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 Ma-Mo

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

MADDEN, SIR JOHN (1844-1918),

chief-justice of Victoria,

was the second son of John Madden, solicitor, of Cork, Ireland, and was born there on 16 May 1844. He was educated at a private school in London, his father had settled there in 1852, and at a college at Beauchamp in France, where he acquired complete proficiency in French. In later years he showed a good working knowledge of both German and Italian. His father decided to emigrate to Australia, and landed at Melbourne with his family in January 1857. After a period at St Patrick's college, the boy went on to the university of Melbourne, took his B.A. degree in 1864, LL.B. in 1865 and LL.D. in 1869. When J. F. James, registrar of the university, died in 1864, Madden carried on his duties for a short period and was an unsuccessful applicant for the vacant position. He was called to the bar on 14 September 1865, and was quickly recognized as one of the coming men, at first on the equity side and afterwards in criminal cases. In 1871 he attempted to enter parliament as the representative for West Bourke in the legislative assembly. He was defeated, but was returned at the next election. He joined the McCulloch (q.v.) ministry as minister for justice in October 1875 and, though he lost his seat on going before his constituents, he was retained in the ministry until 1876 when he was returned for Sandridge. McCulloch resigned in May 1877, but in March 1880 Madden became minister of justice in the Service (q.v.) ministry, which, however, lasted only five months. Madden's practice became so large that in 1883 he retired from politics. He was now one of the leaders of the bar and for many years was a rival to J. L. Purves (q.v.), though his methods were quite different. As an advocate, his good humour and unvarying courtesy was backed by a knowledge of the law and a complete grasp of the facts which were the results of great industry. He more than once declined a judgeship, but when Chief-justice Higinbotham (q.v.) died at the end of 1892, Madden was given his position in January 1893. It has been stated that he was earning about £8000 a year at this time, and the acceptance of this office meant a considerable monetary sacrifice.

Besides carrying out the duties of the chief-justice Madden did important work in other directions. He was vice-chancellor of the university of Melbourne from 1889 to 1897, and chancellor from 1897 until his death. He was a regular attendant at council meetings and public functions and an admirable chairman of committees. On special occasions he could always be relied upon to make dignified and eloquent speeches, and he never felt it was the duty of a chancellor to interfere in any way with the professors in the conduct of their departments. All this led to the smooth running of the institution and he earned the respect and affection of both the staff and the students. He administered the government of Victoria on several occasions from 1893 onwards, and was formally appointed lieutenant-governor in 1899. He carried out his duties with great success, associating himself with every movement likely to be for the good of the state, and showing himself to be equal to any constitutional problems which arose. He died suddenly on 10 March 1918. He married in 1872, Gertrude Frances Stephen, who survived him with one son and five daughters. He was knighted in 1893, made a K.C.M.G. in 1899, and G.C.M.G. in 1906.

Madden was interested in every form of sport and also in country life. He was neither a great lawyer nor a great judge, but he had a good knowledge of case law and was a master of practice. During his early years on the bench his decisions were fairly often upset on appeal. It has been said of him that at times he lacked that happy welding together of ascertained fact and appropriate law . . . which renders decisions practically unappealable" but he was generally a sound judge, independent and capable, whose rulings were always marked by common sense. He understood too how judicial kindliness could be backed by sufficient firmness. Before he became a judge he was a great advocate, with a fine voice, an engaging address and a deceptive good humour which masked a knowledge of the facts, and of human nature and its frailties. He had all the qualities needed for a good lieutenant-governor; good-humour without loss of dignity, an unforced hospitality, sufficient knowledge of constitutional practice, and much popularity with all classes of the community.

A younger brother, Sir Frank Madden (1847-1921), became a member of the Victorian legislative assembly in 1894 and was elected speaker in 1904. He held his position until he lost his seat in parliament at the 1917 election. He was an excellent speaker, courteous, impartial and firm, and had the respect of the house. He took a great interest in agriculture and irrigation and in 1895 published a pamphlet Grass Lands of Victoria. He died at Melbourne on 17 February 1921. He was knighted in June 1911. Another brother, Walter Madden (1848-1925), also entered parliament and represented the Wimmera for many years. He was president of the board of land and works in the O'Loghlan ministry from 1881 to 1883.

The Argus, 11 March 1918; The Cyclopaedia of Victoria, 1903; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; Men of the Time in Australia, 1878; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; personal knowledge; The Argus, 18 February 1921, 4 August 1925.

^Top of page

MAHONY, FRANCIS PROUT (1862-1916), generally known as Frank Mahony,


was born at Melbourne on 4 December 1862. He was taken to Sydney when 10 years old and studied at the Academy of Art. His work was accepted by the Bulletin and he became known for his excellent drawings of horses. In 1889 his oil painting "Rounding up a Straggler", was bought for the national gallery of New South Wales, and in 1896 "The Cry of the Mothers" was also purchased. He did a good deal of illustrative work for the Picturesque Atlas of Australia, Victoria and its Metropolis, the Antipodean and other magazines of the period, and was also responsible for some of the illustrations to Boake's (q.v.) Where the Dead Men Lie. He left for England in 1904 but his health became impaired and he had little success in England as an artist. Nothing appears to be known about his later days. He died in London in June 1916. He was a capable painter of animals, and is represented in the Sydney, Hobart and Wanganui, New Zealand, galleries.

W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; P. S. Cleary, Australia's Debt to Irish Nation Builders; The Bulletin, 24 and 31 August 1916.

^Top of page



son of Henry Maiden, was born at St John's Wood, London, on 25 April 1859. He was educated at the city of London middle class school and the university of London, but was unable on account of his health to finish his science course. Having been ordered a sea voyage he came to Australia in 1880, and was connected with the formation of the technological museum at Sydney. In 1881 he was appointed its curator and continued in this position until 1896. He was much interested in the native plants, and in his early days was associated with the Rev. William Woolls (q.v.) in his botanical studies. In his first book, The Useful Native Plants of Australia, published in 1889, he also acknowledges his debt to the work of von Mueller (q.v.) with whom he had been in correspondence. In 1890 Maiden was appointed consulting botanist to the New South Wales department of agriculture and forestry, in 1892 he published a Bibliography of Australian Economic Botany, and in 1894 he was made superintendent of technical education. He gave up this position in 1896 when he was appointed government botanist and director of the botanic gardens, Sydney. He had in the previous year brought out Part I of The Flowering Plants and Ferns of New South Wales, of which other parts appeared in this and in later years. In 1903 his Critical Revision of the Genus Eucalyptus, possibly his most important work, began to appear; at the time of his death it was practically completed, 65 parts having been issued. Ten additional parts, edited by R. H. Gambage and W. F. Blakely were published by 1931 and an index to parts 71-5 appeared in 1933. Another valuable work, the Forest Flora of New South Wales, was published in parts between 1904 and 1924, and his Illustrations of New South Wales Plants began to appear in 1907. In 1909 Maiden published Sir Joseph Banks the "father of Australia", a mine of valuable information though lacking arrangement. His industry, however, was remarkable. Either alone or associated with colleagues he contributed 45 papers to the Journal of the Royal Society of New South Wales, and 87 to the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. He lectured to university students on "agricultural botany" and "forest botany"; he was honorary secretary of the Royal Society of New South Wales for 22 years and was twice president; he was for 14 years honorary secretary of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1921 was offered the presidency but had to decline it on account of his health; he was for 35 years on the council of the Linnean Society and president for three years. In 1916, in collaboration with Ernst Betche, he published A Census of New South Wales Plants, and in 1920 Maiden published Part I of The Weeds of New South Wales. Though handicapped in his later years by ill-health, he continued to do much valuable work both in systematic botany and in forestry until his retirement in April 1924. He died on 16 November 1925. He married in 1883, Jeannie, daughter of John Hammond, who survived him with four daughters. He was awarded the Linnean medal by the Linnean Society of London in 1915, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in the following year, was awarded the Mueller medal by the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science in 1922, and the Clarke medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1924.

Maiden was a kindly, sincere man, with a sense of humour, and a wealth of information which was always at the service of his fellow scientific workers. He was both methodical and enthusiastic, had immense powers of work, and his name deservedly ranks high among the botanists of Australia. In addition to the books mentioned, some of Maiden's writings were published as pamphlets, including an interesting series of biographical notes concerning the former officers in charge of the Sydney botanic gardens.

Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1926, p. IV; Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 1926, p. 4; The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 1925; Who's Who, 1924.

^Top of page



was born in 1827 at Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol, England. He was educated at the Bishop's college and was articled in 1844 to W. M. Peniston, one of Brunel's engineers engaged in railway work in the west of England. In 1850 Mais went to Sydney intending to start an engineering business, but in 1851 was appointed as engineer to the Sydney Railway Company, and he afterwards joined the service of the Sydney city commissioners. In 1862 he went to Melbourne as manager to the Melbourne Suburban and Brighton railway, but in 1866 this company was taken over by the state, and Mais obtained a position with the water-supply department. In 1867 he was appointed engineer-in-chief to the colony of South Australia and in January 1871 general-manager of railways. Following a re-arrangement of the departments in 1878 Mais retained the positions of engineer-in-chief and engineer for railways and harbours and jetties. In April 1888 he voluntarily resigned. His 21 years of service in South Australia was a period of great expansion, much money was spent, and Mais saw that it was well spent. He had great skill in his profession and never allowed unsound work to pass. After his retirement he went to Melbourne, for the next 25 years practised as a consulting engineer and arbitrator, and established a wide reputation. He retired in 1912, and died at Melbourne in his eighty-ninth year on 25 February 1916. His wife predeceased him, and he was survived by three sons and two daughters.

P. Mennell, The Dictionarv of Australasian Biography; The Argus, 28 February 1916; The Register, Adelaide, 1 March 1916; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 1 March 1916.

^Top of page



son of Duncan M. Maitland, surveyor, was born at Tumut, New South Wales, on 12 November 1868. He was educated at Newington College and the university of Sydney, where he graduated M.B., Ch.M., in 1892. He was appointed to the resident staff of the Sydney hospital and served for more than two years both as house-surgeon and house-physician. He started practice in 1894 in Elizabeth-street, Sydney, three years later was appointed honorary assistant surgeon at the Sydney hospital, and gained much valuable experience. He was appointed honorary surgeon in 1902 and was largely instrumental in the improvement of the hospital facilities. The hospital became a clinical school for the university in 1908 and Maitland was made clinical lecturer. He was much interested in the New South Wales branch of the British Medical Association, was a member of the council from 1904 to 1915, and president 1911-12. When the South Sydney hospital was founded he became honorary surgeon and held the same position at the Royal Hospital for Women, and the Coast hospital. During the 1914-18 war Maitland was attached to the military forces at Randwick hospital and did very valuable work. He had a severe attack of influenza in 1919, but apparently completely recovered from the effects of it. In 1920 a lecture hall was built at the Sydney hospital which was called the Maitland lecture hall, and contained a tablet inscribed "Erected in Recognition of the Services to this Hospital as Surgeon and Lecturer by Sir Herbert Lethington Maitland 1920". In 1921 he became senior surgeon of this hospital and though working hard he was seldom tired, and showed no signs of weakness of health. However, on 23 May 1923, after a few minutes illness, he died at his rooms before medical assistance could reach him. He married in 1898, Mabel Agnes, daughter of Samuel Cook, who survived him with two sons. He was knighted in 1915.

Maitland was an athlete in his youth and played first grade Rugby football. He was of a kindly disposition, solicitous for his patients, and had many friends. As a clinical lecturer he was clear in his exposition and eminently practical and instructive. His work for Sydney hospital was of great value as was also his experience when dealing with war-wrecked soldiers. As a surgeon he had great dexterity and manipulative skill, and when an emergency arose could always find the safest way of dealing with it. It was stated at the time of his death that he had operated on 4000 cases of appendicitis without losing a patient. His experience was purely Australian; he was the first graduate from an Australian university to receive an honorary surgical appointment at a Sydney hospital, and he never sought to enlarge his experience by visiting Europe. He also wrote little and his reputation was practically confined to his own country. A paper contributed to the Australasian Medical Gazette in 1906 on his method of extirpating malignant growths in the neck led, however, to his being invited to contribute an article on this operation to J. F. Binnie's Manual of Operative Surgery. In Australia he was recognized as an authority in surgery and a master of surgical technique. A memorial to his memory was founded by subscription at the Sydney hospital.

The Medical journal of Australia, 23 June 1923, 7 June 1924; The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May 1923; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1923.

^Top of page

MANNING, FREDERIC (1882-1935),


was born at Sydney on 22 July 1882, the fourth son of Sir William Patrick Manning (1845-1915), and his wife Nora, daughter of John Torpy. Both parents were of Irish descent. Sir William Manning, an accountant and financial agent, was Mayor of Sydney from 1891 to 1894, and represented South Sydney for a period in the legislative assembly. He was knighted in 1894. His son, Frederic, a delicate boy, except for about six months at Sydney grammar school, was educated privately. He was taken to England at the age of 15 by Arthur Galton, who had been private secretary to Sir Robert Duff, governor of New South Wales from 1893 to 1895. Galton was a university man who had joined the Roman Catholic Church and had become a priest in 1880. He left that ministry in 1885, was re-admitted to the Church of England in December 1898, took orders, and subsequently wrote several books on theological questions. He was probably responsible for Manning's classical education, as the boy was at school for only six months in England, and did not go to a university. Manning's first volume of verse, The Vision of Brunhild, was published in 1907, and in the same year he became a literary reviewer on the London Spectator. In 1909 he published a remarkable volume of prose, Scenes and Portraits, highly praised by such distinguished critics as Max Beerbohm and E. M. Forster, but for long known only to a discerning few. Another volume of verse, Poems, appeared in 1910.

In 1915 Manning enlisted in the Shropshire light infantry as a private. He was offered a commission but declined it because he felt he had none of the qualities required for an officer. Some of the earlier poems in Eidola, published in 1917, reflect his war experiences. He collaborated with T. S. Eliot and R. Aldington in the production of a small volume of essays, Poetry and Prose, published in 1921, and he was asked by the British government to collaborate with Sir George Arthur in writing the life of Kitchener. Illness prevented him from doing so but he was able to undertake The Life of Sir William White, director of British naval construction, a conscientious piece of work on a subject quite alien from Manning's way of life. This volume appeared in 1923, and was followed in 1926 by an edition of Walter Charleton's translation of Epicurus's Morals with a long introductory essay. Persuaded by his friend and publisher Peter Davies, Manning wove his war experiences into a novel published anonymously in 1929, The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme and Ancre, by Private 19022, of which an abridged edition with the title Her Privates We, came out in the following year. It was well reviewed and four impressions were printed in January 1930. But the public was getting tired of novels based on the war, and the book had less success than it deserved. In November 1930 a revised and slightly enlarged edition of Scenes and Portraits was published and in February 1933 Manning visited Australia. He died in England from pneumonia after a short illness, on 22 February 1935. He was unmarried. An elder brother, Sir Henry Edward Manning, born in 1877, became attorney-general and vice-president of the executive council of New South Wales in 1932 and was created K.B.E. in 1939.

Manning suffered from bronchial asthma all his life, and though he was occupied for a long period on a novel of the time of Louis XIV, never had the energy to finish it. He was a solitary and a scholar, shy and sensitive, always seeking to avoid notice. Yet among congenial friends his talk was witty and profound, his observations as quick as his understanding. His verse is excellent, technically speaking, but his emotion seems scarcely deeply or sharply enough felt to give him an important place as a poet. His prose is in the highest class, Scenes and Portraits, partly short stories and partly imaginary conversations, has wit and humour, irony and wisdom expressed with a perfection of phrase unexcelled by any other writer born in Australia. Her Privates We gave the life of the soldier at the front with an honesty and accuracy which placed it in the front rank of books of its kind. The character of Bourne in this book is probably based on the author.

The Times, 26 February 1935; The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 February 1935; Nettie Palmer, The Bulletin, 22 March 1933; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; W. Rothenstein, Men and Memories; Since Fifty. For his father, Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1915. For his brother, Who's Who in Australia, 1941 For Galton, Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1920, and Introduction to his The Message and Position of the Church of England. For an appreciation of Her Privates We, C. Kaeppel, The Australian Quarterly, June 1935.

^Top of page


politician and judge,

second son of John Edye Manning, of Clifton, England, was born at Alphington, near Exeter, in June 1811. He was educated at private schools and University College, London, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn in November 1827. He was called to the bar in November 1832 and practised as a barrister on the Western Circuit for about five years. During this period, in collaboration with S. Neville, he prepared and published Reports of Cases Relating to the Duty and Offices of Magistrates (3 vols, 1834-8), and was the author of Proceedings in Courts of Revision in the Isle of Wight, etc. (1836). In 1837 he went to Australia and soon after his arrival was made a chairman of quarter sessions. He took up his duties at Bathurst in October. In 1842 he was offered the position of resident judge at Port Phillip, and in September 1844 became solicitor-general of New South Wales. In January 1848 he was appointed acting-judge of the supreme court of New South Wales during the absence of Mr Justice Therry (q.v.). He resumed the solicitor-generalship at the end of 1849, and held this position until responsible government was established in 1856, when he retired with a pension of £800 a year. He had been a nominated member of the legislative council since February 1851, and assisted in the preparation of Wentworth's (q.v.) constitution bill.

Manning was elected a member of the legislative assembly in the first parliament, and was attorney-general in the Donaldson (q.v.) ministry from 6 June to 25 August 1856. He was given the same position in the Parker (q.v.) ministry in October 1856, but resigned in the following May on account of ill-health, and went to England. On his return he was offered a judgeship of the supreme court but declined it. He re-entered parliament and on 21 February 1860 joined the Forster (q.v.) ministry as attorney-general, but the ministry resigned about a fortnight later. He was again attorney-general in the Robertson (q.v.) and Cowper (q.v.) ministries from October 1868 to December 1870. In February 1875, though he was then a member of the upper house he was asked to form a ministry, but was unable to obtain sufficient support. He was appointed a supreme court judge in 1876, and was primary judge in equity until his resignation in 1887. He voluntarily gave up his pension when he became a judge. In 1887 he was again nominated to the legislative council, and gave useful service there until near the end of his life. He had been elected a fellow of the senate of the university of Sydney in 1861, became chancellor in 1878 and held this position until his death on 27 February 1895.

Before Manning came into office the university had been languishing for some time, there were fewer than a hundred students in 1877, but during his chancellorship there was much expansion in the scope of the university and several new chairs were founded. He fought for and succeeded in getting increased grants from the government, urged the necessity of more grammar schools being established, and the provision of university scholarships. He pleaded that women should have the same opportunities as men at the university and this was granted in 1881. He carried out his duties with sagacity and devotedness; one example of this was his saving the university £15,000 by his discovery that the British taxation commissioners were charging succession duty on the Challis estate on too high a scale. Few men in New South Wales had such a long career of usefulness.

His portrait by Sir John Watson Gordon, paid for by public subscription is in the great hall at Sydney university. He was knighted in 1858 and created K.C.M.G. in 1892. He was married twice (1) to Emily Anne, daughter of E. Wise, and (2) to Eliza Anne, daughter of the Very Rev. William Sowerby, and was survived by children of both marriages.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 1895; H. E. Barff, A Short Historical Account of the University of Sydney; Aubrev Halloran, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XII, pp. 59-66; Robert A. Dallen, ibid, Vol. XIX, pp. 225-9; P. Mennell The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1895.

^Top of page

MARCHANT, GEORGE (1857-1941),


was born at Brasted, Kent, England, on 17 November 1857. His father was a builder and hotelkeeper, and while quite a boy Marchant became interested in the temperance question. He came to Brisbane when he was 16 with only a few shillings in his pocket, and began to work as a gardener for ten shillings a week and his keep. He was afterwards a station-hand in the country, but returned to Brisbane and obtained work as a carter for an aerated-waters factory. He acquired a small business of this kind in 1886, and opened a factory in Bower-street, Brisbane, in 1888, which grew into the largest business of its kind in Australia with other factories at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Newcastle. While a young man Marchant invented and patented a bottling machine afterwards used all over the world. He married Mary Jane Dwyer, and with her spent much money in discriminating charity, of which little was known until he made his gift of £41,000 for the building of the Canberra hotel for the temperance organizations. Other important benefactions were the Montrose Crippled Children's Home; the Kingshome Home for Soldiers; the Garden Home for the Aged, Chermside; the City Mission Home, Palm Beach; The Paddington Creche and Kindergarten; Swedenborgian Churches in Australia, England and U.S.A.; and the Home for Crippled Children, Boston, U.S.A. He also gave the land for Marchant Park at Kedron, a suburb of Brisbane. He died On 5 September 1941. His wife died in 1925, and they had no children.

Marchant was a religious, kind, and sympathetic man, who believed that all religions should be related to life. Under his will various bequests were made to relatives, friends and institutions. The largest was £16,500 to the Queensland Society for Crippled Children, which will also receive the residue of his estate.

The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 6 and 7 September 1941; The Telegraph, Brisbane, 5 September 1941.

^Top of page

MARSDEN, SAMUEL (1764-1838),

early clergyman and missionary to New Zealand,

was born at Farsley, Yorkshire, England, on 28 July 1764. (Jnl and Proc. R.A.H.S., vol. IX, p. 79). His father, Thomas Marsden, was a blacksmith and small farmer. Marsden had only an elementary education and when he grew up assisted his father at his work. When he was 21 his thoughts turned to the ministry, and between 1787 and 1793 he received help from the Elland Clerical Society. which had a fund for the education of young men of good character without the means to fit themselves for entering the church. Marsden had a course of preliminary study under the Rev. E. Storrs and the Rev. Miles Atkinson. both of Leeds, and then proceeded to Hull grammar school. In 1790 he became a sizar of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and there he remained for two and a half years, leaving without a degree to accept the position of assistant chaplain in New South Wales. His commission was dated 1 January 1793; on the following 24 May he was ordained deacon, and two days later priest. He had married on 21 April, Elizabeth, only daughter of Thomas Fristan, and on 1 July they sailed on the William which arrived at Sydney on 10 March 1794. Marsden made his home at Parramatta, but early in 1795 Lieutenant-governor Paterson (q.v.) sent him to Norfolk Island, then being administered by Captain King (q.v.). The visit had far-reaching consequences because King had been much impressed by the intelligence of two young Maoris who had been kidnapped and brought to the island, in the hope that they might be able to give instruction in preparing flax which grew there luxuriantly. His account of the young men interested Marsden very much, but many years were to pass before he was able to visit New Zealand. In September 1795 he returned to New South Wales, and in the same month Captain Hunter (q.v.) began his duties as governor.

