 she sang Juliet in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet and in May made her first appearance at the Opera House, Paris, as Ophelia in Hamlet. After the fourth act she was recalled three times and there was a scene of almost unparalleled enthusiasm. In June she reappeared at Covent Garden in Rigoletto and Romeo and Juliet and found her position much advanced. Moreover Jean de Reszke had been the Romeo and Edouard de Reszke the friar, great singers with whom she was always in perfect sympathy. A season in Paris followed where Melba was fortunate in receiving coaching from Gounod for the part of Juliet, and kindly suggestions from Sara Bernhardt in the acting of Marguerite in Faust. Her fame was now established; for many years she sang in every season at Covent Garden, and she was equally welcome in the continental cities from St Petersburg to Palermo. In 1893 she went to the United States and, though her first performances did not make much stir, by the end of the season it was realized that she had acquired a popularity little short of that of Patti in her best period. In the following year she sang at the Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace, but although her voice carried well in the huge building, she decided she would never sing there again. In the succeeding years Melba had fresh triumphs in the United States and Europe, and in September 1902 she returned to Australia and gave a series of concerts, which were everywhere received with the greatest enthusiasm. In 1907 she paid a holiday visit to Australia, and gave a short series of concerts at Melbourne and Sydney about the end of that year. Henceforth her time was divided between Australia and Europe. in 1911 she brought an excellent opera company to Australia, and in 1913 she gave a series of lessons at the university conservatorium of music at Melbourne. The Melba Hall at this conservatorium was the result of a performance given by the singer. In 1914 she was associated with the Albert Street Conservatorium at Melbourne, and during the war years she raised some £60,000 for the Red Cross by her efforts. In March 1924 she began a final Australian opera season at Melbourne and Sydney. She spent most of 1925 in Europe and in that year published a volume of reminiscences, Melodies and Memories. In June 1926 she made her final appearance at Covent Garden at a concert to a large audience, which included King George V and Queen Mary. In May 1927 she sang the national anthem at the opening of federal parliament house at Canberra by the Duke and Duchess of York. Her final appearance in Australia was at a concert at Geelong, Victoria, in November 1928. Returning to London soon afterwards she lived there until November 1930, and falling into bad health, again made her way to Australia. No improvement took place and she died at Sydney on 23 February 1931. She left a son and a granddaughter. She was created D.B.E. in 1918 and G.B.E. in 1927. Her will was proved at approximately £200,000. Many annuities and legacies were left to relations, friends and employees. £8000 was placed on trust to provide a scholarship at the Albert Street Conservatorium, Melbourne, and the residue of the estate went to her son, his wife and their daughter. She was buried at Lilydale some 20 miles from Melbourne. Her portrait by Longstaff and a marble bust by Mackennal are at the national gallery, Melbourne.
Melba was of moderate height with a good figure which she held so well that she suggested tallness. Her features were regular and she had no difficulty in looking the parts of Juliet, Marguerite and Ophelia. She became masterful with success and on occasions she could be temperamental; like most artists she had her share of vanity, and was not free from jealousy. But she was generous to young artists, sang much for charity, and more than once helped struggling institutions such as the British National Opera Company. Her voice had a remarkable evenness through a compass of two and a half octaves, her production was natural and perfect, and she sang florid passages with a suggestion of complete case and restraint. She had been taught by Marchesi the value of never forcing the voice, and this enabled her to preserve its remarkable freshness and purity for far longer than the usual period. She had a repertoire of 25 operas, and in a good proportion of these she had no rival. Her voice must be ranked among the great voices of all time.
The Argus, Melbourne, 25 May 1861, 24 February 1931 and following days; The Times, 24 February 1931; Agnes G. Murphy, Melba: a Biography; Nellie Melba, Melodies and Memories; P. Colson, Melba. An Unconventional Biography, interesting for its account of her art, but Melba's age is overstated by two years throughout the book; Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1931; Beverley Nichols, Evensong. The author of this novel was secretary to Melba for a period, and the character of "Irela" was probably based on her, but it would be unwise to regard it as more than a caricature.
