This website does readability filtering of other pages. All styles, scripts, forms and ads are stripped. If you want your website excluded or have other feedback, use this form.

Dictionary of Australian Biography D

Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership

Home Our FREE ebooks Search Site Site Map Contact Us Reading, Downloading and Converting files



Angus and Robertson--1949


Main Page and Index of Individuals 
A  Ba  Be-Bo  Br-By  Ca-Ch  Cl-Cu  D  E  F  G  Ha-He  Hi-Hu  I-K  L  Mc
Ma-Mo  Mu-My  N-O  P-Q  R  Sa-Sp  St-Sy  T-V  Wa  We-Wy  X-Z

^Top of page

DAGLISH, HENRY (1866-1920),

first labour premier of Western Australia,

was born at Ballarat in 1866. He was educated at Geelong, qualified for matriculation at Melbourne university, and in 1882 was apprenticed to engineering. He entered the Victorian public service in 1883 and in 1895 resigned to go into business. Daglish was an unsuccessful candidate at South Melbourne in an election for the legislative assembly held in 1896, and in the following year went to Western Australia. He joined the public service and in 1900 became a municipal counsellor at Subiaco, where he was subsequently mayor. In 1901 he resigned from the public service and was elected as a Labour member for Subiaco. In August 1904 he formed the first Western Australian Labour ministry, taking the portfolios of treasurer and minister of education. He resigned on 25 August 1905 and left the Labour party on account of his objection to the caucus system. Returned as an independent at the October 1905 election, he was chairman of committees from 1907 to 1910, and from September 1910 to October 1911 was minister for works, in the first Wilson (q.v.) ministry. Losing his seat at the 1911 election, from 1912 until his death on 16 August 1920 he was employers' representative in the court of arbitration. He married in 1894 Edith Bishop, who survived him with a son and a daughter.

J. S . Battye, The Cyclopedia of Western Australia; The West Australian, 17 August 1920.

^Top of page

DAINTREE, RICHARD (1831-1878),


son of Richard and Elizabeth Daintree, was born at Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdonshire, England, in December 1831. He was educated at Bedford Grammar School and Christ's College, Cambridge, and came to Australia in 1852. In 1854 he joined the staff of the Victorian government geologist, A. R. C. Selwyn (q.v.), but went to England in 1856 and studied assaying. In August 1857 he returned to Melbourne and again joined Selwyn's staff, and during the next seven years did much field work in Victoria. In 1864 he resigned from the geological survey department and took up land in north Queensland. He found time to visit the coalfield districts of New South Wales, and also studied the modes of occurrence of gold in rocks. In 1867 he was asked by the Queensland government to make an examination of the Cape-River district which led to the opening of the goldfield, and two years later he was appointed government geologist for north Queensland. He spent much time in exploring large areas of the country including several goldfields, until in 1871 he was appointed special commissioner to the London exhibition in 1872. He had complete charge of the Queensland exhibits, and early in 1872 was appointed agent-general in London for that colony. He prepared a handbook for emigrants, Queensland, Australia, Its Territory Climate and Products, which appeared about the end of the same year and was an excellent piece of work of its kind. In 1876 his health gave way and he was obliged to resign his position as agent-general. He was made a C.M.G. on his retirement. He endeavoured to restore his health in the south of France but returned to England in 1878 and died on 20 June. A list of some of his reports and maps will be found in Bulletin No. 23 of the geological survey of Victoria. Some of his papers appeared in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London.

Richard Daintree was an amiable and enthusiastic man of science. He did very good work, especially as a petrologist, in the early days of geology in Australia.

H. C. Sorby, The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 1879, p. 51 of the Proceedings; E. J. Dunn, Bulletin No. 23, Geological Survey of Victoria; E. W. Skeats, David Lecture 1933, Some Founders of Australian Geology; R. L. Jack, Northmost Australia, vol. I.

^Top of page

DALEY, VICTOR JAMES WILLIAM PATRICK (1858-1905), generally known as Victor Daley,


was born at Navan, Ireland, on 5 September 1858. His father, a soldier, died when he was an infant, his mother was a Morrison of Scotch descent. He lived for some time with his grandfather who brought him up in an atmosphere of Irish legends and fairy lore, and would tell the boy that his forefathers were princes in the land. His mother married again and removed to Devonport, England, where Victor was sent to the Christian Brothers' School. At 16 he obtained a position at Plymouth in the Great Western Railway Company's office. Three years later he decided to go to some connexions at Adelaide, and early in 1878 landed at Sydney, probably with no very clear idea of how far away Adelaide was. When he did arrive at Adelaide he obtained a position as clerk in a mercantile house, and began to do a little writing for the press. He next went to Melbourne, did free-lancing, was an assistant at the Melbourne exhibition of 1880, and for a time constituted the staff of a suburban newspaper. He met Marcus Clarke (q.v.) and other members of the Melbourne literary group, and when he said that he had given up being a correspondence clerk to become a journalist was advised not to "give away his silk purse for a sow's car". Daley did not know at the time why the others laughed. His next venture was prospecting for gold at Queanbeyan, New South Wales, where a friend had preceded him. They found no gold, but Daley obtained work on the local paper for some months and then went to Sydney. He soon began contributing to the Bulletin, then in its lusty youth, and met Kendall (q.v.) and others in the literary circle. About 1885 he returned to Melbourne and continued free-lancing, writing much for the Bulletin, sometimes under the signature of "Creeve Roe", including short stories, literary articles and light verse.

In 1898 Daley went to Sydney in connexion with the publication of his first volume At Dawn and Dusk. The criticisms were favourable and it sold fairly well. A position was found for him in one of the government offices, but like Kendall in Melbourne many years before he was asked to do statistical work, and it is seldom that the poetical and arithmetical minds harmonize. He went back to his free-lancing and continued to write excellent verse for the Bulletin. In 1902 he was in bad health, and friends helped him to take a voyage to New Caledonia and the islands in 1903. Later on he tried the inland country in New South Wales, but his health continued to fail and he died of tuberculosis on 29 December 1905. He had married while a young man and was survived by a widow and four children. A collection of his poems written after the publication of his first volume was published in 1911 under the title of Wine and Roses with a memoir by Bertram Stevens (q.v.).

Daley was a man of medium height with a large head and prominent features. The portrait prefixed to At Dawn and Dusk he pronounced too solemn. Though a good companion with a fascinating personality, the convivial habits attributed to him have been made too important by some writers. He could indulge on occasions but was essentially a puritan, shrinking from "evil language, gross stories and violence of any kind", though sociable and charming with both friends and acquaintances. As an Australian poet he is possibly the finest of those between Kendall and the coming of O'Dowd and Brennan (q.v.). His poetry is melodious and full of images, with just sufficient emotion to lift it above merely beautiful verse, and in poems such as "Night" he has the added grace of gentle philosophical humour.

A. G. Stephens, Victor Daley; Bertram Stevens, Memoir prefixed to Wine and Roses; information from W. E. FitzHenry.

^Top of page

DALLEY, JOHN BEDE (1878-1935),

journalist and novelist,

younger son of William Bede Dalley (q.v.), was born at Sydney on 5 October 1878 [sic. Actually 1876.], and was educated at Beaumont College, England, and at Oxford. He was called to the bar in London in 1901 and practised at Sydney until 1907, when he joined the staff of the Bulletin. He served in the 1914-18 war for three years in Egypt and France, and on his return rejoined the Bulletin. In 1924 he was appointed editor of Melbourne Punch which, however, ceased publication about a year later. Dalley returned to Sydney and became associate-editor of the Bulletin. In 1928 he published a novel No Armour, which was followed in 1929 by Max Flambard, and in 1930 by Only the Morning. These books, though scarcely in the front rank of Australian fiction, are all well written commentaries on the life of the period. Dalley also wrote short stories and was an excellent all-round journalist. He was washed off the rocks while fishing and drowned on 6 September 1935. He married Claire, daughter of Charles Scott, who survived him with a daughter.

The Bulletin 18 September 1935, pp. 4, 9, 14: Smith's Weekly, 28 September 1935; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; Who's Who in Australia, 1933.

^Top of page


orator and politician,

was born at Sydney in 1831 of Irish parents, and was educated at the Sydney College and St Mary's College. He was called to the bar in 1856, in the following year was elected to the legislative assembly as one of the representatives of Sydney, and in November 1858 joined the second Cowper (q.v.) ministry as solicitor-general, but held this position for only three months. Early in 1861 he was appointed a commissioner of emigration by the New South Wales government, went to England in 1861 with his fellow commissioner Henry Parkes (q.v.), and was away about a year. He held many successful meetings in southern England and in Ireland. After his return to Australia in 1862 he took up his legal practice again and became the leading counsel in criminal cases in Sydney. He did not, however, become a Q.C. until 1877. In February 1875 he joined the third Robertson (q.v.) ministry as attorney-general and was nominated to the legislative council. Robertson resigned in March 1877 but was in power again five months later with Dalley in his old position until December. For the next five years Dalley took no part in politics, but in January 1883 he became attorney-general in the Stuart (q.v.) ministry, and in 1884 his Speeches on the Proposed Federal Council for Australasia was published. In February 1885 Dalley, as acting-premier during the absence of Stuart from the colony, offered a detachment of New South Wales troops to go to the Sudan. Though there was opposition in some quarters this was taken up with great enthusiasm in others and a contingent was sent. The Stuart ministry resigned in October 1885 and Dalley did not hold office again. His health began to weaken and his last two years were spent practically in retirement. He died at Sydney on 28 October 1888. He refused a knighthood and the office of chief justice, but in 1886 was appointed to the privy council, the first Australian to be given that honour. He married Eleanor Long who predeceased him, leaving him with three young children. One son John Bede Dalley is noticed separately, another, William Bede Dalley, born in 1873, became well-known as a journalist in Sydney.

Dalley was a highly cultured man of great ability. His political achievement was small, largely because he was not really interested in politics. He will always be remembered for the sending of the contingent to the Sudan, the first armed force sent overseas by a British colony. He was a great advocate in criminal cases, and while he was attorney-general showed he had a fine general grasp of law. He had an immense reputation as an orator, having a beautiful voice, melodious, clear and insinuating, a sense of humour, a ready wit, and a complete grasp of essentials. He was a good literary critic and often wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Freeman's Journal. His magnetic personality and fine character drew everyone to him. When he died there was a chorus of praise from the press; even the Bulletin which seldom in those days allowed itself to show enthusiasm, and incidentally had been bitterly opposed to the sending of the contingent, spoke of Dalley's "career of high conduct as a citizen, his splendid achievement as an advocate", and pronounced him "the most notable man Sydney had given birth to".

The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 October 1888; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 29 October 1888; The Times, 5 November 1888; The Bulletin, Sydney, 3 November 1888; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; J. A. Froude, Oceana; Stanley Brogden, The Sudan Contingent.

^Top of page

DAMPIER, ALFRED (1847-1908),

actor and dramatist,

was born in London on 28 February 1847, the son of John Dampier (John's Notable Australians, 1906). He was educated at the Charterhouse, and taking up amateur theatricals made some reputation with a dramatic club known as the "Ellestonians". He then played as a professional in the provinces, where he was associated with Henry Irving at Manchester and formed a friendship with him. After Irving went to London in October 1866 Dampier came into notice as an actor and played some of Irving's parts. H. R. Harwood, who was then one of the managers of the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, saw Dampier at Manchester in 1872 and engaged him as leading man and producer. He made his first appearance in Melbourne as Mephistopheles in his own version of Faust, and he also appeared with success as Hamlet, Othello, Iago, Richard III and in other important parts. In February 1877 he made his first appearance at Sydney taking the part of Hamlet, and he also toured Australia and New Zealand. He then proceeded to America and England and in February 1881 produced at the Surrey Theatre, London, All for Gold, by the Australian dramatist, F. R. C. Hopkins. Dampier returned to Australia, and leasing the City and Standard Theatres, Sydney, and the Alexandra Theatre, Melbourne, produced Robbery Under Arms, For the Term of his Natural Life, and other plays written, or partly written, by himself. In 1898 he took the part of Captain Starlight in Robbery Under Arms while on a visit to London. He played this part for the last time in 1905 at Sydney, but he was suffering in health having never completely recovered from an accident in a New Zealand theatre where he fell through a trap. He died at Sydney on 23 May 1908. He married in 1868 Katherine Alice, daughter of T. H. Russell, who survived him with two daughters, Lily and Rose, and a son. His wife and children frequently took leading parts in his plays.

Dampier, a man of fine character, was of handsome appearance and had an excellent voice. He made a great reputation with his popular plays, and was very good in character parts such as Jean Valjean in his dramatization of Les Miserables. In Shakespeare he was sound and capable rather than brilliant, possibly at his best in Macbeth which he played robustly. He frequently gave Friday night performances of Shakespearian plays at Sydney. His own plays have never been printed.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 1908; The Argus, 25 May 1908; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; W. Farmer Whyte, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. IV, p. 42.

^Top of page

DAMPIER, WILLIAM (1651-1715),


[ also refer to William DAMPIER page at Project Gutenberg Australia]

was born at East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, England, on 5 September 1651, the son of George Dampier, a farmer, and his wife Ann. The year of birth is usually given as 1652, but Clennell Wilkinson in his biography gives what appear to be good reasons for preferring the earlier year. He was probably educated at a grammar school, it is not unlikely that it was the one at Crewkerne close by. His parents both died before he left school, and at his own desire he was sent to sea. After making some voyages he joined the navy in 1672, and was present, as one of the sick on a hospital ship, at the battle of the Texel. Early in 1674, having left the navy and been offered the position of manager of a plantation in the West Indies, he sailed to Jamaica and on the voyage began the journal on which his subsequent writings were based. After a few months at Jamaica he again went to sea, in 1675 joined a vessel engaged in the logwood trade, and lived a hard and dangerous life among men who were largely buccaneers. His journal at this period is full of descriptions of the wild life of the country. Dampier himself does not say when he became a "privateer" as the buccaneers were more politely called, but he was with them for at least 12 months, cruising and fighting against the Spaniards. In the beginning of 1678 he decided to pay a visit to England and arrived there in August. After a short holiday he returned to Jamaica in the spring of 1679, joined a fleet of privateers which fought with some success on land near Panama, captured Spanish ships on the other side of the isthmus, and sailed to the south. Returning in May 1681 he was cruising for several months in the West Indies, and in July 1682 visited Virginia and stayed there for over a year. He was then comparatively prosperous but appears to have lost money in Virginia, and in 1683 sailed on a vessel called the Revenge, captained by John Cook to Africa. At the mouth of the Sherbro, south of Sierra Leone, they seized a new Danish ship of 40 guns. They then sailed south-west, rounded Cape Horn, sailed north to the coast of Peru taking some Spanish prizes, attacked and captured towns, and went as far north as Panama. Dampier had the post of assistant-paymaster. In August 1685 he transferred to the Cygnet under Captain Swan and became navigating officer. They sailed across the Pacific to Guam, from there to the Philippines, where they stayed for some months, to the Pescadores Islands, and south again to the Celebes. In January 1688 Dampier actually landed in northern Australia at King Sound or Collier Bay. From there he sailed to Sumatra and then to the Nicobar Islands, where early in 1688 Dampier left the ship and put an end to his buccaneering days.

In May 1688 Dampier set out from Nicobar with seven companions in a kind of outrigged canoe, and almost miraculously found his way to Sumatra. There he signed on with a Captain Weldon and went to Tonquin and made other trading voyages. In January 1691 he took ship to England and arrived in September. He had been away 12 years and had returned practically penniless. Not much is known of his life for the next six years, but part of the time must have been spent in preparing and seeing through the press the account of his travels which appeared in 1697, A New Voyage Round the World. Its success was immediate and two years later it was in a fourth edition. It brought him friends, including Sir Robert Southwell, Sir Hans Sloane and Pepys, who, on 6 August 1698, had him to dinner to meet Evelyn. Dampier was given a position as a "land carriage man" in the customs. He suggested to the admiralty that one of the king's ships should be fitted out to explore the coast of New Holland, and as a result Dampier was placed in charge of a small ship, the Roebuck, carrying 12 guns, 50 men and boys, and provisions for 20 months. On 30 November 1698 he got his final instructions to sail by way of the Cape of Good Hope. In January 1699 he set sail from the Downs and from the very start had trouble with his second in command Lieutenant Fisher, who when the ship arrived at Bahia, Brazil, was put ashore. After a stay to take in stores, a south-easterly course was taken and the Cape was sighted on 6 June. A favourable wind brought the ship to Australia, and early in August Dampier landed at Shark's Bay on the west coast, but had difficulty in finding water. He then turned and followed the coast to the north and on 21 August reached the Dampier Archipelago. His search for water was still unsuccessful, and he was obliged to sail to Timor. Thence he went east and reached the southern coast of New Guinea on 1 January 1700. He explored much of its western and northern coast, and discovered Dampier Strait dividing New Guinea from New Britain. He might quite possibly have sailed on and anticipated Cook's discovery of the eastern coast of Australia, but the Roebuck was now leaking badly. He made for Batavia where the ship was repaired and sailed for England on 17 October. It was with great difficulty that the Cape was reached on 30 December, and St Helena on 2 February 1701. On 22 February the Roebuck sprang a fresh leak and Dampier was obliged to beach her at the harbour at Ascension. On 3 April Dampier and his crew were rescued by passing ships and taken to England. In his absence his ex-lieutenant Fisher had not been idle and had worked up a case against him. A court-martial was held in 1702 and the verdict went against Dampier. He was adjudged not to be "a fit person to be employed as commander of any of Her Majesty's ships". Dampier had a good case against Fisher, but had probably irretrievably injured it by his leaving Fisher in gaol at Bahia without means of subsistence. There appears, too, to have been a good deal of doubt as to the justice of the verdict, as in less than a year official approval was given to Dampier's appointment as commander of the privateer St George. He had a roving commission to proceed in warlike manner against the French and Spaniards. He sailed on 30 April 1703 but met with a series of misfortunes. Dampier was a great adventurer but he was not a good disciplinarian, and moreover his vessel again proved to be unseaworthy. He eventually returned to England towards the end of 1707. Later in the year he was appointed pilot to the privateers Duke and Duchess, under Captain Woodes-Rogers. The voyage was very successful, many prizes being taken, and not the least interesting incident was the rescue of Alexander Selkirk from Juan Fernandez Island. Dampier arrived in England again on 14 October 1711. He appears to have received about £1200 on account of his share of the profits of the voyage, between that date and his death early in March 1715. He married in 1678. We know little of his wife except that her name was Judith, and that she predeceased him, apparently without children. Dampier's first book has been already mentioned. In 1700 he published A Supplement to the Voyage round the World; Two Voyages to Campeachy; A Discourse of Trade Winds. This was followed by the Voyage to New Holland in the year 1699, published in two parts in 1703 and 1709.

Dampier was a great voyager. Though in his earlier days a buccaneer, regarded by some writers as little better than a pirate, he was quiet and modest in manner and scientifically minded. While his companions were drinking or looting, he spent his time studying the plants and the living life of the country, and writing them up in his journals. These formed the basis of his Voyages, "the best books of voyages in the language" Masefield has called them. To Australians he has the great interest that he was one of the earliest Englishmen to land in their country. He explored a good deal of the western and northern coast, and had his vessel been better found he might quite possibly have been the discoverer of the eastern shore.

Clennel Wilkinson, William Dampier; W. H. Bonney, Captain William Dampier; ed. by John Masefield, Dampier's Voyages; ed. by J. A. Williamson, A Voyage to New Holland by William Dampier.

^Top of page



was born in London in 1844. He studied at Paris under Gerome and Carolus Duran and came to Australia in 1881. He was appointed instructor at the art classes of the Art Society of New South Wales in 1885, and was succeeded in 1892 by Julian Ashton (q.v.). He was afterwards secretary to this society and a regular exhibitor; his "The Moon is Up, Yet 'Tis Not Night" was purchased at the 1900 exhibition for the national gallery at Sydney. In 1902 he published Landscape Painting from Nature in Australia, illustrated with reproductions of pictures by W. Lister Lister and the author. Daplyn was a competent painter in both oils and water-colour. He died in London in 1926.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; U. Thieme, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler; Catalogue National Art Gallery of N.S.W., 1906.

^Top of page

D'ARCY, WILLIAM KNOX (1849-1917),

business man, obtained Persian oil concession.