Neither Johnson (q.v.), the first clergyman, nor Marsden had received any support from Lieut.-governors Grose (q.v.) and Paterson (q.v.). Hunter did his best to combat the evil influences at work in the settlement, and Marsden's influence on the life of the colony was increasingly felt. Writing to a friend in December 1796 he said "I have much to occupy my time, and a great variety of duties to perform. I am a gardener, a farmer, a magistrate, a minister, so that when one duty does not call, another does. In this infant colony there is plenty of manual labour for everybody. I conceive it a duty to all to take an active part. He who will not labour must not eat. Now is our harvest time. Yesterday I was in the field assisting getting my wheat. To-day I was sitting in the civil court hearing the complaints of the people. To-morrow, if well, must ascend the pulpit and preach to my people. In this manner I chiefly spend my time". (Jnl and Proc. R.A.H.S., vol. XII, p. 263). Marsden had been given a grant of 100 acres soon after his arrival, with the use of convict labour, and showed himself to be an excellent farmer. Later on he was given further grants of land and took an interest in sheep-breeding, and though his efforts may not be compared with those of Macarthur (q.v.), his experiments were of great use in the early development of the wool industry. In 1806 he owned some 1400 sheep out of the 21,400 in the colony, and had nearly 3000 acres of land. After the Rev. Richard Johnson left the colony in 1800 Marsden carried on the chaplain's work single-handed for several years, and when later on he came in conflict with Governor Macquarie (q.v.) indignantly denied that his farming operations had in any way interfered with the carrying out of his clerical duties. This is borne out in the report made to the British house of commons by J. T. Bigge (q.v.) in 1823. Marsden's duties as a magistrate, however, were less in keeping with his office. He ordered floggings for what would in the present day be considered minor offences, and though not mentioned by name, he was evidently "the clerical magistrate of another creed" who awarded the "scourge to Irish catholics for refusing to enter the protestant churches . . . the plea to be sure, was obstinacy and disobedience" (W. Ullathorne (q.v.) The Catholic Mission in Australasia, p. 9). Marsden considered he was doing his duty, it was a cruel and intolerant age, and he was not in advance of his time. His own view was that he was a strict but not a severe magistrate. He said "I conceive there is a very material difference between severity and strictness . . . I ever considered that the certainty of punishment operated more powerfully upon the mind of the delinquent than the severity of punishment; and upon this principle I acted. . . . A magistrate has a duty which he owes to the public as well as to the delinquents, and he is not justified in remitting punishments where the safety and well-being of the community call for their infliction" (An Answer to Certain Calumnies, p. 38). As a magistrate Marsden was trusted by the successive governors, and on more than one occasion important commissions were entrusted to him, such as the investigation into the conditions and grievances of settlers in 1798.

In 1807 Marsden and his wife visited England. There he was able to bring before the authorities the need for more clergy in Australia, and when news of the deposition of Bligh (q.v.) reached England, Marsden's knowledge of the local conditions must have been very useful. He returned to Australia in the Anne on 27 February 1810, having as fellow passenger the Rev. Robert Cartwright. He had also enlisted the services of the Rev. William Cowper (q.v.), who arrived about the same time. Soon after Marsden's arrival he unfortunately quarrelled with Governor Macquarie who had recently arrived at Sydney. The governor was anxious to raise the status of convicts who had served their time, and one course he took was the appointing of some of them to the magistracy. Marsden was appointed one of the commissioners of public roads as were also certain of the new magistrates. Marsden considered that to sit with these men would be a "degradation of his office as senior chaplain", and asked that he might be allowed to decline the office. Both men were determined and a breach occurred between them that was never healed. However, a very important development in Marsden's work was shortly to begin that made these differences for the time being less important. Some of the South Sea missionaries who had been driven off the islands came to Sydney and were befriended by Marsden before his voyage to England. On the way out he found a young Maori chief called Duaterra on the Anne whom he took to his home at Parramatta. This revived his interest in the Maoris and the establishing of New Zealand missions. On account of the massacre of the crew of the ship Boyd, Macquarie at first would not allow any missionaries to sail for New Zealand. Marsden revived the question in 1814, and having bought a ship, two missionaries, Hall and Kendall, sailed for the Bay of Islands with a message to Duaterra who met them when they arrived. Hall and Kendall returned to Sydney in August, and on 28 November Marsden went to New Zealand to establish the mission permanently. When Marsden arrived he decided that the quarrel which had arisen out of the Boyd massacre, between the people of Whangaroa and those of the Bay of Islands must be brought to an end. Marsden with another of his party, J. L. Nicholas, went to the camp of the Whangaroa natives and spent the night with them. Marsden has recorded that he "did not sleep much during the night". Both men were completely at the Maoris' mercy but next day their courage was rewarded. Presents were distributed and the goodwill of the natives was gained. Marsden made six more journeys to New Zealand, and travelled much in the North Island, suffering many hardships, dangers and anxieties, not the least of these arising from the necessity of discharging men who had shown themselves unsuitable for the missionary life. He showed great sympathy with the Maoris and much tolerance and breadth of view. The Maori chiefs admired his courage, and Marsden became an unofficial forerunner for the subsequent taking over of New Zealand by the British.

In Sydney Marsden's relations with Macquarie continued to be unsatisfactory. He declined reading a general order from the governor in church relating to the settlers bringing grain to the government stores, on the ground that it was irregular and improper to read such orders in churches. Despairing of getting the government to provide proper accommodation for the convicts, and especially the women at Parramatta, he sent a copy of his correspondence with the governor to England. Early in 1818 Marsden resigned from the magistracy, and in the Gazette of 28 March 1818 it was announced that his services were dispensed with. He might have hoped for peace when Brisbane (q.v.) became governor in November 1821, but Marsden was of too independent a cast of mind to be always in agreement with the authorities. He was fined £10 2s. 6d. because he had permitted his convict servant to do some honest work in his leisure hours. He refused to pay and an execution was put in his house; but the indomitable Marsden brought an action against the magistrates in the supreme court for £250 damages. He was awarded £10 2s. 6d., the judge holding that the trespass complained of was committed under an honest mistake of law. Marsden undoubtedly acted under a sense of duty--and in regard to this and other acts of his it must have been gratifying to him to be informed in 1825, that the home authorities having taken into consideration his "long and useful services in New South Wales" had increased his salary to £400 a year. In 1826 he published his An Answer to Certain Calumnies in the late Governor Macquarie's Pamphlet and the Third Edition of Mr Wentworth's Account of Australasia, an able defence of his conduct in Australia. Shortly before this he had written to the Rev. J. Pratt of the Church Missionary Society inquiring the amount of the cost of his education by the Elland Society, and stating his intention of forwarding £50 a year until this was paid off. He had his private sorrows, for two sons died in infancy as the result of accidents, and his wife had a long illness before her death in 1835. Marsden, though in ill-health and 73 years of age, made his last visit to New Zealand in 1837 accompanied by his youngest daughter, and was everywhere received with great affection. A certain roughness and bluntness noticeable in his Youth had given way in old age to kindliness and serenity. He died on 12 May 1838 and was buried at Parramatta. A son and five daughters survived him. One of them, Jane, married her cousin Thomas Marsden, and their son, Samuel Edward Marsden (1832-1912), was Bishop of Bathurst, New South Wales, from 1869 to 1885.

J. R. Elder, The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden; J. A. Ferguson, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. IX, pp. 78-112; Rev. W. Woolls, A Short Account of the Character and Labours of the Rev. Samuel Marsden; Rev. J. B. Marsden, Life and Work of Samuel Marsden, 1913, Ed. by J. Drummond; S. M. Johnstone, Samuel Marsden; A. H. Reed, Marsden of Maoriland; J. R. Elder, Marsden's Lieutenants; E. Ramsden, Marsden and the Missions; James S. Hassall, In Old Australia, pp. 136-72. See also the many references to Marsden in early volumes of the Historical Records of Australia and Historical Records of N.S.W., and the bibliographies at the end of Ferguson's paper, and Johnstone's biography.

^Top of page

MARTENS, CONRAD (1801-1878),


was born at London, in 1801. His father, J. C. H. Martens, was a German merchant at Hamburg, who settled in England and married an English woman. Little is known of Martens's education and early life, but it is evident that he must have received a good education, and the fact that he chose Copley Fielding, one of the best-known water-colour painters of his day, as his master, suggests that his family was in comfortable circumstances. After his father's death he was painting and living in Devonshire, and sometime later went to South America. In August 1832 the Beagle arrived at Monte Video with Charles Darwin on board, and Martens joined the ship as topographer. That he became friendly with Darwin is evident from a letter quoted in Lionel Lindsay's Conrad Martens, The Man and His Art, forwarding a sketch to Darwin nearly 30 years afterwards.

Martens was two years on the Beagle. Leaving her in September 1834, he stayed for some months at Valparaiso, and then went to Sydney calling at Tahiti and New Zealand on the way. He entered the heads on 17 April 1835. Sydney was then a town of about 20,000 inhabitants and, though some signs of culture were beginning to emerge, it was scarcely a likely place where a man might hope for success as an artist. Martens, however, was fortunate in finding some early patrons, among them being General Sir Edward Macarthur (q.v.), Sir Daniel Cooper (q.v.) and Alexander McLeay (q.v.). In 1837 he married Jane Brackenbury Carter, and was evidently making a living though a precarious one. Afterwards he began drawing lithographic views of Sydney which he coloured by hand and sold for one guinea each. In 1849, when Sydney was passing through a depression, he mentions in a letter that he has no pupils and has been able to sell few pictures. Some years before this he had built a cottage on a piece of land belonging to his wife, on the north side of the harbour. He had a roof over his head and congenial surroundings, and lived there for the remainder of his days. But as the years went by there was no improvement in his sales, it was a period of expansion, people were too busy to be much interested in the arts, and Martens was as lonely a figure in painting as Harpur (q.v.) was in poetry. In 1863 he was glad to accept the position of assistant parliamentary librarian and found the work congenial, though it left him little time for painting. He died on 21 August 1878, and was survived by his wife and two daughters, who subsequently died unmarried.

Martens was essentially a water-colour artist, his oils as a rule are comparatively heavy handed and dull. He was an excellent draughtsman as his many sketches in pencil testify, and to this merit he added good composition and quiet beauty of colour. Many years passed before a water-colourist of equal merit appeared in Australia. He is represented in the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, and Brisbane galleries, there is a fine collection at the Mitchell library, and there are also examples at the Commonwealth national library, Canberra. His portrait by Dr Maurice Felton is at the Mitchell library, and a self-portrait in oils was in 1920 in the possession of Miss Coombes of Fonthill.

Lionel Lindsay, Conrad Martens the Man and his Art; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Charles Darwin's Diary; Sir Wm Dixson, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. V, p. 298.

^Top of page


miscellaneous writer,

son of George Martin, and his wife, Eleanor Hill, was born at Woolwich, Kent, England, on 18 February 1851. He was brought by his parents to Australia and arrived in Melbourne in December 1852. Educated at St Mark's school, Fitzroy, he entered the Victorian civil service but early began writing. He was editor of the Melbourne Review, founded in January 1876, until he went to England in 1882. He published in 1876 Sweet Girl Graduate, a novelette with a few short poems added, and in 1878 appeared Lays of To-day; Verses in Jest and Earnest. Some of the poems in this volume were included in Fernshawe; Sketches in Prose and Verse, mostly a collection of essays and verses from the Melbourne Review and other journals, published in 1882. Going to London in this year Martin led a busy journalistic life. In 1889 Australia and the Empire was published, and in 1893 his Life and Letters of Viscount Sherbrooke, a conscientious and interesting piece of work. In the same year appeared True Stories from Australasian History, and two years later The Withered Jester and Other Verses. He published nothing else of any importance and died on 15 February 1902. He married in 1886, Harriet Anne, daughter of Dr J. M. Cookesley.

Martin was a competent journalist of some influence in the early literary life of Melbourne. No other similar journal has had so long a life as the Melbourne Review, a most creditable effort considering the difficulties with which it had to contend.

11, Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; Death notice The Times, 19 February 1902.

^Top of page



was born in the Island of Skye in 1847 or early in 1848. Her father, whose name was Mackay, brought her to South Australia when a child, and in 1874 she was living at Mount Gambier. In that year she published at Melbourne a volume of poems The Explorers and other Poems, by M. C., the verse of a well-educated woman, though seldom or never rising into poetry. She came to Adelaide and did journalistic work, including a serial story, Bohemian Born. For a period she was a clerk in the education department. In 1890 she published anonymously An Australian Girl, a novel which was favourably reviewed and in 1891 went into a second edition. This was followed in 1892 by The Silent Sea, published under the pseudonym of "Mrs Alick MacLeod". In 1906 appeared The Old Roof Tree: Letters of Isbel to her Half-brother, a series of essays in letter-form. Some are supposed to be written from London, others from a cathedral town, while others describe a tour on the continent. In 1923 appeared The Incredible Journey, the story of an aboriginal woman's journey across desert country to recover her son. Mrs Martin died at Adelaide on 15 March 1937 in her ninetieth year. She married Frederick Martin who predeceased her.

Mrs Martin was never as well known as she deserved to be, partly because her work was always published anonymously or under a pseudonym. An Australian Girl is an interesting book written by a woman of thoughtful and philosophic mind, and The Incredible Journey, with its sympathetic appreciation of the point of view of the aborigines, is among the best books of its kind in Australian literature.

Information from H. Rutherford Purnell, the Public Library of South Australia; Catherine Helen Spence, An Autobiography, p. 55; Death notice. The Advertiser, Adelaide, 17 March 1937.

^Top of page

MARTIN, SIR JAMES (1820-1886),

politician and chief justice of New South Wales,

was born at Middleton, County Cork, Ireland, on 14 May 1820. His parents emigrated with him to Sydney in 1821, and he was educated under W. T. Cape (q.v.) at the Sydney Academy and Sydney College. On leaving school at 16 years of age he became a reporter, and in 1838 published The Australian Sketch Book, a remarkably well-written series of sketches for a boy who had just completed his eighteenth year. It was dedicated to G. R. Nichols, a well-known barrister of the period, to whom Martin became articled. At the end of his articles he began practising as an attorney but also did much writing for the press, and in his middle twenties was editor and manager of the Atlas for two years. In 1848 he was a candidate for the Durham electorate of the legislative council, but the press was united against him and he found it prudent to withdraw from the election. Later in the same year he was elected for Cook and Westmoreland, but the election was declared void. At the new election he was returned unopposed. He was not a favourite in the house as a young man, his temper was not under perfect control, and his speeches were considered to be flippant and intemperate. He, however, initiated the discussion which led to the establishment of a branch of the royal mint at Sydney. In 1856 he was elected to the first parliament under responsible government, and in August was made attorney-general in the first ministry of Chas. Cowper (q.v.). There was a great outcry from parliament, press and bar, the chief objection being that Martin was not then a barrister, and the government was defeated largely on account of his appointment. However, when Cowper formed his second ministry in 1857 Martin was given the same position and showed himself to be a good administrator. He had in the meantime qualified as a barrister, and it became noticeable that his manner showed more self-control. In November 1858 he resigned his seat in the cabinet finding himself too often at variance with his colleagues.

Martin was out of office for some years. In October 1863 he was asked to form a government but his first ministry did not last long. Faced with a deficit he struck off the vote for immigration, and attempted to bring in a protective tariff. He was defeated in the house, and obtaining a dissolution his party came back from the election greatly reduced in numbers. The Cowper ministry which followed lasted less than a year, and in January 1866 Martin made a coalition with (Sir) Henry Parkes (q.v.) and the ministry then formed lasted nearly three years and passed many important measures. During the visit of Prince Alfred, Martin was knighted. His government resigned in October 1868. He was premier again from December 1870 until May 1872, when he was succeeded by Parkes. In November 1873, on the retirement of Sir Alfred Stephen (q.v.), Martin was given the position of chief justice and filled it admirably, though towards the end of his life his duties were sometimes interrupted by ill health. He died on 4 November 1886. He married in 1853 Miss I. Long who survived him with a large family including six sons.

Martin was a good journalist; vigorous examples of his work will be found in G. B. Barton's Poets and Prose Writers of New South Wales. He was an excellent speaker, though possibly more a debater than an orator. His people were in comparatively humble circumstances, and were unable to do more for him than send him to a good school. Thereafter he fought his own way to practically the most distinguished position in the colony. The fighting qualities that brought him success also brought him enemies in his younger days, but with the years he learned self-control and as an advocate showed great courtesy to his opponents. As chief justice his fine memory, knowledge of principles, lucid arrangements of facts, and a power of dealing with abstruse and difficult matters of law, united with a balanced judicial mind, made him a great chief justice. His wide reading, great conversational gifts and intellectual power, suggested to J. A. Froude that had Martin been "chief justice of England, he would have passed as among the most distinguished occupants of that high position".

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 and 8 November 1886; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 6 and 8 November 1886; Report of the Proceedings attending the Presentation of the Portrait of Sir James Martin, C. J. Sydney, 1885; Aubrey Halloran, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XII, pp. 349-52: G. W. Rusden, History of Australia; J. A. Froude, Oceana.

^Top of page



was the son of David Masson, professor of rhetoric and English literature in the university of Edinburgh, and his wife, Emily Rosaline Orme. He was born in London on 13 January 1858, his father being then professor of English literature at University College, London. Masson was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and then at the university, where he graduated in arts and science. He studied under Wöhler at Göttingen before obtaining a position with (Sir) William Ramsay at Bristol, with whom he did valuable research work on phosphorus. He returned to Edinburgh university in 1881 with a research scholarship for three years, towards the end of which he obtained his D.Sc. degree. It was during this time that he took part in the founding of the students' representative council and the students' union. His researches at this period included investigations in the preparation of glyceryl trinitrite and its properties, and the composition and properties of nitroglycerine. In 1886 he was appointed professor of chemistry at the university at Melbourne, and he arrived in Australia in October of that year. His inaugural lecture, given on 23 March 1887, on "The Scope and Aim of Chemical Science", showed that the university had gained a scientist of distinction, and a lecturer who could make his subject interesting both to students and laymen. Though there were few students in chemistry, the laboratory equipment was inadequate even for them, and one of Masson's first tasks was the preparation of plans for a new laboratory and lecture theatre. There was a steady growth of students and, as the staff was small, Masson was much occupied with teaching work for many years. He contrived, however, to find some time for research, and during his first 20 years at the university contributed important papers to leading scientific journals.

In 1912 Masson became president of the professorial board, and in that capacity during the next four years undertook much of the work that in a present-day university would be done by a paid vice-chancellor. He also did important scientific work in connexion with the 1914-18 war. In 1915 he was asked by the then prime minister W. M. Hughes to act as chairman of a committee to draw up a scheme for a Commonwealth institute of science and industry, but difficulties arose and it was not until 1920 that the institute was established. In 1926 it became the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, of which Masson was a member until his death, and which has done invaluable work. Other activities included his participation in the organization of Mawson's expedition to the Antarctic in 1911-14, and his interest in the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, of which he was president 1911-13. As chairman of the organizing committee he had much to do with the holding of the British Association meeting in Australia in 1914. When his old friend, Sir William Ramsay, retired from his professorship at University College, London, in 1913, Masson was offered the position, but he had developed so many interests in Australia that he decided to refuse the appointment. Among societies in which he was interested were the Melbourne University Chemical Society, the Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria, both of which he founded, and the Australian Chemical lnstitute of which he was the first president (1917-20). He was associated with Sir Edgeworth David (q.v.) in the founding of the Australian National Research Council, and was its president in 1922-3. At the end of 1923 Masson retired from his chair at Melbourne and became professor emeritus. After his resignation he continued his interest in the progress of chemical science, and sat on several councils and committees. He died at Melbourne on 10 August 1937. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 1903 and was created C.B.E. in 1918 and K.B.E. in 1922. He married in 1886 Mary, daughter of Sir John Struthers, who survived him with a son and a daughter. Lady Masson did valuable work during the 1914-18 war, and was created C.B.E. in 1918. The son, James Irvine Orme Masson, born at Melbourne in 1887, had a distinguished academic career. He became vice-chancellor of the university of Sheffield in 1938, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1939. He published Three Centuries of Chemistry in 1925. A daughter, Flora Marjorie, now Mrs W. E. Bassett, published in 1940, The Governor's Lady, and another daughter, Elsie Rosaline, who married the distinguished anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski, and died in 1935, was also a writer; she published An Untamed Territory in 1915.

Tall, strong and handsome, with much charm of manner, Masson had also wisdom and natural dignity. His wit was unforced and he could even dignify a pun. When after the conscription referendum in 1917 someone said "I am disappointed. I thought the people's horse sense would have guided them". "Horse sense," said Masson, "the only thing horse-like about them was that they said nay." This was one of his lighter moments in a career of hard work. He was admirable as a chairman of committees and was a great administrator, with ideals of service, and an inspiring teacher with a gift of lucid exposition. He did brilliant work as a researcher showing great originality and foresight in a long series of papers, and he was a leader in everything relating to science both at the university of Melbourne, and in the wider field of Australia. Among his students were (Sir) David Rivett who succeeded him in his chair, and E. J. Hartung who followed Rivett. Bertram Dillon Steele (q.v.) was also one of his students.

A. C. D. Rivett, The Journal of the Chemical Society (particularly valuable for the account it gives of Masson's research work), 1938, p. 598; Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. 124b, p. 378; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; The Argus, 11 August 1937; Who's Who, 1940; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

MATHER, JOHN (1848-1916),


was born at Hamilton, Scotland, in 1848. He studied at Edinburgh and came to Victoria in 1878. For some time he made a living as a house decorator, and in 1880 was partly responsible for the decoration of the dome of the exhibition building at Melbourne. At his week ends he painted landscapes both in oil and water-colour, and finding that these were becoming popular was able to give the whole of his time to art. He became well-known as a teacher and many of the artists working at this period in water-colour were his pupils. He exhibited at the Victorian Academy of arts, was an original member of the Australian Artists' Association founded in 1886, and when the two societies were amalgamated under the name of the Victorian Artists' Society he took a leading part in its administration. He was many times president during the next 20 years, and showed himself to be an excellent leader. In 1892 he was appointed a trustee of the public library, museums and national gallery of Victoria. He was a good man of business and this with his knowledge of art made him a very valuable committee member. In 1905 he was appointed to the Felton bequests committee. He died on 18 February 1916. He married in 1883 Jessie Pines Best who survived him with two sons and a daughter.