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ARTHUR, SIR GEORGE (1784-1854),fourth governor of Tasmania,
was born on 21 June 1784, the youngest son of John Arthur and his wife, Catherine, daughter of Thomas Cornish. He joined the army as an ensign in August 1804 and was promoted lieutenant in June 1805. He was on active service in 1806 and 1809 and showed himself a gallant officer. He reached the rank of major on 5 November 1812 and in July 1814 was appointed superintendent of Honduras, which he administered for eight years. He had little power and there were problems in connexion with land tenure and slavery which required careful handling. He ruled with firmness, but signs were not wanting that he could be autocratic, and he developed a habit of writing long dispatches not always notable for understatement. He came into conflict with other officers in the army and one of them, Major Bradley, on being given command of the 2nd West India regiment, considering that he automatically superseded Arthur as commandant, refused to obey his orders, was placed under arrest, and confined from May 1820 to March 1821. He later on brought an action against Arthur which was tried on 30 July 1824 and resulted in his being awarded £100 damages. In the meantime Arthur had left Honduras and had been appointed lieutenant-governor of Tasmania on 2 August 1823.
Arthur arrived at Hobart on 12 May 1824. His predecessor Sorell (q.v.) was able to report to the colonial office "that the Colony of V.D.L. has passed into the charge of my successor in perfect order and tranquility; loyal and grateful to His Majesty's Government; free from faction, and unanimously well affected to the Local Government". Sorell also left a long "Memorandum on the condition of Van Diemen's Land" which must have been of great use to Arthur, and for which he was sincerely grateful. It was realized that the colony was ripe for further development, and a chief justice John Lewes Pedder (q.v.) had been appointed, and had actually arrived at Hobart a few weeks before Arthur. The separation of Tasmania from New South Wales was also contemplated, though it was not formally brought about until the end of 1825. Arthur was anxious to do his best for the colony, but it was unfortunate that he was a man of little vision. To him the island was a huge jail which must be kept in proper order. He does not appear to have been interested in the political rights of the free settlers, nor to have realized how important would be the expansion of colonization in the next few years. Much power was vested in him. He could issue land grants, had full power over the finances of the colony, and could communicate direct with the colonial office. He gave serious study to the problems of his government and on 27 October 1824 in a dispatch to Earl Bathurst stated that he proposed appointing Jocelyn Thomas to be colonial treasurer. Serious deficiencies were found at the treasury and Arthur must be given full credit for his reform of the finances. He, however, early came into conflict with some of the merchants in connexion with this and was indefensibly autocratic in dealing with Andrew Bent (q.v.), the proprietor of the Hobart Town Gazette, which had adversely criticized his administration. This struggle with the press was carried on at intervals during the whole of Arthur's administration. Another stout fighter for the freedom of the press was W. L. Murray who on one occasion at least gave Arthur advice which might well have been taken when he urged the governor to mix more with the people, to know for himself, and to understand their wants and their interests. On 24 November 1825 Lieutenant-general Darling (q.v.) arrived at Hobart on his way to assume the governorship of New South Wales. He brought with him the order in council creating Tasmania a separate colony which he proclaimed on 3 December, legislative and executive councils being also appointed. These acts marked a distinct step in the development of Tasmania, but there had been a recurrence of bushranging which Arthur suggested was largely due to the evil effects of a "licentious press". The colony was divided into military districts, the settlers co-operated with the military, and the worst offenders were captured and executed. In 1827 five stipendiary magistrates were appointed, with a large number of unpaid, and gradually a civil service was built up to carry out the business of the country. "Coercive measures," wrote Arthur, "must be bounded by humanity; if they are not, the criminals are driven into a state of mind bordering upon desperation." He issued other instructions with regard to convicts that were equally admirable, but unfortunately were largely disregarded and many convicts were treated with great brutality. Tickets of leave and pardons were the rewards of consistent good behaviour, and ticket-of-leave men were permitted to acquire property; but the tickets could be withdrawn on the committal of further misconduct. Gradually crime decreased, and Arthur shares the credit for bringing this about. He was, however, out of sympathy with the anti-transportation movement, and helped to preserve the system for some time. He believed that transportation "was more desirable than any other mode of punishment--it will at once relieve England of the depraved individual, and, in a great majority of cases, effect a reformation of his character".