He was the son of William Francis D'Arcy, solicitor, and his wife, Elizabeth Baker, daughter of the Rev. Robert Bradford, and was born in England on 11 October 1849. He was educated at Westminster School, and in 1866 went with his father to Rockhampton, Queensland. He was engaged in his father's office and in pastoral and mining pursuits, and in September 1882 acquired a large interest in the syndicate which started the Mount Morgan gold-mine. The stone was enormously rich, especially in the early days of the mine, and D'Arcy made a large fortune. When the mine was floated as a company in 1,000,000 shares paid to 17s. 6d. a share, he held 358,334 shares and at one stage these shares were sold at a very high premium. D'Arcy returned to England in 1889, became interested in oil, and made some study of geology. He considered searching for oil in Australia, but became convinced that the prospects were unfavourable. His attention was directed to Persia, and in 1901, with the help of the British government, he secured a concession for 60 years of a very large area. D'Arcy for a long while was unsuccessful in his search for oil, and after having spent £300,000 of his own money, formed a syndicate to carry on the work. It was not until May 1908 that a payable well was found. It eventually proved to be a most prolific one, and the British government paid £2,000,000 for a controlling interest in the field, an investment that proved extremely profitable. D'Arcy lived at Stanmore in north Middlesex and in London, and entertained on a large scale. He died at Stanmore on 1 May 1917. His will was proved at £984,000. He was twice married, (1) to Elena, daughter of S. B. Birkbeck and (2) to Nina, daughter of A. L. Boucicault, who survived him. He also left two sons and three daughters.

Who's Who, 1917; Bird, Early History of Rockhampton; The Romance of the C.O.R.; The Times, 2 May, 17 September 1917; The Herald, Melbourne, 30 August 1941; A. Wilson, S. W. Persia; private information.

^Top of page


chief justice of New South Wales,

son of Henry Darley, a member of the Irish bar, was born in Ireland on 18 September 1830. Educated at Dungannon College, where he had as a schoolfellow, George Higinbotham (q.v.), afterwards chief justice of Victoria, he proceeded to Trinity College, Dublin, in July 1847, and graduated in July 1851. He was called to the Irish bar in January 1853 and practised for about nine years on the Munster circuit. He met Sir Alfred Stephen when the latter was on a visit to Europe, and was told that there were good prospects for him in Australia. Darley decided to emigrate and arrived in Sydney in 1862. He established a good practice, and for the 20 years preceding his elevation to the bench, there was hardly an important case at Sydney in which he did not appear on one side or the other. In September 1868 he was nominated to the legislative council, and was a constant and conscientious attendant at its debates. He had a good deal of influence in the house but was not anxious for office, and it was not until November 1881 that he became vice-president of the executive council in the third Parkes (q.v.) ministry. In November 1886 Darley was offered the position of chief justice in succession to Sir James Martin (q.v.), but he did not desire the office and to accept it meant a considerable monetary sacrifice; he was probably earning more than twice the amount of the salary offered. He declined the position and it was accepted by Salomons (q.v.) who, however, resigned a few days later. There was a general feeling that Darley was the right man for the position, and on his being again approached he accepted it and was sworn in on 7 December 1886. He carried out his duties with great distinction, and on the retirement of Sir Alfred Stephen at the end of 1891 was appointed lieutenant-governor of New South Wales. He administered the government on several occasions with such success that when the position of governor became vacant in 1901 there were many suggestions that Darley should be given the post. He visited England in 1902 and was appointed a member of the royal commission on the South African war. In 1909 he again visited Europe and died at London on 4 January 1910. He became a Q.C. in 1878, was knighted in 1887, created K.C.M.G. in 1897, and G.C.M.G. in 1901. He was appointed a member of the privy council in 1905. He married in 1860 Lucy Forest, daughter of Captain Sylvester Browne, and sister of Thomas Alexander Browne (q.v.). She survived him with two sons and four daughters.

Darley had a conservative cast of mind yet as a politician he was responsible for some acts of a distinctly liberal nature. Among the measures he introduced and carried through the legislative council were an equity act, a divorce act, which gave to the wife the same rights as those of the husband, and the act authorizing marriage with a deceased wife's sister. Though so able and successful as a barrister he could scarcely be called a great judge. It has been suggested that he lacked to some extent that subtle power of analysis that is so valuable to the judicial mind. But he was a good disciplinarian, ever courteous and thoroughly impartial, with the practical common sense that made him an admirable judge at nisi prius and in criminal cases. He was of most distinguished appearance, always equal to the dignity of his offices. Sir Samuel Way (q.v.) spoke of him "as in many respects the noblest figure we have ever had on the Australian bench".

The Times, 5 January 1910; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 6 January 1910; The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 November 1886, 6 January 1910; A. B. Piddington, Worshipful Masters; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page

DARLING, SIR RALPH (1775-1858),

governor of New South Wales,

was born in 1775. His father, Christopher Darling, who had risen from the ranks, became adjutant to his regiment in 1778 and afterwards quartermaster. Darling entered the army as an ensign in 1793, and in August 1796 was military secretary to Sir Ralph Abercromby. He commanded a regiment at Corunna, was brevet-colonel in 1810, major-general in 1813, and was on the horse guards staff in 1815. From the beginning of 1819 to February 1824 he was in command of the troops at Mauritius, was acting-governor for the last three years of his stay, and showed administrative ability. In 1825 he was appointed governor of New South Wales and arrived there on 18 December.

Darling knew something of the difficulties he would have to face, and in particular he was warned against John Macarthur (q.v.). He soon found there was reason for the warning and in a dispatch to under secretary Hay mentioned that Macarthur had called on him to complain about his treatment in the Sydney Gazette, that he was "determined to destroy Mr Howe" and that "he had never yet failed in ruining a man, who had become obnoxious to him". "I understand," said Darling dryly, "when speaking to others he does not except even governors". With such evidence of the strong feeling in the community Darling felt that an attitude of impartial firmness was the only possible one. When in England he had been successful in bringing in reforms in the recruiting service, no doubt he hoped to bring in reforms in the government of New South Wales. His predecessor, Brisbane (q.v.), had suffered from want of complete loyalty in the civil service staff, but when Darling attempted to re-organize the service he was able to do little more than make himself unpopular. In November 1826 a storm burst of which Darling was not to hear the last for a long time. Two private soldiers, J. Sudds and P. Thompson, forming the opinion that the life of a convict was preferable to that of a soldier, deliberately committed robberies and were sentenced to seven years transportation to a penal settlement. The governor commuted this to seven years work with the road gangs. They were also put in chains and drummed out of their regiments. Sudds died a few days later and the Australian made a strong attack on the governor. A temperate letter from McLeay (q.v.) led to a withdrawal of some of the statements (H.R. of A., ser. I, vol. XII, pp. 716-24), but strong feeling against Darling continued for years. A select committee of the house of commons reported in September 1835 that Darling was "under the peculiar circumstances of the colony . . . entirely free from blame". It seems clear that considering the state of Sudds's health he was treated with dreadful brutality, but it is probable that Darling did not realize what was being done. The case, however, had other repercussions. Darling at first had followed Brisbane in allowing reasonable liberty of the press. But when the newspapers attacked him over the Sudds and Thompson case he began to fight back. No doubt he was convinced that it was necessary to take a firm stand and that liberty had degenerated into licence. In 1827 he attempted to bring in acts by which papers would require to be licensed and a heavy stamp duty would be payable. He did succeed to some extent in muzzling the press, in spite of the action of (Sir) Francis Forbes (q.v.) the chief justice, who refused to certify to the acts as he considered they were opposed to the law of England. Darling became very unpopular with a large section of the colonists, and his long struggle with the press did not cease until his recall.

Various important developments took place during Darling's time. On his way to Sydney he had proclaimed in Tasmania its separation from New South Wales. In April 1826 the Australian Agricultural Company obtained its lease of the coal mines at Newcastle, which must have been an important source of the colony's subsequent prosperity. These mines had already been worked by the government with little success. In 1827 Captain Sturt (q.v.) arrived in Australia, and encouraged by Darling began his important exploration work. Many years afterwards Darling showed his appreciation of Sturt's work by warmly recommending to the secretary of state that Sturt should be allowed to go on his exploration expedition in 1844 to the centre of the continent. Another feature of Darling's administration was an augmentation of the membership of the legislative council, and some development in connexion with trial by jury. Generally speaking it was a stormy period. In 1831 Darling was recalled and he left Australia on 22 October of that year. In England he continued his military career, and after being exonerated by the committee of the house of commons in 1835 was knighted. He became a general in 1841 and died at Brighton, England, on 2 April 1858. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel John Dumaresq, and was survived by at least one son.

Darling's honesty has never been questioned, and he worked hard during his administration, showing great attention to detail. But he was by nature and training a disciplinarian and a Tory; to him Wentworth was merely a "demagogue", and he had not the breadth of mind and tact that might have made his governorship more successful.

Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XII to XVI; Official History of New South Wales; L. N. Rose, Journal and Proceedings, The Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. VIII, pp. 49-176, a careful study of the period; Report, Select Committee House of Commons, 1835. Various pamphlets of the period may be consulted with caution. A collection of them at the Public Library, Melbourne is in three volumes labelled "Darling Pamphlets".

^Top of page


pioneer and man of business,

belonged to a well-known and ancient English family whose seat was at Great Wigston, Leicestershire. He was the fourth son of George Davenport, banker, and his wife Jane Devereux Davies and was born at Sherburn, England, on 5 March 1818. Threatened with consumption when a young man, he travelled much for his health in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, and thus developed an interest in olive and vine-growing. A brother visited Australia about 1840, and returning to England reported that the climate of South Australia was admirably suited to invalids. On 8 September 1842 Samuel Davenport sailed to Tasmania and from there went to Adelaide. He arrived there in February 1843 and immediately went on the land at Macclesfield. The open-air life suited him and his health soon improved. He was nominated to the old legislative council in 1846, and opposed state aid to religion and an attempt to impose royalties on mineral products. He worked for responsible government, and was a non-official member of the legislative council when the constitution act was passed. He was commissioner of public works in the Finniss (q.v.) ministry from March to August 1857, and on 1 September 1857 was given the same position in the Torrens (q.v.) ministry, which, however, lasted for only four weeks. He remained in the legislative council until 1866 but did not hold office again. He extended his land holdings, planted peach, apple and olive trees and vines, and took great interest in the spread of their culture. In 1864 he published a pamphlet of 94 pages on Some New Industries for South Australia. This dealt with the manufacture of olive oil and silk, flower-farming and tobacco culture. In 1870 he published another pamphlet on The Cultivation of the Olive, and 34 years later the agricultural bureau of South Australia published his Notes on the Olive and its Values to Country suitable for its Growth. His great interest in these subjects led to his being elected president of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society, a position he held for several years.

Davenport's interests, however, were not confined to the land. He was a trustee of the savings bank and for 20 years was president of the chamber of manufactures. As far back as 1851 he represented South Australia as executive commissioner at the great exhibition held in London, and he held similar positions at the exhibitions held at Philadelphia in 1876, Sydney in 1879, Melbourne in 1880, the Colonial and Indian exhibition in 1886, and the Centennial exhibition at Melbourne in 1888. In his later years he was on the board of directors of several companies and kept his interest in everything that was for the good of the state. He died on 3 September 1906. He married in 1842 Margaret Fraser, only daughter of William Lennox Cleland, who died in 1902. They had no children. Davenport was knighted in 1884 and created K.C.M.G. in 1886. In the same year Cambridge gave him the honorary degree of LL.D. His natural charm and perfect integrity made him an ideal representative of his country in other lands, and in South Australia during his long life he was an important influence in its municipal, political, business, social, philanthropic and religious organizations.

Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891, vol. I; The Register, Adelaide, 4 September 1906; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 4 September 1906.

^Top of page

DAVEY, THOMAS (c.1760-1823),

second governor of Tasmania.

No details are known of his early life, but he was serving in the army or navy in 1777, and went to Australia as a lieutenant of marines in the first fleet 10 years later. He left Sydney at the end of 1792, at the time of the mutiny at the Nore was a captain of marines, and fought at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In September 1811 (he was then a major of marines), through the influence of Lord Harrowby, he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Tasmania, but did not sail until June 1812. In the interim he had been made a colonel. He arrived in Sydney on 25 October 1812 and reported to Governor Macquarie (q.v.), whose orders he had been instructed to observe. He remained in Sydney for nearly four months, and did not land at Hobart until 20 February 1813.

Davey appears to have had no qualifications for his position. He was indolent and without sense of dignity, and indulged fully in the hard-drinking that was a characteristic of the period. Macquarie had received a private letter from the authorities warning him to keep a close watch on Davey, and on 30 April 1814 reported that his conduct was pretty correct, "except for making locations of land to persons not entitled" . . . he had every reason to believe that he "is honest and means well" but that his character made him a "very unfit man for so important a station". Nearly a year later Macquarie again reported very adversely, and in April 1816 Earl Bathurst in a dispatch to Macquarie recalled Davey, but suggested that he should be allowed to resign, and that a grant of land should be made to him. Davey handed over his position to Governor Sorell (q.v.) on 9 April 1817. Considerable grants of land were made to him, but he was not successful with them and he sailed to England from Sydney in August 1821. He died on 2 May 1823 and was survived by his wife and daughter, both much respected, who remained in Tasmania. Though quite unfitted for his position the accounts of Davey that give him no redeeming qualities go too far. He was of a weakly, amiable nature, but much progress was made during his administration, the most important act being that Hobart was made a free port. He encouraged the proper treatment of aborigines, and his bringing in of martial law in an attempt to check bushranging at least showed he could act firmly on an occasion. The wisdom of this action has been questioned, but it certainly had the approval of the colonists. It should be remembered also that Davey's powers were very limited, and that he was unfortunate in his subordinate officials; some of them had little ability and at least two were men of bad character.

Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. I, VII to X; ser. III, vol. II; R. W. Giblin, The Early History of Tasmania, vol. II; J. West, The History of Tasmania; J. W. Beattie, Glimpses of the Life and Times of the Early Tasmanian Governors.

^Top of page



was born on 28 January 1858 at St Fagan's rectory near Cardiff in South Wales. He was the eldest son of the Rev. William David, a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, a good classical scholar and naturalist. Through his mother he was connected with the famous Edgeworth family, and was also of the same stock as James Ussher once primate of All Ireland. It was his mother's cousin, William A. E. Ussher of the geological survey, who first interested David in what was to be his life work. The boy was educated at home until he was 12 years old, when he was sent to Magdalen College School, Oxford. There he developed his love of the classics and literature, and became a senior prefect, captain of the football team and boat club. In 1876 he entered as a candidate for a classical scholarship at New College, Oxford, and gained first place out of over 70 candidates.

David entered Oxford university intending to take holy orders. Though his main study was in classics he also developed an interest in drawing, and studied geology under Sir Joseph Prestwick, F.R.S. In 1878, after taking a first class in classics at the honour examination in moderations, he had a breakdown in health. A voyage to Australia in a sailing ship was taken, and he came back a much stronger man. He returned to Oxford, gave much time to geology and graduated B.A. in 1880. A year of open-air life at home followed during which he carried on his geological studies, and in November 1881 he read his first paper, "Evidences of Glacial Action in the neighbourhood of Cardiff" before the Cardiff Naturalists' Society. In the following year he attended Professor Judd's lectures on geology at South Kensington, and was offered the position of assistant geological surveyor to the government of New South Wales. He sailed on the S.S. Potosi on 5 October 1882, arrived at Sydney in the middle of November, and immediately took up his duties. In 1884 his report on the tin deposits in the New England district was published, and three years later it was expanded into the Geology of the Vegetable Creek Tin Mining Field, New England District. Apart from its scientific interest this was valuable in connexion with the mining operations on this field, from which some £10,000,000 worth of tin was won. On 30 July 1885 he was married to Caroline M. Mallett, principal of the Hurlstone Training College for Teachers, who had travelled to Australia in the same vessel with him. In April 1886 he was instructed to examine the great northern coalfield, and after much prospecting the Greta coal seam was discovered, which has since yielded over £50,000,000 worth of coal. Much of his time during the next four years was spent near Maitland where he was still tracing and mapping the coal measures and reporting to the government on other matters of commercial value. In 1890 he applied for the chair of geology and physical geography at the university of Sydney, was elected, and began his university work at the beginning of 1891.

David was not only a good scientist but had a background of general culture, a sense of humour, great enthusiasm, sympathy and courtesy, and he quickly fitted into his new position. His department was housed in a small cottage, its equipment was poor, and he had no lecturers or demonstrators; but he gradually got better facilities built and up his department. In 1892 he was president of the geological section of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science at the Hobart meeting, and held the same position at Brisbane in 1895. He took a great interest in past ice ages which possibly led to his enthusiasm for Arctic and Antarctic exploration. He was for a long period of his life particularly interested in the question of whether fossils could be traced in pre-Cambrian rocks, a question not finally settled at his death. In 1895 he paid a short visit to England to see his parents, and in 1896 went with an expedition under Professor Sollas of Oxford to the island of Funafuti, to take borings which it was hoped would settle the question of the formation of coral atolls. There were defects in the boring machinery and the bore penetrated only slightly more than 100 feet. In 1897 David led a second expedition which succeeded in reaching a depth of 557 feet when he had to return to Sydney. He then organized a third expedition which, under the leadership of A. E. Finckh, was successful in carrying the bore to 1114 feet, and in proving that Darwin's theory of subsidence was correct. His reputation was growing in Europe, in 1899 he was awarded the Bigsby medal of the Geological Society of London, and in 1900 he was elected F.R.S. In this year he conducted an interesting inquiry on the geological history of the Kosciusko plateau. In 1904 he was elected president of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science which met in Dunedin, and in 1906 he attended the geological international congress held in Mexico. On his way back to Australia he was able to see the Grand Canyon of Colorado, "perhaps the finest geological section in the world", and to study the effect of the San Francisco earthquake. Towards the end of 1907 he was invited to join the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic. He worked hard and successfully to raise funds for the expedition, and left for New Zealand in December with Leo Cotton and Douglas Mawson, two of his former students. David was nearly 50 years of age and it was intended that he should stay only until April 1908, but he showed himself to be such an ideal explorer that he was asked to remain the whole year. On 5 March a start was made on the ascent of Mt Erebus, David led the summit party consisting of Mawson, Dr Mackay and himself, and there was a supporting party of three which it was afterwards decided should also attempt to reach the summit. In this they were successful in spite of a blizzard which barred their progress for a day and night. One member of the party had his feet badly frostbitten, and had to be left in camp before the final dash, but David and four others reached the summit and the whole party returned to the base. About the beginning of October David, Mawson and Mackay started on an endeavour to reach the south magnetic pole. By great determination and courage the many difficulties and dangers were surmounted, and they reached the pole on 16 January 1909. It had been intended to be back by that time so it was necessary that the return journey should be made as quickly as possible. Fortunately they were favoured by the weather, for they were almost exhausted when the depot was reached on 3 February. While they were debating whether they should wait for the problematical arrival of their ship or attempt the journey to winter quarters, the report of a gun from the ship was heard and they were rescued. The expedition returned to New Zealand on 25 March, and when David returned to Sydney he was presented with the Mueller medal by the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science at an official welcome. When he rose to speak the enthusiasm and cheering was almost unbelievable. At Shackleton's request he then went on a lecture tour, and earned enough money to pay the expenses of publication of the two volumes on the geology of the expedition. He also wrote his "Narrative of the Magnetic Pole Journey", which appeared in the second volume of Shackleton's Heart of the Antarctic. In 1910 the honour of C.M.G. was conferred on him, and visiting England in connexion with the scientific results of the Antarctic expedition, Oxford gave him the honorary degree of D.Sc. In 1913 he was elected for the second time president of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science.

The war made it difficult for David to concentrate on his geological work. He did good work as a speaker during the recruiting campaign, and suggested the formation of a corps of skilled miners. In February 1916 the mining battalion sailed for Europe and David, now 58 years old, went with them as geologist with the rank of major. In France he did most valuable work not only in connexion with mining and counter-mining, but in finding dry sites for dug-outs and mine galleries, and in dealing with many other problems. In September 1916 a rope broke while he was examining a well and he was thrown to the bottom. Two ribs were broken, he was injured internally, but was discharged from hospital about a month later and returned to duty. Some of his tunnellers were concerned in the immense explosions of mines which were fired in June 1917, and early in 1918 he was awarded the D.S.O. That his duties were not light may be gathered from the fact that he was one of the five geologists employed by the allies, while the Germans used many times that number. Early in 1918 he was asked whether he would consider becoming principal of a university in Great Britain, but felt it was too late to change his profession and he had no wish to leave Australia. He returned with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in April 1919. He then took up a long-cherished project, the writing of a book on the geology of Australia, and became interested again in the problem of pre-Cambrian fossils. In October 1920 he was created a K.B.E. and became known as Sir Edgeworth David. In 1921 he obtained leave of absence to enable him to get on with his book on the geology of Australia, and travelled in the centre and in Western Australia. In 1922 he began to suffer again from his accident while at the war, and felt compelled to retire from his professorship at the end of the year. By the kindness of a private citizen who supplied the salary of his substitute it was made possible to grant David two years leave of absence on full pay before his retirement. In 1926 he journeyed to England again working on his book, but found the climate did not suit him and returned at the end of 1927. His health no longer permitted him to work the long hours that he had been accustomed to in earlier days. In 1932 his large geological map of Australia with a volume containing explanatory notes was published. It was everywhere well received and has been described as "an unrivalled summary of the geology of Australia". In November 1933 the first "David Lecture" was given at Sydney by Professor E. W. Skeats on Some Founders of Australian Geology, published as a pamphlet in 1934. This lectureship was founded by the Australian National Research Council, of which David was the first president when it was founded in 1919. David kept on working at his book until the end. On 20 August 1934 he collapsed while working in his old room at the university, and died at the Prince Alfred hospital on 28 August 1934. He was survived by Lady David, a son and two daughters. The Commonwealth and State governments were associated in a state funeral. His book on the geology of Australia was left unfinished, but in 1939 it was in process of completion by one of his colleagues, Associate-professor W. R. Browne of Sydney. Of his many papers over 100 will be found listed in the Geological Magazine for January 1922. A travelling scholarship in his memory was founded at the university of Sydney in 1936.

