Governor of Tasmania

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Governor of Tasmania
Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg
Badge of the Governor
Incumbent
Vacant

since 7 July 2014
Viceroy
Style Excellency
Residence Government House, Hobart
Appointer Elizabeth II
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 8 January 1855
First holder Sir Henry Fox Young
Website www.govhouse.tas.gov.au
Standard of the Governor of Tasmania
Standard of the Governor of Tasmania (1876-1977)

The Governor of Tasmania is the representative in the Australian state of Tasmania of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The Governor performs the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as the Governor-General of Australia does at the national level.

In accordance with the conventions of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, the Governor nearly always acts solely on the advice of the head of the elected government, the Premier of Tasmania. Nevertheless, the Governor retains the reserve powers of the Crown, and has the right to dismiss the Premier.

See Governors of the Australian states for a description and history of the office of Governor.

The official residence of the Governor is Government House located at the Queens Domain.

Two internationally famous Governors of Tasmania were Captain Sir John Franklin (the British mariner who would later die trying to find the North West Passage), and former UNSCOM weapons inspector Richard Butler.

The first Australian-born Governor of Tasmania was Sir Stanley Burbury (appointed 1973). The first Tasmanian-born governor was Sir Guy Green (appointed 1995). Since Burbury, all Tasmanian governors have been Australian-born, except for Peter Underwood, who was born in Britain but emigrated to Australia when a teenager. The position is currently vacant, due to the unexpected death of the incumbent Peter Underwood on 7 July 2014, with Chief Justice and Lieutenant-Governor Alan Blow acting as Administrator.

Divided in two[edit]

Between 1804 and 1813, Van Diemen's Land was divided along the 42nd parallel, and the two sections governed as separate "Lieutenant-Governorships" under the Governor of New South Wales.[1][2] Collins was the only officially appointed Lieutenant-Governor—upon his death in 1810, the government in Hobart Town was administered, pro tempore, by the Commandants at Hobart Town (Lord, Murray and Geils). The northern settlement at Port Dalrymple (now George Town) was administered by four Commandants until the settlements were merged to form the single colony under the governorship of Thomas Davey in 1813.[3]

Lieutenant-Governor and Commandants in the south[edit]

No. Lieutenant-Governor From To
1 David Collins.jpg Colonel David Collins 1804 1810
2 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Lieutenant Edward Lord
(Commandant at Hobart Town)
March 1810 July 1810
3 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Captain John Murray
(Commandant at Hobart Town)
1810 1812
4 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Geils
(Commandant at Hobart Town)
1812 1813

Commandants in the north[edit]

No. Commandant at Port Dalrymple From To
1 William Patterson.jpg Colonel William Paterson 1804 1808
2 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Captain John Brabyn 1808 1810
3 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Major George Alexander Gordon 1810 1812
4 Tudor Crown (Heraldry).svg Captain John Ritchie 1812 1812

List of Governors of Tasmania[edit]

Lieutenant-Governors[edit]

The colony was called Van Diemen's Land until 1856.

No. Lieutenant-Governor From To
1 Thomas Davey.jpg Colonel Thomas Davey 4 February 1813 9 March 1817
2 William Sorell.jpg Colonel William Sorell 9 March 1817 14 May 1824
3 Major-General Sir George Arthur.jpg Colonel Sir George Arthur KCH 14 May 1824 29 October 1836
4 John Franklin.jpg Captain Sir John Franklin KCH 5 January 1837 21 August 1843
5 John Eardley Wilmot.jpg Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, Bt 21 August 1843 13 October 1846
6 William Denison.jpg Sir William Denison KCB 25 January 1847 8 January 1855

Governors[edit]

No. Governor From To
1 Sir Henry Young.jpg Sir Henry Young KCMG 8 January 1855 10 December 1861
2 Thomas Gore Browne.jpg Colonel Sir Thomas Browne KCMG CB 11 December 1862 30 December 1868
3 Charles Du Cane.jpg Sir Charles Du Cane KCMG 15 January 1869 30 November 1874
4 Frederick Weld.jpg The Hon. Sir Frederick Weld GCMG 13 January 1875 5 April 1880
5 George Strahan portrait.jpg Major Sir George Strahan KCMG 7 December 1881 28 October 1886
6 Robert hamilton.jpg Sir Robert Hamilton KCB 11 March 1887 30 November 1892
7 Jenico Preston.jpg The Rt Hon. The Viscount Gormanston GCMG 8 August 1893 14 August 1900
8 Arthur Havelock.jpg Captain Sir Arthur Havelock GCSI GCMG GCIE 8 November 1901 16 April 1904
9 Gerald Strickland 1930s.jpg The Rt Hon. The Lord Strickland GCMG 28 October 1904 20 May 1909
10 HarryBarron.jpg Major-General Sir Harry Barron KCMG CVO 16 September 1909 3 March 1913
11 WGEllison-Macartney.jpg The Rt Hon. Sir William Ellison-Macartney KCMG 4 June 1913 31 March 1917
12 Francis Newdegate.jpg Sir Francis Newdegate GCMG KStJ 30 March 1917 22 February 1920
13 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg Sir William Allardyce KCMG 16 April 1920 27 January 1922
14 James O'Grady.jpg Sir James O'Grady KCMG 23 December 1924 23 December 1930
15 Sir Ernest Clark.jpg Sir Ernest Clark GCMG KCB CBE 4 August 1933 4 August 1945
16 Hugh Binney.jpeg Admiral Sir Hugh Binney KCB KCMG DSO 24 December 1945 8 May 1951
17 Ronald Cross.jpg The Rt Hon. Sir Ronald Cross, Bt KCMG KCVO PC 22 August 1951 4 June 1958
18 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg The Rt Hon. The Lord Rowallan KT KBE MC TD 21 October 1959 25 March 1963
19 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg General Sir Charles Gairdner GBE KCMG KCVO CB 24 September 1963 11 July 1968
20 Edric Bastyan.jpg Lieutenant-General Sir Edric Bastyan KCMG KCVO KBE CB 2 December 1968 30 November 1973
21 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg The Hon. Sir Stanley Burbury KCMG KCVO KBE 5 December 1973 16 March 1982
22 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg Sir James Plimsoll AC CBE KStJ 1 October 1982 8 May 1987
23 Sir Phillip Bennett preparing to lay wreath, May 7, 1992.JPEG General Sir Phillip Bennett AC KBE DSO KStJ 19 October 1987 2 October 1995
24 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg The Hon. Sir Guy Green AC KBE CVO 2 October 1995 3 October 2003
25 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg Richard Butler AC 3 October 2003 9 August 2004
26 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg The Hon. William Cox AC RFD ED QC 15 December 2004 2 April 2008
27 Crest of the Governor of Tasmania.svg The Hon. Peter Underwood AC 2 April 2008 7 July 2014

Living former governors[edit]

Four former governors are alive, the oldest being Sir Phillip Bennett (1987–95, born 1928). The former governor who most recently died was Sir Stanley Burbury (1973–82), on 24 April 1995. The most recently serving governor to die was Peter Underwood (2008–14), who died in office on 7 July 2014.

Name Term as governor Date of birth
Sir Phillip Bennett 1987–1995 27 December 1928
Sir Guy Green 1995–2003 26 July 1937
Richard Butler 2003–2004 13 May 1942
William Cox 2004–2008 1 April 1936

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Past Governors.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Widowson, Henry: Present State of Van Diemen's Land, 1829.