Another problem of the period was the conflict between the aborigines and the settlers. Arthur's method of dealing with it, known as the Black War, was costly and ineffective, but even the milder methods of later days could not preserve the native race. Towards the end of the governor's period a movement of great importance took place when bodies of settlers headed by Fawkner (q.v.) and Batman (q.v.) migrated to the mainland and founded Melbourne. This movement was, however, in no way encouraged by Arthur, whose governorship terminated on 30 October 1836, after a period of rule longer than that of any other Australian governor.
In December 1837 Arthur was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada where he dealt sternly with the rebellion that had broken out. He opposed administrative reforms and became as unpopular as he had been in Tasmania. He administered the government with ability until his return to England in 1841 where he was created a baronet on 5 June. On 8 June 1842 he assumed office as governor of Bombay and found himself in a difficult position. The greater part of the army in Afghanistan had been lost but Arthur handled the campaign with firmness, Kabul was reoccupied, Jalalabad relieved, and Afghanistan was evacuated without complete loss of prestige. He again showed administrative ability in dealing with agricultural problems, and was nominated to succeed Lord Hardinge as governor-general of India. He, however, resigned in 1846 on account of ill health and returned to England where he was made a member of the privy council. He was advanced to the rank of lieutenant-general in 1854, and died at London on 19 September of that year. He married in May 1814 Eliza Orde Usher, daughter of Sir John Frederick Sigismund Smith, who survived him. There were seven sons and five daughters of the marriage. Arthur published two volumes, Observations upon Secondary Punishments (1833), and Defence of Transportation (1835).
Arthur was a man of medium height, autocratic, humourless and narrow-minded. He was, however, a hard worker with a talent for administration, and though his system of dealing with the convicts in Tasmania was not a success, he did maintain order and discipline. No doubt he intended that the prisoners should be treated with both firmness and kindness, but in a brutal age it was difficult to find subordinates with both these qualities. He was unpopular with the settlers because he was little interested in their point of view, and was too much inclined to think that anyone who disagreed with him was a subversive person dangerous to the state. He made a large fortune by transactions in real estate in the colony, but his character has never been attacked on that account. His personal life was above reproach and it has been said that wherever he went ribaldry and drunkenness vanished. His dispatches did not always do justice to people with whom he had come in conflict, but that was because he saw so clearly the merits of his own case, that he could not understand how there could be any in that of his opponents. A hard well-intentioned man in a hard time he did his duty as he saw it, and in spite of complaints never lost the confidence of the British government, which steadily advanced him from one important post to another throughout his life.
The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 125; J. Fenton, A History of Tasmania; R. W. Giblin, The Early History of Tasmania, vol. 11; The Historical Records of Australia, ser. III, vol. IV; W. D. Forsyth, Governor Arthur's Convict System. See also Historical Records of Australia, ser. I and III for the period 1824-36, and J. W. Beattie, Glimpses of the Lives and Times of the Early Tasmanian Governors.