David was above medium height, slender, and always in good training. When past 50 he was able to take his share in the 1000 miles of man-hauling on the journey to and from the south magnetic pole. He was an ideal explorer, always cheerful, hopeful and never failing in his courtesy. These qualities were also apparent in his work at the university, where both undergraduates and colleagues fell under his spell. It was said of him that he could charm a bird off a bough. He was an excellent lecturer with a fine resonant voice, his immense enthusiasm was tempered by a sense of humour, and he had such understanding and appreciation of other men's work that to be associated with him was a privilege. His valuable work for science has been suggested, his inspiration for other workers can scarcely be calculated, and great as he was as a scientist he was greater as a man.

His wife, Caroline Martha Lady David, came to Australia in 1882. She was the author of Funafuti or Three Months on a Coral Island, published in 1899, an interesting account of her stay on the island during the 1897 expedition.

M. E. David, Professor David; The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 August 1934, R. E. Priestly, Nature, 6 October 1934; E. W. Skeats, Some Founders of Australian Geology; Geological Magazine, January 1922.

^Top of page

DAVIES, DAVID (1863-1939),


was born at Ballarat, Victoria, in 1863 of Welsh parents. He studied at the Ballarat school of design under James Oldham, and then at the national gallery school at Melbourne under Folingsby (q.v.). About 1892 he went to Paris and studied under Jean Paul Laurens, and while in Paris married a fellow student. He returned to Melbourne in 1894, and during the next three years painted mostly around Templestowe and Cheltenham. In November 1894 his beautiful nocturne, "Moonrise Templestowe", was bought from the exhibition of the Victorian Artists' Society by the national gallery at Melbourne. Two years later another excellent picture, "A Summer Evening", was acquired by the national gallery at Sydney. His work was included in an exhibition of Australian pictures held at the Grafton galleries London in 1898, when his "A Bush Home" was bought by the well-known English landscape painter, Sir Alfred East. In 1897 Davies went to England and settled at Lelant, Cornwall. He was there for about 12 years and between 1899 and 1904 had five of his pictures hung in the Royal Academy exhibitions. In 1908 he moved to Dieppe, France, and lived there until about 1930 when he returned to England. He exhibited at both the old and new salons at Paris, at the New English Art Club, and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. In his later years Davies did much painting in water-colour and some of these were well-hung at exhibitions of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. He died in England on 25 March 1939. His wife survived him with a son and a daughter.

Davies was a thoughtful and accomplished craftsman. He knew nothing about self-advertisement and was much more of a painter's painter than a dealer's. But he was not without admirers among art patrons, and he is well represented at the national gallery, Melbourne (which has four oils and two water-colours), at Sydney, Adelaide, Ballarat and at Dieppe. His well composed pictures, with their beautifully restrained colour and poetic feeling, give him a high place among Australian artists.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; J. S. MacDonald, The Art and Life of David Davies; The Art of David Davies (Catalogue of exhibition held at Fine Art Society's Gallery, Melbourne, 1926); A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibitions of Arts; private information.

^Top of page

DAVIS, ARTHUR HOEY, "Steele Rudd" (1868-1935),

writer of humorous sketches and novels,

[ also refer to Steele RUDD page at Project Gutenberg Australia]

was born at Drayton near Toowoomba, Queensland, on 14 November 1868. His father, Thomas Davis, was a blacksmith of Welsh descent, his mother was Irish. The boy was the eighth child in a family of 13. The father later on took up a selection at Emu Creek, and there Davis was educated at the local school. He left school before he was 12 and worked at odd jobs on a station, and at 15 years of age became a junior stockrider on a station on the Darling Downs. When he was 18 he was appointed a junior clerk in the office of the curator of intestate estates at Brisbane. In 1889 he was transferred to the sheriff's office and in his spare time took up rowing. This led to his contributing a column on rowing to a Brisbane weekly paper, and finding that he required a pseudonym he adopted that of "Steele Rudd". The first name was suggested by the name of the English essayist, the second was a shortening of rudder; he had wanted to bring into his name some part of a boat. Towards the end of 1895 he sent a sketch to the Bulletin which appeared on 14 December 1895. This afterwards became the first chapter of On Our Selection when it was published in 1899. Encouraged by Archibald (q.v.), Davis continued the series of sketches, 26 of which were included in the volume. Within four years 20,000 copies had been printed. It afterwards appeared in numerous cheap editions and by 1940 the number of copies sold had reached 250,000. It has also been the subject of a play and more than one picture. In 1903 appeared Our New Selection and in the same year Davis, who had reached the position of under-sheriff, retired from the public service, and in January 1904 brought out Rudd's Magazine, a monthly magazine published at 6d. a copy, which continued for nearly four years. It was issued first from Brisbane and was afterwards transferred to Sydney. It had a much longer life than most Australian magazines, but there was not then a large enough public in Australia to enable a cheap popular magazine to be successful. It was revived under various names between 1923 and 1930. Davis published a long series of volumes continuing the On Our Selection series, including Back at Our Selection (1906), Dad in Politics (1908), From Selection to City (1909), Grandpa's Selection (1916), and others. Most of them were successful, but there could not have been a great deal of profit for the author from the cheap editions. Towards the end of his life appeared two capable books The Romance of Runnibede (1927), and Green Grey Homestead (1934). But Davis found that having established a reputation in one direction, it was difficult to find a public for books written in more serious vein, and during his last years he had to struggle to make a living. He died at Brisbane on 11 October 1935. Davis was twice married and was survived by three sons and a daughter by the first marriage. In addition to the volumes mentioned others will be found listed in Miller's Australian Literature.

Davis was a tall, ruddy-faced man of mercurial temperament, kind of heart, fiery of temper, an excellent talker and a charming companion. He had a great love for horses and for 20 years was a well-known polo player. His books were written largely from the experiences of his own early days, and they were thoroughly appreciated by a generation that was familiar with characters on the land who had all the courage, optimism and humour of dad and mum and the other members of the family.

The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 12 October 1935; The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 1935; The Bulletin, 16 and 23 October and 13 November 1935; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; Steele Rudd manuscripts at the public library, Melbourne.

^Top of page

DAVY, EDWARD (1806-1885),

one of the inventors of the electric telegraph,

was the son of Thomas Davy, a surgeon. He was born at Ottery, St Mary, Devonshire, on 6 June 1806, and was educated at a school kept by his maternal uncle, a Mr Boutflower, in London. When about 16 years of age he was apprenticed to C. Wheeler, resident medical officer at St Bartholomew's hospital, London. He passed qualifying examinations at Apothecaries Hall in 1828, and the Royal College of Surgeons in 1829, and practised as a physician for some years. He then began a business as an operative chemist and in 1836 published An Experimental Guide to Chemistry. In a catalogue at the end of the volume mention is made of his modification of instruments such as "Davy's Blow-pipe", "Davy's Improved Mercurial Trough" etc., and he had also patented a cement for mending broken china and glass. He had been experimenting for some time on the electric telegraph and the best mode of working the stations. A working model embodying his improvements was shown from November to December 1837 at the Belgrave Institution, London, and afterwards until 10 November 1838 in Exeter Hall. He had endeavoured to patent his instrument but there was opposition from Cooke and Wheatstone. The specification was, however, sealed on 4 July 1838. In 1839 Davy went to South Australia intending to take up land. Before leaving he had written to his father saying "I have perfected, as far as I can, secured and made public the telegraph. What remains, i.e. to make the bargain with the companies when they are ready and willing, can be managed by an agent or attorney as well as if I were present". In this Davy was mistaken. The patent was later on sold for a comparatively small sum, and for a long period his work was forgotten.

In South Australia Davy was editor of the Adelaide Examiner from 1843 to 1845, in 1848 he began managing the Yatala smelting works, and in 1852 he had operative charge of the government assay office. In July 1853 he went to Melbourne to a similar position at a salary of £1500 a year. About 18 months later the assay office was abolished and Davy took up land near Malmsbury, Victoria. His farming was not very successful, so he removed to Malmsbury and practised as a physician for the remainder of his life. He took an interest in municipal affairs and was three times mayor of the town. In 1883 his claims to honour as an inventor were brought forward in the Electrician, London, and he was elected an honorary member of the Society of Telegraph Engineers. In Melbourne R. L. J. Ellery (q.v.) drew attention to Davy's work at the November 1883 meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria. A sub-committee was appointed to make further inquiries, which reported at the December meeting that they were convinced Dr Davy had helped in the development of the electric telegraph, but that so many were working at the problem in 1838 "it was advisable to be cautious in assigning different degrees of merit to the various workers. The chief point in Dr Davy's favour was that he was the first to form a distinct conception of the relay system". Dr Davy was unanimously elected an honorary member of the society. He died at Malmsbury on 26 January 1885. He was married more than once and was survived by sons and daughters.

It is practically impossible now to determine the exact value of Davy's work. The article on the electric telegraph in the 14th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica does not mention his name. There is a life of him in the Dictionary of National Biography which gives him "the honour of inventing the 'relay', or, as he called it the 'electric renewer'".

J. J. Fahie, who unknown to Davy revived his claims, considered that "it is certain that, in those days, he had a clearer grasp of the requirements and capabilities of an electric telegraph than probably, Cooke and Wheatstone themselves, and had he been taken up by capitalists, and his ideas licked into shape by actual practice, as theirs were, he would have successfully competed for a share of the profits and honours".

J. J. Fahie, A History of Electric Telegraphy to the year 1837, pp. 349-447 and pp. 516-29; Transactions and Proceedings, Royal Society of Victoria, vol. XXI, p. 150; The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 27 January 1885. See also The Electrician, vols. XI and XIV which the writer was unable to consult.

^Top of page

DAWE, WILLIAM CARLTON LANYON (1865-1935), generally known as Carlton Dawe,


belonged to an old Cornish family, and was born at Adelaide on 30 July 1865. He came to Melbourne with his parents about 1880, and in 1885 published at London Sydonia and other Poems. In 1886 Love and the World and other Poems was published at Melbourne. Though the merit of these poems is possibly a little higher than the average of most youthful verse, they did not suggest any particular promise. In the same year he published at Melbourne his first attempt at fiction, Zantha, and in 1889 another volume of poetry, Sketches in Verse, was published in London. Dawe travelled round the world more than once and lived for a time in the east, but appears to have settled in London about 1892. For over 40 years he was writing a long series of popular sensational novels; E. Morris Miller in his Australian Literature lists over 70 of them. Some of the earlier novels had Australian themes, and there are occasional references to the land of his birth in the later books. Dawe wrote a few plays; The Black Spider was produced in London in 1927, and he also had two plays filmed. He died at London on 30 May 1935.

Who's Who, 1901 and 1906; The Times, 31 May 1935; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature

^Top of page

DAWES, WILLIAM (c. 1758-1836),

pioneer and scientist,

[ also refer to William DAWES page at Project Gutenberg Australia]

son of Benjamin Dawes, afterwards clerk of works at Portsmouth, was born probably about the year 1758. He entered the navy and was given a commission as second lieutenant, royal marines, in September 1779. He was on the Resolution in the action between Rear-Admiral Graves and the French fleet under the Comte de Grasse in 1781, and early in January 1787 requested that he might be appointed to serve with the marines going to Botany Bay. He was informed by the admiralty that he could not "go in any other manner than as commanding officer of the party ordered to embark on the Sirius". The first fleet sailed in May 1787 and arrived at Botany Bay on 18 January 1788. In July Dawes was discharged from the Sirius in order to fill a vacancy in the marines on land. This regularized work he had already been doing on shore. He had been furnished with some instruments by the board of longitude and did astronomical work on the point which now bears his name. He was also a skilled surveyor, and was employed by Phillip (q.v.) in laying out streets for the new town and in building a battery. In December 1789 he led a small expedition which made the first attempt to cross the Blue Mountains. It started from Parramatta and, after crossing the Nepean at a point not far from the present railway bridge at Penrith, a course was set generally west by north; but the party was compelled to return four days later. About a year later Dawes came in conflict with Phillip who had ordered him to go out on a punitive expedition against the aborigines. Dawes at first refused to go, but after obtaining advice from the Rev. R. Johnson (q.v.), obeyed orders. He afterwards informed the governor that he would not go on similar expeditions in future. This was practically mutiny, but Phillip thought in the interests of the colony it would be best to take no action. However, in November 1791, Phillip had to deal with the suggestion of Lord Grenville that Dawes might be usefully employed as an engineer. Phillip then told Dawes that he would overlook his former conduct if he would apologize. This Dawes refused to do, as his sentiments were unchanged. He was accordingly sent back to England with the marines in December 1791.

In August 1794 Wilberforce wrote to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas suggesting that Dawes should be sent to New South Wales as a schoolmaster. He had since his return to England been sent to Sierra Leone as governor, but his health would not stand the climate and he returned to England in March 1794. A position, however, was found for him as a teacher of mathematics at Christ's hospital school. He was in this position in 1799, but in the early months of 1801 he again went to Sierra Leone as governor. A reference on page 287 of the Life and Letters of Zachary Macauley by Viscountess Knutsford suggests that he may have been there for some years, but no dates are available. His opposition to the slave trade led to his being involved in a skirmish during which he was wounded in the leg and incapacitated for some time. In 1813 he went to Antigua where he worked against the slave trade, and in December 1826 while still there he addressed a memorial to the secretary of state for the colonies making claims for extra services rendered in New South Wales. His old friend Watkin Tench (q.v.), now a lieutenant-general, supported his claims which were however unsuccessful. Dawes was then in "circumstances of great pecuniary embarrassment". Towards the end of his life he established with his wife schools for the education of children of slaves, and he died at Antigua in 1836. He married (1) Miss Rutter, who died young, and (2) Miss Gilbert who survived him with a son and a daughter by the first marriage. The son, William Rutter Dawes (1799-1868), had a distinguished career as an astronomer (Dict.Nat.Biog.). He was able to help his father to have reasonable comfort in his declining years.

It was unfortunate that Dawes became opposed to Phillip because he was just the type of man most needed in the colony. He was a surveyor, an engineer, an astronomer, a botanist. He was the first to make astronomical observations in Australia, he constructed the first battery, and he was the first man to realize that punitive expeditions against the aborigines would only make the position worse. Zachary Macauley spoke of his "undeviating rectitude", and in another place he said of him "Dawes is one of the excellent of the earth. With great sweetness of disposition and self-command he possesses the most unbending principles".

G. Arnold Wood, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. X, pp. 1-14; Hugh Wright, ibid, vol. XII, pp. 227-30, vol. XIII, pp. 63-4; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vol. I; Historical Records of New South Wales, vol. II; Viscountess Knutsford, Life and Letters of Zachary Macauley.

^Top of page

DAWSON, ANDREW (usually known as Anderson Dawson) (1863-1910),

politician, first labour premier of Queensland,

was born at Rockhampton, Queensland, on 16 July 1863. He came of poor parents and had no more than a primary school education. His first employment was as a miner at Charters Towers. In 1885 he went to the Kimberley rush in Western Australia, but having little success returned to Queensland, and was elected first president of the Miners' Union. In 1891 he was chairman of the Charters Towers strike committee, and vice-president of the Queensland provincial council of the Australian Labour federation. He took up journalism and for a time was editor of the Charters Towers Eagle. In 1893 he was returned as a Labour candidate for Charters Towers in the Queensland legislative assembly, and retained the seat at the 1896 and 1899 elections. When the Dickson (q.v.) government resigned on 1 December 1899 Dawson was sent for as leader of the opposition and formed a ministry, which was, however, defeated directly the house met. At the beginning of 1900 Dawson resigned his leadership of the Labour party on account of ill-health, but at the first federal election for the senate he was returned at the head of the Queensland poll. In April 1904 when J. C. Watson formed the first federal Labour government Dawson was given the portfolio of minister for defence, and showed himself to be a capable administrator. He lost his seat at the federal election of December 1906 and died on 20 July 1910.

Dawson was a thoroughly honest man devoted to his party and his country. He was an excellent speaker, knowing what he wanted to say and saying it clearly. His early death was a loss to the politics of the period.

The Brisbane Courier, 21 July 1910; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years.

^Top of page

DEAKIN, ALFRED (1856-1919),


was born at Fitzroy, a suburb of Melbourne, on 3 August 1856, the only son of William Deakin, accountant, and his wife Sarah Bill, daughter of a Shropshire farmer. William Deakin was born in Northamptonshire in 1819, and came to Australia immediately after his marriage in 1849. At Adelaide his only daughter, Catherine Sarah, was born in 1850, and not long afterwards the gold-rush took the family to Victoria. He was for a time a partner in a coaching business, and afterwards for many years an accountant in the well-known firm of Cobb and Co. His son described him as "hard working and thrifty, though inclined to lose his savings in mining and other ventures". He was able to give his family a comfortable home and his children a good education. He was sensitive and retiring, honourable in all his dealings, a wide reader, had an excellent flow of good English, and was a ready controversialist. His wife was a beautiful woman who had in the words of her son the domestic virtues in perfection. "Wherever she was, she in herself was a home where taste, order, cleanliness, comfort, discipline and quiet reigned.... She was neither sentimental, devotional, volatile nor frivolous, her chief characteristics being composure and quiet observation." In this gracious atmosphere Alfred Deakin was born and spent his childhood.

In 1864 Deakin was sent to the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School, then under the head-mastership of Dr Bromby (q.v.), and remained there until 1871. He did not attain to any special distinction either in sport, though he took part in the games of the school, or in his studies. In the earlier years he spent too much time in dreaming and miscellaneous reading to have a good class record, but in the upper school, coming under the influences of the headmaster and one of the assistant masters, John Hennings Thompson, he did better. He passed the matriculation examination of the university of Melbourne in 1871 obtaining honours in algebra, geometry and history. He had grown into a tall, slender, alert and decidedly handsome boy, still reading insatiably, but not suggesting to his schoolmasters that he was marked for future distinction. In 1872 he entered on his law course at Melbourne university and was admitted to the bar in September 1877. In the intervening years, not wishing to be too great a burden to his father, he taught at schools, was a private tutor, and acted as bookkeeper and representative of his father in a printing establishment; his father had been persuaded to put £2000 into a languishing business. The money was eventually lost, but the experience of the commercial world gained by Deakin must have been very valuable to him. All the time the young man was reading everything that came in his way. In his childhood he had fallen under the spell of the narrative writings of Bunyan, Defoe and Swift, in young manhood Carlyle became his prophet and influenced his whole life. He read French in the original, the great German and classic writers in translation, and found time to do an immense amount of writing himself, both in prose and verse. Most of this he afterwards wisely burned; he found he had written too easily for his work to have any value. One little volume was printed in 1875, Quentin Massys: A Drama in Five Acts. This is mostly in blank verse and is quite a creditable piece of work for a boy of 18. It has been most successfully suppressed and very few copies are in existence, of which one is at the Mitchell library, Sydney, and another at the public library, Melbourne. How he succeeded in also passing his examinations at the university can only be accounted for by the facts that he had a mind which quickly grasped essentials, and a wonderful memory. He was always interested in systems of philosophy and religion. As a boy of 18 he joined, in a spirit of inquiry, a spiritualistic circle that met at the house of a Melbourne medical man, Dr Motherwell. He became much interested and wrote and published in 1877 A New Pilgrim's Progress, purporting to be given by John Bunyan through an Impressional Writing Medium. He had written it so easily that a youth of his age might be forgiven for thinking some unseen force had inspired him. In later years Deakin himself could find no trace of inspiration in this book, nor indeed, any resemblance to the style of Bunyan. He retained his interest in the unseen, but soon abandoned any illusion he may have had about possessing mediumistic powers.