Mather was a slightly saturnine looking man, but he was not unkindly, and took a genuine interest in the art of Australia. His early experiments in etching were not very successful, and his work in oils is as a rule somewhat hard and tight. "Autumn in the Fitzroy Gardens" at Melbourne is a favourable example of him in this medium. His water-colours were often excellent and he attained great facility as a sketcher. In his later years he sometimes worked too long on his watercolours and spoiled them by getting a woolly effect. He is represented in the galleries at Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Ballarat, Geelong, Castlemaine and Launceston. A portrait by Phillips Fox (q.v.), is in the historical collection at the public library, Melbourne.

The Argus, Melbourne, 21 February. 1916; The Age, Melbourne, 5 November 1932; Wm Moore, The Story of Australian Art; E. La T. Armstrong, The Book of the Public Library of Victoria; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

MATHEW, REV. JOHN (1849-1929),


son of Alexander Mathew, general merchant, was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1849. His father died when he was nine years old, and Mathew then went to live with his maternal grandmother at Insch and was educated at the church school there. In 1862, or a little later, he went to Queensland to live with his mother's brother, John Mortimer, on his station in the Burnett River district. His uncle, who had a good library, encouraged the boy to study, and between 1865 and 1872 Mathew was much interested in the aborigines of the Kabi and Wakka tribes whose country was close by. About 1872 he became a teacher in the Queensland education department, and in 1876 he came to Melbourne and qualified for matriculation at the university. He was, however, unable to enter on his arts course, and for some time acted as a tutor and later as a station manager. He was successful in this work, but he had long intended to enter the ministry, about 1883 began his arts course at the university, and in 1885 qualified for the B.A. and M.A. degrees with a first class, and the final honours scholarship in mental and moral philosophy. He later obtained by examination the degree of bachelor of divinity of St Andrews university. In 1889 he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and was given his first charge at Ballan, Victoria. In the same year he was awarded a medal and prize by the Royal Society of New South Wales for an essay on the Australian aborigines. This essay was developed into Mathew's most important book, Eaglehawk and Crow a Study of the Australian Aborigines, which was published in London in 1899. Mathew was only a few months in Ballan before being called to Coburg, a suburb of Melbourne, where he had a successful ministry for 33 years. He was also chairman of the council of his old college, Ormond College, from 1910 to 1927, and was elected moderator for Victoria in 1911, and moderator general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in 1922. He retired from his parish in that year and in 1924 the Melbourne College of Divinity gave him the degree of D.D. for his manuscript translation of the Sinaitic Syriac gospels. He took much interest in the College of Divinity and in educational matters of all kinds. He died at Melbourne on 11 March 1929. He married Wilhelmina, daughter of Mungo Scott, who survived him with four sons and one daughter.

Mathew published three volumes of verse Australian Echoes, 1902; Napoleon's Tomb, 1911; and Ballads of Bush Life and Lyrics of Cheer, 1914. His Poems do not profess to be more than simple popular verse. His really important work was in Eaglehawk and Crow, a good book of its period which may still be referred to. His Two Representative Tribes of Queensland, published in 1910, also retains its value as the work of a man who had made a close study of the origins, languages and social customs of a primitive people.

R. M. Fergus, The Presbyterian Messenger, 22 March 1929; The Argus, Melbourne, 13 March 1929; The Age, Melbourne, 13 March 1929; Preface to Eaglehawk and Crow; Introduction and Preface to Two Representative Tribes.

^Top of page

MATRA, JAMES MARIO (c. 1745-1806),

who in 1783 proposed that a colony should be formed in Australia,

was born in New York possibly about the year 1745. The name is unusual, and it has been suggested that he may have belonged to the same family as General Matra who is mentioned in Boswell's An Account of Corsica. He was a midshipman on H.M.S. Endeavour with Cook (q.v.) in 1770 under the name of J. Magra, and may have landed with Banks (q.v.) and Solander (q.v.) at Botany Bay. In December 1772 he was British consul at Teneriffe, and between 1774 and 1779, his father having died, he made various efforts to get to New York to look after his estate, and failing to obtain a "share of the allowance granted for the Loyal Americans", was endeavouring in February 1783 to obtain an appointment to one of the Spanish "consulages". On 28 July 1783 he wrote to Banks stating that he had heard rumours of two plans for settlements in the South Seas, one of them in New South Wales, and asking for information about them, as he had "frequently revolved similar plans in my mind". Matra probably conferred with Banks and promptly brought forward a plan, dated 23 August 1783, for a settlement in New South Wales and suggested it could form an asylum for the unfortunate American loyalists. His primary idea was a settlement of free men, but in a postscript he discussed the question of transportation. Matra may have been hoping that if the plan were adopted he would be given an official position in connexion with it. In 1787, however, he was appointed consul-general at Tangiers, and during his term he twice conducted negotiations with the Sultan of Morocco for which he received the thanks of the government. He died at Tangiers on 29 March 1806.

In 1914 Captain J. H. Watson contributed a paper to the Royal Australian Historical Society at Sydney, in which he claimed that Matra was the "Father of Australia". This, however, is claiming too much. In 1779 a committee of the house of commons was inquiring into the question of transportation, and when Banks was examined as a witness he stated that Botany Bay appeared to him to be the most eligible for such a settlement. It is clear from Matra's letter to Banks in 1783, already quoted, that the question was still being kept alive, and the chief merit of Matra's suggestion was his belief that a settlement for free men might be possible. It would certainly have been better if practical farmers had first been sent out as he suggested, instead of the unfortunate convicts that Phillip (q.v.) had to look after, but the fact remains that Matra's plan was not adopted.

J. H. Watson, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. X, pp. 152-86; G. A. Wood, ibid, vol. VI, pp. 49-58; Miss L. Thomas, ibid, vol. XL pp. 63-82; G. B. Barton, Introductory Sketch, History of New South Wales, vol. I; G. Mackaness, Sir Joseph Banks; Gentleman's Magazine, vol. LXXVI, p. 478. See also ed. by Owen Rutter, Th First Fleet, The Record of the Foundation of Australia.

^Top of page

MAUGER, SAMUEL (1857-1936),

politician and social worker,

was born at Geelong, Victoria, on 12 November 1857. His parents, who came from Guernsey, Channel Islands, had arrived in Victoria not long before. Mauger was educated at the Geelong national school, and coming to Melbourne was apprenticed to a hat-manufacturing business of which he subsequently became the proprietor. He joined the Fitzroy Temperance Fire Brigade, at a meeting held on 24 May 1883 was elected honorary secretary of a committee of representatives of the volunteer fire brigades of Victoria, and, with Captain Marshall, the chairman, prepared a draft of a fire brigades bill which, however, did not become law until 1891, when the old volunteer system was superseded. Mauger was appointed a government representative on the new board and held this position for the remainder of his life, on four occasions being elected president. But this represented only one part of Mauger's activities. In 1880 he was responsible for the formation of the National anti-sweating league of Victoria, of which he became the honorary secretary. In 1885 Deakin (q.v.) sueceeded in having a factory act passed but sweating still continued, and, after years of agitation, a new act was passed in 1896 which led to much subsequent important social legislation in Australia.

Mauger also was prominent in the demand for federation and often spoke in its favour. He was elected as member for Footscray in the Victorian legislative assembly in 1899, in 1901 entered the federal house of representatives as member for Melbourne Ports, and transferred to the new division of Maribyrnong in 1906. He was temporary chairman of committees in 1905-6, honorary minister in the second Deakin (q.v.) cabinet from October 1906 to July 1907, and postmaster-general from July 1907 to November 1908. He lost his seat at the general election held in 1910 and took no further part in politics. He was an ardent protectionist and was for some time honorary secretary of the protectionists' association of Victoria; he was for a time president of the Melbourne Total Abstinence Society, and chairman of the Indeterminate Sentences Board; and he presumably found some time for his business as a hatter and mercer. For about 50 years in every movement in Melbourne intended to better the conditions of the mass of the people, Mauger was to be found working incessantly and showing much organizing ability. In 1934 he wrote a brochure on The Rise and Progress of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Victoria, Australia, and some verses quoted on page 29 relating to the success of the staff fund illustrate his philosophy of life. Briefly it was that if anything is brought forward for the good of humanity, the difficulties will vanish if the problem is tackled with sufficient courage. Mauger died at Melbourne on 26 June 1936. He married a daughter of A. Rice who survived him with two sons and four daughters.

The Age and The Argus, Melbourne, 27 June 1936; The Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903; Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, 1901-30.

^Top of page



^Top of page

MAY, PHILIP WILLIAM, (1864-1903), always known as Phil May,


the son of Philip May, was born at Wortley near Leeds on 22 April 1864. His grandfather, a country gentleman of means, had some talent as a draughtsman and was fond of making caricatures. He was friendly with George Stephenson, the well-known engineer, and apprenticed his son, Philip, to him. Later on Philip May went into business as a brass founder with little success, and died when his son Phil May was nine years old. His widow, who came of good Irish stock, was the daughter of Eugene Macarthy at one time manager of Drury Lane Theatre. She was left in very poor circumstances and the family had a great struggle to exist. Phil May had little schooling, became office boy in a solicitor's office when 12 years old, and had a variety of occupations until he joined a theatrical company, playing small parts and doing sketches for the show bills. He had always been fond of drawing and when only 14 years old had drawings accepted for the Yorkshire Gossip. In 1883 he found his way to London, went through many hardships, and though he had a few sketches accepted, had to return to Leeds in 1884 in bad health. At the end of that year he did a remarkable page of caricatures of well-known personages for the Christmas number of Society, and in the spring of 1885 he obtained a place on the staff of the St Stephen's Review. He was doing well enough to be able to decline an offer of £15 a week made by W. H. Traill (q.v.), manager of the Sydney Bulletin. The offer was raised to £20 a week, and May, realizing that the climate would be good for his health, accepted it and sailed for Australia at the end of 1885.

It has often been said that the mechanical weaknesses of the Bulletin printing press led to May's economy of line, but a glance at May's earlier work will show that that is not quite the whole truth. However, the variety and mass of May's work in the Bulletin, he did about 800 drawings during the less than three years that he was on the staff, no doubt gave him great practice in eliminating the unnecessary. It was a wonderful opportunity for a young man of 21, and though in later years May's work may have gained in refinement, it is doubtful whether it ever became more vigorous or more truly comic. After leaving the Bulletin he stayed for a little while in Melbourne but left Australia about the end of 1888. He lived for some time in Rome and Paris with the intention of studying painting, but returned to London about 1890. He continued to send occasional sketches to the Bulletin until 1894, and in London his work was appearing in the St Stephen's Review, the Graphic, Pick-me-up, and in 1893, Punch. His drawings for The Parson and the Painter, which had appeared in the St Stephen's Review, were published in book form in 1891, and in 1892 Phil May's Summer Annual and Phil May's Winter Annual first appeared. Fifteen of these annuals were eventually published, full of excellent drawings from May's pen. In 1896 he became a regular member of the staff of Punch and so remained until his death. He still continued to contribute to other periodicals such as the Sketch and the Graphic, and towards the end of his life did some beautiful work in pencil, lightly coloured. He died after a long illness on 5 August 1903. He had married at the age of 21 a young widow of great charm and personality, Mrs Charles Farrer, who survived him without issue.

Phil May was slightly above medium height, gaunt, with a profile reminiscent of that of Pope Leo XIII. A born story-teller with an unfailing sense of humour, he was the typical good companion, beloved by hosts of friends and sponged upon by troops of parasites. All the efforts of his best friends and his loyal wife could not prevent him from being continually fleeced and imposed upon. May could never forget he had been once near starvation himself, and his purse was open for all in need. He drank too much for his own good in his later years, but, however careless he may have been about his health, he was never careless in his drawing, and at his death was recognized as one of the great masters of line drawing. Examples of his work will be found at the leading Australian galleries, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum. In addition to his Summer and Winter Annuals various collections were published, including Phil May's Sketch Book (1895), Phil May's Guttersnipes (1896), Phil May's Graphic Pictures and Phil May's A. B. C. (1897), Phil May's Album (1899), Phil May, Sketches from Punch (1903). Publications after his death included Phil May in Australia (1904), The Phil May Folio (1904), and Humorists of the Pencil, Phil May (1908).

A. G. Stephens, Introduction to Phil May in Australia; James Thorpe, Phil May; Introduction The Phil May Folio; Wm Moore, The Story of Australian Art.

^Top of page

MEEHAN, JAMES (1774-1826),

early surveyor and explorer,

[ also refer to James MEEHAN page at Project Gutenberg Australia]

was born in Ireland in 1774, and was one of a number of political prisoners who arrived in Australia in February 1800. Two months later he became an assistant to Charles Grimes (q.v.), the surveyor-general, and went with him to explore the Hunter River in 1801. He was also with Grimes on the expedition to explore King Island and Port Phillip in 1802 and 1803. Grimes had leave of absence from August 1803 to go to England, and during his absence for about three years, Meehan did much of his work with the title of assistant-surveyor. In October 1805 Governor King (q.v.) directed him to trace the course of the Nepean to the southward a little beyond Mount Taurus, and in October 1807 Meehan prepared his interesting plan of Sydney, a copy of which will be found opposite page 366 in volume VI of the Historical Records of New South Wales. In 1812 Governor Macquarie (q.v.) sent him to Tasmania with instructions to remeasure the whole of the farms granted by former governors and himself. He accompanied Hamilton Hume (q.v.) in some explorations in southern New South Wales in 1816, when Lake George was discovered, and in 1818 Meehan was appointed deputy surveyor-general. He endeavoured in this year without success to find a practicable road over the Shoalhaven River so that communication might be opened up with Jervis Bay, but continuing his efforts early in 1820 he went through some very difficult country after crossing the river from the east, and then connecting with his 1818 track. In 1822 he resigned his position and was granted a pension of £100 a year in 1823. He died on 21 April 1826. He was a most capable and industrious official, and though he does not rank among the leading explorers, he did some very valuable work while carrying out his duties during the first 20 years of the nineteenth century.

Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. V, VII to XII; B. T. Dowd, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XXVIII, pp. 108-18; P. S. Cleary, Australia's Debt to Irish Nation-Builders; E. Favenc, The Explorers of Australia.

^Top of page



^Top of page

MENPES, MORTIMER (1859-1938),

painter and etcher,

was born at Port Adelaide, South Australia, in 1859. He was educated at a private school under the Rev. Mr Garrett, and did a little work at the school of design, Adelaide. Practically his art training did not begin until he arrived in London in 1878 and began to study at South Kensington. He took up etching, exhibited two dry-points at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1880, and during the next 20 years showed about 35 of his etchings and paintings at the Academy. He was war artist for Black and White in South Africa in 1900. In 1901 he published War Impressions, the first of a series of books illustrated in colour from his sketches with, in most cases, the text written by his daughter, Dorothy Menpes. The series included Japan (1902), World Pictures (1902), The Durbar (1903), World's Children (1903), Venice (1904), India (1905), Brittany (1905), The Thames (1906), Paris (1907), China (1909), The People of India (1910). He wrote and published in 1904 Whistler as I Knew Him, a lively and interesting account of his association with Whistler as pupil and friend. The book was profusely illustrated with reproductions of Whistler's work. He also wrote three little biographies, of Henry Irving (1906), Lord Kitchener (1915), and Lord Roberts (1915). Each of these contains excellent portrait studies by Menpes. During the first few years after 1900 he was much interested in colour reproduction and published a large number of very good reproductions of paintings by the Old Masters, suitable for training. About 1907 the Menpes Fruit Farm Company was established at Pangbourne and he lived there until his death on 1 April 1938. He married about 1880 Rose Grosse who died in 1936. Two daughters are mentioned in connexion with his publications.

Menpes had a dislike of the conventional, was a good raconteur, and was well known as a personality in London. Though his many one man shows were often successful, he did not attain to anything like the front rank as either a painter or an etcher. He could, however, do a swift and characteristic sketch, and much of his illustrative work is good.

The Times, 5 April 1938; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 5 April 1938; A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibitors; Who's Who, 1938; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page

MEREDITH, CHARLES (1811-1880),


youngest son of George Meredith and his wife, Sarah Westall Hicks, was born at Poyston Lodge, Pembroke, Wales, on 29 May 1811. His father, George Meredith, was born about 1778, saw service in the royal marines during the Napoleonic wars, and when no longer a young man decided to go to Tasmania. He arrived at Hobart with his wife and family on 13 March 1821 and became one of the best known of the early pioneers. He took a great interest in the development of the colony and had a leading part in the movements for separation from New South Wales, anti-transportation, and representative government. He died in 1856 in his seventy-ninth year. His son Charles assisted him in farming in Tasmania for some time, went to New South Wales in 1834, and took up land on the Murrumbidgee. He visited England in 1838 and on 18 April 1839 married his cousin, Louisa Anne Twamley (see Meredith, Louisa Anne). On his return to Australia he was two years in New South Wales, but it was a depressed period and he made heavy losses. He went to Tasmania, and in 1843 was appointed a police magistrate at Sorell in the north-east of the island. He became a member of the original legislative council and was elected for Glamorgan in the first house of assembly in 1856. He was colonial treasurer in the Gregson (q.v.) ministry for two months in 1857, and held the same position in the James Whyte (q.v.) ministry from January 1863 to November 1866. He held the lands and works portfolios in the F. M. Innes (q.v.) cabinet from November 1872 to August 1873, and was again colonial treasurer in the T. Reibey (q.v.) ministry from July 1876 to August 1877. He was in parliament for nearly 24 years and was a member of the executive council for 17 years. He resigned his seat on account of ill-health in 1879, and died at Launceston, Tasmania, on 2 March 1880. His wife and children survived him.

Meredith was a good administrator who was held in great respect by his fellow colonists. He was one of the few Tasmanians whose name has been publicly commemorated; a fountain in his memory was erected in the Queen's domain, Hobart, in 1885.

The Mercury, Hobart, 4 March 1880; R. W. Giblin, The Early History of Tasmania, vol. II; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page


miscellaneous writer,

daughter of Thomas Twamley, was born near Birmingham, on 20 July 1812. She was educated chiefly by her mother, and in 1835 published a volume, Poems, which was favourably reviewed. This was followed in 1836 by The Romance of Nature, mostly in verse, of which a third edition was issued in 1839. Another volume was published in the same year, The Annual of British Landscape Scenery, an account of a tour on the Wye from Chepstow to near its source at Plinlimmon. Shortly afterwards Miss Twamley was married to her cousin, Charles Meredith (q.v.). They sailed for New South Wales in June 1839, and arrived at Sydney on 27 September. After travelling into the interior as far as Bathurst, Mrs Meredith returned to the coast and lived at Homebush for about a year. Towards the end of 1840 Mrs Meredith went to Tasmania, and an interesting account of her first 11 years in Australia is given in her two books, Notes and Sketches of New South Wales (1844), reprinted at least twice, and My Home in Tasmania (1852).

For some years Mrs Meredith lived in the country. In 1860 she published Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania. The illustrations were drawn by herself, and simple descriptions of characteristic native flowers were given. In the following year an account of a visit to Victoria, Over the Straits, was published, and in 1880 Tasmanian Friends and Foes, Feathered, Furred and Finned. This went into a second edition in 1881. In 1891, in her eightieth year, Mrs Meredith went to London to supervise the publication of Last Series, Bush Friends in Tasmania. She died at Melbourne on 21 October 1895 and was survived by children. Other publications by her are listed in Serle's Bibliography of Australasian Poetry and Verse, and Miller's Australian Literature. Mrs Meredith was the author of two novels, Phoebe's Mother (1869), which had appeared in the Australasian in 1866 under the title of Ebba, and Nellie, or Seeking Goodly Pearls (1882). Mrs Meredith took great interest in politics and frequently wrote unsigned articles for the Tasmanian press. This was no new thing for her as in her youth she had written articles in support of the Chartists. When she visited Sydney in 1882, Sir Henry Parkes told her that he had read and appreciated her articles when a youth. After her husband's death she was granted a pension of £100 a year by the Tasmanian government.

Mrs Meredith was tall and of commanding presence. Her poetry is no more than pleasant verse, but she had a true feeling for natural history and was a capable artist. Many of her books were illustrated by herself. Her volumes on New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria in the 1840s and 50s, will always retain their value as first hand records.

Miss M. Swann, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XV, pp. 1-29; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

^Top of page


poet, and friend of Kendall (q.v.),

born in London in October 1824, was the eldest son of James Walter Michael, solicitor, and his wife, Rose Lemon Hart. Michael afterwards told his friend Joseph Sheridan Moore, that the passage on page 12 of John Cumberland, beginning "My earliest memory", gives an exact picture of his childhood. He was articled to his father and began to mix in artistic and literary circles. Sheridan Moore states that Michael became friendly with Millais and Ruskin, and published a pamphlet which made some stir at the time, vindicating the position of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. Moore also says that though "always temperate and abstemious in his habits he had a talent for frittering away his money". This may possibly have been one of the reasons for his coming to Australia.

Michael arrived in New South Wales towards the end of 1853 and practised his profession with some success. He became friendly with Sheridan Moore who introduced him to Kendall, whom he afterwards took into his office and "treated as an affectionate elder brother would a younger one". In 1857 he published Songs without Music, a volume of lyrics, and in 1860 John Cumberland, a long poem largely autobiographical. In the same year he removed to Grafton on the Clarence River and for a time practised successfully; but towards the end of his life he appears to have made enemies and was in money difficulties. On the evening of Sunday 26 April 1868 he went for a walk and two days later his body was found floating in the river. The medical evidence stated that there was a deep cut over the right eye "such as might be produced by falling on a broken bottle". The coroner's jury returned an open verdict, and although a set of verses Michael had written a few weeks before suggested to some people that he had contemplated suicide, the possibility of this was indignantly denied by his friend, Sheridan Moore, who declared that the evidence suggested either foul play or accident, rather than suicide. Michael married in 1854 and was survived by a son.

Michael wrote musical verse, some of which has been included in Australian anthologies. His long poem, John Cumberland, contains some good passages, but is marred by many patches of prose. Though distinctly a minor Australian poet Michael's encouragement of the young Kendall gives him a special interest. His friends were agreed about the charm of his conversation and personality.

J. Sheridan Moore, The Life and Genius of James Lionel Michael; The Clarence and Richmond Examiner, 28 April and 5 May 1868.