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ASCHE, JOHN STANGER HEISS OSCAR (1871-1936), always known as Oscar Asche,actor,
was born at Geelong, Victoria, on 26 January 1871. His father, a Norwegian, a graduate of Christiana university, was a barrister, but never practised in Australia. After being a digger, a mounted policeman and a storekeeper, he became a prosperous hotel-keeper in Melbourne and Sydney. His son was educated at the Melbourne Grammar School which he left at the age of 16. He then went on a holiday voyage to China and after his return was articled to an architect who died soon afterwards. Asche found the little he had learned useful when he became a producer. He wanted to go on the land but his parents objected. A few months later he ran away and lived in the bush for some weeks and then obtained a position as a jackeroo. He returned to his parents and obtained a position in an office, but he had now decided to become an actor, and made a beginning by getting up private theatricals at his home. He paid a visit to Fiji and on his return his father agreed to send him to Norway to study acting. At Bergen, where he was instructed in deportment and voice-production and had the run of the theatre, he found Norwegian acting to be excellent, easy and natural, with perfect technique. Two months later he went to Christiana, now Oslo. There he met Ibsen, who wisely advised him to go to his own country and work in his own language. Asche then went to London and was so impressed by Irving and Ellen Terry in Henry VIII, that he saw the performance six times in succession. More study followed in London where he had his "Australian accent" corrected. He was fortunate in having an allowance of £10 a week from his father, but could not get work. In December 1892 he went to Norway again to give a Shakespeare recital, which was successful and brought him a little money. On 25 March 1893 he made his first appearance on the stage, at the Opera Comique Theatre, London, as Roberts in Man and Woman, with Arthur Dacre and Amy Roselle. He then joined the F. R. Benson Company and for eight years had invaluable experience. He began with small parts, and was certainly well cast as Charles the Wrestler in As You Like It, for he had then a magnificent physique. He had a salary of £2 10s. a week, but his father had been involved in the 1893 financial crisis and was unable to send him any allowance. At vacation times when he had no salary Asche sometimes slept on the embankment, and was glad to earn trifling tips for calling cabs. However, his salary was raised to £4 a week, and he was never in such straits again. He played over 100 characters with this company including Brutus, King Claudius and other important Shakespearian parts. He married Lily Brayton, another member of the company, and the two were associated in most productions for many years. In February 1900 Asche appeared with the Benson Company at the Lyceum Theatre, London, and gave a good performance as Pistol in Henry V, and he was also praised for his Claudius in Hamlet. He had a great success at the Garrick Theatre in 1901 when he played Maldonado in Pinero's Iris, his first important part in modern comedy. Joining the Beerbohm Tree Company in 1902, in 1903 he played Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing to the Beatrice of Ellen Terry. Other parts were Bolingbroke in Richard II, Christopher Sly and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Angelo in Measure for Measure.
In 1907 Asche began his management of His Majesty's Theatre and played among other parts Jacques in As You Like It and Othello. He made his first tour in Australia in 1909-10 and was enthusiastically received in Petruchio, Othello and other characters. Asche was much touched by his reception at Melbourne. In his autobiography which appeared in 1929 he said, "What a home-coming it was! Nothing, nothing can ever deprive me of that. I had made good and had come home to show them. Whatever the future years held, or shall hold for me nothing can eliminate that." On his return to London he accepted a play Kismet by Edward Knoblock with the understanding that he could revise it. He shortened and partly re-wrote it and produced it with much originality and artistry. A tour in Australia followed in 1911-12 when Kismet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Antony and Cleopatra were added to his former successes. Back in London Kismet was revived successfully and in October 1914 his own play Mameena based on Rider Haggard's The Child of Storm, though at first well received, proved a financial failure, largely on account of war conditions. In 1916 he produced his play Chu-Chin-Chow which ran from 31 August 1916 to 22 July 1921, a world's record never likely to be beaten. Asche played the part of Abu Hasan and confessed that "it got terribly boring going down those stairs night after night to go through the same old lines". But the performance was never allowed to get slack. He established a great reputation as a producer and during the run of Chu-Chin-Chow produced The Maid of the Mountains for the George Edwardes Estate, which also had a record run for a play of its kind. In 1922 Asche visited Australia again and made successful appearances as Hornblower in Galswortthy's The Shin Game, Maldonado in Pinero's Iris, in Julius Caesar, and in other Shakespearian plays.