Deakin began his career as a barrister in February 1878, and had as little success in obtaining briefs as most Young barristers in their first year. He became acquainted with George Syme the editor of the Leader, who introduced him to his great brother David (q.v.) editor of the Age. Deakin was anxious to write for the press and served a severe apprenticeship under George Syme, but David Syme soon came to the conclusion that the young writer must be given more liberty. For the next five years Deakin did a large amount of varied journalistic work for both papers, and became very friendly with David Syme. In January 1879, when he was only 22, it was suggested that he should stand for Parliament in the Liberal interest. Feeling at this time ran very high, and a professional man allying himself with the so-called radical tendencies of the day risked not only social ostracism but professional ruin, and it was not easy to get suitable candidates. Deakin was quite inexperienced but full of energy, with all the arguments of his opponents quite familiar to him. He had been brought up in a conservative household, but contact with the fine minds of Pearson (q.v.), George Higinbotham (q.v.) and Syme had widened his outlook. Laissez-faire meant mere negation to him. It was felt that the legislative council had been a barrier to progress and must be reformed, protection must be brought in to encourage manufactures, there must be a land tax to break up the big estates. With less than a fortnight before the election Deakin fought a whirlwind campaign and beat an experienced opponent by 97 votes. But unfortunately at one polling booth the supply of ballot papers ran out before the end of polling day, and a small number of people was disfranchised. Deakin felt he could not hold the seat in such circumstances, and resigned it immediately parliament met. It created a great sensation and he was much praised, but at the re-election his opponents fought hard and succeeded in defeating him by 15 votes. In February 1880 there was another general election and though Deakin polled more votes than before he was again defeated. His party went into opposition and the new premier James Service (q.v.) prepared a reform bill. It was considered unsatisfactory, a public meeting was held in a Melbourne theatre by the opponents of the bill, and Deakin was the first of the speakers. It was a very large audience and he was exceedingly nervous, but the young orator had a triumph. It was realized that a new leader of the people had appeared. The bill was defeated, there was a fresh election, and on 14 July 1880 Deakin was elected head of the poll for West Bourke. He was still under 24 years of age, and the day before he reached that age the new premier (Sir) Graham Berry (q.v.) offered him the post of attorney-general in his ministry. It is true Berry was having difficulties in forming a ministry, but it was a great tribute to so inexperienced a politician that he should have made the offer. Deakin declined the position feeling that he was not yet fit for it. He became a private member and did not come into notice again until June 1881, when the perennial quarrel between the two houses reached another crisis. A reform bill had passed the assembly and had been sent to the other chamber where it was much amended. A caucus meeting was held and it was decided to abandon the bill. Deakin felt, however, that if a conference were held between the two houses the council might make concessions and a useful act might be the result. He announced he would not be bound by the caucus, and there was a storm which threatened to engulf him. It was a courageous stand, for his employer Syme was against him, but eventually the conference was held, concessions were made, and for many years there was reasonable harmony between the two houses. Deakin was still working as a journalist and though not yet very prominent in parliament was steadily learning to be a statesman. In 1881 he became engaged to Martha Elizabeth (generally known as "Pattie") Browne, daughter of a well-to-do Melbourne merchant. Both were young, but in spite of some opposition they were married in April 1882. He was to go through many anxieties, the bonds of newspaper writing and party politics can be very trying to an honest man who is also an idealist, but in his wife he found a worthy help-mate for the remainder of his days.

In 1883 the Service-Berry coalition government was formed, and Deakin accepted office as commissioner of public works and minister of water supply. To these offices he added that of solicitor-general, but found he had too much to do and resigned the portfolio of minister of water supply. Probably his connexion with this department led to his interest in irrigation, for he was a sound and painstaking minister, anxious to know all about his departments. There had been much suffering from drought years, and a royal commission was appointed with Deakin as president. In December 1884 he went to America to see what was being done there. He returned in May 1885 and presented his report, Irrigation in Western America, in June. This report was a remarkable piece of accurate observation, and was immediately reprinted by the United States government. In 1886 he again became minister of water supply and succeeded in passing his irrigation bill. It was the beginning of a great movement in Australia, which it may not be too much to say has proved to be the salvation of the country. Deakin retained his interest in the subject for many years, publishing in 1887 his Irrigation in Italy and Egypt, and in 1893 Irrigated India.

Irrigation had not been Deakin's only interest. In 1885 he had been responsible for the first Victorian factory act. The bill was much amended by the legislative council and in its final form must have been a great disappointment to him. But a foundation had been laid on which to build later on. What constituted a factory was defined, hours were regulated, and there were regulations dealing with child labour. Later acts have included many of the things fought for unsuccessfully in 1885, and in another factory bill he introduced in 1893. It took long to convince the conservative upper house of those days that the conditions of employees could be improved without ruining the country then apparently so prosperous. The Gillies (q.v.)-Deakin ministry which had succeeded the Service-Berry coalition swam on the tide of prosperity, and there was a general feeling of confidence in the air.

In 1887 Deakin made his first visit to England, being one of the four representatives of Victoria at the colonial conference. His colleagues were Service, Berry and James Lorimer. He made his mark at once. Salisbury, the British prime minister, had confined himself to generalities in his opening speech, and the delegates from the various colonies who spoke before Deakin, also appear to have kept largely to polite generalities. Deakin took a much bolder tone and spoke of the difficulties the colonies had in dealing with the British ministry, and instanced the dispatches relating to New Guinea and the New Hebrides. His criticism was not resented, indeed within a few days he was offered and declined the honour of K.C.M.G. At private meetings subsequently held he fought Salisbury on equal terms; his courtesy was remarkable, but that did not prevent him from speaking plainly when the occasion demanded it. He made a great impression in London, and if the conference did nothing else it brought home to the delegates of various Australian colonies the advantages that would accrue if they could speak with one voice. But federation was still a long way off.

In the year 1888 everything seemed prosperous in Victoria and the government like everyone else spent money extravagantly. Deakin in this respect was no wiser than his fellows, and there appears to be no evidence that he ever raised his voice against this extravagance. Gillies the premier was considered to be a shrewd hard-headed financier, and probably Deakin felt that it was his business to look after his own department and trust his colleagues. In 1889 the land boom began to break though the seriousness of the position was not realized for some time. In November 1890 the government was defeated, James Munro (q.v.) became premier, and Deakin was not in office in a Victorian government again. The federation of the Australian colonies had long been his dream. If it could become more than a dream there was work to be done, and much of his time during the next 10 years was given to this cause. During the bank crisis of 1893 he suffered heavy financial losses and he found it necessary to build up a practice as a barrister. He had scarcely the type of mind that makes a great barrister, but he was persevering and conscientious in his work, and succeeded in making a good income. He still kept his interest in social legislation, his factory act of 1893 has been already referred to, but all the time the question of federation was in his mind, and at the conference of 1890 and the conventions of 1891, 1897 and 1898 he was a leading figure. To him often fell the task of reconciling differences, and of finding ways out of apparently impossible difficulties. But this was not all--he travelled through the country addressing public meetings, and it may truly be said that he was responsible for the large majority in Victoria at each referendum. There was great doubt as to whether a majority could be obtained in New South Wales and again Deakin had to smooth out the innumerable difficulties that were raised. At last only one obstacle remained, Joseph Chamberlain the colonial secretary thought it would be necessary to amend the Commonwealth bill before submitting it to the house of commons. He asked that representatives of the colonies concerned should be sent to London to confer with him, and Deakin was selected to represent Victoria. The other leading delegates were Barton (q.v.) and Kingston (q.v.). The three were determined to consent to no amendments, and Chamberlain said the bill must be amended. The real difficulty was clause 74 relating to the high court, which was thought to go too close to cutting the painter. It was a long struggle but eventually a compromise was found, and it was decided that appeals from the high court should be by consent of the high court itself. The Australian representatives were greatly pleased that they had been able to get the act passed with so little amendment.

In November 1900 Deakin was elected for Ballarat in the Commonwealth house of representatives, and held the seat until he retired about 12 years later. It had been thought that Barton would be the first prime minister, but to everyone's surprise Sir William Lyne (q.v.), then premier of New South Wales, was sent for, and Lyne offered a seat in his cabinet to Deakin. Had he accepted it is probable that Lyne would have succeeded in forming a ministry, but Deakin felt that in loyalty to Barton he could not do so. Barton became prime minister and Deakin attorney-general in his cabinet. There was much to be done and there were few precedents. The position was not easy for there were three parties in the house, and in the ministry itself five former state premiers. In 1903 the high court was constituted and Barton became one of the first three judges. The ministry was re-constructed, Deakin became prime minister and took up a very difficult task. Reid (q.v.) was leader of the free-trade group and J. C. Watson (q.v.) led the Labour party. Deakin was really more in sympathy with Labour aims than Reid, and for a time progress was made with Labour party support, though Labour members said that he gave them nothing in return. But it was not the time for petty bargains between sections of the house. The first task had been the working out of the machinery of the new government. Next, a broad fiscal policy had to be agreed upon. Unfortunately the election of December 1903 did not improve matters. When this parliament met Deakin, possibly by design, courted failure by bringing in an arbitration bill which did not meet with the approval of the Labour party. He was defeated and Watson as leader of that party became the new prime minister. With parties as they were this government might not have lasted a week, but Deakin insisted that it should be given an opportunity of governing. Watson brought in another arbitration bill which was defeated on the preference to unionists issue, and Reid formed a coalition government which included three of Deakin's followers. Their leader had already stated that whatever government might be formed he would not take office. His support to the new government was based on a memorandum signed by Reid and himself, agreeing that there should be a fiscal truce until May 1906, but Reid was to declare his policy by then. With a bare majority of two Reid kept his ministry going until the recess which ended in June 1905. On 24 June Deakin made a speech at Ballarat which the Age next morning reported under the title "Notice to Quit". All the members of the cabinet agreed in this interpretation, the policy speech which had been prepared was abandoned, and the speech from the throne simply proposed electoral business. By many people Deakin's action is considered to be the one blot on his career, but the statement of one of his biographers that "dislike of Reid and anxiety lest a truce should prove harmful to protection induced him to break his compact" scarcely covers the whole ground. Reid in his Reminiscences admits that when the house met "Deakin disclaimed any hostile intention", and in an eloquent speech said he had no intention to upset the ministry. Allan McLean (q.v.) in his speech claimed that the ministry had not departed "a hair's breadth from the understanding which had been entered into" . . . and that "the prime minister has never upon any occasion sought to take advantage of the fact that free traders predominated among the government supporters". Walter Murdoch in Alfred Deakin: a Sketch devotes six pages to a defence of Deakin's action, and possibly tries to prove too much. It is not unlikely that the much worried Deakin in his Ballarat speech, meaning only to issue a general warning, suggested a little more than he had intended. When the Age took it up the whole matter got out of hand.

Deakin formed a new administration from his own supporters who were the smallest of the three groups in parliament. He had the general support of the Labour party. Progress was slow, but among the acts passed were the "contract immigrants act", a "trades mark act", one to constitute British New Guinea a territory, and the "Australian industries act". At the 1906 election his preservation party came back reduced in numbers but Deakin still carried on, and early in 1907 went to London to attend the Imperial conference. Here he worked with consuming energy, and following on the anxieties of the previous six years it shattered him. Contrary to Deakin's wishes the conference met in private, he had to arrange public meetings to bring his views before the people, and he spoke untiringly. He had great popular success as a speaker, but he was more than a popular speaker, he greatly impressed some of the finest minds of the time.

Deakin came back to Australia a weary man and carried on his difficult task. It was not made more easy by the resignation of Sir John Forrest (q.v.) who had been his treasurer. There was an immensely long debate on the tariff bill, the session lasted from July 1907 to June 1908, and the strain on the leader must have been great. Among other acts passed was one authorizing the survey of a route for the transcontinental railway. In November 1908 Andrew Fisher (q.v.) the new leader of the Labour party withdrew his support, and the first Fisher ministry came in and lasted seven months. Reid had resigned the leadership of the opposition and had been succeeded by Joseph Cook. In June 1909 Deakin and Cook joined forces, the Labour government was defeated, and the so-called fusion government came into being with Deakin as prime minister. The first session was a stormy one and Deakin was bitterly attacked by his former follower Sir Wm Lyne, and by W. M. Hughes on the Labour side of the house. The bitterness extended from parliament to the next election, and Deakin was actually refused a hearing at more than one meeting. Labour scored an unexpected victory, and in April 1910 for the first time took office with a clear majority in both houses. Deakin had succeeded in passing an invalid and old age pensions act, the question of the federal capital site had at last been settled, and the beginning of an Australian navy had been built. His defence bill was to be adopted in its essentials by a later ministry. He remained a private member until 1913 when he retired. He had for some years felt that his powers were failing. His last effective battle was the campaign before the referendum of 1911. The Labour party asked for two amendments of the constitution. One would have given the federal government full power over trade, commerce and industry, the second was relating to the nationalization of monopolies, and it might have been expected, in view of the Labour vote in 1910, that they would have succeeded in their objects. Deakin travelled many thousand miles and addressed many meetings, and partly as a result of his efforts the proposals were defeated. In 1912 he found difficulty in keeping his mind clear, and his wonderful flow of words began to fail. In 1913 he retired from parliament and sought shelter in his home. A friend, A. D. Strachan, had left him a legacy sufficient to free him from money worries. At the beginning of the war he accepted the position of chairman of the royal commission on food supplies and on trade and industry during the war, but found it almost impossible to carry out his work. In 1915 he represented Australia at the Panama-Pacific exposition held at San Francisco, and was thankful to get through his duties without disaster. After that he lived quietly at home, quite conscious of his failing powers, and died on 7 October 1919.

In addition to the volumes already mentioned Deakin published in 1893 Temple and Tomb in India, a collection of excellent newspaper articles, and some of his speeches and reports were published as pamphlets. An enormous amount of writing was unpublished at the time of his death. His The Federal Story, which appeared in 1944 [sic], has vivid portraits of many of his political contemporaries.

Deakin was a great Australian and a great man. He began as a dreamer, he was always an idealist, yet he realized that he was in a world of men who had to be lived with. His greatness as a statesman had been questioned because he so often had to make alliances with men with whom he must have been out of sympathy, and to make compromises when there should have been no compromise. But it has not been fully realized how often his policy was adopted by his associates, and how often by accepting a part it was made possible that the whole might eventually be obtained. His political career began in a period of bitterness, and the last 10 years in federal politics with its intriguing and plotting must have irked his very soul. Yet his wisdom was always shaping the policy of parliament. He was a great orator. He never wanted a word, he had always the right word, and behind all was a fine mind, a wealth of reading, a great grasp of essentials. Sometimes he spoke so fast that he became the despair of reporters, and ordinary minds had difficulty in keeping pace with him. Even then his exuberant enthusiasm and his passion for the right would stir men to such an extent that the success of the movement he was advocating became certain. His unselfishness and patriotism made him a model for all his countrymen.

His widow, born in 1863, survived until December 1934 and continued to take an interest in all social movements. She was the first president of the free kindergarten union of Victoria and held many other offices. The eldest daughter, Ivy Deakin, married Herbert Brooks, B.C.E., the second daughter, Stella Deakin, M.Sc., married Sir David Rivett, K.C.M.G., M.A., D.Sc., and the third daughter, Vera Deakin, O.B.E., married Lieutenant-colonel the Hon. T. W. White, D.F.C., M.P. There were children of each marriage. A bust of Deakin by C. Web Gilbert is at state parliament house, Melbourne.

Walter Murdoch, Alfred Deakin: A Sketch; A. Jose, Builders and Pioneers of Australia; Sir George Reid, My Reminiscences; Henry L. Hall, Victoria's Part in the Australian Federation Movement; Henry Gyles Turner, First Decade of the Australian Commonwealth; Quick and Garran, Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth; J. A. Alexander, The Life of George Chaffey; The Argus, Melbourne, 8 October 1919; The Age, Melbourne, 8 October 1919; Alfred Deakin, The Federal Story.

^Top of page

DEANE, HENRY (1847-1924),

engineer and man of science,

was born at Clapham, England, on 26 March 1847, the son of Henry Deane, a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Deane matriculated in 1862, and in 1865 graduated B.A. at Queen's university of Ireland, with honours in mathematics and natural science. He also studied engineering for two years and obtained his diploma at King's College, London. After two years in the office of Sir John Fowler at London, he was engaged from 1869 to 1871 on the Hungarian railways, and from 1871 to 1873 was chief technical assistant at the ship-building works of the Danube Steam Navigation Company, Altofen, Hungary. From 1873 to 1879 he was in England and the Philippine islands. Coming to Australia at the end of 1879 he joined the New South Wales railways department in 1880, and rose to be engineer-in-chief in 1890. In 1894 he made a world trip studying light railways and tramway systems, and after his return took a leading part in inaugurating the Sydney electric tramway system. He retired from the New South Wales railways in May 1906, but after two years of private practice he was appointed consulting engineer to the Commonwealth in connexion with the survey of the transcontinental railway. At the beginning of 1912 he became engineer-in-chief and supervised the construction of a large portion of this railway. He retired in February 1914 and practised as a consulting engineer at Melbourne. He died there on 12 March 1924. He was twice married and left a widow, three sons and three daughters. He was a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and of several learned societies. He was twice president of the Royal Society of New South Wales and for two years was president of the Linnean Society in the same state.

Deane, a kindly genial man, found time to do interesting and valuable work in various branches of science. In conjunction with J. H. Maiden (q.v.) he published a series of papers on native timbers, and wrote frequently on forestry and botanical subjects. His work on tertio fossil botany was particularly valuable, and gave him a high reputation among the geologists of his time.

Some Notes on the Life of Henry Deane, 1924; F. Chapman, Records Geological Survey, Victoria, Vol. IV, 1925; Proceedings Royal Society of Victoria, 1925; The Argus, Melbourne, 13 March 1924; Proceedings Linnean Society of N.S.W., vol. XLIX, p. IV.

^Top of page



^Top of page



youngest son of the Rev. William de Burgh, D.D., was born at Sandymount, county Dublin, Ireland, in 1863. He was educated at Rathmines school and the Royal College of Science, Ireland, and was for some time employed on railway construction in Ireland. Coming to Sydney in 1885 de Burgh immediately obtained a position in the New South Wales public works department, two years later was sent to the country in charge of the construction of steel bridges, and eventually became engineer of bridges. He was in this capacity responsible for several bridges over the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Hunter and other rivers. In 1903 he became acting principal assistant engineer of water supply and sewerage, a year later visited Europe to study dam construction and water supply, and after his return did important work in connexion with the Burrinjuck dam and Murrumbidgee irrigation scheme. He was appointed chief-engineer for harbours and water supply in 1909, and in 1913 chief-engineer for water supply and sewerage. He designed and supervised the construction of the great reservoirs for the Sydney water supply at Cataract, Cordeaux, Avon, and Nepean, for the Chichester scheme for Newcastle district, and the Umberumberka scheme at Broken Hill. He retired in 1927 and died at Sydney on 3 April 1929. He married and left a widow, two sons and a daughter.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 and 6 April 1929.

^Top of page



was born in Kent, England, on 30 July 1853 of respectable parents. He ran away to sea at 16 years of age and afterwards began a long career of crime, largely thieving and obtaining money under false pretences. Most of his time was spent in Australia and South Africa, but he was in England in February 1890, when he contracted a bigamous marriage with a Miss Matheson whom he afterwards deserted; he already had a wife and three children. A fourth child was born and in July 1891 he murdered his wife and children at Rainhill, Lancashire, buried the bodies under the floor of the house he had rented, and covered them with cement. He explained their disappearance by saying that his wife was his sister who had been staying with him, and had now gone to join her husband at Port Said. In September he married a Miss Mather and took her to Melbourne where they arrived in December. He rented a house in the suburb of Windsor, murdered his wife on about 24 December, buried her under the hearthstone of one of the bedrooms and again covered the body with cement. He paid a month's rent in advance, early in January spent some time in Melbourne and Sydney, where he became engaged to be married to another woman, and then went to Western Australia with the understanding that she would follow him. On about 3 March a new tenant at the Windsor house complained of a bad smell, the hearthstone was raised and the body found. In the meantime by means of forged testimonials Deeming had obtained a position at Southern Cross, and as part of the preparation of his house for his new bride, had purchased a barrel of cement. He was traced to Southern Cross, arrested and taken to Melbourne. Furious demonstrations against him were made on the journey to Perth, and again on the way to Albany. Tried at Melbourne on 21 April 1892, with Alfred Deakin (q.v.) as his counsel in spite of a plea of insanity he was found guilty and was hanged on 23 May 1892.

Deeming was extremely long-armed and had other physical characteristics that suggested some affinity with the anthropoid apes. He appears to have been without any redeeming qualities, a cruel calculating murderer, insensible to pity.

J. D. Fitzgerald, Studies in Australian Crime, second series; G. B. H. Logan, Masters of Crime, p. 198 (dates incorrect); The Argus, 24 May 1892; private information. The Biography of Frederick Bayley Deeming published at Melbourne in 1892 is an imaginative compilation without value.