^Top of page

MICHELL, JOHN HENRY (1863-1940),


son of John and Grace Michell, was born at Maldon, Victoria, on 26 October 1863. Educated at first at Maldon, he went to Wesley College, Melbourne, in 1877, where he won the Draper and Walter Powell scholarships. In 1881 he began the arts course at the university of Melbourne, and qualified for the B.A. degree at the end of 1883. He had a brilliant course, heading the list with first-class honours each year, and winning the final honour scholarship in mathematics and physics. He then went to Cambridge, obtained a major scholarship at Trinity College, and was bracketed senior wrangler in the first part of the mathematical tripos in 1887. In the second part of the tripos in 1888, Michell was placed in division one of the first class. He was elected a fellow of Trinity in 1890, but returned to Melbourne in the same year, and was appointed lecturer in mathematics at the university. He held this position for over 30 years. His academic work occupied so much of his time that it was difficult to do original research. The first of his papers, "On the theory of free streamlines", which appeared in Transactions of the Royal Society in 1890, had drawn attention to his ability as a mathematician, and during the following 12 years about 15 papers were contributed to English mathematical journals. It was recognized that these were important contributions to the knowledge of hydrodynamics and elasticity, and in 1902 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, London. The number of his students at the university was steadily increasing, but there was no corresponding increase in the staff for a long period. Michell continued his research work but none of it was published. In 1923 he became professor of mathematics and, obtaining some increase of staff, established practice-classes and tutorials, thus considerably improving the efficiency of his department. He resigned the chair at the end of 1928 and was given the title of honorary research professor. He died after a short illness on 3 February 1940. He never married. He published in 1937 The Elements of Mathematical Analysis, a substantial work in two volumes written in collaboration with M. H. Belz.

Michell, a shy and retiring man, was one of the earliest graduates of an Australian university to be elected to the Royal Society. He was a good teacher, modest, good-natured and thoroughly painstaking with students, but his heart was really in his research work. His assistance was freely given to his engineering friends in clearing up their problems, and he did a good deal of physical experimentation including the devising and construction of several new forms of gyroscopes. He was continually at work, and it is not known why he did not choose to publish any papers after 1902. The value of his paper on "The wave resistance of a ship", published in 1898, was not realized until some 30 years later, when both English and German designers began to recognize its importance. A brother, Anthony George Maldon Michell, born in 1870, educated at Cambridge and at Melbourne university, made remarkable contributions to mechanical science, including the famous Michell thrust bearing. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 1934 and was awarded the James Watt International medal in 1942.

Obituary Notices of the Royal Society, London, 1940, with portrait, appreciations, and list of his papers; The Age, Melbourne, 5 February 1940; E. Nye, The History of Wesley College; Calendars of The University of Melbourne, 1851-4, 1929; Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, vol. 177, p. 6; Wesley College Chronicle, May 1940; Who's Who in Australia, 1938; The Herald, Melbourne, 20 June 1942; personal knowledge.

^Top of page


jurist and politician,

son of Archibald Michie, merchant, was born at London in 1813. He was educated at Westminster School, entered at the Middle Temple in 1834, and was called to the bar in 1838. He emigrated to Sydney in 1839, practised his profession and also took up journalistic work; he was associated with (Sir) James Martin (q.v.) and Robert Lowe (q.v.) on the Atlas when it was founded in 1844. About the year 1848 he returned to England, but came to Australia again in 1852 and began to practise at Melbourne. He was nominated a member of the Victorian legislative council in the same year but resigned a few months later. He became proprietor of the Melbourne Herald, then a morning paper, in 1854, but made losses and retired from it two years later. At the first election under the new constitution, held in 1856, Michie was elected one of the members for Melbourne in the legislative assembly, and in April 1857 became attorney-general in the second Haines (q.v.) ministry. He was minister of justice in the first McCulloch (q.v.) ministry from July 1863 to July 1866 and attorney-general in the third Mcculloch ministry from April 1870 to June 1871. He was then defeated at an election for the legislative assembly, and entered the legislative council, resigning soon afterwards to pay a visit to Europe in 1872. Returning in 1873 he was appointed agent-general for Victoria in London and held this position for six years. He then returned to Melbourne and practised as a barrister. In his old age he fell into ill health and for several years was confined to his house. He died at Melbourne on 21 June 1899. He married in 1840 Mary, daughter of Dr John Richardson, who survived him with three sons and two daughters. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1878.

Michie was a widely-read and brilliant man with a keen sense of humour and a fund of anecdotes. He was one of the barristers who so successfully defended the leaders of the diggers after the Eureka rebellion, and in parliament was a good administrator whose influence in the house was important, even when not in office. He was well-qualified as a writer but his only published work was Readings in Melbourne, published in 1879, which reprinted three public lectures and a long essay on the resources and prospects of Victoria.

The Argus, Melbourne, 23 June 1899; The Times, 23 June 1899: P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; H. G. Turner, A History of the Colony of Victoria.

^Top of page



was born at Fairy Meadow, near Wollongong, New South Wales, on 8 March 1860. His father, Samuel King Miller, a man of much foresight, was head teacher of the Deniliquin public school, where the boy completed his education. He entered the service of the Bank of New South Wales at Deniliquin in 1876, and six years later was transferred at his own request to the head office at Sydney. Showing great attention to his work Miller became accountant in 1896, and four years later, assistant to the general manager. In 1909 he was appointed metropolitan inspector. In 1911 the federal Labour party decided to bring in a bill to establish a national bank, and Miller was summoned to Melbourne to see the prime minister, Andrew Fisher (q.v.). The bill was discussed and Miller was asked to become the first governor. The appointment was something of a surprise, but no doubt discreet inquiries had been made which satisfied Fisher that Miller was a man with the knowledge, courage and caution, required for the office. His appointment was dated 1 June 1912, and in July the bank's business was started in a small room in Collins-street, Melbourne, the staff consisting of Miller, and a messenger lent by the department of the treasury. The sole capital was £10,000 advanced by the government. The first step was the establishment of a savings bank department, which was followed by the opening of the general banking department on 20 January 1913. On the opening day over £2,000,000 was received in deposits, the greater part being Commonwealth government accounts. Miller began his work with great soundness and caution, it was essential that the public should have complete faith in the new venture, and nothing was to be gained by entering into any kind of competition with the established banks which might be considered unfair. For the first 12 months progress was comparatively slow though steady, but the bank soon began to expand, and when the war came in August 1914 it was in a position to do most important work. In the uncertain early days of the war it made advances to the government, and it took complete charge of the issue of war loans in Australia. Before the war had ended £190,000,000 had been subscribed. The government took control of the primary products of Australia, and the control of the issuing of new capital by public companies. In the transactions which consequently arose Miller's advice and the resources of the bank were always at the service of the various governments, and were sources of great strength to them. By the end of the war the bank was firmly established, with its head office at Sydney, about 40 branches, and 2758 agencies and receiving offices in Australia, the islands, and London.

After the war the bank was able to be of great use in connexion with repatriation, and in 1920 it was given control of the Australian note issue. Miller had great powers which he used wisely, and was an indefatigable worker until his unexpected death at Sydney on 6 June 1923. He married in 1895 Laura Constance, daughter of Dr J. T. Heeley, who survived him with four sons and two daughters. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1920. A Denison Miller memorial scholarship was founded in his memory at the university of Sydney. He was interested in various charities, and was a founder and for some time honorary treasurer of the New South Wales Institute of Bankers. He advocated a strong immigration policy after the war, and had great confidence in the future of Australia in spite of the war debt. The Commonwealth Bank was his life work, his control of it was absolute, and he had a faculty for getting good assistants. Since his death profits from the note issue have brought large sums to the consolidated revenue every year, and the combined capital and reserves of the bank in 1940 were approaching £10,000,000, all built up out of profits. It was fortunate for Australia that a man so sane, shrewd, and hardworking should have laid its foundations.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 and 8 June 1923; The Argus, Melbourne, 7 June 1923; The Australian Insurance and Banking Record, 21 June 1923, 21 October 1940; Article by Miller reprinted from the Bankers Magazine, New York, 1918; Vance Palmer, National Portraits.

^Top of page

MILLER, WILLIAM (1847-1939),

wrestler and all-round athlete,

was born in Cheshire, England, of partly French parentage, in 1847. He came to Melbourne at four years of age, and was employed in the Victorian post office and railway departments before becoming a professional athlete. He made a great reputation as a wrestler, especially in the Graeco-Roman style, of which he was the Australian champion. He was a great weight-lifter, a champion fencer, and a remarkable walker; he is stated to have walked 102 miles in 24 hours when he was well past 50 years of age. He had little opportunity to show his skill as a boxer because prize-fighting was illegal, but on 26 May 1883 it was arranged that L. Foley and Miller should give a "scientific display" of boxing at Sydney for a trophy valued at £500. Foley was several stone lighter than his opponent, but it was believed that his science and agility would give him the advantage. He, however, never had a chance from the beginning, and was so severely battered that the rougher elements in the audience rushed the ring and the contest was declared a draw. Miller really had won so easily that it appears likely that no man of that period could have stood up to him. He was 5 feet 9½ inches in height, 48 inches round the chest, and weighed 15 stone, "a model of a perfect Hercules" (The Bulletin, 2 June 1883). Nearly 50 years later W. J. Doherty, in his In the Days of the Giants, described Miller as "one of the greatest all-round athletes the world has seen". Miller was in the United States in 1889 and though 42 years of age, issued a challenge to meet any two athletes at boxing, Graeco-Roman wrestling, heavy dumbbell lifting, foil and singlestick fencing, the winner of the most exercises to be declared the winner of the match. He also challenged Joe McAuliffe, champion heavyweight boxer of the Pacific Slope and the Western States, to a six-round contest with ordinary boxing gloves. Neither challenge was taken up, and Miller returned to Australia and carried on his gymnasium and boxing classes for some years. In 1903 he left Australia for the United States and became manager of the San Francisco Athletic Club. He was afterwards athletic instructor in the New York police department. From 1917 he lived at Baltimore and he died there on 11 March 1939, aged 92. He married in 1872 Lizzie Trible who died in 1929. He had no children.

Miller was one of the most kind-hearted of men, gentle in speech, dignified in manner, a perfect sportsman, an example to all connected with every form of sport.

The Bulletin, 17 February 1937, 26 April 1939; The New York Times, 13 March 1939; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

MILNE, SIR WILLIAM (1822-1895),


was the son of William Milne, a merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth McMillan. He was born at Wester-Common, near Glasgow, on 17 May 1822, and was educated at the high school, Glasgow. On leaving school he entered his father's office, but soon afterwards sailed for South Australia and arrived there on 29 October 1839. After having experience on a northern station, he went to Tasmania in 1842 and entered the commissariat department at Hobart. He returned to South Australia in 1845 and became a partner with his brother-in-law as wine and spirit merchants. His business ventures prospered, and in 1857 he was elected to the South Australian house of assembly as one of the members for Onkaparinga. He was commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the Baker ministry from 21 August to 1 September 1857 and in the Hanson (q.v.) ministry from 5 July 1859 to 9 May 1860. He became commissioner of public works in the Waterhouse (q.v.) ministry from 19 February 1862 to 4 July 1863, commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the second Ayers (q.v.) ministry for a few days from 22 July 1864, and, when the ministry was reconstructed under Blyth (q.v.), was commissioner of public works from 4 August 1864 to 22 March 1865. He was again commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the Boucaut (q.v.) ministry from 28 March 1866 to 3 May 1867, and was chief secretary in the third Hart (q.v.) ministry from 30 May 1870 to 10 November 1871, and in the succeeding Blyth ministry until 22 January 1872. Transferring to the legislative council Milne was elected its president on 25 July 1873, and continued in that position until he retired from politics in 1881. He had many business interests and was a trustee of the Savings Bank and the Zoological Society. He died on 23 April 1895. He married in 1842, Eliza, daughter of John Disher, who survived him with three sons and five daughters. He was knighted in 1876.

Milne had a long political life, was a good administrator, and was associated with much useful legislation in the house of assembly. He was a strong supporter of the Torrens (q.v.) real property act, and of measures relating to the land, water-supply, and railway and telegraph extensions. In the legislative council his wide experience, courtesy and dignity made him an admirable president.

The South Australian Register, 24 April 1895; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 25 April 1895; Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1895.

^Top of page



was born in the Hunter River district, New South Wales, in 1864. Having come to Sydney about 1884 and obtained a position as a law clerk, he studied under Lucien Henry at the Sydney technical college, and afterwards with A. J. Daplyn (q.v.). He obtained some work as an illustrator on the Illustrated Sydney News and in 1887 had a drawing accepted by the Bulletin, to which he continued to be a frequent contributor throughout his lifetime. He began painting in water-colours, and in 1891 his "Season of Mists" was purchased from the Royal Art Society exhibition by the national gallery at Sydney. Other examples by him were purchased by the national gallery in 1892 and 1894. In 1895 he married and went with his wife to London intending only a short stay. There he did much illustrative work in black and white for The Strand, Pearson's Magazine, Punch, and other periodicals. Other drawings were sent to Australia and appeared in the Bulletin. The illustrative work gave Minns a living, but he was more interested in his water-colours and did much work in England and in northern France. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the new salon, and with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colour. His pictures sold well until the outbreak of the European war brought prosperous times to an end. In 1915 he returned to Sydney and continued his connexion with the Bulletin. He had always been interested in the aborigines as subjects, and painted them frequently. In 1924 he was elected first president of the Australian Water Colour Institute which had a strong membership list. He continued working with undiminished powers, until his sudden death at Sydney on 21 February 1937. His wife survived him. Examples of his work are in the national galleries at Sydney and Melbourne.

Minns had a friendly personality and was very popular with his brother artists. He was an excellent illustrator and a very capable worker in water colours. His lighting and colour is sometimes a little theatrical, but his best work, often portraying fine cloud and open country scenes, places him among the better artists in Australia in this medium.

Art in Australia, 1917 and 1932; Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 1937; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; The Bulletin, 24 February 1937.

^Top of page

MITCHEL, JOHN (1815-1875),

Irish nationalist,

son of the Rev. John Mitchel, a Presbyterian clergyman and his wife, Mary Haslett, was born at Dungiven, Derry, Ireland, on 3 November 1815. He was well educated and it was intended that he should enter the ministry. Mitchel, however, decided he had no vocation for this, and after a short period of working in a bank he studied law. On 3 February 1837 he married Jane Verner, a girl of 16, but it was not until three years later that he was admitted to practise his profession at Newry. He saw much of John Martin, a friend from boyhood, and developed an interest in Irish politics. From 1840 to 1845 he lived at Banbridge and successfully carried on his profession. In November 1844 he visited Dublin, dined with Charles Gavan Duffy (q.v.), and heard O'Connell speak against the union. He had previously met Thomas Davis and was very friendly with him until his death in September 1845. Mitchel had just completed his first book, The Life and Times of Aodh O'Neill, published in 1846, when at the end of September 1845, he arranged to give up his profession and go to Dublin as a contributor and assistant-editor to Duffy on the Nation. They worked together for over two years in amity, and then parted on a question of policy which afterwards led to a bitter quarrel. Mitchel had become convinced that self government for Ireland would only come if Englishmen realized that the effort required to govern Ireland by English-made laws was not worth the candle. He advised the people not to pay rent, not to pay poor rates, and to resist in every way short of actual insurrection the carrying away of the food they raised to be sold for payment of rent. In February 1848 he established the United Irishman, a weekly paper which soon had a large circulation. As a result of articles written by Mitchel he was put on trial for sedition in the following May, was found guilty, and sentenced to be transported for 14 years.

Mitchel was sent first to Bermuda, and in April 1849 to the Cape of Good Hope; but the colonists opposed the landing of convicts and the ship, after lying at anchor for five months, in February 1850 set sail for Tasmania, where it arrived about the beginning of April. Mitchel's friend Martin had also been transported to Tasmania, and the two men were allowed to live together on undertaking not to escape. Mitchel's health had suffered during his long voyage but it now improved rapidly. He decided to send for his wife and family of five small children, and they arrived at Hobart in May 1851. They settled in the Avoca district until in June 1853 a plan of escape was made. Mitchel with P. J. Smyth, who had come from New York to help him to escape, then walked into the police station at Bothwell where there was a police magistrate, handed him a letter resigning Mitchel's ticketof-leave and offering to be taken into custody. As both men had their hands on revolvers they were allowed to walk out and jump on horses that were waiting and so escaped. For about 40 days the two men who had separated hid in various parts of Tasmania, and in July Mitchel escaped from Hobart to Sydney, and thence to San Francisco. His wife and family were with him on the last stage of the journey. He lived in the United States for six years and then went to France. When the American civil war broke out his sons fought on the Confederate side, and two of them were killed in action. Mitchel returned to the United States before the war was over, did newspaper work, and published in 1868 his Jail Journal; or Five Years in British Prisons, and in the same year The History of Ireland from the Treaty of Limerick. Other works on the Irish question appeared at intervals. He paid a visit to Ireland in 1874 and was not molested by the authorities. In February 1875 he came to Ireland again, was nominated for a parliamentary vacancy in Tipperary, and was elected. He had, however, been in poor health for some time and he died on 20 March 1875, leaving a widow, a son and two daughters.

William Dillon, Life of John Mitchel; J. Mitchel, Jail Journal; S. MacCall, Irish Mitchel: A Biography; P. S. O'Hegarty, John Mitchel: An Appreciation; Emile Montegut, John Mitchel: A Study of Irish Nationalism; J. G. Hodges, Report of the Trial of John Mitchel; C. G. Duffy, Four Years of Irish History.

^Top of page


founder of the Mitchell library, Sydney,

was born at Sydney on 19 March 1836. His father, Dr James Mitchell, had come to Australia in 1821 as an army surgeon, and two years later was appointed assistant surgeon at the military hospital, Macquarie-street, Sydney. He afterwards became the owner of 50,000 acres in the Hunter River valley which included rich coal-bearing land. He married in 1833 Augusta Maria, daughter of Dr Helenus Scott. In 1837 he left the hospital and lived in Cumberland-street, Sydney. There his son grew up in an atmosphere of culture and learning, and at the age of 16 became a student in the first year of the university of Sydney. He graduated B.A. in 1856 with honours in classics, and M.A. in 1859. He was called to the bar but did not practise, and assisted in the management of the Hunter River estates. He was quite a normal young man, a good cricketer and dancer, a skilful whist player, and a good amateur actor. He was already forming a collection of books. His health, however, was not perfect, he felt the death of his mother very much, and after his father died in 1869, there was a lawsuit over the will and a publication of family affairs very distasteful to a man of sensitive disposition. He began to withdraw from the world, and the formation of his library became his chief interest. He built up a fine library of English literature, specializing in poetry and sixteenth and seventeenth century books, and gradually began to collect early Australian books and manuscripts. Once a week he went the round of the bookshops and his enthusiasm and perseverance were unbounded. He had a fine memory and great taste and discrimination, but as time went on he saw that even the most obscure and apparently worthless pamphlet might throw some light on its time. Though withdrawn from society he welcomed genuine students such as A. W. Jose (q.v.) and Bertram Stevens (q.v.), especially if they were interested in Australian problems. He was anxious that the state might have the benefit of his collections, but was in much doubt as to the best way of bringing this about. Eventually, after a conference with the Sydney public librarian, he informed the trustees in October 1898 that he was willing to bequeath his collection to the library, if a suitable building were provided and if the books would be available to students. The offer was accepted. There was, however, a long delay in starting a building, and Mitchell felt obliged to suggest that the bequest would be cancelled if the books were not housed a year after the owner's death. In June 1905 the premier, Mr J. H. Carruthers (q.v.), instructed the government architect to prepare designs for a library, and the work was begun early in 1906. Mitchell died on 24 July 1907 and his great collection became the property of the state. In addition a sum of £70,000 was bequeathed, the income from which has been spent in adding to the collection. It has since been found possible to add much additional material to the library, and it is now invaluable to all students of Australian history and literature. In 1936, in commemoration of the centenary of Mitchell's birth, the trustees of the public library of New South Wales published The Mitchell Library, Sydney, Historical and Descriptive Notes. Written by the librarian Miss Ida Leeson, this volume gives some suggestion of the wealth of original manuscripts and books that may be found in the library.

Mitchell's retiring nature would not allow him to agree to having his portrait painted. That prefixed to the centenary volume was done from a photograph, after his death. He would never be interviewed and his kindliness was only known to the few students who had the privilege of being associated with him. He never married but was glad to think that the library would be a permanent memorial of his family.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1869; Ida Leeson, The Mitchell Library Sydney; A. W. Jose, The Lone Hand, September 1907; Bertram Stevens, The Lone Hand, October 1907; Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July 1939.

^Top of page



[ also refer to Thomas MITCHELL page at Project Gutenberg Australia]

son of John Mitchell of Craigend, Stirlingshire, Scotland, and his wife, originally a Miss Milne, was born on 15 June 1792. At 16 he entered the army as a volunteer, and three years later obtained a commission in the 95th regiment. He was on the staff of the quartermaster-general and studied surveying. He was present at the battles of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Pyrenees and St Sebastion, and became a lieutenant in 1813, captain in 1822, and major in 1826. In February 1827 he was appointed deputy surveyor-general of New South Wales under Oxley (q.v.), at a salary of £500 a year and quarters. In March 1828 he was put in charge of the department as the state of Oxley's health prevented him from carrying out his duties. Oxley died on 26 May and Mitchell immediately became surveyor-general, he had been given the reversion of the position. Governor Darling in a dispatch dated 1 February 1829 said he "could not say too much in favour of Major Mitchell's zeal and qualifications and that his salary had been fixed at £1000 a year including house rent and all other allowances". Two years later, however, Mitchell quarrelled with Darling, who stated in a dispatch dated 28 March 1831, that he considered it was "impossible to carry on the service with any prospect of advantage or hope of success, should Major Mitchell be continued in the situation of surveyor-general", and that Mitchell "had been guilty of repeated acts of disobedience of orders, or disrespectful conduct both to the governor and to the council". This brought a strong censure on Mitchell in a dispatch from Viscount Goderich to Darling's successor Governor Bourke (q.v.).