Though Asche had been making a large income for many years he also spent largely. He was much interested in coursing, kept many greyhounds, and lost many thousands of pounds by them. He bought a farm in Gloucestershire which far from bringing him any income, was a constant expense. After his return from his third visit to Australia some of his theatrical ventures were unsuccessful and he became insolvent. His principal creditor was the Inland Revenue, though Asche stated that he had paid many thousands a year for years whenever a demand was made. He had in fact no knowledge of business methods, and as he frequently did not fill in the butts of his cheques, did not even know what he had spent. In his last years he appeared in several British film productions. He died in England on 23 March 1936. His wife the well known actress Lily Brayton survived him. His interesting autobiography, Oscar Asche his Life, must be read with caution whenever figures are mentioned. He also wrote two novels the Saga of Hans Hansen which appeared in 1930, an improbable but exciting story, and The Joss Sticks of Chung (1931). His play Chu-Chin-Chow was published in 1931, but the other plays of which he was author or part author have not been printed. Among these were Cairo, Mameeno, The Good Old Days, and The Spanish Main (under the name of Varco Marenes). He collaborated with F. Norreys Connell in writing Count Hannibal, and with Dornford Yates wrote Eastward Ho.
Asche was a good athlete and a fair cricketer and played for the M.C.C. against minor counties. He was a constant attendant at important matches at Lords. Life to him was a great game to be played with boisterous heartiness, but he took his art seriously, and as a producer was a great influence in his time. He had much feeling for colour and timing, and was sensitive about the dividing line between opulence and vulgarity. As an actor in his early days he would sometimes make a small part like the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice or the Duke of Norfolk in Richard II become comparatively important. His Petruchio was excellent and The Taming of the Shrew in his hands went with immense go from start to finish. He was an interpretative artist who knew the value of tradition, but did not fear to depart from it if there seemed to be good reason for doing so. His Jaques was played by no means on traditional lines. His Othello was taken quietly at the beginning, the speech to the senate erred rather on the side of want of eloquence, but he rose to great heights in later scenes. The writer was present one evening when a member of the audience was so carried away when Othello was smothering Desdemona, that his vigorous protest held up the action for several moments. His presentation of Hornblower was carefully thought out and consistent, and whatever was attempted was carried out with competence. It would perhaps be going too far to call Asche a great actor, but it may at least be said that he was a thoroughly good actor who had his great moments.
Oscar Asche, Oscar Asche his Life by Himself; The Times, 24 March 1936; The Argus, Melbourne, 25 March 1936; J. Parker, Who's Who in the Theatre; personal knowledge.
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ASHTON, JAMES (1859-1935),artist,
was born in the Isle of Man on 4 April 1859 and educated at the Blue Coat School, London. He studied art in England and at Paris, and in 1884 emigrated to Adelaide and established an art school. He visited England in 1894 and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Arts. On his return to Adelaide in 1895 he founded the Academy of Arts and for over 30 years was the best known teacher of painting in South Australia. Among his pupils were Hans Heysen, Hayley Lever, Frank White, Gustave Barnes (q.v.), his son Will Ashton, and others who have since done distinguished work. He was president of the South Australian Society of Arts for four years and is represented by three pictures in the Adelaide art gallery, of which "The Moon Enchanted Sea" is the best known. Paintings by him are also in the Broken Hill, Bendigo, and other galleries. He died at Adelaide on 2 August 1935. He married in 1880 M.E., daughter of John Rawling, who survived him with a son and a daughter.
The son, J. W. (Will) Ashton, who became a well-known artist, was appointed director of the national gallery at Sydney in 1936.
The Advertiser, Adelaide, 3 August, 1935; W Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Who's Who in Australia, 1933.