^Top of page



son of General F. A. T. Delprat, was born at Delft, Holland, on 1 September 1856. He went to Scotland in 1872, served an apprenticeship in engineering, and worked on the Tay bridge. Returning to Holland about four years later, he continued his studies at Amsterdam university and for a time was assistant to Professor van de Waal the well-known physicist. In 1879 he went to Spain and was engaged at the Rio Tinto copper-mines. He was subsequently connected with the Bede Company, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and held appointments in Spain, Norway and Canada. In September 1898 he came to Australia to become general manager of the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd., which was then a mine producing large quantities of silver and lead. Soon after becoming manager Delprat drew attention to the value of the zinc in the tailings, and made successful efforts to recover this by means of a flotation process. Within a few years 500,000 tons of zinc concentrates were obtained from 1,750,000 tons of tailings. The process used has since been applied in many mines throughout the world. Delprat realized, however, that the ore reserves of the mine were shrinking, and that the company would have to eventually find a use for its capital in other directions. In 1911 he visited England, Germany, Sweden and the United States, and conferred with leading experts on the problem of establishing iron and steel works in Australia on a large scale. He reported strongly in favour of the project, and it was decided that Newcastle, New South Wales, would be the best centre for it. During the subsequent negotiations with the New South Wales government, Delprat promised that if the works were established work would be found for 10,000 men, and that the requirements of Australia in steel rails etc., would be supplied as cheaply as they could be obtained from any other part of the world. In return, the government was asked to deepen the river near the company's site, provide an additional area of adjoining crown land, and build up some of the low-lying portions of the site with the dredgings from the river. The company was also to be given an order for 30,000 tons of steel rails at the same price as those imported. An agreement was come to, and the works were so quickly started that they were able to open in 1915 and do work that was of great value during the 1914-18 war. Everything that was promised by Delprat was carried out, and the company, with many subsidiary activities, continued to develop for many years. Delprat resigned in 1921, and lived in retirement at Melbourne until his death on 15 March 1937. He married in 1879, Henrietta Jas, who survived him with two sons and five daughters. He was created C.B.E. in 1918, and in 1935 was the first recipient of the medal of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Delprat was quiet, modest and kindly; a good chess player in his youth, in old age he made a hobby of modelling. He was an excellent engineer and manager, handled his staff well, carried the respect of the miners, and was far-seeing when broad issues were concerned. The beneficial effect of his work was not fully realized until after the second world war broke out, for the steel and munitions produced by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company were then of incalculable value to Australia.

The Argus, Melbourne, 17 and 19 March 1937; The Age, Melbourne, 17 March 1937; The Bulletin, 24 March 1937; The Industrial Australian and Mining Standard, 15 October 1935.

^Top of page


orator and miscellaneous writer,

was born at Sydney on 16 August 1828 (Aust. Ency.). His father, Daniel John Deniehy, was an Irishman who had built tip a successful business in Sydney as a produce merchant. The son was educated at Sydney College, and when about 15 years of age was taken to England with the intention of being entered at an English university. His age and extremely small stature prevented this and he was placed under a private tutor. He afterwards visited Ireland and the Continent, where he developed the love of art shown afterwards in his writings. He returned to Sydney, was articled to N. D. Stenhouse, well known as a friend of literary men of the period, and was admitted to practice as an attorney and solicitor. In 1853 he delivered a series of lectures on literature at the Sydney school of arts, and in 1854 came into notice by making a vigorous speech against Wentworth's constitution bill at a public meeting in the Victoria Theatre. In the following year he married Adelaide Elizabeth Hoalls, who was on a visit from England. Her father, a man of means, did not approve of the match, cut himself off from his daughter, and left his money to charities. In May 1856 Deniehy moved to Goulburn where there was an opportunity for a man of his profession, and in February 1857 was returned to the legislative assembly for Argyle. He at first supported (Sir) Charles Cowper (q.v.), but afterwards became a strong opponent of him. He showed himself to be a master of sarcasm, but though always listened to with respect and interest, he could not compromise and gradually alienated his friends. He returned to Sydney in 1858, did a large amount of capable journalism, and made some brilliant speeches at public meetings and social gatherings; but he had unfortunately begun to give way to drink. He stood for West Sydney at the election in 1859 and was defeated, but two country electorates returned him. About this time he founded the Southern Cross newspaper in which much of his critical writing appeared. In October 1860 he moved and carried a resolution for the establishment of a free public library at Sydney. In the following year he retired from politics. In 1862, on the invitation of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (q.v.) and others, he went to Melbourne and edited the Victorian, a Roman Catholic organ. Probably he had hoped to make a fresh start in a city far from his old associates, but two years later he returned to Sydney a wreck of his former self. He contributed some critical essays to the Sydney Morning Herald, and in 1865 endeavoured to take up legal work again at Bathurst. There he died in the local hospital on 22 October 1865. His wife and three daughters survived him. His statue is at the department of lands in Sydney.

Deniehy was short in stature and delicate in frame. His brilliance as a speaker was long remembered in Sydney, he was a good literary critic, and one of the best journalists of his period. He wrote a little good verse, two of his lyrics have been included in several anthologies. In parliament he was brilliant and honest but unable to fit in with the conditions of his time. This combined with his unfortunate failing made it impossible for him to exercise the full influence of his fine intellect.

E. A. Marlin, The Life and Speeches of Daniel Henry Deniehy; G. B. Barton, The Poets and Prose Writers of New South Wales, and Literature in New South Wales, pp. 55-63; W. B. Dalley, Introduction to reprint of Deniehy's The Attorney-General of New Barataria; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 October 1865; The Bulletin, Red Page, 17 September 1898; Aubrey Halloran, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XII, pp. 341-5.

^Top of page


governor of Tasmania and of New South Wales,

was the son of John Denison, and was born in England in 1804. He was educated at Eton and entered the royal engineers in 1826. After serving for 20 years in various capacities, he was offered the position of lieutenant-governor of Tasmania in 1846, and arrived at Hobart on 25 January 1847. Legal difficulties prevented a meeting of the legislative council during 1847 and Denison ruled alone. He became at odds with the two judges; the power of the nominee council to levy taxes had been questioned, and Chief Justice Pedder and Mr Justice Montagu concurred in holding that the council had no right to levy a tax for other than local purposes. Denison thereupon charged the judges with neglect of duty in omitting to certify illegality in an act before it was enrolled. He suggested that the chief justice should apply for leave of absence, and also found an opportunity to dismiss Montagu who was threatened with an action by a creditor. Denison was afterwards reprimanded by the secretary of state for his conduct towards Pedder, but the dismissal of Montagu was confirmed. A report made by Denison to the secretary of state, in which he spoke unfavourably of the colonists as a whole, was printed as a parliamentary paper, Denison naturally became very unpopular, and this unpopularity was not lessened by his attitude to the anti-transportation movement. He, however, succeeded in conciliating some of the citizens by granting five acres of land in Hobart as a site for an unsectarian school. The colonial office announced the cessation of sending convicts to Tasmania, but reversed their policy and began sending them in large numbers. The Australasian League formed to oppose transportation had the support of nearly all the leading colonists of Tasmania, and as the other colonies took the same stand success became certain. The last ship with convicts for Tasmania sailed towards the end of 1852.

While this movement had been going on, the question of granting responsible government had come much to the front. In 1850 an act for the better government of the Australian colonies was passed, which provided that the existing nominee councils should frame electoral acts for new elected councils. A council of 16 members was elected in Tasmania, and the governor's power was now much reduced. He, however, incurred some criticism by proclaiming pre-emptive right [sic] land regulations before the new council met. The proclamation was intended to help to keep small holders of land in Tasmania, but the large graziers and speculators defeated this by taking up large tracts of land. Denison, however, became more popular towards the end of his term. In September 1854 he received word that he had been appointed governor of New South Wales, and when he left Hobart on 13 January 1855 he received a cheque for £2000 from the colonists to purchase a piece of plate as a memento of his sojourn among them. After correspondence with the secretary of state he was allowed to accept this.

In New South Wales Denison inaugurated the bicameral system of representative government, and showed wisdom and tact in his dealings with the problems which arose. He drew up a good constitution for the descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty on Norfolk Island, and when visiting New Zealand gave sensible advice to Colonel Gore Browne, which if followed, might have averted the Maori war. In November 1860 he received word that he had been appointed governor of Madras, and left Sydney on 22 January 1861.

In India his training as an engineer was useful in connexion with irrigation of which he was a strong advocate. In November 1863, when Lord Elgin died, Denison for two months became governor-general of India. In March 1866 he returned to England and prepared his Varieties of Vice-Regal Life, which appeared in two volumes in 1870. He died on 19 January 1871. He married a daughter of Admiral Sir William Phipps Hornby, and was survived by six sons and four daughters. He was knighted before leaving for Tasmania and was created a K.C.B. in 1856.

Denison was a man of high character and a good administrator. In his early days in Tasmania he spoke too frankly about the colonists in communications which he regarded as confidential, and this accentuated the feeling against him as a representative of the colonial office during the anti-transportation and responsible government movements. He showed great interest in the life of the colony, and helped to foster education, science and trade, during the period when Tasmania was developing into a prosperous colony. In New South Wales his task was easier, and he had no difficulty in coping adequately with the problems that arose during the early days of responsible government in Australia.

Sir William Denison, Varieties of Vice-Regal Life; J. West, The History of Tasmania; J. Fenton, A History of Tasmania; G. W. Rusden, History of Australia; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates.

^Top of page

DENNIS, CLARENCE MICHAEL JAMES (1876-1938), the second name was never used,

poet and journalist,

the son of a retired sea captain who kept an hotel, and his wife Catherine Tobin, was born at Auburn, South Australia, on 7 September 1876. He was educated at Laura and at the Christian Brothers College at Adelaide, where with three others he produced a school paper The Weary Weekly. On leaving school he became a junior clerk in an office, but was shortly afterwards discharged because he found Rider Haggard's novels more interesting than office work. After working for his father for some time he began sending verses to the Critic, an Adelaide paper. He joined its staff when he was 22, but soon after went to Broken Hill, where he worked successively as miner, carpenter, labourer and canvasser. It was difficult to make even a bare living at any of these occupations, but his experiences widened his knowledge of human nature. He returned to Adelaide, took up journalism again, and in 1906 founded The Gadfly, a bright publication started with scarcely any capital, which survived for 18 months. Among its contributors was Will Dyson (q.v.), afterwards to establish a world-wide reputation as a cartoonist.

Towards the end of 1907 Dennis went to Melbourne, established himself at Toolangi some 30 miles away in the hills, and worked as a free-lance journalist on the Bulletin and other papers. In 1913 he published his first volume Backblock Ballads and Other Verses by "Den" (C. J. Dennis). This had but a moderate success, though it contained four of the poems in his next book The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, which made his reputation. It was published in 1915, and over 50,000 copies were sold in Australia within a year. Editions were also issued in Canada and the United States, and before the end of 1919 over 100,000 copies has been issued. Before its first publication Dennis had been working in the attorney-general's department of the Commonwealth government, and was for a time private secretary to Senator Russell. The success of his book enabled him to go to the country again, and he made himself a very pleasant home at Toolangi. Other books followed in quick succession, The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916), The Glugs of Gosh (satire) (1917), Backblock Ballads re-issued with later verses added (1918), and Digger Smith in the same year. In 1919 Jim of the Hills, a Story in Rhyme was published, and in 1921 A Book for Kids (in prose and verse) reissued under the title of Roundabout in 1935. In 1922 Dennis joined the staff of the Herald, Melbourne, and during the next 15 years did a large amount of writing including much verse on topics of the time. Rose of Spadgers, a sequel to Ginger Mick, was published in 1924, and in 1935 The Singing Garden, mostly a selection from prose and verse contributed to the Herald, appeared. He died at Melbourne on 21 June 1938. He married in 1917, Olive Herron, who survived him. There were no children.

The great success of Dennis was due to his humour and pathos, his healthy sentiment, and his kindly view of human nature. If his sentiment at times tended to slop over into sentimentality, it was to some extent concealed by his humorous use of slang, of which a glossary was provided at the end of most of the volumes. Much of his work of later years was merely competent verse and, even when at his best, he tended to make the separate poems too long. But he succeeded in a very difficult feat. He wrote verse that could be read with pleasure both by uneducated people and by intellectuals. He was an excellent journalist, a first-rate literary craftsman, and he wrote some of the best popular poetry that has appeared in Australia. Personally he was a good companion much liked by his many friends.

Guy Innes, The Herald, Melbourne, 12 May 1922; The Argus, Melbourne, 22 June 1938; A. H. Chisholm, The Herald, 13 November 1943; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

DERHAM, ENID (1882-1941),


was born at Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria, on 24 March 1882. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Plumley Derham, solicitor, and was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College and the university of Melbourne. She graduated M.A. with final honours in classics in 1903, and subsequently studied at Oxford university. In 1912 she published The Mountain Road and Other Verses, and Empire: A Morality Play for Children. She was appointed senior lecturer in English at the university of Melbourne in 1922, and held this position for the rest of her life. She died suddenly on 13 November 1941. A woman of great kindliness and charm with a sense of humour, Miss Derham did not over-estimate her position as an Australian poet. But though The Mountain Road is only a slender book, few volumes of its time contain verse of such a uniformly high quality. Several of the lyrics have been included in Australian anthologies. Much verse written since 1912 has not been published in book form.

The Argus, 15 November 1941; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

DEXTER, WILLIAM (1818-1860),


was born at Melbourne, Derbyshire, England, in 1818. He became an apprentice at the Derby China factory, and painted flowers and birds in the Chinese and Japanese styles. He then studied at Paris, and returning to England, married Caroline Harper at Nottingham in 1843. He had a picture in the exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1851 and another in the following year. He then sailed to Australia and arrived at Sydney on 8 October 1852. He was at Bendigo in August 1853, where William Howitt heard him advocating republican doctrines at a meeting of diggers. His wife came out front England at the end of 1854, and in March 1855 they together opened a gallery of arts and school of design in Bathurst-street, Sydney. This apparently was not a success for they went to live at Stratford, Victoria, in 1856, and there made the acquaintance of Angus McMillan (q.v.). In 1857 Dexter exhibited six oils and three watercolours at the first exhibition of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts, held at Melbourne. Shortly afterwards he returned to Sydney, became a partner in a sign-writing business, and died there in 1860. He was survived by his wife who was born at Nottingham in 1819. In 1858 she wrote and published the Ladies Almanack, 1858, The Southern Cross or Australian Album and New Year's Gift. In 1861 she married William Lynch, a prosperous Melbourne solicitor, who afterwards formed the Lynch collection of pictures. She died at Melbourne in 1884.

Dexter is, practically speaking, only known by one picture, his exceedingly capable "Wood Ducks" in the national gallery at Melbourne. A few others are in private hands at Melbourne and Sydney.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibitors; Wm Howitt, Land, Labour and Gold, vol. I; Art in Australia, February 1931; Catalogue of Exhibition of Victorian Society of Fine Arts, 1857.

^Top of page


premier of New South Wales,

son of Captain John Dibbs, was born at Sydney on 12 October 1834. He was educated at the Australian College under Dr Lang (q.v.), obtained a position as a young man in a Sydney wine merchant's business, and afterwards was in partnership as a merchant with a brother. He travelled abroad, and on one occasion ran the Spanish blockade of Valparaiso. In 1867 his business failed and he went bankrupt, but eight years later called his one time creditors together and paid them all in full. He entered parliament in 1874 as M.L.A. for West Sydney, but lost his seat at the 1877 election. Five years later he was returned for St Leonards. In January 1883 he was given the portfolio of colonial treasurer in the Stuart (q.v.) ministry, and when Stuart resigned in October 1885, Dibbs became premier, but his ministry lasted less than three months. He was colonial secretary in the Jennings (q.v.) ministry from February 1886 to January 1887, and became premier again on 17 January 1889, but was succeeded by Parkes (q.v.) a few weeks later. He had been a convinced free-trader, but gradually moved into the opposite camp, and was responsible for the first New South Wales protectionist tariff. When Parkes resigned in October 1891 Dibbs came into power in a time of great financial stress. He went to England in June 1892 on a borrowing mission, not only as the representative of New South Wales but also of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and carried out his negotiations successfully. During the banking crisis of May 1893 he showed himself to be a firm leader, saving the situation at Sydney by giving the banks power to issue inconvertible paper money for a period. He later received a substantial public testimonial for his services at this time.

Dibbs had little influence on the question of federation. He was a member of the 1891 convention and sat on the judiciary committee, but was never more than a lukewarm advocate for it. In June 1894, writing to Sir James Patterson (q.v.), then premier of Victoria, he suggested the unification of New South Wales and Victoria, in the hope that the other colonies would join in later on. A few weeks later his ministry was defeated at a general election and Reid became premier in August. In the following year Dibbs lost his seat at the election held in July, retired from public life, and was appointed managing trustee of the savings bank of New South Wales. He held this position until his death on 5 August 1904. He was survived by Lady Dibbs, two sons and nine daughters. He had been created K.C.M.G. in July 1892.

Dibbs was not an orator though ready enough in speech. He was a plain, blunt man of simple manners, quick-tempered yet kindly, staunch in his friendships, able, but lacking in tact, a courageous figure in the political life of his time. Though premier three times, he was in power little more than three years altogether, and during nearly all that time New South Wales was facing grave difficulties.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 August 1904; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 6 August 1904; The Sydney Mail, 10 August 1904; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; B. R. Wise, The Making of the Australian Commonwealth; Lady Dorothy Nevill, Under Five Reigns, p. 234; G. H. Reid, My Reminiscences.

^Top of page



son of Captain John Dibbs of St Andrews, Scotland, and brother of Sir George Dibbs (q.v.), was born in George-street, Sydney, on 31 October 1832. His father died when he was a boy, and at the age of 14 Dibbs entered the service of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited as a junior clerk. In 1857 he became accountant, and 10 years later was appointed general manager, a position he was to hold for 48 years. He retired at the age of 82 in 1915, when he was made an honorary director of the bank and given a pension of £2000 a year. In 1916 he presented his house, Graythwaite, North Sydney, to the Commonwealth for a home for sick and wounded soldiers. He died at Sydney on 18 March 1923. He married in 1857 Tryphena Gaden who survived him with six daughters. He was knighted in 1917. He was much interested in the Church of England, and was treasurer of the church buildings loan and other funds. He was also a trustee of various public funds. He was well-known as a yachtsman, and for some years was commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Dibbs was the ideal banker, urbane in manner, helpful to his customers and thoroughly dependable. He built up a fine staff from which he had complete loyalty, and he guided the affairs of his bank with ability for a period which must have broken all records. He discouraged the land-booming of the eighteen-eighties, and when the crash came in 1893 met the situation with wisdom. For many years Dibbs was the trusted confidential adviser in financial matters of the various New South Wales governments, and when he retired in 1915 the government of the state presented an address to him expressing "profound recognition of the invaluable services rendered by him to vital public interests . . . a testimony without parallel in the history of Australian business life".

The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 1923; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 19 March 1923; The Bulletin, 22 March 1923; The Australasian Insurance and Banking Record, April 1923.

^Top of page


premier of Queensland,

was born at Plymouth, England, on 30 November 1832. His family having removed to Glasgow, Dickson was educated at the high school and became a junior clerk in the City of Glasgow Bank. He emigrated to Victoria in 1854, and for some years was connected with banking and commercial interests. He was in business in New South Wales for a short period, but in 1862 went to Queensland and became an auctioneer and commission agent at Brisbane. He remained in this business until 1889 when he retired and handed it over to a son. In 1873 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Enoggera, retaining the seat until 1888. In May 1876 he joined the Macalister (q.v.) ministry as secretary for public works and mines, and when the George Thorn (q.v.) ministry came in he was given the position of colonial treasurer. This was only a stop-gap ministry, but when Thorn was succeeded by John Douglas (q.v.) Dickson still retained his position. In July 1877 he moved a motion to divide the colony into districts for financial purposes. There was then a strong feeling in northern Queensland in favour of the division of the colony into two. Dickson's bill went through the second-reading stage but was eventually dropped. In 1881 he became leader of the opposition during the absence of Sir Samuel Griffith (q.v.) in Europe, and again became colonial treasurer in December 1883 under Griffith. He was acting-premier while Griffith was in England at the colonial conference of 1887, but in August resigned his portfolio on account of his disagreement with his colleagues over their land policy. He lost his seat in 1888 after a re-arrangement of electorates, and spent some time travelling in Europe. After his return he supported the movement in favour of importing coloured labour for work in the tropics, and in April 1892 was elected to the legislative assembly for Bulimba by a large majority. He became secretary for railways and postmaster-general in the Nelson (q.v.) ministry early in 1897, and in March 1898 home secretary. When the T. J. Byrnes (q.v.) ministry was formed he was again home secretary. On the death of Byrnes in September 1898 Dickson became premier and held the position until December 1899. The Dawson (q.v.) ministry which succeeded lasted only a few days, and Dickson then was appointed chief secretary in the Robert Philp (q.v.) ministry. He had always been an advocate of federation and had represented Queensland in the federal councils of 1886 and 1887, and in 1899 ably supported the cause during the campaign before the second referendum. He represented Queensland as one of the delegates in England in connexion with the passing of the Commonwealth bill by the house of commons, and sided with Chamberlain in the great fight over the proposed abolition of the right of appeal from the high court of Australia to the privy council. Returning to Australia he was elected to the first federal parliament, and was given the portfolio of minister of defence in the first ministry. His health had not been good for some time and he died after a short illness on 10 January 1901. He had been created K.C.M.G. a few days before. He married twice and was survived by his second wife and several sons and daughters of the first marriage.

