Stuart Donaldson

Stuart Donaldson

Infobox_President | name =Stuart A. Donaldson
nationality =Australian

order =1st Premier of New South Wales
term_start =June 6 1856
term_end =August 26 1856
deputy =
predecessor =None
successor =Charles Cowper
birth_date =Birth date|1812|12|16
birth_place =London, England, UK
death_date =Death date and age|1867|01|11|1812|12|16
death_place =Carleton Hall, Cumberland, England, UK
constituency =Durham County
party =
spouse =
profession = Business agent for Richard Jones & Co, Company manager for Lloyds of London, Sheep and cattle Grazier
religion =

footnotes =|

Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson (16 December 181211 January 1867) was the first Premier of the Colony of New South Wales.

Early life

Donaldson was born in London, England. He entered his father's firm at the age of 15 and was sent first to Mexico (1831-1834), for business training, and then to Sydney, where he arrived in 1835.cite web
title =Donaldson, Sir Stuart Alexander (1812 - 1867)
publisher =Australian National University
work=Australian Dictionary of Biography
url =
accessdate = 2007-02-15
] He returned to London between 1841 and 1844.


In 1848, Donaldson was elected a member of the first Legislative Council of New South Wales, representing the County of Durham from 1848 to 1856. Comments made while running for re-election in 1851, led Sir Thomas Mitchell to demand a public apology. While Donaldson complied Mitchell was not satisfied and challenged Donaldson to a duel with pistols. Both men missed but they remained antagonised. He supported the development of steam ship sevices to Australia and the work of Caroline Chisholm. In 1852 he achieved the carriage of a motion recommending that £10,000 should be applied to supporting Chisholm's work.cite web
title =Donaldson, Sir Stuart Alexander (1812 - 1867)
publisher =Project Gutenberg Australia
work=Dictionary of Australian Biography
url =
accessdate = 2007-02-15
] He travelled to England in 1853-1854.

In March 1856 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the first Parliament, representing Sydney Hamlets. The first Legislative Assembly had trouble forming a Government. Eventually Governor Denison invited Donaldson to be Premier and he took up the offices of Premier and Colonial Secretary on 6 June 1856. Two months and 20 days later, on 25 August 1856, his Government lost a vote and he resigned. He was criticised for standing down so readily but he said, "my colleagues and myself are all too independent of office to cling to it", a somewhat prophetic remark.

He was succeeded by Charles Cowper and Donaldson served as Colonial Treasurer (1856-1857) and was a Commissioner for Railways in 1857.cite web
title =Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson (1812 - 1867)
work =Members of Parliament
publisher =Parliament of New South Wales
url =!OpenDocument
accessdate = 2007-02-14
] He was elected unopposed to Cumberland (South Riding) in October 1856, representing it to 1859. He was a member of the Senate of the University of Sydney from 1851-61 and his brother John helped to select its academic staff.

Late life

Donaldson returned to England for the last time in June 1859 and was knighted there in 1860. Following his return, he unsuccessfully sought election to the British House of Commons for Dartmouth in 1860 and later for Barnstaple. He had four sons and one daughter. The eldest son Stuart Alexander Donaldson, a distinguished scholar, became master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, vice-chancellor of the university in 1912 and died in 1915; another son was St Clair Donaldson – archbishop of Brisbane. A third son, Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson, who became an eminent engineer, went with Lord Kitchener on a special mission to Russia in 1916 and was drowned in the Hampshire.

Stuart Donaldson died at Carleton Hall, near Holmrook, in Cumberland, England on 11 January 1867.

ee also

*Tenterfield, New South Wales


NAME=Donaldson, Stuart Alexander
SHORT DESCRIPTION=New South Wales politician and Premier
DATE OF BIRTH= 16 December 1812
PLACE OF BIRTH=London, England
DATE OF DEATH= 11 January 1867
PLACE OF DEATH= Holmrook, Cumberland, England.

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