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ASHTON, JULIAN ROSSI (1851-1942),artist,
was born at Addlestone, Surrey, England, on 27 January 1851. His father, Thomas Briggs Ashton, came of a well-to-do American family, and when studying art at Florence married Henrietta Rossi, daughter of Count Rossi. Proceeding to England the family moved to Penzance in Cornwall soon after Julian Ashton was born, and lived there until the father died some 12 years later. Ashton was brought to London and when 15 years of age was placed in the civil engineering branch of the Great Western Railway. The work was not congenial and Ashton began studying at the West London school of art. About 1870 he went to Paris to continue his studies; he had already contributed drawings to Cassell's Magazine, the Sunday at Home and other journals. He did not stay long in Paris but returned to London, did drawings for the illustrated journals, and in 1873 had a picture shown at the Royal Academy. He also exhibited there in 1876, 1877 and 1878. Hearing that a draughtsman was wanted for the Illustrated Australian News, Melbourne, he sent some drawings to David Syme (q.v.) who was then in London, and was engaged at a salary of £300 a year and his fare to Melbourne. He arrived there in June 1878, worked with the paper for three years, and was then for two years on the Australasian. While in Melbourne he did a little landscape painting and also a few portraits, including a head of Louis Buvelot (q.v.) and a half-length of Bishop Moorhouse (q.v.). In 1883 he decided to return to England, but after visiting Sydney and Brisbane he was offered a position as an illustrator to the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia. He was to receive a salary of £800 a year with the right to paint a few pictures for himself. He had never cared for Melbourne, but developed a great affection for Sydney, and after travelling all over Australia in connexion with the Atlas he settled there as an artist.
The progress of painting in New South Wales was slow. The Academy of Art had been founded in 1871, but for many years it was practically an amateur body. In 1880 the Art Society of New South Wales was founded and Ashton began to exhibit with it. He was elected its president in 1886, held the position for six years, and in 1892 became the salaried instructor of its art classes for four years. He then opened a teaching studio of his own, afterwards known as the Sydney Art School, which became a great influence. Much dissatisfaction with the powers of laymen in the Art Society led to the establishment of the Society of Artists in 1895, to which Ashton transferred. He was elected its chairman for the year 1897. In 1902 the society was amalgamated with the Art Society, which then became the Royal Art Society, but several leading men broke away and the Society of Artists was re-established in 1907 with Ashton as its president until 1921. As a teacher he had many distinguished students including Mahony (q.v.), Long, Gruner (q.v.), Hilder (q.v.) and Lambert (q.v.). About 1915 he began to have trouble with his eyesight and after 1920 practically gave up painting. The Julian Ashton Book was published in his honour in 1920, and in 1924 he was given the Society of Artists' medal for his services to art. He was created C.B.E. in 1930. Except for his eyesight he retained his faculties and vigour until extreme old age. His volume of reminiscences Now Came Still Evening On was published in 1941 when he was 90. It is an interesting volume though his memory was not always perfect about details. He died at Sydney on 27 April 1942. He married (1) Mary Ann Pugh, (2) Irene Morley. He was survived by three children of whom the eldest Julian Howard Ashton, born in 1877, is a capable artist and journalist. A brother, George Rossi Ashton, a very capable draughtsman, lived in Australia for about 15 years between 1878 and 1893 and then returned to England. He contributed largely to the leading illustrated journals of his period.
Ashton painted well in both oil and water-colour. Some of his early work is rather tight, but his Sir Henry Parkes (1889), and the Hon. Henry Gullett (1900), both in the national gallery at Sydney, are admirable pieces of portraiture, and his landscapes are often very good too. In his later work he developed a charming feeling for colour. He was a man of great honesty with much personal charm and force of character As a trustee of the national gallery at Sydney from 1889 to 1899 he fought hard and successfully for the encouragement of Australian painting, and the fine collection now in that institution owes much to him. As a teacher he influenced and guided most of the Sydney exhibiting artists of his period. He lived long enough to see a great change in the attitude towards art of the people of Australia, and no other man did so much towards making the place of art in the community better understood and appreciated. There are several examples of his work in the Sydney gallery, and he is also represented at Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Bendigo, Geelong, the national portrait gallery, London, and the Turnbull library, Wellington.