Dickson was courteous and kindly, a successful business man and director of companies, with a good knowledge of figures and a ready tongue. He was constantly in office, but though a useful man in the cabinet he lacked the force of character to enable him to be a great leader.

The Brisbane Courier, 10 and 11 January 1901; The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 January 1901; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years; W. Murdoch, Alfred Deakin, a Sketch; Quick and Garran, The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth.

^Top of page

DIETRICH, AMALIE (1821-1891),


daughter of Gottlieb Nelle, a purse-maker, was born at Siebenlehn, Saxony, in 1821. About the year 1848 she married Willhelm Dietrich a member of a well-known family of botanists, who trained her as a collector of botanical specimens. He was completely wrapped up in his work; he appears to have been quite selfish, and his wife eventually had to part from him. She maintained herself and her daughter with difficulty for several years as a botanical collector but in 1863 she was introduced to J. C. Godeffroy, a Hamburg merchant who had a private museum. He gave her an engagement as a collector of specimens, and in May 1863 she sailed for Australia with a first class passage for Brisbane. She arrived on 1 August with very little English, began collecting, and found such a wealth of material she hardly knew where to start. She worked up the Brisbane River, in the Gladstone district, and then from Rockhampton. Writing from there in April 1864 she mentions that she has already sent 12 cases of specimens to Hamburg, and that she is very happy in her work--"it is just as if Herr Godeffroy had made me a present of this vast continent". Her original training had been in botany, but quite early in her travels she speaks of "slugs, spiders and centipedes, and the implements, skulls and skeletons of the aborigines". A little later she nearly lost her life in a swamp, but was rescued by aborigines, and then had a great misfortune, her house being burnt down with a large number of specimens. A reassuring letter from Godeffroy restored her spirits, and in 1867 she was informed that she had been elected a fellow of the Entomological Society of Stettin, and that her collection of fifty specimens of Australian wood had won a gold medal at the horticultural exhibition. She was then working in the Mackay district and employing two assistants. She was at Lake Elphinstone for nearly the whole of 1868, and in 1869 obtained much material of ethnological interest in and near Bowen. In 1870 she went to Port Denison and the Holborn islands, and was enchanted with the marine life. She visited Melbourne in 1871 where she met von Mueller (q.v.). Later on she returned to Germany by way of Cape Horn after visiting the Tonga islands. She arrived at Hamburg on 4 March 1873, having been away a little less than 10 years. Godeffroy gave her quarters in his house, and a position in the museum, until his death in 1885. After his death part of his museum went to Leipzig and the remainder to the city of Hamburg, when Amalie Dietrich was given a post in the botanical museum. To the end of her days she remained a student, attending all the lectures of the learned societies, and she was much respected by all classes. In the summer she would sometimes visit her daughter who had married a clergyman in north Sleswick. There she was happy, still botanizing, or playing with her grandson, and there she died on 9 March 1891. Her marriage had not been happy, but she was always grateful to her husband for her knowledge of science which had given such interest to her life. She was a woman of extraordinary courage and strength of character, and science has probably never had a truer servant. Her name is preserved in various species named after her such as Acacia Dietrichiana, Bonamia Dietrichiana, Nortonia Amaliae and Odynerus Dietrichianus (two varieties of wasps discovered by her).

C. Bischoff, The Hard Road, the Life Story of Amalie Dietrich, 1931. C. Bischoff was her daughter and this volume is a translation of the life of her mother published in Germany in 1909; Meyer's Lexikon, vol. 3. This gives 1823 for the year of birth but the probabilities are in favour of the earlier year.

^Top of page

DIXSON, SIR HUGH (1841-1926),

business man and philanthropist,

son of Hugh Dixson, was born in George-street, Sydney, on 29 January 1841. He was educated at the school kept by W. T. Cape (q.v.) at Paddington, and at the age of 14 went to work at a timber yard. About a year later he joined the tobacco business founded by his father, and by the time he was 24 years old had an important share in the conduct of it. The business grew steadily, and after the father's death in 1880 expanded rapidly under the management of Dixson and his brother Robert. It was subsequently merged in the British-Australian Tobacco Company Proprietary Limited, probably the largest business of its kind in Australia. Dixson then retired, but with his wife continued his interest in the Baptist Church and in various philanthropic institutions. An early substantial gift was £5000 as the beginning of a fund to present a battleship to England. This fund was not successful and his gift was devoted to educating English boys at Australian agricultural colleges. A gift of £10,000 helped the establishment of an aged and infirm ministers' fund in the Baptist Church, and much assistance was given to the building of churches in various parts of the state. A sum of £20,000 was used to build a cancer wing at the Ryde home for incurables. But the gifts of Dixson and his wife were both many and widespread. Both worked on committees, and Dixson at various times was president of the Baptist Union, of the Baptist Home Mission Society, and of the Young Men's Christian Association. He died at Colombo on 11 May 1926. He was knighted in 1921. He married in 1866 Emma Elizabeth, daughter of W. E. Shaw, who died in 1922, and was survived by two sons and four daughters.

Dixson's elder son, Sir William Dixson, born in 1870, made a remarkable collection of pictures, books, manuscripts, prints, maps and charts, relating to Australia, all destined to become the property of the state of New South Wales. A large collection of pictures was presented in 1929 and housed in the William Dixson gallery at the Mitchell library, Sydney. He was knighted in 1939.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 1926; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 13 May 1926; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1926, and War Gazette, 1940; Ida Leeson, The Mitchell Library, Sydney.

^Top of page

DOBSON, HENRY (1841-1918),

premier of Tasmania,

son of John Dobson, solicitor, and his second wife a daughter of Richard Willis, was born at Hobart on 24 December 1841. Educated at the Hutchins School, he was called to the Tasmanian bar in 1864. He was elected to the house of assembly for Brighton in 1891, and held the seat until 1899. Soon after entering the house he became leader of the opposition, and after the defeat of the second Fysh (q.v.) ministry was Premier from 17 August 1892 to 14 April 1894. It was a Period of depression and his attempts at retrenchment made his ministry unpopular, though his successors found it difficult to follow any other course. Dobson took much interest in the federal movement and was a representative of Tasmania at the 1897 convention. At the first federal election he was elected a senator for Tasmania and was again elected in 1903. He was temporary chairman of committees in the senate from 1904 to 1908 and chairman of committees 1908-9. He lost his seat at the 1910 election and took no further part in politics. He died on 10 October 1918. He married Emily Lemprière in 1868, who survived him with one son and four daughters. A well-educated man much interested in literature and music, Dobson was enthusiastic about everything he took up. He early realized the value of fruit-growing and the tourist traffic in Tasmania, and did much to develop both, though he at first received little encouragement.

The Mercury, Hobart, 11 October 1918; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, 1915.

^Top of page


chief justice of Tasmania,

was born at Carr Hill, Durham, England, on 24 April 1833. His father, John Dobson, a solicitor at Gateshead, Durham, married a daughter of Matthew Atkins of Carr Hill, Durham, and four of his sons subsequently became well-known in Australia. William, the eldest, arrived in Tasmania with his parents on 16 July 1834, and was educated at Christ's College and the Hutchins School at Hobart. Leaving school he spent 18 months in the public service, returned to England, and entered at the Middle Temple. At the Inns of Court examination held in June 1856 Dobson took first place and was admitted to the bar. He returned to Tasmania at the end of that year and in 1859 was appointed crown solicitor. He was elected a member of the house of assembly for Hobart, and on 6 February 1861 became attorney-general in the second Weston (q.v.) ministry, continued in this position when the ministry was reconstituted under T. D. Chapman (q.v.), and remained in office until January 1863. When Whyte (q.v.) became premier Dobson was elected leader of the opposition, on 24 November 1866 became attorney-general again under Sir Richard Dry (q.v.), and held the same position in the succeeding Wilson (q.v.) ministry from 4 August 1869 to 5 February 1870. He was then at the age of 36 appointed a supreme court judge. In 1884 he was acting chief justice, and on 2 February 1885 became chief justice. He held this position until his death on 17 March 1898. On four occasions he administered the government of Tasmania, and was chancellor of the university, president of the leading sporting bodies, vice-president of the Royal Society of Tasmania and the Art Society of Tasmania, and trustee of the Tasmanian museum, art gallery and botanical gardens. He married in 1859 Fanny Louisa Browne, daughter of the archdeacon of Launceston who survived him with a son and three daughters. Dobson was knighted in 1886 and created K.C.M.G. in 1897.

Dobson had a kindly and generous nature free from petty weaknesses, and was interested in everything that was for the good of Tasmania. He was a member of the Linnean Society, and much interested in botany and higher education generally. As a member of parliament he brought in the act which made education compulsory, and he was also responsible for the act abolishing imprisonment for debt. He did not give the impression of being a brilliant lawyer but he was an exceedingly sound one; it has been stated that during his judicial career he never had a decision reversed by a higher court. He held a distinguished and honoured position in Tasmania throughout his life. His brother, Henry Dobson, is noticed separately. Another brother, Frank Stanley Dobson (1835-95), born in Tasmania, was educated at the Hutchins School and St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. and LL.B. He was called to the English bar in 1860 and then went to Victoria and practised as a barrister at Melbourne. In 1863 he was appointed a lecturer in law at the university of Melbourne and held this position for many years. In 1869 he was elected a member of the legislative council and was solicitor-general in the O'Loghlen (q.v.) ministry from July 1881 to March 1883. In 1884 he became chairman of committees and held this position until his death on 1 June 1895. A third brother, Alfred Dobson (1848-1908), was born at Hobart and educated at the Hutchins School. He was called to the English bar in 1875, returned to Tasmania and entered the house of assembly on 14 June 1877. He was attorney-general in the first Fysh (q.v.) ministry from August 1877 to December 1878, leader of the opposition 1883-4, and speaker of the house from July 1885 to May 1887. In April 1901 he became agent-general for Tasmania in London, and held this position until he was accidentally drowned in the English Channel on 5 December 1908. A few days before his death he was offered the position of third supreme court judge at Hobart but declined it.

The Mercury, Hobart, 18 and 21 March 1898, 8 December 1908; The Argus, Melbourne, 3 June 1895; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page


politician and chief justice of Tasmania,

the son of William Dodds of county Durham, England, was born in Yorkshire in 1848. His father died when he was very young, and the boy was taken to Hobart by his mother. Soon after he was 16 he began to study law, was admitted to the bar in 1872, and in a few years had a large practice. He took an active part in sport and was a good oarsman and cricketer. In 1878 he was asked to stand for parliament, was elected to the house of assembly for East Hobart, and was given a seat in the W. L. Crowther (q.v.) ministry as attorney-general in December 1878. When W. R. Giblin (q.v.) formed his coalition ministry in October 1879 Dodds held the same position until December 1881, when he exchanged it for that of colonial treasurer. Giblin retired from politics in August 1884 and Dodds became attorney-general under Adye Douglas (q.v.) until March 1886, when Douglas went to London as agent-general. Douglas recommended that Sir James W. Agnew (q.v.) should be asked to form a ministry, but he could not do so because Dodds who was the leader of the assembly felt that he should have been sent for. Dodds then succeeded in forming a ministry, and having established the principle, stood aside and Agnew became premier. It was, however, felt by many that Dodds, who took the portfolio of attorney-general, was the real leader of the government. In 1887 he was appointed one of the representatives of Tasmania at the colonial conference held at London, and while on the voyage was offered and accepted the position of puisne judge of the supreme court. He held this position for 12 years and in 1898 was appointed chief justice. Five years later he became lieutenant-governor and administered the government on several occasions. He died on 23 June 1914. He married Minna Augusta, daughter of the Rev. James Norman, who predeceased him. He was survived by two sons. He was knighted in 1900 and created K.C.M.G. in 1901.

Dodds was in office for practically the whole of his nine years in parliament and did some excellent work, succeeding in obtaining reductions in mail subsidies, and reducing the rates for postages and telegrams. He was also responsible for the establishment of post office savings banks. He was an excellent judge always anxious to obtain justice in the simplest and quickest way. As chief justice and lieutenant-governor his duties were always admirably discharged, and as chancellor of the university, president of the Art and other societies, he did much to foster the cultural life of Hobart.

The Mercury, Hobart, 24 June 1914; The Examiner, Launceston, 24 June 1914; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1914.

^Top of page


first anglican archbishop of Brisbane,

was the son of Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson (q.v.) and his wife Amelia Cowper. He was born at London on 11 February 1863 and was educated at Eton, where he rowed in the eight, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He just missed representing Cambridge in the 1883 boat race, when having been selected stroke of the crew he fell ill and was forbidden to row by the doctors. (The University Boat Race Official Centenary History, p. 84.) He graduated B.A. in 1885 with a first class in classics and obtained a first class in theology in 1887. He was ordained deacon in 1888 and priest in 1889. After a short period as a curate at Bethnal Green he was a domestic chaplain to archbishop Benson from 1888 to 1891. Becoming vicar of St Mary's, Hackney Wick, in 1891, he was head of the Eton mission until 1900 and rural dean of Hornsey from 1902 to 1904. When only 41 years of age he was chosen to be bishop of Brisbane, was consecrated on 28 October 1904, and arrived at Brisbane on 19 December.

When Donaldson began his episcopate he found that over £30,000 was in hand for the building of St John's cathedral. He immediately set to work to raise the remaining necessary funds, and six years later the cathedral was consecrated. In 1905 the five dioceses in Queensland and New Guinea were formed into a province, and Donaldson became archbishop of Brisbane. He interested himself especially in the development of the theological college, in religions instruction in schools, and in the founding of church schools. He gave much time and thought to the diocesan war memorial, which eventually took the form of St Martin's hospital near the cathedral. About £100,000 was raised for this including a gift of £1000 from Donaldson himself. He also spoke strongly on the question of justice to the aborigines, urging that a large tract of land should be handed to them which whites should not be allowed to occupy. During his episcopate of 17 years the number of clergy increased from 55 to well over 100. In 1921 he was appointed bishop of Salisbury, and on his return to England was pronounced by Arthur Benson to be "a very fine, simple-minded, robust, sensible prelate". At Salisbury as at Brisbane he became the trusted friend of his clergy and no parish was too isolated to be visited. He did excellent work in convocation and was for many years chairman of the board of missions. He had a difficult task as chairman of the joint committee of the Canterbury convocation on "The Church and Marriage", which sat from 1931 to 1935 and thoroughly tested his great patience, tolerance, and practical wisdom. He died suddenly at Salisbury on 7 December 1935. He was unmarried. In 1933 he was appointed by the king a prelate of the order of St Michael and St George. He held the honorary degrees of D.D. of Oxford and Cambridge, and D.C.L. Durham. After leaving Australia he retained his interest in his old diocese and continued to make liberal monetary contributions to its needs. Under his will £4000 was left to endowment funds of the Brisbane diocese.

Donaldson was greatly loved both at Brisbane and Salisbury; it was said of him that he "was indefatigable in public work, wholly delightful in private friendship". He had much common sense, good humour, and a gift of sympathy which did not extend itself to men who were greatly interested in themselves or their career; but Donaldson was not much interested in his own career. His real interest was in getting things done in the individual parish, the diocese, or the province. The suggestion that he was not intellectually brilliant brought the reply from one who knew him well, that when he spoke he showed so masterly a grasp that thinking hearers often apprehended clearly for the first time the question or problem before them. To these qualities may be added great humility, deep spirituality, and devotion.

C. T. Dimont and F. de Witt Batty, St Clair Donaldson; The Times, 9, 11, 12 December 1935, 25 January 1936; The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 9 December 1935.

^Top of page


first premier of New South Wales,

was born in England in 1812. He was a son of Stuart Donaldson, a prosperous London merchant, and in his twentieth year was sent to Mexico to obtain business experience. He came to Sydney in 1834 and established the firm of Donaldson and Company, merchants. He was elected to the legislative council in 1848 and was a very active member. Among his interests were the question of steam communication with Australia, and the work of Caroline Chisholm (q.v.); in 1852 he carried a motion recommending that £10,000 should be applied to the furtherance of the objects of her family colonization loan society (M. Swarm, Caroline Chisholm, p. 47). He was also one of the founders of Sydney university, and was made a member of the senate when it was constituted in 1850. In April 1856 he was elected a member of the first legislative assembly, and was called upon to form the first government, which he did on 6 June. He was, however, defeated about 11 weeks later and Charles Cowper (q.v.) came in. In October Donaldson was in office again as colonial treasurer in the H. W. Parker ministry, but resigned in September 1857. He was then appointed commissioner of railways, and in 1860 was knighted. In the same year he returned to England, but twice revisited Australia before his death on 11 January 1867.

Donaldson was able and hardworking, everywhere respected. He married in 1854 Amelia Cowper who survived him with four sons and a daughter. One of the sons St Clair George Donaldson is noticed separately, the eldest son Stuart Alexander Donaldson, a distinguished scholar, became master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, vice-chancellor of the university in 1912 and died in 1915. A third son, Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson, who became an eminent engineer, went with Lord Kitchener on a special mission to Russia in 1916 and was drowned in the Hampshire.

C. T. Dimont and F. de Witt Batty, St Clair Donaldson; The Times, 15 January 1867; P. Mennell, Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vol. XXI; Official History of New South Wales.

^Top of page

DOUGLAS, SIR ADYE (1815-1906),

premier of Tasmania,

was born at Thorpe, Norfolk, England, of Scotch descent, on 31 May 1815. His father was an officer in the army, but his grandfather was an admiral and five uncles were post-captains. He was educated in Hampshire and at Caen, France, and after leaving school served his articles to a solicitor at Southampton. He went to Tasmania in 1839 and was admitted to practice at Hobart. In 1840 he went to Victoria with sheep and had a run near Kilmore. He, however, sold out in 1842, went to Launceston and established a prosperous business as a solicitor. He was a zealous supporter of the anti-transportation movement. In January 1853 he became an alderman at Launceston, sat in the council for more than 30 years, and was mayor in 1865, 1866, 1880, 1881 and 1882. In July 1855 he was elected a member of the legislative council, and with the coming of responsible government was elected to the house of assembly. In 1857 he visited England and on his return advocated the building of railways. A few years later he was largely responsible for the building of the Launceston to Deloraine line, opened in 1871. In August 1884, on the defeat of the Giblin (q.v.) ministry, Douglas became premier and chief secretary. He resigned his seat in the assembly and was then elected to the legislative council for South Esk. In March 1886 he went to London as agent-general for Tasmania, J. W. Agnew (q.v.) taking over the premiership. He was one of the representatives of Tasmania at the colonial conference held in 1887. He returned to Tasmania at the end of that year, in July 1890 entered the legislative council again as a member for Launceston, and was chief secretary in the H. M. Dobson (q.v.) government from August 1892 to April 1894. He was then elected president of the legislative council and held this position until May 1904 when he was defeated at an election for the council. He advocated federation and was a representative of Tasmania at both the 1891 and 1897 conventions. About the last 10 years of his life were spent at Hobart and he died there on 10 April 1906. He was survived by his wife and several children. He was knighted in 1902. Somewhat brusque and austere in manner and a determined fighter, Douglas was not without enemies. He was, however, generally respected, was able and energetic, and had much devotion to duty. For over 50 years he took a prominent part in the public affairs of Tasmania.

The Mercury, Hobart, 11 April 1906; The Examiner, Launceston, 11 April 1906.

