Anthony Musgrave

Anthony Musgrave

Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG (31 August 1828 – 9 October 1888) was a colonial administrator and governor. He was born at St John’s, Antigua, the third of 11 children of Anthony Musgrave and Mary Harris Sheriff. He died in office as Governor of Queensland in 1888.

After education in Antigua and Great Britain, he was appointed private secretary to Robert James Mackintosh, governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands in 1854. He was recognised for his "capacity and zeal", and quickly promoted, administering in turn the British West Indies territories of Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

British North America

After ten years of colonial service in the Caribbean, Musgrave was appointed governor of Newfoundland in September, 1864. Unlike his previous appointments, Newfoundland had responsible government and an active colonial assembly. He also found a colony in dire economic straits, containing a destitute population. During his tenure, Musgrave dedicated most of energies towards convincing Newfoundland to remedy this by joining the negotiations with other British North American colonies towards union in what would become the Canadian Confederation. In this project, he was allied with the goals of the colonial office. Despite his efforts, and what seemed like imminent success, Musgrave ultimately failed to move the colonial assembly to accepting terms of union. Canada was proclaimed on 1 July 1867—and Newfoundland would not join Confederation for eighty years.

In consultation with the colonial office and the Canadian Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, it was agreed that Musgrave should redirect his energies concerning the expansion of the Canadian confederation away from the easternmost colony of British North America, to the westernmost—the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Following the death of Frederick Seymour, Musgrave took up his new responsibilities as colonial governor in August, 1869. Musgrave found a colony in an administrative and financial mess, with a fractious assembly, long-simmering disputes between the two colonies and their capitals—Victoria and New Westminster—and general frustration with the slow pace of negotiations for the colony to enter confederation. Musgrave proved to be both a capable administrator, and an able placater of the assembly's notoriously contentious members. In less than two years, in July, 1871, British Columbia joined Canada as its sixth province.

Natal, Australia and Jamaica

After a brief stint as governor of the South African colony of Natal, Musgrave's next posting was to South Australia. This proved to be a substantially less taxing appointment. During his tenure, Musgrave supported the assembly in its plans to borrow a large sum for the purpose of extensive railway construction, the imposition of additional taxation, and the introduction of a considerable number of immigrants into what was still a largely unsettled hinterland. During his tenure, Musgrave married his second wife, Jeanie Ludinda Field who was the daughter of David Dudley Field. Their daughter, Joyce, also died in Adelaide, in 1874.

After three and a half years in the antipodes, Musgrave returned to the Caribbean as governor of Jamaica. He would govern the colony for the next six years, focussing much of his attention on improving its cultural life. Under his administration, the government purchased Jamaica Railway Company and extended the line. Musgrave also initiated the Jamaica Scholarship, and was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Jamaica, dedicated to fostering and encouraging the development of arts, science, and literature. The Musgrave Medal, awarded by the institute for excellence in these fields, was named in his honour in 1897.

Musgrave's last appointment was back in Australia, as governor of the colony of Queensland. Like South Australia, Queensland enjoyed full responsible government, and Musgrave was more of a spectator of the political scene. During this period, he was faced with responding to the action of the colony's premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith, in "annexing" New Guinea as part of Queensland — an action repudiated by the colonial office. Musgrave was at the point of retiring from the colonial service when he died at his desk in Brisbane on Oct. 9, 1888.

Governor Anthony Musgrave was interred at Brisbane's Toowong General Cemetery where his Memorial grave is located and in the Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday evening 10 May 1939, there is a picture of his unkept grave and story of same.

Places named for Musgrave


*The Musgrave Ranges are located at the extreme northwestern part of South Australia, south of Ayers Rock.
*Port Musgrave is located on the northwestern tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.
*Musgrave is a locality in east-central Queensland.
*Lucindale, a town in South Australia, was named after Lady Musgrave in 1877.
*Lady Musgrave Island is located near the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

British Columbia

*Musgrave Landing is a locality on the southwest coast of Saltspring Island in the Gulf Islands of southwestern British Columbia.
*The Musgrave Peaks (or Musgrave Range) is a part of the Coast Mountains, located in the Estevan Islands off the north-central coast of British Columbia. Musgrave also helped in the making of British Columbia by assisting in the negotiation in Ottawa.


*Lady Musgrave Road is a thoroughfare in Kingston, Jamaica.

Newfoundland and Labrador

*The town of Muddy Hole was renamed Musgrave Harbour in 1886. It is located on central Newfoundland's Kittiwake Coast.
*Musgravetown was founded in 1863, and is located on Bonavista Bay in eastern Newfoundland.
*Mount Musgrave is a 540 m peak of the Long Range Mountains of western Newfoundland.

External links

* [ Biography at Government House "The Governorship of Newfoundland and Labrador"]
* [ Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [ "The Contribution of Sir Anthony Musgrave" from the website of the Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library]

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  • Anthony Musgrave — KCMG (* 31. August 1828; † 9. Oktober 1888) war Gouverneur verschiedener britischer Kolonien. Er kam als drittes von 11 Kindern von Anthony Musgrave and Mary Harris Sheriff in St John´s, Antigua, zur Welt. Seine Frau ist die Namensgeberin für die …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Musgrave — may refer to one of the following: Contents 1 Locations 2 Organizations 3 Engineering 4 People 5 Literat …   Wikipedia

  • Musgrave — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alan Musgrave (* 1940), britischer Philosoph und Wissenschaftstheoretiker Anthony Musgrave (1828 1888), Gouverneur verschiedener britischer Kolonien Richard Musgrave (1910 2007), US amerikanischer Ökonom… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador — Infobox Settlement official name = Musgrave Harbour other name = Muddy Hole native name = nickname = settlement type = Town motto = imagesize = image caption = flag size = image seal size = image shield = shield size = city logo = citylogo size …   Wikipedia

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  • Musgrave Ranges — Die Musgrave Ranges sind eine Gebirgskette in Zentralaustralien. Der Gebirgszug zieht sich an der Grenze von Südaustralien und dem Northern Territory hin und erstreckt sich bis nach Westaustralien. Der Gebirgszug wird durch die Große Victoria… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Musgrave Ranges — ▪ hills, South Australia, Australia       series of granite hills, northwestern South Australia, running parallel to the Northern Territory border for 130 miles (210 km). Their bare rock surfaces rise to numerous peaks exceeding 3,500 feet (1,100 …   Universalium

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