Robert Hamilton (civil servant)
|Robert George Crookshank Hamilton|
|6th Governor of Tasmania|
11 March 1887 – 30 November 1892
|Preceded by||Major Sir George Strahan|
|Succeeded by||Jenico Preston, 14th Viscount Gormanston|
30 August 1836|
Bressay, Shetland, Scotland United Kingdom
|Died||22 April 1895
South Kensington, London, England United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Caroline Jane Ball, Teresa Felicia|
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Sir Robert George Crookshank Hamilton KCB, (30 August 1836 – 22 April 1895) was the sixth Governor, and the Commander-in-Chief of the then British colony of Tasmania from 11 March 1887, until 30 November 1892, during which time he oversaw the ministries of two Tasmanian Premiers. Sir Philip Fysh (30 March 1887 to 17 August 1892) and Henry Dobson (17 August 1892 to 14 April 1894), both of whom, he curiously insisted on incorrectly referring to as Prime Minister.
Born in Bressay, Shetland, Scotland, Sir Robert Hamilton was the son of Rev. Zachary Macaulay Hamilton and his first wife Anne Irvine (née Croockshank). He was educated at Grammar School, before attending university at the King's College in Aberdeen, where he obtained his Masters Degree in 1857, and then his Doctor of Laws in 1885. On 18 August 1863 he married Caroline Jane Ball, and they had three sons and daughter, however Caroline died in 1875.
Following his completion of his Doctorate, he joined the war office, and served in the Crimean War as a commissariat clerk. Upon his return, he took up a number of bureaucratic posts at which he excelled. In 1868 he published Book-keeping, and by 1869 he was an accountant for the Board of Trade. In 1878 he was appointed as accountant-general of the Royal Navy and was most famous for making naval book-keeping more easily digestible to the general public.
On 4 July 1877 he married Teresa Felicia, with whom he had a further two sons and one daughter. In 1879, Robert Hamilton was appointed as a member on The Earl of Carnarvon's royal commission on colonial defences. In 1882, Hamilton became the permanent secretary of the Admiralty.
After the Phoenix Park Murders he became under-secretary to the Irish administration, and received his Companion to the Order of the Bath (CB) in April 1883 for his devotion to duty in Ireland. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 12 January 1884, however his advice that Ireland should receive home rule, resulted in his loss of the under-secretaryship in November 1886.
He was soon compensated for the embarrassing loss of this position by being appointed as the new Governor of Tasmania, which he began on 11 March 1887, a position which he accepted gratefully. His wife Teresa accompanied him to Tasmania.
He was very much in favour of the advancement of the Australian colonies, and encouraged industrial development, and road and railway works to be undertaken during his time in office. He was also strongly in favour of Australian federalism, and presided over the Federal Council of Australasia held in Hobart in 1887, 1888, and 1889. In 1887 he hosted an extravagant gala balls to mark Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1887, and was the president of the Royal Society of Tasmania. He helped to found the University of Tasmania, and promoted the establishment of schools, technical colleges and museums in Tasmania.
However, Robert Hamilton soon tired of the colonial life, and returned to London with his wife in 1893 to resume his work in the civil service. He took further roles on royal commissions, and served on the Board of Customs.
Maj Sir George Strahan
|Governor of Tasmania
The Viscount Gormanston