^Top of page

DOUGLAS, JOHN (1828-1904),

premier of Queensland,

was born in London on 6 March 1828, the son of Henry Alexander Douglas and Elizabeth, his wife. His father was the third son of Sir William Douglas, fourth baronet, who was a brother of the fifth and sixth Marquises of Queensberry. Douglas was educated at Harrow and Durham university where he graduated B.A. in 1850. It is usually stated that he was educated at Rugby but his name does not appear in the school list of his period. He arrived in New South Wales in 1851 and was appointed a gold-fields commissioner, but gave this up to enter on a pastoral life. He was then elected member for the Darling Downs and afterwards for Camden in the New South Wales legislative council. Going to Queensland in 1863 he was elected as member for Port Curtis in the legislative assembly, and on 1 March 1866 became postmaster-general in the first Macalister (q.v.) ministry. He transferred to the legislative council, but was elected to the legislative assembly again as member for Eastern Downs. He took the portfolio of colonial treasurer in the second Macalister ministry in December 1866, but in May 1867 changed this position for that of secretary for public works. He was postmaster-general in the Charles Lilley (q.v.) ministry from December 1868 until November 1869, when he resigned to become agent-general for Queensland at London. In 1871 he returned to Queensland and was returned for Maryborough at the election held in 1875. He was secretary for public lands in the Thorn (q.v.) ministry from June 1876 until March 1877, when he became premier and was given the honour of C.M.G. His party was defeated at the election held in January 1879 and Douglas gave up politics. He was for some time on the literary staff of the Brisbane Courier, and subsequently was appointed government resident and magistrate at Thursday Island. After the death of Sir Peter Scratchley (q.v.) in December 1885 he acted as special commissioner for the protectorate of southern New Guinea for nearly three years, and showed tact and ability in his dealings with the native inhabitants. In 1889 he returned to his old position on Thursday Island. He visited England in 1902 and on his return continued his work until his death at Thursday Island on 23 July 1904. Douglas was married twice (1) to Mary, daughter of the Rev. J. Simpson, in 1860 and (2) in 1877 to Sarah, daughter of Michael Hickey. He was survived by four sons of the second marriage, of whom two have had distinguished careers. The youngest, Robert Johnston Douglas, born in 1883, was appointed a judge of the supreme court of Queensland in 1923 and the eldest, Edward Archibald Douglas, born in 1877, was appointed to a similar position in March 1929.

Douglas was a man of fine physique, handsome, dignified and courteous. Well educated, intellectual, fair-minded and honest, he played a prominent part in the early days of Queensland politics, and was also a thoroughly capable administrator both in New Guinea and at Thursday Island.

Brisbane Courier, 25 July 1904; The Times, 28 July 1904; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years.

^Top of page


faith-healer and preacher, founder of Zion City,

was born in Edinburgh on 25 May 1847, the son of John Murray Dowie, tailor and preacher. In 1860 he was brought with his parents to Adelaide, and later obtained employment in a grocery business. He became a member of Hindmarsh Square Congregational church, and a thorough student of the Bible. From a child he had been interested in religious questions, and when about 21 years of age he went to Edinburgh to study for the ministry. He returned to Australia and became pastor of a Congregational church at Alma, a country town about 50 miles from Adelaide. He afterwards went to Sydney and in 1876 was minister of the Newtown Congregational church. In 1877 he published Rome's Polluted Springs, the substance of two lectures given at the Masonic hall, Sydney. In 1879 he also published at Sydney The Drama, The Press and the Pulpit, revised reports of two lectures given in the previous March. About this time he gave up his pastorate as a Congregational clergyman. and became an independent evangelist, holding his meetings in a theatre and claiming powers as a faith-healer. Coming to Melbourne in the early eighteen-eighties he attracted many followers and was able to build a tabernacle of his own. He had a successful preaching tour in New Zealand, in 1888 went to San Francisco, and two years later to Chicago where he had increasing success. The attempts of the medical profession to stop his work by having recourse to the courts only succeeded in advertising him. In 1896 he organized the "Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion". He was sometimes described as "Elijah the Restorer", "The Prophet Elijah", "The Third Elijah". In 1901 he founded Zion City about 40 miles from Chicago with money contributed by his followers. The title-deeds of the area of 6000 acres were in Dowie's name, and he had complete power as owner of the city and overseer of the church. In April 1906, during his absence in Mexico, a revolt in which his own family joined took place, and he was deposed. Dowie endeavoured to recover his authority through the law courts without success, and now in broken health was obliged to accept an allowance until his death on 9 March 1907.

Dowie when attired in his robes had an impressive appearance. He had great powers of persuasion and a forthright and often abusive style of speaking, which somehow imposed his views on his audience. How far he was himself sincere it is impossible to say, and in his later years he may have been the victim of some form of mania, as during his last illness he suffered from hallucinations.

The Times, 11 March 1907; Dictionary of American Biography, vol. V; A. S. Kiek, An Apostle in Australia. There is a biography of Dowie by Rolvix Harlan which it was not possible to consult.

^Top of page

DOWLING, SIR JAMES (1787-1844),

chief justice of New South Wales,

was born in London on 25 November 1787. Educated at St Paul's School he became a parliamentary reporter, studied law and was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1815. He edited the second edition of W. Paley's Law and Practice of Summary Convictions, and was also responsible for several volumes of Reports of Cases. On 6 August 1827 he was appointed third judge at Sydney, where he arrived in February 1828. He acted with tact and consideration over a question of precedence which immediately arose. Governor Darling (q.v.) held that the terms of his commission placed Dowling next in precedence to the chief justice, Forbes (q.v.), while Stephen, the other judge, pointed out that in England such questions were decided by seniority. Dowling suggested that the matter should be referred to the home authorities, and that in the meantime Stephen should take precedence. The question was settled in favour of Stephen's view, and Dowling cheerfully accepted the position of junior judge. The state of Stephen's health, however, threw a good deal of work on the shoulders of Dewling, who also learned that in Sydney in those days a judge was constantly open to criticism. In June 1832 he found it necessary to defend his judgment in a particular case which had been criticized in letters printed in the Sydney Monitor, and was assured by Viscount Goderich that he would not permit himself "to entertain even a momentary impression to his prejudice". In December Stephen retired and Dowling became second judge. In January 1834 some remarks of Dowling's on the conduct of a criminal trial led to the three judges drawing up an important memorandum suggesting many possible improvements in dealing with criminal cases. In September 1835 Dowling was appointed acting chief justice during the absence of Forbes on leave. W. W. Burton (q.v.), the third judge, objected to this on the ground that his previous appointment as a judge at the Cape of Good Hope made him senior to Dowling. In April 1837 Forbes retired from his office, and Dewling was appointed chief justice on 29 August 1837. He had the misfortune to have associated with him as third judge J. W. Willis (q.v.) who arrived at Sydney in November 1837, and made himself so obnoxious to the chief justice that for the sake of peace Governor Gipps (q.v.) transferred Willis to Melbourne in January 1841. In June 1843 Dowling expressed his willingness to act as speaker of the new legislative council, but Gipps ruled against this as he considered it would not be in the public interest. In August 1844 Dowling was granted 18 months leave of absence on account of a break-down in his health, but he died on 27 September. He was knighted in 1837. He was married twice and was survived by Lady Dowling and two sons and two daughters of the first marriage. A pension of £200 a year was granted to Lady Dowling.

Dowling was a man of kindly and sensitive nature, whose death was hastened by 17 years of painstaking, able and conscientious work, scarcely ever relieved by a holiday. One of his sons, James Sheen Dowling (1819-1902), was born in England and came to Australia with his father in 1828. Returning to England in 1835 to complete his education he was called to the bar in 1843. He came to Australia again in 1845 and practised as a barrister. In 1858 he was appointed a district court judge. He retired in 1889 and died on 4 May 1902.

Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XIII to XXVI; J. Arthur Dowling, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. II, pp. 99-105; C. H. Currey, ibid, vol. XIX, pp. 90-104; British Museum Catalogue; R. Therry, Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales and Victoria; The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 1902.

^Top of page

DOWLING, ROBERT (1827-1886),


was born in England in 1827 and was brought to Launceston by his father the Rev. Henry Dowling in 1839. He received lessons from Thomas Bock (q.v.), and in 1856 left for London partly with the help of friends in Launceston. He exhibited 16 pictures at the Royal Academy between 1859 and 1882 and others at the British Institute. Returning to Launceston he afterwards came to Melbourne and painted portraits of Sir Henry Loch, Dr Moorhouse (q.v.), Francis Ormond (q.v.), and others. He went to London again in 1886 but died shortly after his arrival.

Dowling was a conscientious painter of figure subjects, often scriptural or eastern. He is represented in the Melbourne and Launceston galleries.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; A. Graves, A Dictionary of Artists, and The Royal Academy Exhibitors.

^Top of page


orator and premier of South Australia,

son of Henry Downer who came to South Australia in 1838, was born at Adelaide on 5 July 1844. He was educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide, and was probably the most brilliant school boy of his time. He studied for the bar, was admitted to practise on 23 March 1867, and was soon one of the leading Adelaide barristers. He became a Q.C in 1878, and in the same year was elected to the house of assembly for Barossa. He was never defeated at an election and represented this constituency until 1901, only leaving it to enter federal politics. In the house of assembly he quickly made his mark and became attorney-general in Bray's (q.v.) cabinet on 24 June 1881. He endeavoured to bring in several law reforms, and though his married women's property bill was shelved, he succeeded in carrying bills allowing accused persons to give evidence on oath, and amending the insolvency and marriage acts. The government was defeated in June 1884, but a year later, on 16 June 1885, Downer formed his first ministry taking the positions of premier and attorney-general. Though this ministry lasted two years and passed a fair amount of legislation, it was often in difficulties, and in June 1886 had to be reconstructed. Downer represented South Australia at the colonial conference held in London in 1887, but his ministry was defeated while he was on his way back to Australia. This ministry was responsible for a tariff imposing increased protective duties. Downer was not in office again for several years, but in October 1892 again became premier, also taking the portfolio of chief secretary. In May 1893 he exchanged this for the position of treasurer, but resigned on 16 June 1893 and never held office again. He was a strong federalist and had represented South Australia at the 1883 and 1891 conventions. At the latter he took an important part in protecting the interests of the smaller states and was a member of the constitutional committee. He was elected one of the 10 representatives of South Australia at the 1897 convention, and was again on the constitutional committee. When federation came Downer was elected in 1901 as one of the South Australian senators, but did not seek re-election in 1903. He entered the South Australian legislative council as a representative of the southern district in 1905, and continued to be re-elected until his death on 2 August 1915. He married (1) Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. J. Henderson, and (2) Una, daughter of H. Russell, who survived him with one son of each marriage. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1887. A brother and partner in his business, Henry Edward Downer, entered the South Australian parliament in 1881 and was attorney-general in the Cockburn (q.v.) ministry from May to August 1890.

Downer was a big man physically and mentally. He was a first-rate advocate, and some of his speeches to juries could hardly have been excelled as examples of forensic art. He was equally successful as a parliamentary speaker, one of his colleagues said of him that in his earlier days he was the best debater in a house that contained Kingston (q.v.), Holder (q.v.), Cockburn, and Jenkins (q.v.). He believed in what he was saying, and though earnest could be witty and humorous, and both as a lawyer and a politician was always lucid and logical. In politics he tended to be conservative, he once described himself as a Tory, and possibly on account of this often found himself in a minority during his later years in parliament. He was nevertheless constructive and always advocated the rights of married women to their own property, women's suffrage, protection of local industries, and federation. Though strong in his opinions he was innately kindly, was widely read, an excellent conversationalist, and in all his actions was governed by a strong sense of duty and justice.

The Register, Adelaide, 3 August 1915; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 3 August 1915; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia; Quick and Garran, The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page

DRUMMOND, JAMES (c.1783-1863),


was born about the year 1783. He was a brother of Thomas Drummond also well-known as a botanist. He was elected an associate of the Linnean Society, London, in 1810, and about this time was in charge of the botanic gardens at Cork. He came to Western Australia with Governor Stirling (q.v.) in 1829, accompanied by his wife, four sons and two daughters, as naturalist and acting superintendent of farms and gardens without salary. He retained the position of superintendent for the rest of his life, and presumably he was given a salary at a later date. He obtained a grant of land, and in the second report of the Western Australian Association issued in 1837 spoke favourably on the growing of vegetables in Western Australia. In 1839 he began sending descriptions of the botany of Western Australia to England, which appeared in Hooker's Journal of Botany, vol. II (1840), vols. I and II (1850), vol. IV (1852), vol. V (1853), and vol. VI (1854). He began with the country round Perth but later went much farther afield. In December 1851 Drummond reported that he and his son had just "returned from a long and interesting journey of eighteen months' duration" 300 miles to the north of Perth. Later on he speaks of a journey some 60 miles to the east. About this period his youngest son was speared by aborigines in his sleep while camping near the Moor River. In 1860 Drummond was in correspondence with Darwin who had written asking for information relating to the fertilization of Leschenaultia formosa. He died in Western Australia on 27 March 1863.

Drummond was a competent and enthusiastic botanist who made many collections of Western Australian plants for European botanists. About 1852 he mentions that he had collected some 2,000 species. He also did some useful exploring.

Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, 24 May 1864, p. XLI; Hooker's Journal of Botany, volumes cited above; A Story of a Hundred Years, Western Australia, 1829-1929.

^Top of page

DRY, SIR RICHARD (1815-1869),

premier of Tasmania,

was born at Launceston on 20 September 1815 (at least three other dates have been given by various authorities, but the Hobart Mercury, on 4 August 1869, stated there had been some misapprehension on this point, and that the date should be as above). He was the son of Richard Dry an officer in the commissariat department, afterwards a successful pastoralist, and was educated at a private school kept by the Rev. J. Mackersey at Campbell Town. At the age of 20 he voyaged to Mauritius and India, but returned to Tasmania and carried on his father's estate. He was made a magistrate in 1837, and on 2 February 1844 was nominated to the legislative council. He resigned his seat with five others, henceforth to be known as the "patriotic six", after a conflict with Governor Wilmot (q.v.). An important political question was raised, the point being, was the legislative council merely a council of advice or of control, was it empowered to legislate or merely recommend? In 1848 the six resigning members were renominated to the council, and when the council was reconstituted in 1851 Dry, who was then a leading member of the Anti-transportation League, was elected for Launceston. When the council met at the end of that year Dry was unanimously appointed its speaker. He resigned his seat in July 1855 and took a long trip to Europe for reasons of health. He was back in Tasmania in 1860, was elected to the legislative council in 1862, and on 24 November 1866 became premier and colonial secretary. He had been much interested in the introduction of railways, was chairman of the Launceston and Deloraine Railway Association, and president of the Northern Railway League. His government succeeded in making some economies, introduced the Torrens real property act, and, with questionable wisdom, endeavoured to push the sale of crown lands. In 1869 it established telegraphic communication with Victoria by laying a cable under Bass Strait. On 1 August 1869 Dry died after a short illness. He married a daughter of George Meredith who survived him. He had no children. He was knighted in 1858.

Dry, the first native of Tasmania to enter its parliament, was the outstanding man of his time in that colony. He was barely 30 when his fight for political freedom made him extremely popular, and he retained this popularity all his life. He expressed a wish that he might be buried at Hagley church near Quamby; a church he had himself built and endowed. At Hobart all business was suspended on the morning of his funeral, and during the four days' journey to the church the residents of every township on the route joined in the procession. His modest kindliness (it was said of him that he never condescended because he never thought of anyone being inferior to himself), his public and private charities, his completely honourable character, earned the respect and affection of the whole colony. A chancel was added to Hagley church by public subscription as a memorial to him, and there his body was laid. The "Dry Scholarship" was also founded by public subscription in connexion with the Tasmanian scholarships.

The Mercury, Hobart, 2, 3, 4 August 1869; Fenton, A History of Tasmania; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; A reference to Dry in R. W. Giblin's Early History of Tasmania, vol. II, pp. 186-7 confuses him with his father.

^Top of page



^Top of page


Irish patriot and premier of Victoria,

was born in Monaghan, Ireland, on 12 April 1816. His father, John Duffy, was a prosperous shopkeeper, his mother was a daughter of Patrick Gavan, a gentleman farmer. At nine years of age Duffy heard his father speak of Wellington and Peel having refused to work with George Canning, because he was friendly to Catholic emancipation. This made a great impression on the boy, who developed a passionate love for his country and a desire to serve her. It was difficult in those days to find good Roman Catholic schools in Ulster, and Duffy received most of his education at a school kept by a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. John Buckley. He was afterwards educated privately. When just 20 years of age he obtained a position at Dublin on the Morning Register, and soon became its sub-editor. In 1839 he went to Belfast to edit the Vindicator, and in the autumn of 1842 to Dublin to found a weekly journal the Nation, which had a great effect on the nationalist movement. In 1845 he edited and published The Ballad Poetry of Ireland, which ran into six editions within a year, and numberless editions since. He became a member of the Irish Confederation and in July 1848 was arrested, placed in Newgate prison, Dublin, and tried for treason. He was defended with great ability, the trial was postponed three times, and on the fourth occasion the jury disagreed; but only one was for acquittal. At the fifth presentment the jury again disagreed, but seven were for acquittal. Duffy was then let out on bail. "Consider yourself," wrote Carlyle, whom he had met in London some years before, "as a brand snatched from the burning; a providential man, saved by Heaven, for doing a man's work." In 1850 he was engaged in the organization of a tenants' league to secure fair rents and permanent tenure for Irish farmers, and in 1852 was elected a member of the house of commons, where he sat in opposition as one of 50 Irish members hoping to do much for their country. But they found themselves unable to agree among themselves, nothing could be done, and Duffy, dispirited at the turn of events, decided to retire from parliament and emigrate to Australia.

In October 1855 Duffy sailed for Melbourne. He was met on arrival by a deputation of his compatriots who greeted him with enthusiasm. He was also invited to take up his residence at Sydney where there was equal enthusiasm when he arrived on a visit. Parkes (q.v.) was most friendly and offered him £800 a year to write for the Empire. He decided to stay in Melbourne, and in November 1856 was elected a member of the legislative assembly. It was necessary to have a property qualification, and his friends and admirers appear to have had no difficulty in collecting £5000 for that purpose. Duffy looked upon this as a retaining fee for services he intended to render to his new country. His first action was to bring in and carry a bill for the abolition of the property qualification of members of parliament. He also proposed the appointment of a select committee to consider the subject of federation. The committee duly reported, but the parliament of New South Wales would not take up the question, and nothing came of it. In March 1857 he took office in the first O'Shanassy (q.v.) ministry as minister of public works, but when parliament met a few weeks later a vote of no-confidence was immediately carried. However, in March 1858 O'Shanassy formed his second ministry with Duffy as president of the board of lands and works. He also became commissioner of crown lands and survey in December. A land bill had been promised, but Duffy disagreed with his colleagues on the question of alienating large tracts of agricultural land which he considered should be kept for selectors. He resigned from the ministry on this account in March 1859. In November 1861 O'Shanassy formed his third ministry with Duffy again in charge of the lands department. He succeeded in passing a new land act, the chief feature of which was an attempt to provide settlers with good land at a low price. The act was a failure because its intentions were evaded by dummying and other methods, but Duffy always claimed that the amendments of subsequent parliaments preserved the essential intentions of the act. He published in 1862 a Guide to the land law of Victoria, which went into four editions within a year.

At the beginning of 1865 Duffy visited Europe and was away for two years. After his return he was elected in 1867 as member for Dalhousie. He had several times in the past raised the question of federation, and in 1870 made his final effort when another royal commission was appointed to go into the question. A first report was produced, but eventually the question was allowed to lapse again. In June 1871 Duffy became premier and chief secretary. He remained in office for 12 months and was defeated on the question of the appointment of Mr Cashel Hoey as secretary of the agent-general's office in London. It was scarcely a sufficient reason, but Hoey had become editor of the Nation after Duffy left for Australia, and enough prejudice on the Irish question remained to turn sufficient votes. In 1874 Duffy revisited England and was offered a seat in the house of commons but declined it. Returning to Melbourne in 1876 he was elected as member for North Gippsland and in 1877 was unanimously elected speaker. He retired in February 1880 on a pension of £1000 a year and went to live in Europe at Nice in the Riviera. He made occasional visits to London, but though still as interested as ever in the Irish movement, he was out of sympathy with the tactics of the time, and declined nomination as a candidate for Monaghan in 1885 and 1892. He published in 1880 Young Ireland: A Fragment of Irish History, the second volume of which under the title of Four Years of Irish History, appeared in 1883. An enlarged and revised issue of chapter iv of Young Ireland was published in 1882 under the title of A Bird's-eye View of Irish History, and other works were The League of North and South (1886), Thomas Davis: The Memoirs of an Irish Patriot (1890), Conversations with Carlyle (1892), and My Life in Two Hemispheres (1898). A friend who spent three weeks with Duffy towards the end of 1899 when he was in his eighty-fourth year, spoke of him as "youthful in mind and manner and full of intellectual vigour". He died on 9 February 1903 and was given a public funeral at Dublin on 8 March. All Dublin turned out to do his memory honour. Duffy was married three times (1) to Emily McLaughlin, (2) to Susan Hughes, (3) to Louise Hall. He was knighted in 1873 and created K.C.M.G. in 1877. His eldest son, John Gavan Duffy (1844-1917), born at Dublin 15 October 1844, educated at Stonyhurst, arrived in Melbourne 1859, was from 1874 to 1904 member for Dalhousie in the legislative assembly of Victoria, and held office as president of the board of land and works in the Service (q.v.) ministry, 1880, postmaster-general in the Munro (q.v.) and Shiels (q.v.) governments 1890, and also attorney-general for a short period, and postmaster-general in the Turner (q.v.) government for five years from 1894. He was an able debater and administrator and very prominent as a layman in the Roman Catholic church of which he was a Knight of St Gregory. He died on 8 March 1917. Another son, Sir Frank Gavan Duffy, is noticed separately, and a third, Charles Gavan Duffy (1855-1932), was a valued public servant who rose to be clerk of the federal senate. He was created C.M.G. in 1904.