In the meantime Mitchell had carried out his first piece of exploration. An escaped convict had told a somewhat fantastic tale of a large river in the interior flowing towards the north-west, and Mitchell led an expedition to investigate it. Leaving Sydney on 24 November 1831 he reached and crossed the Namoi on 16 December and reconnoitred the Nundamar Range. He decided to work round the end of it and then followed the Gwydir for about 80 miles. He then went north and came to a large river which turned out to be the upper flow of the Darling. At this point his assistant surveyor, Finch, who had been bringing up supplies, arrived with a story of disaster, the camp had been raided by natives and two of the teamsters murdered. Mitchell was obliged to give up his intention of penetrating farther into the country and returned to Sydney. His next journey had the object of confirming the fact that the Darling flowed into the Murray. He left in March 1835 and first made his way to the head of the Bogan River, and towards the end of April had to spend nearly a fortnight looking for R. Cunningham the botanist, a brother of Allan Cunningham (q.v.), who had wandered from the party and lost his way. He was at first well cared for by the aborigines, but becoming ill and delirious was murdered by them. On 25 May Mitchell reached the Darling. He came to the present site of Bourke early in June, and by 11 July had followed the river for about 300 miles. He had trouble with the aborigines, and on this day was obliged to fire on them; at least three natives were wounded or killed. Mitchell decided to retrace his steps as he felt confident that Sturt had been right in his contention that the Darling flowed into the Murray. Bourke was reached on 10 August, and by the middle of September, Buree. Mitchell hastened to Bathurst ahead of his party as some of his men were extremely ill with scurvy. He was able to send a cart back for them, with fresh horses, and after a stay of three weeks in Bathurst the men recovered.

Bourke was anxious that the course of the Darling should be definitely settled, and in March 1836 Mitchell, with G. C. Stapylton as second in command, and a party of 23 men, began a fresh expedition. His experiences with aborigines on his previous journey suggested that it would be wise to go in force. It was a dry season, he had been informed at Bathurst that the Lachlan was dried up, and his chief anxiety was how water was to be found. When the Lachlan was reached it was found to be merely a collection of waterholes. On 30 March he discovered the marked tree near which Oxley (q.v.) in 1817 made his turn to the south-east. On 12 May the Murrumbidgee was reached and found to be flowing with considerable rapidity, and the contrast with the state of the Lachlan made Mitchell at first think he must have reached the Murray; but some friendly aborigines were able to make him understand that it joined a larger river farther on. Following the course of the Murrumbidgee the Murray was reached on 23 May. and a week later it was found on taking a north-west course from the Murray that they were approaching the Darling, which was followed upstream until 2 June. Next day, turning down stream, the junction with the Murray was discovered. The party retraced its steps along the Murray until 14 June, when the river was crossed, and the left bank was followed until 27 June. Two days later a south-westerly course was taken across Victoria until the Glenelg was reached and followed to its mouth on the south coast. Turning to the east Mitchell came to the residence of the Hentys (q.v.), near Portland Bay, on 29 August. He hoped to get fresh supplies, but only a small amount of flour could be spared, in addition to as many vegetables as the men could carry on their horses. The journey was resumed in a north-easterly direction, the route passing through the sites of Castlemaine and Benalla, until the Murray was crossed near Corowa on 19 October, and generally keeping in the same direction Sydney was reached in the beginning of November 1836. Mitchell was enthusiastic about the country through which he had passed in the Port Phillip district. Much of it was well grassed and well watered and worthy of the name Mitchell gave to it "Australia Felix". In 1837 Mitchell went to England and published an account of his explorations in two volumes in 1838, under the title, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia. A second edition was published in 1839. Mitchell was knighted while in England and made a D.C.L. of Oxford. He returned to Sydney in 1840 and in 1842 received £1061 6s. 4d. as a gratuity for his services as an explorer. In 1844 he was elected to the legislative council as one of the members for Port Phillip, and soon was in trouble with Governor Gipps (q.v.), who held that though "the Member for Port Phillip may act as he pleases . . . the surveyor-general of New South Wales must both obey, and support the government".

Mitchell started on his last expedition on 15 December 1845 from Buree with a large number of men, including E. B. Kennedy (q.v.) as second in command, 80 bullocks, 17 horses, and 250 sheep, the last to be used as food. He hoped to find a practicable route to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and also that he might find a river flowing in that direction. He did discover the Barcoo River, which he named the Victoria, on 1 October and considered the discovery to be of great importance. Later explorers found that this river was the headwaters of Cooper's Creek, but Mitchell was able to report the discovery of much land of pastoral value when the expedition returned to Sydney in January 1847. Mitchell immediately obtained 12 months leave of absence and saw through the press the account of his journey, Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia, which appeared in 1848. Returning to Sydney he reported on the Bathurst goldfields, and published a school-book, The Australian Geography, in 1851. In 1853 he again visited England where he patented his boomerang propeller for steamships, which aroused a good deal of interest. in 1854 he published a translation in verse of the Lusiad of Camoens, and he died at Sydney on 5 October 1855. He married in 1818 Mary Thomson, daughter of General Blunt, who survived him. A son, Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, was the author of an anonymous satire in verse, To Bourke's Statue, published in Sydney in 1855, not long before his father's death. To divert suspicion he was as severe on his father as on anyone else, but he afterwards regretted the publication and endeavoured to suppress it.

Mitchell was a somewhat difficult man to work with, one who knew him well spoke of "his aspect dire and haughty gait". His encounter with Governor Darling has been mentioned, but Governor Bourke in 1834 also found cause of complaint, and afterwards when writing to Under-secretary Hay in February 1836 said, "The Surveyor-general is a difficult man to manage. . . . I do my best to keep him and others in good humour, yet within decent bounds". Mitchell was a good army officer and was advanced to the rank of colonel in 1854. In his early days in Australia he was an energetic official, but between 1836 and 1855 he spent about one-third of his time in England on leave. He nevertheless was responsible for an enormous amount of first-rate surveying and road making, and his discovery and employment of David Lennox (q.v.), who built the first bridges worthy of the name in the colony, was of great value. It was unfortunate that a commission appointed in July 1855 to inquire into the workings of his department, gave Mitchell much worry by drawing attention to alleged defects in its organization and procedure, which possibly lowered his powers of resistance in his last illness. For, whatever defects of manner he may have had, Mitchell was a great man, who had given his colony remarkable service as surveyor-general in a period of expansion and progress. His exploratory work was excellent and added much to the knowledge of Australia. He was a fine draughtsman, his plans and models of battles in the Peninsula at the United Service Institution, London, are remarkably good, and his illustrations to his travels also have artistic merit. In addition to the works mentioned Mitchell also wrote Ninety Figures, Showing all the motions in the Manual and Platoon Exercises (1825), Outlines of a System of Surveying for Geographical and Military purposes (1827).

The Gentleman's Magazine, March 1856; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XIII, XIV, XVI to XVIII, XXI to XXV; C. W. Salier, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XVII; E. Favenc, The Explorers of Australia; Mitchell's own books; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; E. M. Webb, The Herald, Melbourne, 26 April 1941.

^Top of page



son of the Rev. George Mitchell of Leicester, England, was born in 1810. He came to Tasmania in January 1833, entered the government service, and in 1839 was assistant colonial secretary. He crossed to Victoria in 1842, and taking up land in the Kyneton and Mount Macedon districts became a large proprietor. He entered the old legislative council in 1852, and shortly afterward, at the request of La Trobe (q.v.), became chief commissioner of police. Mitchell encouraged the enlistment of a good class of man, and succeeded in successfully reorganizing the force and practically stamping out bushranging. He then resigned his position, paid a visit to England, and on his return, towards the end of 1855, was elected a member of the Victorian legislative council as one of the members for the north-western province. He was defeated at an election held in 1858 but was returned at the next election, and held the seat until his death. He was honorary minister in the first Haines (q.v.) ministry from 28 November 1855 to it March 1857, postmaster-general in the second Haines ministry from 29 April 1857 to to March 1858, and showed himself to be an able administrator. He was minister for railways in the O'Shanassy (q.v.) ministry from 30 December 1861 to 27 June 1863 but did not hold office again. During the conflict between the assembly and the council Mitchell was one of the leaders of the council, and in 1868 was responsible for the act which reduced the qualification of council members and electors. He was elected president of the council in 1870, and carried out his duties with ability, decision and courtesy. In the struggle with the assembly he fought well for the privileges of the council, and advocated that the qualifications for both members and electors should be further reduced. He died at Barfold near Kyneton after a short illness on 24 November 1884. He was knighted in 1875. He married Christina, daughter of Andrew Templeton, and was survived by children.

One of Mitchell's sons, Sir Edward Fancourt Mitchell (1855-1941), educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Cambridge, was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, London, in 1881, and returning to Melbourne practised there for nearly 60 years. He became an eminent constitutional and equity lawyer, and the acknowledged leader of the Victorian bar. At various times he was president of the Melbourne Cricket Club, of the Lawn Tennis Association of Victoria, and of the Old Melburnians. He was also chancellor of the diocese of Melbourne, and as a trustee of the Edward Wilson (q.v.) estate, was responsible for the distributions of large sums in charity. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1918. He published in 1931, What Every Australian Ought to Know, a work dealing with the legality of financial agreements between the Commonwealth and the states. He married in 1886 Eliza Fraser, daughter of Alexander Morrison (q.v.), who survived him with four daughters. Lady Mitchell was a leader in such organizations as the Bush Nursing Association, and the Country Women's Association and was created C.B.E. in 1918. She published a volume of reminiscences, Three-quarters of a Century, in 1940. Of her daughters, Mary Mitchell became a well-known novelist, her earlier books are listed in Miller's Australian Literature, and Janet Mitchell published a novel, Tempest in Paradise, in 1935, and an excellent autobiography, Spoils of Opportunity, in 1938.

Eliza F. Mitchell, Three-quarters of a Century; The Argus, Melbourne, 25 November 1884, 8 May 1941; The Age, Melbourne, 25 November 1884; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1940, 1942; The Herald, Melbourne, 8 May 1941.

^Top of page

MOFFITT, ERNEST (1870-1899),


was born in Bendigo in 1870. He was educated at All Saints school, St Kilda, Melbourne, and when Marshall Hall (q.v.) opened his conservatorium of music, Moffitt was the first student to enrol. He subsequently became secretary of the conservatorium and for a short period studied art at the national gallery school at Melbourne. He was friendly with a group of the younger artists which included Lionel and Norman Lindsay, did a little painting and etching, but was chiefly remarkable for his beautiful pen drawings. Three of these, reproduced in Lionel Lindsay's A Consideration of the Art of Ernest Moffitt, are especially good, "The Old Well", "Zeehan Wharf", and "A Summer's Day". He also did three drawings for Hall's Hymn to Sydney in which, however, he is not quite at his best. He died in 1899 before he was 30.

Moffitt was a highly cultivated man of much taste and discrimination, fond of pottery and beautiful things of all kinds. He was both musician and artist--as a pen-draughtsman he ranked with the best of his time in Australia, and he exercised a strong influence on the Lindsays and other artists with whom he was associated, by introducing them to classical literature, and by his love of what was best in the art of the past.

L. Lindsay, A Consideration of the Art of Ernest Moffitt; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art.

^Top of page



son of Hickman Blayney Molesworth, solicitor, was born at Dublin on 3 November 1806. He went to Trinity College, Dublin, where he won a scholarship and graduated B.A. in 1826 and M.A. in 1833. He was admitted to the Irish bar in 1828 and practised for some years in southern Ireland. In 1852 he emigrated to Australia, and after a short stay at Adelaide, went on to Melbourne. There he established a practice, and in January 1854 was appointed solicitor-general and a nominee member of the old legislative council. In 1855 he was appointed acting-chief justice of Victoria during the illness of Sir William à'Beckett (q.v.), and in June 1856 was appointed a supreme court judge. From about 1860 most of his time was given to equity cases, but in 1866 he also became chief judge in the court of mines. The law of mining was in a somewhat confused condition when he began, but in a few years time he had practically settled the law of mining for the colony of Victoria. In 1881 Molesworth had a serious illness but recovered and took up his work again. He resigned in May 1886, a few months before his eightieth birthday, and lived in retirement until his death at Melbourne on 18 October 1890. He married in January 1840 Henrietta, daughter of the Rev. J. E. Johnson, who died in 1879. He was survived by a daughter and two sons. He was knighted in 1886. Mennell states that he published a legal work while in Ireland which attracted some attention, but no work by him appears in the British Museum catalogue. He was much interested in the Church of England and frequently attended synod meetings.

Molesworth was a fine lawyer and a great judge. He had much patience and made it a rule to listen to counsel without interrupting them. But though very patient, if he thought a barrister was merely wasting the time of the court he could express himself very bluntly and plainly. He had, however, a most expressive face, and it was possible to judge how counsel was progressing by the play of his features. In equity cases he was somewhat technical, and he vigorously enforced the doctrine of the liability of trustees for breaches of trust; the rights of children and people incapable of looking after their own affairs were always safe in his hands. He was thoroughly sound and impartial. (Sir) E. D. Holroyd (q.v.) when practising as a barrister said that he had sometimes felt aggrieved at Molesworth for rejecting or allowing evidence, but in the end found the judge had been right. His great achievement was the building up of mining law in Victoria, the influence of which was felt in other states. His judgments in equity cases were masterly, searching and luminous.

Molesworth's elder son, Hickman Molesworth (1842-1907), was a capable county court judge and judge in insolvency.

P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Argus, Melbourne, 20 October 1890, 8 May 1886; J. L. Forde, The Story of the Bar of Victoria; Nettie Palmer, Henry Bournes Higgins, p. 79.

^Top of page


commander of the Australian army in France, 1918, engineer,

was born at Dudley-street, West Melbourne, on 27 June 1865, the son of Louis Monash. He was Jewish both by race and religion. Educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, he passed the matriculation examination when only 14 years of age, and two years later was dux of the school. Going on to Melbourne university he qualified for the degree of B.A. in 1887, and in 1890 completed the course for bachelor of civil engineering. At the final honour examination he was awarded second-class honours and the Argus scholarship. He subsequently completed the law course. The degree of bachelor of civil engineering was conferred on him in 1891, that of master of civil engineering in 1893, of bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws in 1895, and of doctor of engineering in 1921. Engineering, however, was his chosen profession, his special department being reinforced concrete. His work in this direction contributed to a large extent to the early adoption of this material for bridges and buildings in Australia. He was engineer of the Anderson-street bridge over the Yarra, Melbourne, which was opened in 1899, and taking a leading part in his profession became president of the Victorian Institute of Engineers and a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers, London. He had also early taken an interest in the citizen forces of his country, having joined the university company of the militia in 1884 and become a lieutenant in the North Melbourne battery in 1887. He was promoted captain in 1895, major in 1897 and in 1906 became a lieutenant-colonel in the intelligence corps. In 1912 he was colonel commanding the 13th infantry brigade, and on the outbreak of the war was appointed chief censor in Australia. During this period he had been more than a mere citizen soldier. He could never do anything by halves and when he was given the command of the 4th infantry brigade of the A.I.F. in October 1914, he was qualified by much study of the art of war to make the best use of his position. In December he sailed in command of the second convoy of the A.I.F. He was not in the actual landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, but went ashore soon after. His war letters are full of accounts of the gallantry of the men he commanded. When orders came in December 1915 for the evacuation, he methodically supervised the exact course to be followed by members of his own command, and was in one of the last parties to leave. Great as the disappointment had been over the failure at Gallipoli, there was some comfort in the fact that the evacuation had been so successful. Forty-five thousand men, with mules, guns, stores, provisions and transport valued at several million pounds, had been withdrawn with scarcely a casualty, and without exciting the slightest suspicion in the enemy. Hours afterwards the Turks opened a furious bombardment on the empty trenches.

After a rest period in Egypt Monash moved with his men to France in June 1916, and was stationed in the line in the north-west of France. In July he was promoted major-general in command of the 3rd Australian division, which meant that he would have to go to England to organize and train it. This was done with the minutest attention to detail, and led stage by stage to the nearest approach that could be improvised to the conditions of actual warfare. In September King George V reviewed the 20,000 men of his division and 7000 Australian and New Zealand depot troops, and on 21 October he received the order of Companion of the Bath from the king's hands. It had been suggested that his division should be broken up to provide reinforcements for the other Australian divisions. Steps were, however, taken to increase the flow of re-inforcements from Australia, and Monash, having provided nearly 3000 men from his division in September, went loyally on with his work and hoped for the best. Early in November, at the request of the war office, a portion of his division did an exercise in advanced training which included the blowing up of a mine and occupying and fortifying the crater. Over a hundred British generals and senior officers attended, and the whole thing was entirely worked out by Monash and his staff. By the end of the month the division was in France, and was placed in a comparatively quiet section of the line near Armentières. On pages 154 to 163 of his War Letters will be found an illuminating account of the activities of a divisional commander. His division took part in the successful battle of Messines in June 1917, and in the battle of Broodseinde, which General Plumer is said to have called the greatest victory since the Marne. But the gallantry and self-devotion of the troops could not turn the badly managed venture at Passchendaele into a victory. Monash began to feel that his men were receiving more than their full share of the hottest fighting, but in November they were given a rest and on 1 January 1918 he was created K.C.B.

Monash was on leave in the south of France when the great German offensive began on 21 March 1918. He immediately hastened back, and arriving at Amiens a few days later, found the town in a state of great confusion, it having been heavily bombed by the Germans. He pushed on to Doullens where the enemy was hourly expected, and found that some Australian infantry had just arrived by train. These temporarily took up a position to cover Doullens. He then motored to Mondecourt where he found Brigadier-general McNicoll and a battalion of Australians, together with details of the retreating English forces. Going on to Basseux he found Major-general Maclagan, whose division had already been on the move for three days without rest. They arranged jointly to send out outposts and await developments, and shortly afterwards they received orders from General Congreve to deploy their troops across the path of the Germans whose object would be to secure the heights overlooking Amiens. At dawn on 27 March the Australian troops had not arrived, but away beyond the Ancre valley there was evidence that the advance guard of the German army was not far away. Soon afterwards convoys of motor buses crowded with Australian infantry began to arrive. That was the end of the enemy advance towards Amiens. In fact, on the night of 29 March, Monash executed a movement which advanced his line more than a mile and improved his position. Next day he was attacked heavily but the Germans were beaten off with great losses. During the next month the Australians were successful in several miniature battles, the most important of which was the capturing of the town of Villers-Bretonneux. In May Monash was promoted lieutenant-general and appointed to the command of the Australian Army Corps. The number of men in his army was about 165,000. He felt strongly that the time had come for a counter-offensive, and during June worked out his preparations for the battle of Hamel. It was fought on 4 July and was over in less than two hours. The whole of the Hamel valley was re-taken and the slope opposite to the top of the ridge. It is always difficult to estimate enemy losses but as 1500 prisoners were taken, and the Australian casualties were only 800 including walking wounded, the operation was undoubtedly a completely successful one. But the most important effect of this action was, that it marked the end of the purely defensive attitude of the British front which had existed since the previous autumn. Monash felt that if he could get his fighting front reduced from about 11 miles to about four, and if the Canadians could be transferred to his right to fill the gap, an important blow might be struck. On 8 August the five Australian divisions fought together for the first time. The action was completely successful, a hole 12 miles long was driven 10 miles deep into the German line, and the Australians and Canadians each took over 8000 prisoners. The Allied losses were comparatively light. On 21 August the Australians fought a battle on a smaller scale at Chuignes, which again was completely successful, and yielded over 3000 prisoners. One trophy of this fight was the huge gun that had been bombarding Amiens. The Allies kept steadily advancing, and though the German retreat was orderly, they had to abandon large quantities of ammunition. They, however, succeeded in crossing the Somme without disaster. The greatest obstacle to crossing the river in pursuit was Mont St Quentin which, situated in a bend of the river, dominated the whole position. Monash carefully worked out plans to capture it, brought them before General Rawlinson on 30 August, and obtained permission to make the attempt. In one of the most heroic engagements of the war lasting four days, the position was captured. Looking back after the event Monash could only account for the success by the wonderful gallantry of the men, the rapidity with which the plan was carried out, and the sheer daring of the attempt. In his Australian Victories in France he pays a great tribute to the commander of the 2nd division, Major-general Rosenthal, who was in charge of the operation. But Monash and his staff were after all responsible for the conception of the project and the working out of the plans. The German army was now methodically retreating to the Hindenburg line, which was believed to be impregnable. Early in September Monash perfected his plans, and on 18 September had an important success when he captured the outpost lines. It now became necessary for a large number of Australian troops to be rested and Monash had the honour of having 50,000 U.S.A. troops placed under his command. Characteristically his first thought was that some way must be found of working together to the best advantage, and with the willing help of the American commander, Major-general Read, an Australian mission to his corps consisting of 217 officers and n.c.o's under Major-general Maclagan was attached to the American forces, whose only lack was experience. For his assault on the line Monash now had under his orders in one capacity or another nearly 200,000 men. The attack began on 27 September and at first everything went well. But the Americans though fighting with the greatest gallantry had not thoroughly realized the necessity of "mopping up" the trenches they had passed over, and this led to some confusion and disarrangement of plans. The battle lasted some days but by 5 October the Hindenburg line had been broken through on a wide front to a depth of over 10 miles. Early in October the Australians were taken out of the line. They had finished the work they had set out to do.

Soon after the conclusion of hostilities Monash was placed in charge of a special department to carry out the repatriation of the Australian troops. He returned to Australia on 26 December 1919. and in October 1920 was appointed general manager of the state electricity commission of Victoria. In the following year he became chairman of the commission. He threw himself with his usual energy into his task, which involved the development of the immense deposits of brown coal at Yallourn, the building of a great power house, and the cutting of a track more than 120 miles long for the transmission line to Melbourne. In 1924 the current was first received at the city. He also developed the briquette industry, and made it so popular that 15 years after the introduction of this fuel the demand was greater than the supply. His activities in connexion with the commission were so great that he seldom allowed himself a holiday. Among his many interests the university took a leading place. He was on the council for a long period and in 1923 became vice-chancellor, and he was at various times president of other organizations. He died at Melbourne on 8 October 1931. He married in 1891 Victoria Moss who died in 1920, and was survived by a daughter. He was given the honorary degrees of D.C.L. (Oxon), LL.D. (Cantab) and LL.D. (Melb.) Among his honours were G.C.M.G., K.C.B., Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour (France) and Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium). In 1930 he was promoted from the rank of lieutenant-general to general.

