Aristocrat by birth, autocrat by nature, and officer of the Royal Engineers by training, Sir William Denison became a Governor in Australia in the mid 19th century at a time of momentous change.
Arriving in Tasmania in 1847, he provided strong and controversial leadership while debate on convict transportation raged. His support for its continuance (he had the convicts doing valuable public work) caused a furore amongst the free community and unwillingly he had to yield. The Colonial Office in London was impressed and promoted him â€śGovernor-Generalâ€ť of New South Wales in 1855.
There, his tenure co-incided with the start of Responsible Government (1856), a concept he despised, and which he did his best to subvert. His battles with the new parliamentarians were fierce if ultimately unavailing, but again his conduct found favour with the Imperial Government who promoted him to Governor of the Presidency of Madras (and, for an important period, Acting Viceroy of India).
Sir William Denison concluded his service to the Crown in 1866, and is remembered as one who â€śstood among the first class of Governorsâ€ť.
A NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government publication.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rodney Cavalier, AO
Chairman, Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government NSW Committee
The Making of a Colonial Governor - â€śMy Appointment Might be Considered as Settledâ€ť
Part I - Van Diemenâ€™s Land 1847-1855
â€śA Position of No Common Difficultyâ€ť
â€śThe Independence of the Bench Has Been Menacedâ€ť
â€śA State So Injurious to the General Interestsâ€ť
â€śOpposition to the Convict System Hereâ€ť
â€śYour Accustomed Zeal and Discretionâ€ť
â€śThe System of Representative Legislationâ€ť
â€śTwo Traitors In The Camp Of The Governmentâ€ť
â€śUncomfortable as a Place of Residenceâ€ť
â€śHis Approach to Educational Problemsâ€ť
â€śA Slight Insight Into Futurityâ€ť
Part II - New South Wales 1855-1861
â€śI Do Too Much While Some of the Others Do Too Littleâ€ť
â€śEducation and Related Mattersâ€ť
â€śAn Unwilling Instrument in Working out a Changeâ€ť
â€śThe Executive Council Should be the Governing Bodyâ€ť
â€śThe Abstract Merits of Responsible Governmentâ€ť
â€śGovernor General in and over All Our Coloniesâ€ť
â€śNorfolk Island: The â€śSingular Little Autocracyâ€ť
â€śMoreton Bay Districtâ€ť
A Man Who in His Time Played Many Parts
New South Wales Ministries (1856-1861)
Secretaries of State for the Colonies (1847-1861)