Robert Duff (politician)
|The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Duff
|18th Governor of New South Wales|
29 May 1893 – 15 March 1895
|Preceded by||The Earl of Jersey|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Hampden|
|Born||8 May 1835
Fetteresso Castle, Stonehaven, Kincardineshire
|Died||15 Mar 1895|
Sir Robert William Duff, GCMG, PC (8 May 1835 – 15 March 1895) was a Scottish Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1861 to 1893 and was Governor of New South Wales from 1893 to 1895.
Duff was born at Fetteresso Castle, Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, son of Arthur Duff (grandson of Robert Duff) and his wife Elizabeth Innes, daughter of John Innes of Kincardine. He was educated at Blackheath School, London. He entered the Royal Navy in 1848, and was made a commander in 1865. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and J.P. for Banffshire (from April 1894) and Kincardineshire (from January 1900). In 1871, he married Louisa Scott and they had seven children: Helen, Robert W., Arthur, Heather, Isabel, Dorothy and Patrick.
Duff served as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Banffshire from 1861–93. He joined Robert Lowe as one of the Adullamites opposing the parliamentary Reform Bill of 1866, which led to the Reform Act 1867. He was a junior Lord of the Treasury and Liberal whip from 1882–5, and Civil Lord of the Admiralty in 1886. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1892.
Governor of New South Wales
His term of office was chiefly marked by his permitting the premier, Sir George Dibbs, to obtain the prorogation of parliament on 8 December 1893, after that minister had incurred a vote of censure. In July 1894, after his ministry had failed to carry the general election, Dibbs desired Duff to nominate several persons to the legislative council on his recommendation. Duff declined to accede to his wish on the ground that the ministry had been condemned by the colony, and in consequence Dibbs and his colleagues resigned.
In February 1895, he became ill while visiting Hobart and returned to Government House in Sydney, where he died of multiple hepatic abscesses and septicaemia on 15 March. He was interred in Waverley Cemetery. He is the only NSW Governor to have died in Office.
He was a freemason. During his term as Governor (1893-1895), he was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales.
- Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870
- The London Gazette: . 6 April 1894.
- The London Gazette: . 23 January 1900.
- Rutledge, Martha (1981). "Duff, Sir Robert William (1835 - 1895)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
- A & H Tayler (1914). The Book of the Duffs. William Brown.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Carlyle 1901.
- Vice-Regal Grand Masters - Who and Why?
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Carlyle, Edward Irving (1901). "Duff, Robert William". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Robert Duff
- "Duff family tree".
- Robert Duff at Find a Grave
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Lachlan Duff Gordon-Duff
|Member of Parliament for Banffshire
Sir William Wedderburn
The Earl of Jersey
|Governor of New South Wales
The Viscount Hampden