Monash was a man of slightly over medium height, quiet spoken and courteous in manner. He was a student all his life, well read in literature, a good musician, a sound business man, and an excellent member of a committee. When he went to the war the same qualities that had made him a successful engineer were applied to his new work. The careful consideration of the particular problem was followed by a no less careful preparation of every detail that would help in its solution. When he became a brigadier-general he was fortunate in being associated with another soldier, Major-general Sir Brudenel White (q.v.), who was chief of staff to General Birdwood, and when he was given the command of the Australian army he was again fortunate in having so capable a soldier as Sir Thomas Blamey for his own chief of staff. But these facts do not detract from his own greatness. In spite of his early training in the citizen forces, he was at heart a civilian, hating war, when he joined the regular army. But he had all the essentials of a great soldier, he knew the importance of morale, of the soldiers taking care of their own lives, the value of individual initiative, the necessity of doing a job as well as possible. His pride in his own men of every rank and their great achievements as shown in his book, The Australian Victories in France in 1918, caused a little feeling in American and English circles. But his love of truth could not allow him to fail to show full appreciation of the work done by his men. His War Letters, not published until two years after his death, show the same pride in his men from the divisional generals to the privates, and his descriptions of the arrival of the troops from Australia at Suez, and the evacuation from Gallipoli are masterly pieces of writing. Proud as he was of his men he never showed any signs of being spoilt by success, yet he was one of the few great soldiers among the higher command. His reputation was steadily increasing and, as a well-known English writer, Captain Liddell Hart, has suggested, if the war had continued, even the post of commander in chief might not have been beyond his reach.

Records of the University of Melbourne; The Argus, Melbourne, 9 October 1931; War Letters of General Monash; Sir John Monash, The Australian Victories in France in 1918; C. E. W. Bean, Official History of Australia in the War, 1914-18, vols. I to V.

^Top of page



son of Alexander Rutherford Moncrieff, was born at Dublin, Ireland, on 22 May 1845. His family was of Scottish ancestry. He was educated principally at the Belfast academy, and at 15 was articled to C. Miller, engineer in Dublin to the Great Southern and Western railway. His seven years apprenticeship included manual work in the blacksmith's shop, and he obtained there an understanding of his fellow workers which was valuable in later years. He was afterwards employed at the Glasgow locomotive works for two years, and subsequently at Dublin again, and in private practice in Hertfordshire, England. In November 1874 he obtained a position as engineering draftsman with the South Australian government, and arrived at Adelaide in February 1875. In 1879 he was made a resident engineer on the South Australian railways, and took charge of the Port Augusta to Oodnadatta line as it was gradually extended.

In 1888 Moncrieff became engineer in chief of South Australia at a salary of £1000 a year, and a little later the departments of waterworks, sewerage, harbours and jetties, were placed under his charge. He was elected M.I.C.E., England, in 1888, and America in 1894. He was chairman of the supply and tender board, and afterwards president of the public service association. He was appointed railway commissioner of South Australia in 1909 but also did important work outside that department. He was responsible for the planning of the outer harbour, the Bundaleer and Barossa water scheme, and the Happy Valley waterworks. He retired from the position of railway commissioner in 1916, and took pride in the fact that during the seven years he was in charge, no serious accident occurred for which any railway employee could be blamed. Moncrieff's motto had always been "safety first". He was also chairman of the municipal tramway trust for about 12 years, retiring in 1922, and he had much to do with the early stages of the Murray Water scheme, though the actual work was not begun in his time. He was also responsible for the south-eastern drainage scheme. He died at Adelaide on 11 April 1928. He married in 1877 Mary Benson, daughter of Edward Sunter, who survived him with a son and a daughter. He was created C.M.G. in 1909.

Moncrieff was a man of outstanding capability, versatility and energy. During his 42 years connexion with the South Australian government he never had more than a few days holiday at a time, and never applied for sick leave. He made many improvements in the service, and filled a variety of offices with distinction. In private life he was interested in gardening, church work and mechanics, and was an omnivorous reader.

The Advertiser and The Register, Adelaide, 13 April 1928; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1928.

^Top of page

MONTAGU, JOHN (1797-1853),

Tasmanian colonial secretary,

was born in 1797, the third son of Lieut.-colonel Edward Montagu, who died of wounds in India in 1799. Montagu was educated at private schools and by a tutor, and when 16 years of age was made an ensign in the 52nd regiment. He fought at Waterloo, became lieutenant in November 1815, and captain in November 1822. In 1823 he went to Tasmania with Governor Arthur (q.v.) and became his private secretary. In 1826 he was made clerk of the executive and legislative councils, but in 1829 was recalled to England to take up his military duties. In 1830 he resigned from the army and was re-appointed clerk of the councils at Hobart. In 1832 he acted as colonial treasurer, and in 1834 was appointed colonial secretary. He was in this position when Sir John Franklin (q.v.) became governor in 1836, and for five years the two men worked in harmony. Montagu gave much attention to the question of convict discipline, and in 1841 prepared with great care the necessary instructions in connexion with a probation system which was then established. In October 1841 a strong difference of opinion arose with the governor, over the reinstatement by Franklin of a surgeon who had been dismissed after being charged with culpable negligence. Franklin reinstated him because he thought that further evidence showed the penalty to have been unjust, Montagu declared that the reinstatement would degrade the colonial secretary's office, and that if Franklin persisted in his determination he must not expect the same assistance from the colonial secretary that had been hitherto given. Franklin would not be intimidated and friction continued for some time. On 17 January 1842 in writing to Franklin Montagu said, "while your excellency and all the members of your government have had such frequent opportunities of testing my memory as to have acquired for it the reputation of a remarkably accurate one, your officers have not been without opportunity of learning that your excellency could not always place implicit reliance upon your own". In the particular circumstances this could only be taken as insulting, and Franklin feeling there was no possibility of their working together, dismissed Montagu from his office. Montagu withdrew the offending phrase but Franklin's mind was made tip. Montagu, however, went to England and so successfully brought his case before Lord Stanley, the secretary of state for the colonies, that Franklin was recalled, and Montagu was sent as colonial secretary to the Cape of Good Hope, where he did valuable work. Soon after his arrival in April 1843 he "ascertained that there was a large amount of revenue many years overdue, and set about collecting it with an intensity of purpose from which even pity for the distressed was absent". (Theal, History of South Africa, vol. II, p. 198). He brought in a system of constructing roads by convict labour, and worked with great energy for the good of the colonies in many other directions. Over-work in connexion with constitutional changes which were taking place in the government led to a break-down in 1852, and on 2 May he left for England. He never fully recovered his health and died on 4 November 1853. He married in 1823 Jessy, daughter of Major-general Edward Vaughan Worseley, who survived him with children. Montagu, who had suffered losses in connexion with his transfer from Tasmania, died poor, and a civil list pension of £300 a year was granted to his widow. His conduct to Franklin cannot be justified, as no governor at that period could carry out his work without the full support of the officials. It is true that when he left Montagu was offered a handsome testimonial by 800 of his fellow colonists, and that Stanley exonerated him; but Franklin had had no opportunity of reply, and the Narrative he afterwards published has the impress of truth on every word of it. Apart from this incident Montagu was a great official, zealous, able and energetic.

W. A. Newman, Biographical Memoir of John Montagu; J. Franklin, Narrative of Some Passages in the History of Van Diemen's Land; J. West, The History of Tasmania, vol. I; G. McC. Theal, History of South Africa, vols. II and III; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XXV, pp. 213-26.

^Top of page



was born at London on 1 November 1868. His father, Horace Montford, also a sculptor, won a gold medal at the Royal Academy schools in 1869. The son also studied at the Royal Academy schools and was considered to have been one of the most brilliant students that ever attended them. He won the gold medal and travelling scholarship for sculpture in 1891 and for many years after was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy exhibitions. Among his larger works in Great Britain are four groups on the Kelvin bridge, Glasgow, groups for the city hill, Cardiff, and a statue of Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman at Stirling.

Montford came to Australia in 1923 and for some time had difficulty in getting commissions. When Web Gilbert (q.v.) died in 1925, Montford was asked to complete the design for the memorial at Port Said; but there were difficulties in carrying out the work in Australia, and eventually it was given to Sir Bertram Mackennal (q.v.) in London. The winning of the competition for the sculpture for the Shrine of Remembrance at Melbourne gave Montford many years of work. He designed and modelled the four groups each 23 feet high, and the two tympana each 56 feet long and 8 feet high in the centre.

Montford was president of the Victorian Artists' Society 1930-2. His generally good work as president was occasionally marred by a certain lack of tact. He showed some excellent work about this period including the bronzes, "Water Nymph" and "Peter Pan", now in the Queen Victoria gardens, Melbourne, and "The Court Favourite" in the Flagstaff gardens. Other work includes relief portraits of eight Australian statesmen in the King's Hall, parliament house, Canberra, and the war memorial for the Australian Club, Sydney. He was greatly encouraged and pleased on learning in 1934, that his statue of Adam Lindsay Gordon at Melbourne had been awarded the gold medal of the Royal Society of British Sculptors for the best piece of sculpture of the year. Another excellent piece of work is his vigorous statue of Charles Wesley in front of Wesley church, Melbourne. His George Higinbotham near the treasury is less successful. He is represented in the national gallery at Melbourne by "Atalanta", the "Spirit of Anzac", and two busts, and he is also represented in the national gallery at Adelaide. He died after a short illness on 15 January 1938. He married in 1912 Marian, daughter of W. J. Dibdin, a capable painter in oils, who survived him with two daughters and a son.

Montford refused to be influenced by the modernist school. He was convinced it was a passing phase in art. The Greeks and the great Italians of the Renaissance appealed to him most. He was undoubtedly a sculptor of ability whose work showed good modelling, grace, careful arrangement, and vigour, as the occasion demanded. There was no great originality of mind, but within his limits he was a most capable artist.

Hodgson and Eaton, The Royal Academy and its Members; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; The Argus, Melbourne, 17 January 1938; Who's Who in Australia, 1933; personal knowledge.

^Top of page


anglican bishop of Tasmania,

belonged to an Irish family which came from Scotland early in the seventeenth century, and which traced its descent from Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, cousin of William the Conqueror. At Hastings he was in command of the French on the right. Henry Montgomery, the second son of Sir Robert Montgomery, whose prompt action in disarming the troops at Meerut at the beginning of the Indian mutiny saved the Punjab, was born at Cawnpore, India, on 3 October 1847. He was educated at Harrow, and Trinity College, Cambridge. At Harrow he was captain of the football team, was for three years in the cricket eleven, and won several races at the school sports including the hurdles. At Cambridge, though a steady worker, he was not a distinguished scholar; he graduated with a second class in the moral science tripos in 1869. He was ordained deacon in 1871 and priest in 1872. After curacies at Hurstpierpoint and Christ Church, Blackfriars-road, he became an assistant to Canon Farrer at St Margaret's, Westminster, in 1876, and in 1879 was appointed to the important living of St Mark's Kennington, where he spent 10 strenuous years. In 1889 he was appointed Bishop of Tasmania and was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 1 May 1889.

Montgomery who had married in 1881 Maud, daughter of Canon Farrer, landed at Hobart in October 1889 with a family of five young children, and immediately set to work to raise £10,000 to build the chancel of St David's cathedral. This was eventually done, but the financial crisis which began in the early nineties effectually prevented further building. Montgomery, however, became a missionary bishop, travelling to the most remote parts of the island, and continually visiting his country clergy. He was an excellent administrator and was completely happy in his work, but in June 1901 he received a telegram asking him to become secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He decided it was his duty to accept the position and, leaving Australia in November, began his new work in London on 1 January 1902. During his episcopate, in spite of financial difficulties, the number of churches had increased from 72 to 125 and the other activities of the diocese in the same proportion.

When Montgomery began his work in London he found that the conditions were quite primitive, there was not a typewriter in the office, and shorthand writers were unknown. There was also some opposition to his methods by some of the older members of the committee, but he wore this down and soon put new life into the organization. When he came the yearly income was £88,000 but before he left it had passed £150,000. The great Pan-Anglican congress of 1908 was mostly his scheme, and he travelled largely and kept closely in touch with every function of the society. He retired in 1919 at the age of 72, and in 1921 went to the family estate at Moville in northern Ireland. During the last years of his life he did much parish work and writing, including The Life and Letters of George Alfred Lefroy (1920), The Joy of the Lord (1931), and Old Age (1932). About 20 other volumes and booklets are listed at the end of his biography. He died at Moville on 25 November 1932. His wife survived him with five sons and two daughters. He was made a prelate of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1906, and was created K.C.M.G. in 1928.

Tall and commanding yet humble, a mystic, a visionary, and yet a great administrator, Montgomery lived a long life of service and wisdom dedicated to his church and his country. His son, Field-marshall Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, born in England in 1887, and partly educated in Tasmania, became a distinguished general who won the battle of El Alamein in October 1942, and was in command of the British forces during the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-5.

M. Montgomery, Bishop Montgomery: A Memoir; The Times, 28, 29, 30 November 1932; W. R. Barrett, History of the Church of England in Tasmania; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1933; Who's Who, 1943.

^Top of page

MOORE, MAGGIE (1851-1926), whose original name was Margaret Virginia Sullivan,


was born at San Francisco, U.S.A., in 1851, and began her theatrical career at an early age. She established a local reputation, and having married J. C. Williamson (q.v.) came with him to Australia in 1874. They opened in Melbourne on 1 August in Struck Oil and were immediately successful. Some weeks later they went to Sydney and, after touring Australia, to India. In 1876 Struck Oil was played for 100 nights at the Adelphi theatre, London, and was followed for a similar period by Arrah-na-Pogue, with Williamson as Shaun and his wife as Arrah. Other appearances were made in the provinces, and a successful visit was then paid to the United States. In 1879 they were again in Australia and Miss Moore began playing in Gilbert and Sullivan. Her voice was not large but she knew how to use it, and on occasions she took the parts of Josephine and Buttercup in Pinafore, Mabel and Ruth in the Pirates of Penzance and once, when the actress chosen could not appear, Katisha in the Mikado. In Patience her part was Lady Jane. Possibly her best part in opera was Bettina, in La Mascotte. She was thoroughly adaptable, and after her husband had become a member of the firm of Williamson Garner and Musgrove and had practically given up acting, Miss Moore appeared in sensational drama. In about 1890 she was keeping alive with her vivacity and humour such parts as Biddy Roonan in The Shadows of a Great City, and Meg in Meg the Castaway. She visited her parents in San Francisco about this time and played at a benefit in Nan the Good-for-Nothing. Returning to Australia she was in various revivals of Struck 0i1 with John F. Forde as John Stofel.

About the close of the century Miss Moore obtained a divorce from her husband, and between 1903 and 1908 travelled in the United States and Great Britain. In London she appeared with George Graves, Frank Danby, Billie Burke, and Carrie Moore. Back in Australia she played a starring season between 1908 and 1912, occasionally reviving Struck Oil with H. R. Roberts, whom she had married, as John Stofel. In 1915 she returned to the Royal Comic Opera Company, and for some years played smaller parts with a finish and distinction that was a revelation to the younger generation. In 1918 she played the character of Mrs Karl Pfeiffer in Friendly Enemies, and it has been said of her that "she imbued the character with a dignity and gentle pathos which crowned her long career with fresh laurels". In 1924 she celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her first appearance in Australia, and in 1925 retired to California to live with her sister. There she was offered an engagement in Lightnin' with J. D. O'Hara, but did not accept it. She died at San Francisco after an operation on 15 March 1926. Her second husband predeceased her.

Maggie Moore was one of the best loved actresses that have appeared in Australia. With great personality and charm she had immense versatility. She could sing and play any part in a comic opera; she was a superb step-dancer; she could play the Collen Bawn or Arrah in Arrah-na-Pogue, and if necessary could play the dame in a pantomime. Her Lizzie Stofel in Struck 0i1 was gradually built up from a comparatively small part. She made the part. Always ready to help in any patriotic or charitable cause, she was personally beloved by all her friends, and being a great artist she held her public throughout her long working life.

The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 17 March 1926; The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 1926; The Bulletin, 25 March 1926; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Nellie Stewart, My Life's Story.

^Top of page



son of James Moore, was born at Bunbury, Western Australia, on 17 May 1870, and was educated at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide. On leaving school he became a pupil of Alexander Forrest (q.v.), and passed his examinations as a surveyor in 1894. He was employed for some years by the Western Australian government as a surveyor and engineer, and, taking an interest in municipal affairs, became a member of the Bunbury town council and subsequently mayor. In 1904 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Bunbury and became minister for lands and agriculture in the Rason (q.v.) ministry in August 1905. He succeeded Rason as premier in May 1906 and was also minister for lands. In this position he gave much attention to agricultural development in his state. His policy was cheap land for settlers, and the opening up of the country by the help of loans. The wheat industry was encouraged, and more interest was taken in forestry. There was also much development in railway construction. Moore's ministry was defeated in Septeniber 1910, and in the following year he became agent-general for Western Australia at London. From 1915 to 1917 he was general officer commanding the Australian Imperial forces in Great Britain. He had field a commission for many years in Australia, commanded the 18th regiment Australian light horse from 1901 to 1908, and afterwards commanded the Western Australian division of the Australian intelligence corps. During the war he was promoted to the rank of major-general. He retired from the agent-generalship in 1918, was elected a member of the house of commons, and sat almost continuously until 1932. He was for 10 years chairnian of the standing orders committee of the house of commons. On his retirement Moore was appointed president of the Dominion Coal and Steel Corporation of Canada, and applied his mining and engineering experience with great energy to the development of the iron and steel industry in Canada. He was also a director of several important companies. He died after an operation at London on 28 October 1936. He married in 1898 Isabel Lowrie, who survived him with one son and three daughters. He was created C.M.G. in 1908 and K.C.M.G. in 1910.

Moore was a big burly man, friendly and popular, with a keen business sense. He was only seven years in politics in Australia and five of them were spent in office. Going to London when only 41 he established himself as an excellent representative of Australia, and when he entered English politics his opinion on Empire questions was much valued by British ministers. Though essentially a conservative he is stated to have been the confidant of Labour leaders, and he was a popular figure at all Anglo-Australian or Anglo-Canadian gatherings in London. His wide experience, sound sense, and business knowledge, made him a valuable link between the dominions and the British government.

The Times, 29 October, 2 November 1936; The West Australian, 29 October 1936; Who's Who, 1935; J. S. Battye, The Cyclopaedia of Western Australia.

^Top of page

MOORE, WILLIAM (1868-1937),

art and dramatic critic,

was born at Bendigo on 11 June 1868, the son of Thompson Moore, at one time a member of the legislatise assembly of Victoria. He was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, and, after spending a few years in business, went on the stage and acted in the United States and Great Britain. Returning to Melbourne he joined the staff of the Herald, and in 1905 published a small volume City Sketches. This was followed in 1906 by Studio Sketches Glimpses of Melbourne Studio Life. In 1909 Moore was responsible for an organization to encourage the production of local plays with both literary and dramatic qualities. In 1909 and 1910 several short plays were produced, including The Woman Tamer and The Sacred Place by Louis Esson, The Burglar by Katharine S. Pritchard, and Moore's The Tea-Roorn Girl. This was published separately in 1910. In 1912 Moore went to London and during the war served with the British army service corps. After the war he worked on the press in Sydney for several years. In 1934 he published a conscientious and valuable work in two volumes, The Story of Australian Art. The germ of this was a small pamphlet, The Beginnings of Art in Victoria, which Moore had written in 1905, and the book was gradually built up from original sources over a long period of years. In 1937 with T. Inglis Moore he edited a collection of Best Australian One-Act Plays, and contributed to it an introductory essay on "The Development of Australian Drama". He died at Sydney on 6 November 1937. In 1923 he married Madame Hamelius, well-known as a New Zealand and Australian poet under the name of Dora Wilcox. Mrs Moore survived him.

The Argus, Melbourne, 8 November 1937; Who's Who in Australia, 1933; personal knowledge.

^Top of page


legal writer, professor of law, university of Melbourne,

was born at London on 30 April 1867, the son of John Moore, official shorthand writer to the privy council. He was educated at King's College school and privately, and for a short time did newspaper reporting in the gallery of the house of commons. He entered at the Middle Temple in 1887 and in October of the same year went to King's College, Cambridge university. In 1889 he was elected a scholar of King's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1891 with first-class honours in both parts of the law tripos. He was Barstow law scholar in 1889, completed the LL.B. course at London university in 1891, and was called to the bar in November of that year. He was appointed in 1892 professor of law at the university of Melbourne, where he arrived in January 1893. He was only 25 years of age and looked younger.

When Moore came to Australia federation was the burning question of the time. He was often consulted in connexion with constitutional questions and gave much study to the problems involved. In February 1902 he published his well-known work, The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, of which a second edition, revised and enlarged, appeared in 1910. A shortened "Students' Edition" was published in the same year. His Act of State in English Law, was published in 1906. In 1907 he was appointed constitutional adviser to the government of Victoria but relinquished the post in 1910. His advice, however, was afterwards frequently sought by both federal and state governments. At the university he was building up a notable school of law, and took an important place in the conduct of the university as dean of the faculty of law, and, for a period, president of the professorial board. He resigned his chair in 1925 and became emeritus professor. In 1927 he was invited to give the Norman Wait Harris foundation lectures before the university of Chicago, and chose for his subjects, "The British Empire and its Problems", and "The White Australia Policy". From Chicago he went to Geneva to study the operations of the League of Nations, and represented Australia in the League of Nations assembly in 1927, 1928, and 1929. In 1929 he was the official Australian delegate at the conference of experts on the operatlons of dominion legislation, and his influence was felt in the drafting of the statute of Westminster. For many years he was president of the League of Nations union in Victoria, and chairman of the Victorian group of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In 1930 he was leader of the Australian group at the biennial conference of the institute of Pacific Relations held at Shanghai. Towards the end of his life he was engaged on a work on Imperial constitutional law, which was completed just before his death. He died after a short illness on 1 July 1935. He married in 1898, Edith, daughter of Sir Thomas à'Beckett (q.v.). Lady Moore survived him. There were no children. In addition to the works mentioned a few articles were published as pamphlets. A long essay on "The Political System of Australia" is included in Australia: Economic and Political Studies, edited by Meredith Atkinson. Moore was also responsible for much able writing in the Journal of the Society of Comparative Legislation, the Law Quarterly, the Columbia Law Review, the Revue de Droit Public, and the Quarterly Review. He was created C.M.G. in 1917 and K.B.E. in 1925.

Moore was slight of figure and had a comparatively youthful appearance until near the end of his life. He was liked by his students with whom he was always ready to work or talk. He was somewhat deliberate in his speech and appeared to be seeking the right word, but his delicate dry sense of humour relieved his conscientious and earnest attitude to his work.