Duffy was a pleasant companion with a sense of humour and a keen wit. He was an excellent journalist who exercised an immense influence in the Irish movement, for his intellectual honesty and completely sincere patriotism could not fail to make him a great force. When he came to Australia sectarian bitterness and the fact that many people could only think of him as a traitor to England made it difficult for him to take the high place his abilities entitled him to. His work as a forerunner of federation and his early realization that the land of Australia would have to be made available to the small holder, mark him out as an enlightened leader of the people, and the literary work of his old age is of great interest and value to students of the Irish question. His Conversations with Carlyle is also a document of great interest.

Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, My Life in Two Hemispheres; R. Barry O'Brien, Irish Memories; The Times, 14 and 15 February, 9 March 1903; The Argus, 9 March 1917, 24 February 1932. The many references in G. W. Rusden's History of Australia and H. G. Turner's History of Victoria must be read with caution as neither writer is free from prejudice.

^Top of page


chief justice of the high court of Australia,

was a son of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (q.v.), and was born at Dublin, Ireland, on 29 February 1852. He arrived in Victoria with his parents early in 1856, and a few years later was sent to England to be educated at Stonyhurst College. Returning to Australia in 1869 he went to the university of Melbourne and graduated B.A. in 1872. He entered the public service, studied law and began to practise as a barrister in 1875. In 1879 the second edition of Casey's Justices Manual was published, and Duffy evidently took a full share in its preparation as the book is stated on the title-page to be "by James Joseph Casey and Frank Gavan Duffy". In the same year he founded the Australian Law Times and continued to be its editor until 1883. In 1882 The Insolvency Statute 1871 with rules, notes and index was published as the joint work of Duffy and H. B. Higgins (q.v.), and in 1886 appeared The Law Relating to the Property of Married Women, written with W. H. Irvine. He was practising successfully, at first in the county court and later in the supreme court, and early in the nineties he was ranked as one of the ablest men at the bar. Unfortunately he became involved in the financial crisis of 1893, but unlike many men of his period accepted his responsibilities, and over a long period of years gradually paid off every penny for which he was liable. In June 1893 he was senior counsel for Speight in the famous Speight versus Syme (q.v.) libel case, and in the same year published with A. McHugh The Insolvency Act 1890, practically a second edition of the previous work by Duffy and Higgins. Two years later appeared The Transfer of Land Act 1890 prepared in collaboration with J. G. Eagleson. When J. L. Purves (q.v.) died in 1910 Duffy became the acknowledged leader of the bar, he had become a Q.C. in 1900. From 1902 to 1910 he was lecturer on the law of contracts and personal property at the university of Melbourne, and in 1907 became editor of the Victorian law reports. He was elevated to the high court bench in 1913, and when Sir Isaac Isaacs was made governor-general in 1930, Duffy became chief justice. Early in 1936 he was invited to give a series of lectures on Australian Commonwealth law at the tercentenary of Harvard university, but was unable to accept the invitation on account of his advanced years. He died after a short illness on 29 July 1936. He married in 1880 Ellen Torr who survived him with three sons, one of whom Charles Gavan Duffy born in 1882 had become a judge of the supreme court of Victoria in 1933. Duffy was created K.C.M.G. in 1929, and was made a member of the privy council in 1932.

Duffy was an amiable man, widely read and with a great appreciation of the best literature. His wit and humour are both shown in his "A Dream of Fair judges" a delightful parody of the well-known poem by Tennyson, which appeared in the Summons in June 1892. He could even bring his humour into a cross-examination as he gently led an untrustworthy witness along the path that led to his undoing. In the criminal court he was second only to Purves but he was more than a mere advocate, he had a wide grasp of the law, and his memory for the facts of the case was remarkable. His acute logical mind and fine intellectual powers made him an excellent judge, who worthily upheld the honour and dignity of the court.

The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 30 July 1936; Calendars of the university of Melbourne.

^Top of page



was the son of Major Percy Henderson Dun and was born at Cheltenham, England, on 1 July 1868. He was brought to Australia when about a year old, and was educated at Newington College and the university of Sydney. He entered the department of mines, Sydney, in 1890 and was an assistant to T. W. E. David (q.v.) in his work on the Hunter River coalfield. He, however, owed most of his training to Robert Etheridge Jr (q.v.) and in 1893 was made assistant palaeontologist to the geological survey. In 1899 he was appointed palaeontologist to the survey and in 1902 became lecturer in palaeontology to the university of Sydney. He was president of the Linnean Society of New South Wales in 1913 and 1914, and president of the Royal Society of New South Wales for the year 1918-19. He resigned from the geological survey in 1933 but continued his university lectureship until his death. He died on 7 October 1934 and was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. His more important writings will be found in the Records of the Geological Survey of New South Wales.

Dun had much ability and a remarkable memory which he was always ready to place at the service of his friends and scientific inquirers. He had an unrivalled knowledge of the fossil fauna of Australia, his knowledge of fossil bivalves and the brachiopoda was sound and extensive, and he was regarded as an authority on the questions of the identity and stratigraphical range of fossils. Both as a teacher and as a worker in the field he had an important influence on the progress of geology in Australia.

R. J. Noble, Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 1935; The Australian Museum Magazine, 16 January, 1935; Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 1934.

^Top of page

DUNLOP, JAMES (1793-1848),


son of John Dunlop, a weaver, was born at Dalry, Scotland, on 31 October 1793. He was educated at a school at Dalry and went to work at a thread factory at Beith when he was 14. He also attended a night-school kept by a man named Gardiner. When he was 17 he made a telescope for himself and began to be interested in astronomy. In 1820 he made the acquaintance of Sir Thomas Brisbane (q.v.), who appointed him as second scientific assistant when he went to Sydney as governor in 1821. Brisbane soon after his arrival built an observatory at Parramatta and Dunlop was employed there. Karl Rümker (q.v.) who had been first assistant left the observatory in 1823, and Dunlop was put in charge of it. He was not a trained astronomer, but he had learned much from Rümker and his employer, and between June 1823 and February 1826 he made 40,000 observations and catalogued 7385 stars. At the beginning of March he left the observatory and continued working at his own home, Brisbane having sold his instruments to the government when he left Australia in December 1825. In May 1826 Rümker returned to the observatory and seven months later was appointed government astronomer. Dunlop left Sydney for Scotland in February 1827 and was employed for four years at the observatory of Sir Thomas Brisbane. He had done very good work as an observer in New South Wales, and was associated with Rümker in the discovery of Encke's comet at Parramatta in June 1822. He was later to be the first in Great Britain to rediscover this comet on 26 October 1829. He had been awarded the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society of London on 8 February 1828. Sir John Herschel when making the presentation spoke in the highest terms of the value of the work done by Dunlop in New South Wales. In April 1831 Dunlop was appointed superintendent of the government observatory at Parramatta in succession to Rümker at a salary of £300 a year. He arrived at Sydney on 6 November 1831 and found the observatory in a deplorable condition, rain had come in, plaster from the roof had fallen down, and many records were destroyed. Dunlop succeeded in getting the building repaired and started on his work with energy, but about 1835 his health began to fail, he had no assistant, and the building having been attacked by white ants fell gradually into decay. In August 1847 he resigned his position, and went to live on his farm on Brisbane Water, an arm of Broken Bay. He died on 22 September 1848. In 1816 he married his cousin Jean Service who survived him. In addition to the medal of the Royal Astronomical Society Dunlop was awarded medals for his work by the King of Denmark in 1833, and the Institut Royal de France in 1835. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, Edinburgh, in 1832. Papers on, and references to the work of Dunlop, will be found in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, in the Edinburgh Journal of Science, and in the Transactions of the Royal Society between the years 1823 and 1839.

John Service, A Biographical Sketch of James Dunlop appended to his Third Notandum being the Literary Recreations of Laird Canticarl; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XI, XII, XV, XVI, XIX, XXIV, XXV; H. C. Russell, Proceedings Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, vol. I, p. 5.

^Top of page

DUNN, EDWARD JOHN (1844-1937),


was born at Bristol, England, on 1 November 1844 the son of Edward Herbert Dunn. He arrived in Sydney with his parents in 1849. In 1856 he was living at Beechworth, where he was educated at the Church of England school and later by a tutor. He entered the land survey office in that town, had experience in surveying, in 1864 joined the geological survey under Selwyn (q.v.) and was trained in geological work by G. H. F. Ulrich. He remained with the survey until it was abolished in 1869 and in the same year qualified as a mining surveyor. In 1871 he went to Cape Colony and was employed by the government reporting on mines. He prepared the first geological map of South Africa, and in 1872 travelled through Bushmanland accompanied by 15 troopers of the Northern Border police. He was able to gather much information about the Bushmen which he embodied in his work on The Bushman, which, however, was not published until nearly 60 years later. In 1873 he went to London, studied at the school of mines, Jermyn-street, and obtained his certificate for assaying. In 1883 he prophesied that the Transvaal would become an infinitely richer gold-bearing country than any yet discovered. He returned to Victoria in 1886 and went into private practice. As a result of one of his reports the coalfield at Korumburra, Victoria, was developed. He was appointed director of the geological survey of Victoria in 1904, and in 1905 was awarded the Murchison medal by the Geological Society of London. He applied the portion of the fund allotted to him with the medal towards the cost of publishing his monograph on Pebbles which appeared in 1911. He retired from the Victorian geological survey in 1912, but kept up his interest in his subject through a vigorous old age. He published a comprehensive work on the Geology of Gold in 1929, being then in his 85th year and his book on The Bushman, based on his own experiences in South Africa, came out two years later. He died on 20 April 1937. He married in 1875 Elizabeth Julie Perchard who survived him with a son and two daughters. A list of his publications will be found in In Memory of Edward John Dunn, Melbourne, 1937.

Dunn was an excellent field geologist and administrator who did valuable work over a long period, and particularly in connexion with the coal and gold mines of South Africa and Australia. His collection of Bushmen objects was given to the Pitt Rivers museum at Oxford, his australites and pebbles went to the British Museum, and his collection of Victorian stones to the mines department museum, Melbourne.

In Memory of Edward John Dunn; Industrial Australian and Mining Standard, 1 May 1937; The Argus, 21 April 1937; Preface to The Bushman; The Victorian Naturalist, June 1937.

^Top of page

DUNNE, ROBERT (1830-1917),

first Roman Catholic archbishop of Brisbane,

was born at Ardunnan, county Tipperary, Ireland, on 5 September 1830 (Brisbane Courier 15 January 1917). He was educated at Lismore Grammar School and the Irish College at Rome, and after a brilliant collegiate course was ordained priest in 1855. He was then appointed a master at St Laurence O'Toole Seminary, Dublin, of which the Rev. James O'Quinn was president. When O'Quinn was made the first bishop of Brisbane he brought Dunne with him. They arrived at Brisbane in May 1861 and Dunne began to carry out the work of diocesan secretary in addition to his duties as a parish priest. Though quite unassuming he soon became a prominent figure in the young city, and there was much regret when he was removed to Toowoomba in 1868. On the death of O'Quinn, Dunne became the second Roman Catholic bishop of Brisbane, and was consecrated on 18 June 1882. In May 1887 he was appointed the first Roman Catholic archbishop of Brisbane and held the office for nearly 30 years. In 1890 he visited Rome and during his absence the opportunity was taken of building a new episcopal residence for him. He did not take a prominent part in public affairs, but his work for his church was unceasing. And though he was glad to see new churches springing up everywhere, and was especially interested in the spread of new schools, he insisted strongly that the real foundation of the church was religion in the home. After reaching the age of 80 his health began to fail and in 1912 Dr Duhig became coadjutor archbishop. Dunne died at Brisbane on 13 January 1917. A scholarly man with much simplicity and nobility of character, he was beloved, admired and revered by all the members of his church. He disliked controversy though he never failed to uphold the tenets and rights of his own church, and his tolerance earned the respect of all who were outside it.

The Brisbane Courier, 15 January 1917; The Advocate, 20 January 1917; P. F. Moran, History of the Catholic Church in Australasia.

^Top of page



was of French descent and was born in London in 1767. He worked as an engraver and in 1790 did two coloured stipple engravings after Morland, "The Farmer's Door" and "The Squire's Door". Taking up painting, between 1817 and 1823 he exhibited six portraits at Royal Academy exhibitions, and he also exhibited three genre pieces at the British Institution about the same period. Emigrating to Western Australia in his sixty-fifth year he decided not to stay, and went on to Hobart, where he arrived with his daughter in August 1832. He lived at the corner of Campbell and Patrick-streets, and practised as a portrait painter. In 1835 he did some etchings of aborigines, the first examples of that craft to be done in Australia. His best-known painting "The Conciliation" is in the Hobart gallery with a self-portrait and other works, including some modelling in relief. A large landscape is in the Beattie collection at Launceston, and he is also represented in the Dixson collection at Sydney. Duterreau died at Hobart in 1851.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibitors and The British Institution; U. Thieme, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler.

^Top of page


premier of South Australia,

was born at Cuxhaven, Germany, where his father was British vice-consul, in 1816. He was educated at Hofwyl College, near Berne, and afterwards at the high school at Bremen. When 17 he went to Brazil as a junior clerk and was about five years at Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. In 1839 he joined a brother at Sydney, went overland to Melbourne, and followed mercantile pursuits for about 18 months, He then joined his brother Frederick at Adelaide and in 1842 or early in 1843 discovered copper at Kapunda, 45 miles north of Adelaide. He showed the specimen he had found to Captain Bagot who produced a similar specimen that his son had found in the same locality. The land was purchased and samples were sent to England which showed a high percentage of copper. Dutton visited England in 1845 and sold his interest in the mine for a large sum. While in London he prepared for publication his South Australia and its Mines, a work of 360 pages, an interesting and valuable contemporary account of the new colony published in 1846. Dutton returned to South Australia in 1847 and in 1849 became a member of the Adelaide board of city commissioners. He was elected a member of the old legislative council in 1851 and sat until 1857, when he was elected a member of the house of assembly. He was commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the Hanson (q.v.) government from 30 September 1857 to 2 June 1859, and was premier for a few days in July 1863. He formed his second cabinet on 22 March 1865 and was premier and commissioner of public works until 20 September, when he became agent-general in London for South Australia. He was a good linguist, able to speak French, German and Portuguese, and had an excellent knowledge of business which enabled him to carry out his duties with success until his death on 25 January 1877. He was made a C.M.G. in 1872. One of his brothers, W. P. Dutton, engaged in sealing at Portland Bay between 1828 and 1838, and it is sometimes claimed that he was an earlier settler of Victoria than the Hentys. Another brother F. H. Dutton, made a large fortune as a squatter in South Australia.

The South Australian Register and The South Australian Advertiser, 29 January 1877; F. Dutton, South Australia and its Mines; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page


miscellaneous writer and poet,

was born at Morrisons near Ballarat in March 1865. His father, George Dyson, arrived in Australia in 1852 and after working on various diggings became a mining engineer, his mother came from a life of refinement in England. The family led a roving life during Dyson's childhood, moving successively to Alfredton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Alfredton again. Unconsciously the boy was storing for future use the life of the miners, farmers and bushmen, among whom he lived. At 12 he began to work as an assistant to a travelling draper, after that was a whimboy in a mine, and for two or three years an assistant in a factory at Melbourne. This was followed by work in a newspaper office. At 19 he began writing verse, and a few years later embarked on a life of free-lance journalism which lasted until his death. His first notable work was "The Golden Shanty", which appeared in the Bulletin, and many other short stories followed. In 1896 he published a volume of poems, Rhymes from the Mines, and in 1898 the first collection of his short stories, Below and On Top. In 1901 his first long story The Gold-stealers was published in London, which was followed by In the Roaring Fifties in 1906. In the same year appeared Fact'ry 'Ands, a series of more or less connected sketches dealing with factory life in Melbourne in a vein of humour. Various other stories and collections of stories were published in the Bookstall Series and will be found listed in Miller's Australian Literature. Another volume of verse Hello, Soldier! appeared in 1919. All through the years Dyson did an enormous amount of work until he broke down under the strain and died after a long illness on 22 August 1931. He married Miss Jackson who survived him with one daughter.

Dyson was an admirable workman but does not rank among the greater prose-writers of Australia. The Gold-stealers and In the Roaring Fifties are two interesting tales, and the short stories are capably written. His work has the merit that it was written out of his own experience and observation. Of his two volumes of verse the first, Rhymes from the Mines, is the better, and gives Dyson an honourable place in the ranks of Australian balladists. His brother Will Dyson is noticed separately.

E. Dyson, The Bulletin, 21 November 1912, 26 August 1931; The Argus, Melbourne, 24 August 1931.

^Top of page

DYSON, WILLIAM HENRY (1880-1938), always known as Will Dyson,


was born at Alfredton, near Ballarat, in September 1880, the son of George Dyson, a mining engineer, and brother of Edward Dyson (q.v.). He was educated at state schools at Ballarat and South Melbourne. An elder brother, Ambrose Dyson, a vigorous and able popular illustrator, was born about 1876 and died on 3 June 1913. Will followed in his brother's steps, before he was 21 one of his drawings was accepted by the Bulletin, and he then obtained an appointment on the Adelaide Critic as a black and white artist. He returned to Melbourne in 1902, and did a good deal of work for the Bulletin, Melbourne Punch, and other papers. In 1906 Fact'ry 'Ands by his brother Edward Dyson (q.v.) was published with over 50 illustrations by him. These are curiously restless and exaggerated, but the best of his work at this period showed that an artist of great originality was gradually finding himself. Dyson was not a natural draughtsman like Phil May (q.v.), for in his early book illustrations he too often failed to realize the body under the clothes. However, a vein of genuine satire kept showing itself, and it was early realized that there was a mind behind the work. It was no doubt part of the honesty of the artist that when he held a show of his drawings in 1909 they were carefully graded, and some of the least good were priced as low as ten shillings and sixpence.

In 1910 Dyson was married to Ruby Lindsay, a member of the well-known family of artists. They then went to London where Dyson was employed on the Weekly Despatch. He also drew some coloured cartoons for Vanity Fair signed "Emu", and later began to contribute to the labour paper the Daily Herald. His cartoons became famous and had much influence in establishing the paper. In 1914 he published Cartoons, a selection from his work in its pages. In January 1915 appeared Kultur Cartoons, and later in the year he became an Australian official artist at the front. He was not concerned about finding safe vantage points and was twice wounded in 1917. Exhibitions of his war cartoons were held in London, and in November 1918 he published Australia at War, which contains some of his finest drawings. In March 1919, to his great grief, his wife died. In the following year he published a selection of her work The Drawings of Ruby Lind accompanied by a little volume Poems in Memory of a Wife (dated 1919). In 1925 he was given a large salary to return to Australia to work on the staff of the Melbourne Herald and Punch, and stayed for five years. He returned to London by way of New York, where he had a successful show of his dry-points, and he held a similar exhibition in London in December 1930 which attracted much attention. He resumed his connexion with the Daily Herald and contributed cartoons to it until his death. He had become interested in the Douglas Credit theory, and in 1933 published Artist Among the Bankers with 19 of his own illustrations. He died suddenly on 21 January 1938. A daughter survived him.

Dyson was tall and thin, a suggestion of scepticism and melancholy veiled his sensitive, modest, witty, humorous and kindly disposition. He was brought up in a mining district, knew something of the difficulties of labouring men, and no personal success could lessen his championship of the under-dog. Whatever he attempted he did well. He was a good public speaker, a writer of excellent prose, a charming conversationalist, and his little known Poems in Memory of a Wife belongs to the regions of true poetry. Taking up dry pointing late in life he quickly mastered the possibilities of his medium. His full genius was expressed in his cartoons, he became the most trenchant satirist of his day. The largest collection of his work is at Canberra, and he is also represented at the national galleries at Melbourne and Sydney and at the Victoria and Albert museum, London. His wife, known as "Ruby Lind", the daughter of Dr Lindsay of Creswick, was born in 1887. She went to Melbourne at about the age of 20, and earned a precarious living as an illustrator. She found after her marriage that the business of being a good wife and mother limited her opportunities as an artist, but the work she did succeed in doing has much grace and charm, and few illustrators have had a more sensitive line. She died on 12 March 1919. The moving introduction by her husband to The Drawings of Ruby Lind, and his Poems in Memory of a Wife, will suggest something of what her loss meant to him and to her friends.

The Herald, Melbourne, 4 June 1913, 10 April 1920, 22 January 1938; The Argus, Melbourne, 24 January 1938; The Bulletin, 2 February 1938; The Drawings of Ruby Lind; personal knowledge.

^Top of page [and links to other parts]