W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Julian Ashton, Now Came Still Evening On; The Julian Ashton Book; The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 1942; Debrett's Peerage etc., 1940.
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ASPINALL, BUTLER COLE (1830-1875),advocate,
son of the Rev. James Aspinall, was born in England in 1830, educated for the law, and was called to the bar in 1853. He engaged in newspaper work and in 1854 came to Melbourne as a law reporter for the Argus. He soon began to practise as a barrister and gained a great reputation as an advocate, and as a wit and humorist. In February 1855 he was one of the counsel for the leaders of the Eureka rebellion, and in 1856 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Talbot. At the end of July 1861 he became attorney-general in the Heales (q.v.) ministry, but the cabinet resigned a few weeks later. In 1868 Aspinall defended O'Farrell at Sydney for the attempted assassination of the Duke of Edinburgh, and from January to April 1870 he was solicitor-general in the J. A. Macpherson (q.v.) ministry. Towards the end of this year he resigned his seat in parliament, and in 1871 had a mental breakdown and was confined for some time. On recovering he returned to England and died there on 4 April 1875. He was married and his wife, who had been left at Melbourne, died six days later. A son, Butler Cole Aspinall, K.C. (1861-1935), who was educated in England, became a distinguished London barrister and a great authority on shipping law. He died unmarried at London on 15 November 1935.
Aspinall was a first-rate advocate and a good parliamentary debater, but he broke down when 40 years old, an age when most men are scarcely past the beginning of their career. He had much charm of manner, and stories of his wit and humour were still being told in legal circles 70 years after his death. Many of them would not be suitable for this book, but one example of his inspired impudence, which arose out of a brush with a Victorian judge, may be given.
"Mr Aspinall," said his Honour severely, "are you trying to show your contempt for this Court?"
"No, your Honour," said Aspinall with an air of great humility. "I was merely trying to conceal it."
J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; J. L. Forde, The Story of the Bar of Victoria; The Times, 16 November 1935; The Bulletin, 15 January 1936.
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ASTLEY, WILLIAM (1854-1911), "Price Warung",short story writer,
second son of Captain Thomas Astley and his wife Mary Price, was born at Liverpool, England, in 1854, and was brought to Australia when he was four years old. The family settled at Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, and William was educated at St Stephen's church school and the Melbourne model school. He obtained employment in booksellers' shops, but taking up journalism was editor of the Richmond Guardian for a short period when only 2 1 years of age. He was subsequently connected with the Echuca Riverine Herald and other Victorian journals, the Launceston Daily Telegraph, the Workman, Sydney the Worker, the Tumut Independent and the Bathurst Free Press. While at Bathurst he was secretary of the Bathurst Federal League, which did useful work for federation. During the eighteen-eighties and nineties Astley did some excellent free-lance work for the Sydney Bulletin in which many of his stories of the convict days were published. The first collection of these, Tales of the Convict System, appeared in 1892, and this volume was followed by Tales of the Early Days (1894), Tales of the Old Regime (1897), Tales of the Isle of Death (1898), and Half-Crown Bob and Tales of the Riverine (1898). Astley had had a nervous breakdown in 1878, and in his last years there were recurrences of mental trouble. He died at Sydney on 5 October 1911. He married in 1884 Louisa Frances Cope of Launceston.
Astley was a brilliant journalist and short story writer. He had made a study of early Australian history and worked over his stories with great care. There is a certain starkness about his work, but his tales are full of human nature and human pity. He must be ranked among the best writers of Australian short stories.
Copy of his certificate of his marriage in September 1884, in which it is stated that he was then 30 years of age; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 7 October 1911; The Bulletin, 12 October 1911; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; information collected by Frederick T. Macartney for a proposed selection from Astley's work.
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ATKINSON, CAROLINE LOUISA.See CALVERT, CAROLINE LOUISA WARING.