The Argus, Melbourne, 2 and 6 July, 12 October 1935; The Age, Melbourne, 2 July 1935; The Times, 2 July 1935; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; Who's Who in Australia, 1933; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

MOORHOUSE, JAMES (1826-1915),

anglican bishop of Melbourne, and Manchester,

was born at Sheffield in 1826. His father, James Moorhouse, a lover of books and a deep thinker, was a manufacturer of cutlery, his mother, Frances Bowman, had great determination and force of character. The boy attended a school at Sheffield until he was 16, and afterwards went to the People's College in the evenings. He was widely read and already taking an interest in theological and philosophical books. His father intended him to become a partner in his business, but after spending two or three years at this work, Moorhouse asked that he might be sent to a university with a view to ordination. He never regretted the years he spent in business, as he realized that the experience of men he had gained was invaluable. But he knew little Latin, and no Greek or higher mathematics, and there was much to be learned before at the age of 23 he was able to enter St John's College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1853 as a senior optime in the mathematical tripos, and soon after was ordained. His first curacy was at St Neots (1853-5), and his next at Sheffield (1855-9) with Canon Sale. There he started a men's institute where young men could meet and discuss, and open their minds. He began the work single-handed and many of the men who came were rough specimens. When he left there were 400 students and a staff of voluntary teachers. He then became curate to Canon Harvey at Hornsey, the beginning of a great friendship, and in 1861 Moorhouse was appointed select preacher before the university of Cambridge. His sermons, which made a great impression, were published in that year under the title, Some Modern Difficulties Respecting the Facts of Nature and Revelation. He was much gratified to receive an invitation from his old college, St John's, to sit for a fellowship, but was obliged to decline the honour as on 12 September 1861 he had married Mary Sale, the daughter of his former vicar. He was soon afterwards appointed to the living of St John's, Fitzroy-square, London. His income was small and the parish was a drab one, but his preaching attracted well-to-do people from other parts of London, who took sittings in his church. This, however, did not lead to any neglect of the poorer members of his congregation. He opened classes for young men and himself took the classes in English, the Greek testament and political economy. Nothing pleased him better than a discussion on some point with one of the keener-minded men of his audience. On other occasions he would play football with members of his class. In 1867 he became vicar of Paddington, and during the following nine years established a reputation as one of the most eloquent and weighty of metropolitan preachers. In 1874 he was appointed a chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria and a prebendary of St Paul's cathedral, and in May 1876 he accepted the offer of the bishopric of Melbourne.

When Moorhouse arrived at Melbourne he found much work to do. When gold was discovered, 25 years before, Melbourne was a small provincial town, it was now an established city with a quarter of a million inhabitants. Much as the churches had done it had been difficult to keep pace with such progress, and Moorhouse realized that men of ability should be encouraged to become clergymen, and that they should be properly trained. Trinity College had recently been built and affiliated with the university, and Moorhouse decided that if possible all candidates for orders should reside there for three years and take a degree. He had been presented with £1000 by his parishioners when he left London, and this was now given to the fund founded to meet the expenses of the students while at college. It is interesting to know that practically within the span of Moorhouse's life Trinity College contributed six bishops to the Anglican church. He travelled the country widely and made friends wherever he went, and especially stressed the need for the religious instruction of children. His difficulties were great and he found the dissensions between the various religious bodies a greater bar than the opposition of sceptics. Writing late in the seventies he said, "The hatred of Rome here is incredible. I could have gained my object long ago but for that. . . . Nothing will induce me to join in the bigoted howl against Rome." In 1881, however, he was able to assure a friend in England that the prospects of religious instruction in schools were much brighter. His broad-mindedness appealed to many outside his own denomination. He began delivering a series of lectures in the autumn of each year on the Bible, on the gospel and city life of Corinth, on religion and science. At first given in one of the churches his audiences grew until it was necessary to engage the town hall, which held about three thousand. Without aiming at popularity Moorhouse filled this hall with people of all classes and creeds, who listened with the greatest intentness to all he said.

Moorhouse had realized that it was necessary that there should be a worthy cathedral at Melbourne. After much discussion the site was chosen and the architect, but the raising of the money became a great problem. He was heartened by a gift of £10,000 from Sir William Clarke (q.v.), and even more by the receipt of £5000 from an anonymous Presbyterian, who was subsequently found to be Francis Ormond (q.v.). The foundation stone was laid on 13 April 1880 and the building was completed except for the spires in 1891. About 40 years later the spires were added. Another important question of the time was the framing of the constitution of the Church in Australia. A general synod was held at Sydney,and in the absence of the bishop of Sydney in England, Moorhouse was chosen to be chairman. The problems to be dealt with held many difficulties and at the previous synod held five years before, time had been wasted and tempers tried, without result. There can be no question that the eloquence and earnestness of Moorhouse had much to do with the success of the meeting. He was able to report: "We worked like brothers without a single casual or vexatious objection. . . . I believe we have settled our constitution on primitive lines, and in such a way that no deadlock can arise in the future."

Moorhouse was not only interested in the problems of his Church. He was elected chancellor of the university of Melbourne in 1884 and filled the position admirably. His journeys about the country had taught him how severely people suffered in times of drought. He became one of the pioneers of irrigation, and gave courses of lectures showing what had been done in other countries. When asked to issue a special form of prayer for rain he said people were quite at liberty to use the prayer in the prayer-book, but that they should remember that it was their own lack of foresight which allowed so much water to run to waste, and it was their duty to remedy their own neglect. The story that his reply was that "he would pray for rain if they would dam their rivers" is not correct. When asked of the truth of this in later years, Moorhouse said he regretted he had not had the wit at the moment to put it so crisply. His many activities were putting some strain on him when he received a cablegram offering him the see of Manchester. He accepted this offer and left Victoria to the regret of all who had been associated with him.

When Moorhouse began his work at Manchester in May 1886 he was nearly 60 years of age, but his energy was not abated. He made visitation tours of the 600 parishes in his diocese and became familiar with their peculiar difficulties. There had been strife in connexion with ritual in the diocese which had caused much ill-feeling, and here he successfully strove for peace. His preaching and lecturing lost none of its force and fervour, but after he reached 75 years of age in 1901 he began to suffer from bronchitis and loss of sleep. In July 1903 he announced his retirement and the rest of his days were spent in a beautiful old house he found near Taunton. His wife died in August 1906. He had no children, but his wife's niece, Miss Edith Sale, was able to occupy the place of a daughter and be a companion to him. He kept up his habit of reading but took no further part in church work. He died on 9 April 1915 aged 88 years. The list of his published writings occupies a column in the British Museum catalogue. The more important of his books include Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Subject of Growth in Wisdom (1866), The Expectation of the Christ (1878), The Teaching of Christ (1891), Dangers of the Apostolic Age (1891), and Church Work its Means and Methods (1894). His portrait at the time of his leaving Manchester was painted by Sir George Reid. A marble bust by Percival Ball (q.v.) is at the national gallery, Melbourne.

Moorhouse was tall and big framed, a good cricketer and footballer in his youth and an excellent boxer. He was unpretentious in manner, and at Melbourne he at first astonished some people by smoking a pipe and going on his walks accompanied by a bulldog. He was thoroughly broadminded and interested in current events, with a keen eye for humbug and priggishness. His sternness of feature and apparent coldness concealed from those who did not know him his great kindness of heart and strength of feeling. He was a tremendous worker and student, he had a clear logical mind, a sense of humour, great sincerity, and a natural gift of eloquence. These combined made him a remarkable preacher and lecturer and a great representative of his Church. His influence on the life of Melbourne from 1876 to 1886 can hardly be estimated, and those who had once been under his spell never forgot him.

Edith C. Rickards, Bishop Moorhouse of Melbourne and Manchester; The Times, 10 April 1915; The Argus, Melbourne, 12 April 1915; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1902.

^Top of page

MOORHOUSE, MATTHEW (c. 1812-1876),


was born either in 1812 or 1813. He was educated for the medical profession, obtained the degree of M.R.C.S., came to South Australia in 1839, and about the end of that year was appointed protector of aborigines. He endeavoured to guard their rights and interests, and in doing so sometimes came in conflict both with the authorities and the press. An attempt to teach the children in their native language was not successful, but his interest in this led Moorhouse to prepare A Vocabulary and Outline of the Grammatical Structure of the Murray River Language, which was published at Adelaide in 1846. In January 1849 he was a member of the provisional committee in connexion with the projected South Australian colonial railway. He was a member of parliament in 1861 and for a few days in October of that year was commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the first Waterhouse (q.v.) ministry. Having resigned the position of protector of aborigines he became a successful pastoralist in the northern district for several years, only practising his profession when there was urgent need of his services. He died on his station near Melrose on 29 March 1876, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter.

The South Australian Advertiser and the South Australian Register, 31 March 1876; J. W. Bull, Early Experiences of Life in South Australia, p. 64; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia, vol. I, p. 134; J. Blacket, The Early History of South Australia, p. 368.

^Top of page


cardinal, archbishop of Sydney,

was born at Leighlinbridge, Ireland, on 16 September 1830, the only son of Patrick Moran and his wife Alice, a sister of Cardinal Cullen. Both of his parents died before he was 10 years old, and in 1842 he was taken by his uncle to Rome and educated at the Irish College of St Agatha. He was appointed vice-rector of the Irish college, and professor of Hebrew. College of the Propaganda, Rome, in 1856. In 1861 he published his Memoirs of the Most Rev. Oliver Plunket, largely compiled from manuscripts preserved in the archives of Rome, which was followed by his Historical Sketch of the Persecutions Suffered by the Catholics of Ireland, in 1862. Two years later appeared his Essays on the Origin Doctrines and Discipline of the Early Irish Church, and his History of the Catholic Archbishops of Dublin. From 1866 to 1872 he was private secretary to Cardinal Cullen at Dublin, and during this period prepared and published his Lectures on the Temporal Sovereignty of the Holy See (1868). He was also professor of scripture at Clonliffe College. In 1872 he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Ossory, and a few months later succeeded to the see. His predecessor, infirm and old, had lost his grip of the diocese, and Moran realized at once the opportunities for improvement in its conduct. He introduced the Sisters of Mercy into Irish workhouses, established industrial schools for boys and girls, completed the chancel of the cathedral at Kilkenny, founded a public library, and by his firmness and energy put new life into the whole diocese. Though the youngest of the Irish bishops he secured the confidence of the heirarchy. His great knowledge of Ireland and its history led to his being consulted by W. E. Gladstone when he was considering his home rule bill. In 1884 Archbishop Vaughan (q.v.) of Sydney died suddenly and Moran was chosen to succeed him. He arrived at Sydney on 8 September 1884 and had a great reception.

Of Moran's predecessors Polding (q.v.) had been a great missionary and Vaughan (q.v.) a great preacher. Their Church had many difficulties in the early days, and it had taken many years to find its due place in the community. There had been much sectarian feeling but it was on the whole tending to die down, and the time had come when a good organizer could do much to consolidate the position. Moran arrived full of energy and lost no time in getting to work. He made one mistake at the beginning, which was so little forgotten that his successor thought it necessary to explain it at the time of Moran's death. His predecessor Archbishop Vaughan died in England and there was a feeling in Sydney in which Vaughan's family shared, that his body should be brought to Sydney. Moran decided this was not necessary, and his curt final letter to Herbert Vaughan, afterwards Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, seemed scarcely worthy of him. (See H. N. Birt, Benedictine Pioneers in Australia, vol. II, p. 465). But Moran, like lesser men, had the defects of his qualities, he was accustomed to making decisions and sticking to them, and in this case could not bring himself to change his views. A few months later the see of Dublin became vacant, Moran was called to Rome and it was thought likely that he would be given this position. Dr Walsh was, however, appointed and Moran was created a cardinal. Soon after his return he visited all the dioceses in New Zealand, and in 1887 he travelled to Perth to consecrate Dr Gibney. In 1888 he again visited Rome and was then invited to go to Dublin to receive the freedom of the city. In addition to his work at Sydney he found time to visit in the following years Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Hobart, Goulburn, Lismore, Melbourne and Rockhampton for the consecration of their respective cathedrals. Between 1890 and 1900 he published Occasional Papers (1890), Letters on the Anglican Reformation and Other Papers (1890), History of the Catholic Church in Australasia (1894), and The Catholics of Ireland and the Penal Laws in the Eighteenth Century (1899). He took much interest in social questions, and at the time of the maritime strike in 1890 listened with sympathy to a deputation from the strikers and advised them. His general attitude was that capital and labour must each respect the others rights. A passionate lover of Ireland he was earnest in his advocacy of home rule. He was not, however, opposed to Great Britain, supported Dalley (q.v.) when the contingent was sent to the Sudan, and in later years, spoke appreciatively of King Edward VII. He took the statesmanlike view that Australia must be prepared to defend herself, and was a force for federation at a time when there was much difference of opinion in New South Wales. Sir Henry Parkes speaking in the New South Wale, parliament in November 1894 paid him a striking tribute: "There is another person, who is an entire stranger to me, and, I should think, a gentleman who has no very high opinion of me, whose services I should acknowledge. Of all the voices on this question, no voice has been more distinct, more full of a worthy foreshadowing of the question's greatness and more fraught with a clear prescience of what is likely to come as the result of federation, than the voice of this eminent prelate." (B. R. Wise, The Making of the Australian Commonwealth, p. 204.) Moran spoke with effect at the people's federal convention held at Bathurst in 1896, and was a candidate for the federal convention held in 1897. He polled well but was not elected.

Moran did not allow these questions to interfere with his main work, the administration of his Church in New South Wales. He raised much money for the building of St Mary's cathedral, on which over £100,000 was spent in his time, and a further £40,000 was received towards the amount required for its completion. Educational facilities both primary and secondary were much increased, and he has a lasting monument in the 32 charitable institutions established by him. These include the home for aged and destitute at Randwick; St Vincent's home and industrial school for boys; the home and industrial school for girls at Manly; asylum and school for the blind, Lewisham; asylum for mental invalids at Ryde; hospital for women and children at Lewisham; Mater Misericordiae hospital, North Sydney; St Joseph's hospital, Auburn; the foundling hospital, Waitara; St Joseph's orphanage, Kincumber; Sisters of St Joseph orphanage, Lane Cove; St Martha's industrial school, Leichhardt; St Anne's orphanage, Liverpool; St Brigid's orphanage at Ryde; St Magdalen's retreat, Tempe; Mater Misericordiae home, Church Hill; hospice for the dying, Darlinghurst; home for female blind, Liverpool and Mt Magdala retreat, Redfern. Another important work was his great ecclesiastical college at Manly for the training of the priesthood. He continued to do a certain amount of writing, among his later works being The Mission Field in the Nineteenth Century (1900), The Three Patrons of Erin (1905), The Priests and People of Ireland (1905). Working to the end he died suddenly at Sydney after a short illness on 16 August 1911, and was buried in the vault of St Mary's cathedral.

Moran was a strict yet kindly disciplinarian, and a great fighter for his Church and for education. He was a forthright speaker, but scarcely a good preacher, and in his later years his voice lost carrying power. He was an able though sometimes impulsive controversialist, a vigorous and scholarly writer, though his poorly-edited History of the Catholic Church in Australasia scarcely does him justice in spite of its wealth of information. Most of his books have been mentioned, others were: Acta S. Brendani (1872), Irish Saints in Great Britain (1879), Spiciligium Ossoriense . . . Letters and Papers Illustrative of the History of the Irish Church, 3 series (1874-84). To these may be added many short pamphlets and articles in Reviews, and he also edited Monasticum Hibernicum (1871 etc.), and Pastoral Letters of Cardinal Cullen (1882).

The Catholic Encyclopaedia, vol. XIV; The Catholic Who's Who, 1911; Who's Who, 1911; The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 August 1911; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 17 August 1911; Eris O'Brien, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XXVIII, pp. 1-28.

^Top of page

MORDAUNT, ELINOR (c. 1872-1942),


daughter of St John L. Clowes and the Hon. Mrs Clowes, was born at Cotgrove Place, Nottinghamshire, England, about the year 1872, and was christened Evelyn Mary. In 1897 she went to Mauritius and there married a planter named Wiehe. The marriage was unfortunate, and about two and a half years later Mrs Wiehe found it impossible to live any longer with her husband and returned to England. Shortly afterwards she went to Australia and lived at Melbourne for about eight years. Her son was born immediately after she arrived. The English Who's Who for 1942 stated that she went to Australia in 1902 and returned to England in 1908. But in the introduction to her On the Wallaby through Victoria, published in London in 1911, the author stated that she had been in Victoria for more than eight years. It was necessary for her to earn a living and while in Melbourne she edited a woman's fashion paper, wrote short stories and articles, made blouses, designed embroideries--and gardens, acted as a housekeeper, and did artistic work of various kinds. She was not strong in health, but with great courage undertook any kind of work which would provide a living for herself and her infant son. At times she had a hard struggle, but she gained an experience of life which was of the greatest use to her as an author. Her first book, the Garden of Contentment, was published in England in 1902. At Melbourne she published a volume of sketches, Rosemary, That's for Remembrance (1909), and in 1911 appeared On the Wallaby through Victoria, by E. M. Clowes, an interesting account of conditions in that state at that period. Returning to England she began a long series of volumes of fiction; Miller in his Australian Literature lists about 30 books. She established a reputation as a writer of short stories for magazines, and several of the volumes in this list are collections of these stories. Mrs Mordaunt travelled in the East Indies and adjacent islands and used her experiences in her fiction, and in travel books such as The Venture Book, The Further Venture Book, and Purely for Pleasure. Her interesting autobiography, Sinabada, published in 1937, includes an account of her early struggles in Australia, written without bitterness, and with appreciative reference to the kindnesses she had received. In 1933 she married R. R. Bowles. She died at Oxford on 25 June 1942. Her son by her first marriage was alive when she was writing Sinabada; she mentions that he had married and had children.

Elinor Mordaunt was a quiet, rather frail woman, who was ready at any moment to take a voyage in a sailing ship or visit any savage island. She was completely courageous, her experience of life had given her much understanding, and her novels are competent and interesting. Possibly her best work was put into her short stories, often showing a grim sense of tragedy and humour. A collection of them appeared in 1934, The Tales of Elinor Mordaunt. In addition to the volumes included in Miller, she was also the author of Death it is, Judge Not, Hobby Horse, Roses in December, Tropic Heat, Here Too is Valour, and Blitz Kids.

The Times, 27 June 1942; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; E. Mordaunt, Sinabada; E. M. Clowes, On the Wallaby; personal knowledge.

^Top of page


premier of Queensland,

was born at Sydney on 24 August 1843. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and matriculated at Sydney university. He, however, did not continue at the university but joined the Bank of New South Wales, where he obtained some training in finance. He then entered the service of the Australian Investments Company and as a station inspector visited Queensland in 1866. He remained in Queensland and in 1871 was elected a member of the legislative assembly for the Mitchell district. In 1873 he founded the well-known firm of B. D. Morehead and Company, general merchants, and stock and station agents, which afterwards became Moreheads Limited. In December 1880 he joined the first McIlwraith (q.v.) government as postmaster-general but resigned in August 1883. When Griffith (q.v.) came into power in November 1883, Morehead was appointed leader of the opposition and held this position for some years. McIlwraith became premier again in June 1888 with Morehead as colonial secretary, and when McIlwraith resigned in November, Morehead succeeded him as premier and colonial secretary. He resigned in August 1890 and made a long visit to Europe. In 1893 he declined the agent-generalship, and in 1896 entered the legislative council and remained a member until his death on 30 October 1905. He was married twice and was survived by several children.

Morehead was a kindly, somewhat unconventional, witty and humorous man. He had scarcely sufficient force of character to be an outstanding leader, but he was a prominent member of the Queensland parliament for a period of over 30 years.

The Brisbane Courier, 31 October and 1 November 1905; J. H. Heaton. Australian Dictionary of Dates; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years.

^Top of page

MORGAN, SIR ARTHUR (1856-1916),

premier, president legislative council, and lieutenant-governor of Queensland,

was the fourth son of James Morgan who for some time represented Warwick, Queensland, in the legislative assembly and became chairman of committees. He was born on 19 September 1856, was educated at the public school at Warwick, and then joined the staff of the Warwick Argus which was owned and edited by his father. He became a member of the local municipal council and was several times elected mayor. In 1883 he was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Warwick, held his seat until 1896, and was re-elected in 1899. In that year he was chosen as speaker and showed dignity and ability in this position. In 1903 Philp (q.v.) resigned on account of defections from his party, and the leader of the Labour party being unable to form a ministry, Morgan was asked to lead a combination of some of the liberals and the Labour party. He resigned the speakership, formed a ministry, and became premier, chief secretary, secretary for railways and vice-president of the executive council. A policy of retrenchment was carried out which gave Morgan some temporary unpopularity, and his combining with the Labour party was much questioned by his former associates. The position, however, was one of some difficulty when Philp resigned, as at the moment there appeared to be no outstanding man to take his place, and Morgan felt it to be his duty to carry on a government. In January 1906, after the death of Sir Hugh Nelson (q.v.), he was appointed president of the legislative council and on two occasions was acting-governor. In 1908 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Queensland. In his later years his health was not good and he died on 20 December 1916. He married in 1880 Alice Augusta, daughter of H. E. Clinton, who survived him with five sons and three daughters. He published in 1902, Discovery and Development of the Downs. He was knighted in 1907.

Morgan came into prominence by his natural courtesy and evenness of temperament which made him an excellent chairman of committees, speaker, president of the council and lieutenant-governor. He was neither a forceful personality nor the type of man that attracts a large following. But he was a first-class servant of the public who earned the respect of every one in politics, and carried out with conspicuous ability the high offices to which he was called.

The Brisbane Courier, 21 December 1916; Who's Who, 1916; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years.

^Top of page

MORGAN, SIR WILLIAM (c. 1829-1883),

premier of South Australia,

was the son of a farmer and was born in Bedfordshire, England, in 1828 or 1829. He emigrated to Australia and arrived at Adelaide in February 1849 where he obtained work with Boord Brothers, grocers. About the beginning of 1852 he went to the Victorian gold diggings, but was not very successful and returned to his old position. In partnership with a brother he shortly afterwards purchased this business and made it a very successful one. He was elected to the legislative council in 1867, and was chief secretary in the second Boucaut (q.v.) government from June 1875 to March 1876. He was chief secretary again in the fourth Boucaut ministry from October 1877 to September 1878, and when Boucaut became a judge, Morgan reconstructed the ministry and on 27 September 1878 became premier and chief secretary. This ministry was in office for nearly three years but it did not have an easy passage. One important measure passed was that providing deep drainage for Adelaide, the first city in Australia to have a proper sewerage system. A public trustee act was passed, and there was some railway extension, but other bills were thrown out by the council. Pressure of private business made Morgan resign on 24 June 1881, and the Bray (q.v.) ministry came in. In May 1883 Morgan left on a visit to England and he died suddenly at Brighton on 2 November 1883. He married a daughter of T. H. Matthews who survived him with two sons and two daughters. He was created K.C.M.G. in May 1883.

Morgan was an entirely self-made man, of liberal opinions. He was a staunch free-trader who held that protective duties taxed the people least able to bear the burden. He was an excellent speaker, and an able administrator who, but for his comparatively early death, might have had a more important place in the political history of South Australia.

The Times, 3 November 1883; The Register, Adelaide, 3 November 1883; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia.

^Top of page

MORPHETT, SIR JOHN (1809-1892),

South Australian pioneer,

was the son of a solicitor and was born at London on 4 May 1809. He received a good education at a private school, and became interested in the South Australian colonization schemes. He was present at the dinner given to Captain Hindmarsh (q.v.) in honour of his appointment as governor of South Australia about the end of 1835, and a few weeks later, on 20 March 1836, sailed for South Australia in the Cygnet which arrived after a voyage of nearly six months, on 11 September 1836. Morphett had no official position but he assisted Light in laying out Adelaide, and Morphett-street was named after him. He opened an agency business, took a leading place in the community, and in December 1838 was selected to sign the letter which accompanied the piece of plate presented to Robert Gouger (q.v.) by a number of the most prominent colonists. He appears to have had private means as in May 1839 he paid £4000 for 4000 acres of land, and he was concerned in other comparatively, large transactions. He was appointed treasurer to the town corporation on 5 December 1840, and on 15 June 1843 was nominated as a non-official member of the legislative council. In January 1845 he was in the chair at the meeting called to protest against the proposal of the British government to send Parkburst prison boys to South Australia. In September 1846, as a protest against the mining royalty bill being passed by the casting vote of Governor Robe (q.v.), Morphett and the three other non-official members of the council left the chamber and the council was left without a quorum. In August 1851 Morphett was chosen speaker of the enlarged council, and on 9 March 1857 he was elected a member of the legislative council at the first election under responsible government. He was chief secretary in the Reynolds (q.v.) ministry from February to October 1861, and on 31 March 1865 was elected president of the legislative council and held the position until February 1873 when he gave up politics. He lived in retirement until his death on 7 November 1892. He married in 1838 Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Hurtle Fisher (q.v.), who survived him with six daughters and four sons. He was knighted in 1870.

Morphett was fitted by both birth and education to be a leader of the pioneers in South Australia. He had faith in the colony from the beginning, and though he realized that for a period South Australia would have to be regarded as a pastoral colony depending chiefly on its export of wool, as early as 1838 he had sanguine hopes of raising wine, olive oil, figs, maize, flax, silk, rice, indigo and tobacco (J. Stephens, The Land of Promise, p. 49). He supported Fisher and Gouger in their quarrels with Hindmarsh, later on showed himself to be a force in the legislative council, and worked hard for responsible government. He took an active part in the formation of the Literary Association and Mechanics Institute, and was an early supporter of St Peter's College. He was one of the earliest men to take an interest in racing in South Australia and Morphetville racecourse was named after him.

The Advertiser, Adelaide, 8 November 1892; The South Australian Register, 8 November 1892; E. Hodder, The Founding of South Australia; J. Blacket, History of South Australia.

^Top of page


educationist and miscellaneous writer,

was born at Madras, India, on 25 December 1843. His father, John C. Morris, was accountant-general of the East India Company at Madras. Morris Was educated at Rugby and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. with final honours in classics, law and modern history in 1866. He was an assistant master at St Peter's College, Radley, and at Haileybury, and in 1871 became headmaster of the Bedfordshire middle class public school. From 1875 to 1883 he was headmaster of the Melbourne Church of England grammar school which made steady progress under his care. During his period he introduced the prefect system, and established the first school library and the first school journal in Melbourne. In 1883 he was elected to the chair of English, French and German languages and literature at the university of Melbourne. He took a prominent part in the management of the university, and for several years was president of the professorial board. He had also many outside interests and it was at his suggestion that a branch of the charity organization society, of which he was the first president, was founded in Melbourne. The Melbourne Shakespeare Society, for many years the most flourishing literary society in Victoria, was also founded on his suggestion, and he took the greatest interest in the Melbourne public library of which he was appointed a trustee in 1879. He became vice-president of the trustees in 1896. His Memoirs of George Higinbotham (q.v.) was published in 1895, and in 1898 appeared his most important work, his painstaking and valuable Austral English A Dictionary of Australasian Words, Phrases and Usages. This obtained for him the Litt. D. degree of the university of Melbourne. He died while on a visit to Europe on 2 January 1902. He married in 1879 the eldest daughter of George Higinbotham (q.v.), who died in 1896. He was survived by a son and three daughters. Morris also wrote two little volumes for the "Epochs of Modern History" series, The Age of Anne (1877), and The Early Hanovarians (1886). He edited Cassell's Picturesque Australasia (4 vols, 1887-9) and a few of his lectures were also published separately. He had completed before his death a work on Cook and his Companions which has not been published.

The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 3 January 1902; E. La T. Armstrong, The Book of the Public Library, 1856-1906; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; Liber Melburniensis, 1937.

^Top of page


headmaster of Scotch College, Melbourne,

was born near Forres, Scotland, on 3 February 1829. His father, Donald Morrison, a farmer of good education who became factor to Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, married Catherine Fraser, a woman of strong Christian character, and Alexander was their sixth son. He was educated at the Elgin Academy and King's college, Aberdeen university, where he took his M.A. degree in 1851. He was a master for two years at a school at Elgin, and then for three years was in charge of St John's grammar school, Hamilton. During this period the number of boys at the school increased from 194 to 397. In 1856 he accepted the position of headmaster of the Scotch College, Melbourne, arrived on 26 July 1857, and a week later began his duties.

When Morrison came to Melbourne there were only 50 day boys and six boarders at the school, but in a few years it became one of the leading public schools in Australia, with a high reputation for scholarship. In 1873 considerable additions were made to the school buildings, including a house for the principal, but following a severe illness in 1874 Morrison was given a year's leave of absence and travelled widely in Europe. He was appointed a member of the council of the university of Melbourne in 1878, and for the remainder of his life was one of the most regular attendants at its meetings. In November 1876 he moved the motion at the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church which led to the founding of Ormond College, and he largely influenced Francis Ormond (q.v.) in his endowing of the college. He worked hard himself in obtaining subscriptions when the college was instituted, was elected chairman of the trustees, and presided at the opening ceremony on 18 March 1881. In his earlier years at Scotch College Morrison took classes in several subjects, but as the school increased in numbers his work became largely confined to administration. He died suddenly on 31 May 1903. He married in 1855, Christina, daughter of Donald Fraser, who died in 1883. He was survived by four sons and three daughters. The university of Aberdeen conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D. in 1876. He was the author of A First Latin Course.

Morrison was tall, erect, blackbearded, stern-looking. He was a strict but just disciplinarian who, though he mellowed as he grew older, did not quite gain the affection of his boys in the same way as Adamson (q.v.), Littlejohn (q.v.) and Weigall (q.v.). He set a high standard of scholarship in the school and never lost his grip of the conduct of it. He had the great merit of recognizing a good man when he saw him, and, at a time when there was little organization in the training of teachers, kept a high average in the quality of his staff. He trained and encouraged Frank Shew (1851-1934), who joined the staff in 1870 and for 53 years was beloved by succeeding generations of boys (see W. J. Turner's eulogy in Blow for Balloons, chapter XXVI. Turner's account of Robert Morrison, however, is a baseless travesty. Robert Morrison, a younger brother of Dr Morrison, was in fact a first-rate mathematical master, vice-principal of the school for many years, and second only to Shew in the affection of the boys). Other distinguished masters were Weigall, Alexander Sutherland (q.v.), and W. F. Ingram. This was perhaps the most important factor in Morrison's 47 successful years in charge of Scotch College, but his personality was felt in other ways in the school, and his wide general interests enabled him to be an important figure in all matters relating to education in Victoria whether at the council table of the university, or when preparing and giving evidence for a royal commission.

History of Scotch College, Melbourne; The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 1 June 1903; Testimonials in Favour of Mr Alexander Morrison, M.A.; personal knowledge.

^Top of page

MORRISON, GEORGE ERNEST (1862-1920), known as Chinese Morrison

traveller, The Times correspondent, Peking,

was born at Geelong, Victoria, on 4 February 1862. His father, Dr G. Morrison, a brother of Alexander Morrison (q.v.), was principal of Geelong College, and the boy was educated at his father's school. Before proceeding to the medical course at Melbourne university at the beginning of 1880, Morrison had tested his powers as a walker during a vacation, by walking from Geelong to Adelaide, a distance of about 600 miles. After passing his first year medicine he took a vacation trip down the Murray in a canoe from Albury to the mouth, a distance of 1650 miles, covered in 65 days. Failing in his next examinations he shipped on a vessel trading to the South Sea islands, discovered some of the evils of the kanaka traffic, and wrote articles on it which appeared in the Age and had some influence on the eventual suppression of it. He next visited New Guinea and did part of the return journey on a Chinese junk. Landing at Normanton at the end of 1882 Morrison decided to walk to Melbourne. He was not quite 21, he had no horses or camels and was unarmed, but carrying his swag and swimming or wading the rivers in his path, he walked the 2043 miles in 123 days. No doubt the country had been much opened up since the days of Burke and Wills, but the journey was nevertheless a remarkable feat, which stamped Morrison as a great natural bushman and explorer. He arrived at Melbourne on 21 April 1883 to find that during his journey McIlwraith (q.v.), the premier of Queensland, had annexed part of New Guinea, and was vainly endeavouring to get the support of the British government for his action. The Age decided to send Morrison to New Guinea as its special correspondent, but this was not announced at the time, and Morrison, on being interviewed in Sydney, gave the impression that he was going to see what were the prospects of forming a Presbyterian mission station. He sailed from Cooktown in a small lugger and arrived at Port Moresby after a stormy passage. On 24 July Morrison with a small party started with the intention of crossing to Dyke Acland Bay 100 miles away. Much high mountain country barred the way, and it took 38 days to cover 50 miles. The natives became hostile, and about a month later Morrison was struck by two spears and nearly killed. The only thing possible was to retrace their steps, Morrison was strapped to a horse and, not having to cut the track as they went, Port Moresby was reached in days. Here Morrison received medical attention but it was more than a month before he reached the hospital at Cooktown. In spite of his misfortune Morrison had penetrated farther into New Guinea than any previous white man. Much the better for a week in hospital Morrison went on to Melbourne, but he still carried the head of a spear in his body and no local surgeon was anxious to probe for it in the condition of surgery in that day. Morrison's father decided to send the young man to John Chiene, professor of surgery at Edinburgh university, the operation was successful, and Morrison took up his medical studies again, at Edinburgh. He graduated M.B. Ch.M. on 1 August 1887.

After his graduation Morrison travelled extensively in the United States, the West Indies, and Spain, where he became medical officer at the Rio Tinto mine. He then proceeded to Morocco, became physician to the Shereef of Wazan, and did some travelling in the interior. Study at Paris under Dr Charcot followed before he returned to Australia in 1890, and for two years was resident surgeon at the Ballarat hospital. Leaving the hospital in May 1893 he went to the Far East, and in February 1894 began a journey from Shanghai to Rangoon. He went partly by boat up the river Yangtse and rode and walked the remainder of the 3000 miles. He completed the journey in 100 days at a total cost of £18, which included the wages of two or three Chinese servants whom he picked up and changed on the way as he entered new districts. He was quite unarmed and then knew hardly more than a dozen words of Chinese. But he was willing to conform to and respect the customs of the people he met, and everywhere was received with courtesy. In his interesting account of his journey, An Australian in China, published in 1895, while speaking well of the personalities of the many missionaries he met, he consistently belittled their success in obtaining converts. In after years he regretted this, as he felt he had given a wrong impression by not sufficiently stressing the value of their social and medical work.

After his arrival at Rangoon Morrison went to Calcutta where he became seriously ill with remittent fever and nearly died. On recovering he went to Scotland, presented a thesis to the university of Edinburgh on "Heredity as a Factor in the Causation of Disease", and received his M.D. degree in August 1895. He was introduced to Moberly Bell, editor of The Times, who appointed him a special correspondent in the east. In November he went to Siam where there were Anglo-French difficulties, and travelled much in the interior. Morrison was very doubtful about his first communication to The Times and showed it to a friend who, in a letter to The Times about the time of Morrison's death, spoke of it as a perfect diagnosis of the then troubled condition of China, masterly in its phrasing, luminous in its broad conception of the general situation". His reports attracted much attention both in London and Paris. From Siam he crossed into southern China and at Yunnan was again seriously ill. Curing himself he made his way through Siam to Bangkok, a journey of nearly a thousand miles. In February 1897 The Times made Morrison resident correspondent at Peking, and he took up his residence there in the following month. There was much Russian activity in Manchuria at this time and in June Morrison went to Vladivostok. He travelled over a thousand miles to Stretensk and then across Manchuria to Vladivostok again. He reported to The Times that Russian engineers were making preliminary surveys from Kirin towards Port Arthur. On the very day his communication arrived in London, 6 March 1898, The Times received a telegram from Morrison to say that Russia had presented a five-day ultimatum to China demanding the right to construct a railway to Port Arthur. This was a triumph for The Times and its correspondent, but he had also shown prophetic insight in another phrase of his dispatch, when he stated that "the importance of Japan in relation to the future of Manchuria cannot be disregarded". Germany had occupied Kiao-chao towards the end of 1897, and a great struggle for political preponderacy was going on. Morrison in his telegrams showed "the prescience of a statesman and the accuracy of an historian" (The Times, 21 May 1920). In January 1899 he went to Siam and was able to point out that there was no need for French interference in that country, which was quite capable of governing itself. Later in the year he went to England, and early in 1900 paid a short visit to his relations in Australia. Returning to the east by way of Japan he then visited Korea before returning to Peking. The Boxer rebellion broke out soon after, and during the siege of the legations from June to August Morrison as an acting-lieutenant showed great courage, always ready to volunteer for every service of danger. He was severely wounded in July and was reported killed. He was afterwards able to read his highly laudatory obituary notice, which occupied two columns of The Times on 17 July 1900. After a terrible siege the legations were relieved on 14 August by an army of various nationalities under General Gaselee. There was great uncertainty regarding the future of China in the following months, and through The Times Morrison was able to bring the changing positions before the British public. Russia and Japan united in opposing any dismemberment of China, which was punished by the imposition of a heavy indemnity. When the Russo-Japanese war broke out in February 1904 Morrison became a correspondent with the Japanese army. He was present at the entry of the Japanese into Port Arthur early in 1905, and represented The Times at the Portsmouth, U.S.A., peace conference. In 1907 he crossed China from Peking to the French border of Tonquin, and in 1910 rode from Honan across Asia to Andijan in Russian Turkestan, a journey of 3750 miles which was completed in 175 days. From Andijan he took train to Leningrad, and then travelled to London arriving on 29 July 1910. He returned to China and, when plague broke out in Manchuria, went to Harbin, where a great Chinese physician, Dr Wu Lien-teh, succeeded in staying the spread of a mortal sickness which seemed to threaten the whole world. Morrison did his part by publishing a series of articles advocating the launching of a modern scientific public health service in China. When the Chinese revolution began in 1911 Morrison took the side of the revolutionaries and the Chinese republic was established early in 1912. In August Morrison resigned his position on The Times to become political adviser to the Chinese government at a salary equivalent to £4000 a year, and immediately went to London to assist in floating a Chinese loan of £10,000,000. In China during the following years he had an anxious time advising, and endeavouring to deal with the political intrigues that were continually going on. He visited Australia again in December 1917 and returned to Peking in February 1918. He represented China during the peace discussions at Versailles in 1919, but his health began to give way and he retired to England well aware that he had only a short time to live. He died on 30 May 1920 and was buried at Sidmouth. He married in 1912 Jennie Wark Robin who survived him for only three years. His three sons, Ian, Alastair, and Colin, all grew to manhood and graduated at Cambridge. Morrison's remarkable library, which contained the largest number of books on China ever collected, was sold to Baron Iwasoki of Tokyo for £35,000 in 1917, with the proviso that serious students should have access to it. In 1932 the inaugural "George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology" was delivered at Canberra, a fund having been established by Chinese residents of Australia to provide for an annual lecture in Morrison's memory.

Morrison was a tall, rather ungainly man, who apparently did not know what fear was. His life was a crowded scene of adventure, but through all his adventures he carried an inquiring mind that gathered experience and knowledge from everything that happened. In this he was helped by his sympathy with human nature in all its manifestations, his humour, his lucidity of thought, his love of truth. All these things helped him to understand the oriental mind, and he became far more than a mere reporter of events. With no secret service money to help him he could look beneath the surface of the troubled conditions of the time, and his intelligent anticipation of events to come gave him a remarkable reputation. He began with a great belief in the mission of the British to develop China, but as time went on his love for China developed. During his last years his exceptional abilities were devoted to its interests, and to the end of his days he was constructively planning for its future development. No country has ever had a more devoted servant.

The Times, 17 July 1900, 31 May, 1 and 2 June 1920; F. Clune, Sky High to Shanghai, and Chinese Morrison; The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 1 June 1920; A. B. Paterson, Happy Dispatches; G. E. Morrison, An Australian in China.

^Top of page


merchant, and pioneer in meat preservation,

son of Jonathan and Mary Mort, was born at Bolton, Lancashire, England, on 23 December 1816. He was educated at Manchester grammar school, obtained a position with the Manchester firm of A. and S. Henry, and had a letter from it recommending him to Messrs Aspinwall Brown and Company when he came to Sydney in February 1838. He obtained a position in this business, but the financial crisis of 1843 compelled him to start for himself. He began as an auctioneer and wool-broker, under the name of Mort and Company, established the first public wool sales, and built up a very prosperous business. He was a shareholder in 1841 in the Hunter River Steam Navigation Company, and was one of the promoters in 1849 of the first railway in New South Wales. With the opening of the goldfields in 1851 Mort realized that there must be a general increase of business, and he showed great enterprise in encouraging anything that led to the development of the country. In 1856 he began to buy land at Moruya about 200 miles south of Sydney. His estate, which was called Bodalla, eventually covered an area of 38,000 acres on which there was much settlement engaged in dairying. He also experimented in the cultivation of silk, cotton, and sugar. In 1863 he was interested in the introduction of steamers for the harbour and coastal trade, and formed what eventually became the Mort's Dock and Engineering Company Ltd which afterwards employed as many as 700 men at one time. Locomotives for the government railways were largely supplied by this business and steamers up to 500 tons were built. He also excavated a dock 400 feet long, the largest in Australia. Later on Mort offered shares to his employees on very favourable terms, and a fair number of shares were taken up. This was one of the earliest attempts at cooperation between capital and labour in Australia, and although only partially successful, Mort's relations with his employees were always of the happiest. Other interests of Mort were in the Peak Downs Copper Company in Queensland, the Waratah Coal Mining Company at Newcastle, and a Maizena factory. He had always been interested in the question of the preservation of meat, and towards the end of his life spent much money in experimenting with freezing meat intended to be exported to England. In 1861 he established at Darling Harbour the first freezing works in the world, which afterwards became the New South Wales Fresh Food and Ice Company. In 1875 slaughtering works were constructed in the Blue Mountains in order that the Sydney market might be supplied. He employed a French engineer, E. D. Nicolle, and much money was spent in endeavouring to find a way of delivering frozen meat in England. The experiments were abandoned for the time being in 1876, and it is extremely likely that the disappointments and anxieties experienced by Mort affected his health. He was, however, still convinced that Australia was destined to be a great supplier of food to Europe. He died at Bodalla of inflammation of the lungs following a chill on 9 may 1878. He married (1) Miss Laidley, in 1841 and (2) Miss Macaulay, who survived him with five sons and two daughters by the first marriage, and two sons by the second. A statue to his memory was erected in Sydney. His business was subsequently amalgamated with R. Goldsbrough and Company Limited under the name of Goldsbrough Mort and Company Limited.

In private life Mort was interested in the arts and his collection of pictures at his own home was frequently thrown open to the public. He was kindly and extremely charitable, not only spending large sums of money on churches, schools and charitable institutions, but finding time to carry out literally the injunction to "visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction". At the time of his death he was spoken of as "the greatest benefactor the working classes in this country ever had". As a business man he was sanguine and enthusiastic and never afraid of a big proposition. To this he united the shrewdness and powers of work that brought success to most of his ventures. No other man of his period did so much for the development of Australia.

J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 1878; J. T. Critchell and J. Raymond, A History of the Frozen Meat Trade, p. 18; James Jervis, Journal and. Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XXIV, pp. 325-95; Rev. J. Jefferis, Life Lessons from the Career of Thomas S. Mort, A Sermon.

^Top of page

MORTON, FRANK (1869-1923),

journalist and poet,

was born at Bromley, Kent, England, on 12 May 1869, the son of a plumber in prosperous circumstances. He was educated at a private school where he had a good grounding in the classics and French, and was brought to Sydney when he was 16. Early in 1889 he obtained work as a seaman and sailed for America but left the ship at Hong Kong. For a few months he was a teacher, and at the end of the year obtained work on the Straits Times. In 1892 he went to Calcutta and did editorial work, and in 1894 returned to Australia. He worked for various papers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania for about 10 years before joining the staff of the Otago Daily Times in 1905. His most remarkable work in New Zealand, however, was his editing of a monthly journal the Triad, of which he frequently wrote the greater part himself under various pen-names. In 1908 he published Laughter and Tears, Verses of a Journalist, at Wellington, and in 1909 The Angel of the Earthquake, prose sketches with a poem. The Yacht of Dreams, a novel, was published in 1911. Returning to Australia Morton continued to contribute a large mass of excellent journalism both prose and verse to the Triad, the Bulletin, the Lone Hand, and other papers and magazines. His Verses for Marjorie and Some Others were published in September 1916, which was followed by The Secret Spring (1919), and Man and the Devil, a Book of Shame and Pity (1922). He lived at Manly, New South Wales, for some years and died following an operation, on 15 December 1923. He married in 1891, Louise Hollway, who survived him with two sons and two daughters.

Morton was an excellent journalist, short story writer, and critic. His verse is always capable, sometimes charming, but seldom suggests that it has been deeply felt. His erotic poem The Secret Spring does not succeed in escaping the monotony that seems to be inseparable from work of that kind. About six of his poems have been included in anthologies.

F. J. Broomfield quoted by E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; The Argus, Melbourne, 17 December 1923; Otago Daily Times, 18 December 1923.

^Top of page [and links to other parts]