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AULD, JAMES MUIR (1879-1942),artist,
son of the Rev. John Auld, a well-known Presbyterian minister, was born at Sydney in 1879. He studied under J. S. Watkins and Julian Ashton (q.v.), and began to exhibit at the Royal Art Society. He contributed black and white drawings to the Bulletin and the Sydney Mail, and going to London had work accepted for London Opinion and other journals. Returning to Australia he worked at Sydney on landscapes and figure subjects, and also did some portraits. His "The Broken Vase" was bought for the national gallery, Sydney, in 1917. He joined the Society of Artists about 1920 and frequently exhibited with it.
Towards the end of his life he spent 11 years at Thirlmere, living practically alone. The surrounding landscape did not appear to be of an inspiring kind, but Auld's work at this period ranked with his best. He died on 8 June 1942 and was survived by a daughter. He was a sound painter in the old traditions, who would not allow himself to be disturbed by the various movements which arose between the two wars. He had good colour, and was especially interested in effects of atmosphere and sunlight, which he expressed with much vitality. He is represented in the Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Manly galleries.
W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Society of Artists Book, 1942; death notice, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June 1942.
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AYERS, SIR HENRY (1821-1897),premier of South Australia,
was born at Portsea, England, on 1 May 1821. On leaving school he entered a law office, but came to South Australia in 1840, and for some time worked as a law clerk. In 1845 he was appointed secretary of the Burra Burra mines, and within a year had command of over 1000 men. For nearly 50 years he was in control of this mine, first as secretary and afterwards as managing director. On 25 March 1857 he was returned to the first legislative council under responsible government, and was continuously a member for over 36 years. For many years the whole colony formed one electorate for the council, and on two occasions, in 1865 and 1873, Ayers headed the poll. In March 1863 he was selected as one of the three South Australian representatives at the inter-colonial conference, and on 4 July 1863 he became minister without portfolio in the first Dutton (q.v.) cabinet. This ministry resigned 11 days later, and Ayers formed his first ministry as premier and chief secretary on 15 July 1863. The house was much divided and it was almost impossible to get business done. Ayers reconstructed his ministry on 22 July 1864 but was defeated, and resigned on 4 August. The Blyth (q.v.) ministry which was then formed included Ayers as chief secretary, but did not survive a general election and resigned on 22 March 1865. When Dutton formed his second ministry Ayers had his old position as chief secretary, and still retaining that office, formed his third administration on 20 September 1865 which lasted little more than a month. In spite of dissolutions it was found very difficult to get a workable house. There were 18 ministries between July 1863 and July 1873. Ayers became premier again from May 1867 to September 1868, October to November 1868, January to March 1872, and with an entirely new team of ministers, from March 1872 to July 1873. He was chief secretary in the Colton (q.v.) ministry from June 1876 to October 1877, his last term of office. In 1881 he was elected president of the legislative council, and until December 1893 carried out his duties with ability, impartiality and courtesy. He died at Adelaide on 11 June 1897. His wife died in 1881 and he was survived by three sons and a daughter. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1872, and G.C.M.G. in 1894.
Ayers established a great position as a trusted man of business. Apart from his mining interests he held important directorates, and was for many years a member and chairman of the board of trustees of the Savings Bank of South Australia; he was re-appointed chairman only a few days before his death. He was a governor of the botanic gardens from 1862, president of the South Australian Old Colonists' Association, and was for many years on the council of the university of Adelaide. His political career was unique. He was in parliament for an unbroken term of 37 years and in no other Australian colony or state has a politician exercised so much influence or been in so many ministries while a member of the upper house. It is probable, however, that if Ayers had been in the house of assembly he would have had more control of business, and his seven premierships would have been longer in duration and more fruitful in results. He was a good speaker and an excellent administrator. An address he gave on Pioneer Difficulties on Founding South Australia was published as a pamphlet in 1891.
The South Australian Register, 12 June 1897; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 12 June 1897; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia.
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