William Crowther (Australian politician)

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William Crowther
William Crowther.jpg
14th Premier of Tasmania
In office
20 December 1878 – 29 October 1879
Preceded by William Giblin
Succeeded by William Giblin
Personal details
Born William Lodewyk Crowther
(1817-04-15)15 April 1817
Haarlem, Netherlands
Died 12 April 1885(1885-04-12) (aged 67)
Hobart, Tasmania
Spouse(s) Sarah Victoria Marie Louise Muller
Profession Surgeon

William Lodewyk Crowther FRCS (15 April 1817 – 12 April 1885) was an Australian politician, who was Premier of Tasmania 20 December 1878 to 29 October 1879.

Early life[edit]

Crowther was born in Haarlem, Netherlands, elder child of Dr. William Crowther[1] who was later a long-time resident surgeon of Hobart.[2] The Crowthers moved to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) in 1824. He is noted for mutilating the remains of William Lanney; a Tasmanian Aboriginal in 1869. [3]

Crowther was educated at a private school at Richard B. Claiborne's Grammar School in Longford, Tasmania and then went to St Thomas' Hospital, England to study medicine. In 1842 he returned to Tasmania and practised at Hobart.

Political career[edit]

Crowther was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in October 1866, but resigned his seat in December 1866. On 22 March 1869, he was elected to the Tasmanian Legislative Council as a representative of Hobart and held this seat until his death. He was a constant attendant and an able speaker. In July 1876 he joined the Thomas Reibey cabinet as a minister without portfolio, and on 20 December 1878 became premier. The state of the political parties at that time made it practically impossible to do anything constructive. Crowther resigned on 29 October 1879.[2]


Crowther died in Hobart on 12 April 1885. He married Victoria Marie Louise, daughter of General Muller, who survived him with eight children. One of his sons, Dr Edward Crowther, was a member of the Tasmanian parliament from 1878 to 1912. A statue of W. L. Crowther is erected in Franklin Square, Hobart. The inscription reads:


By a grateful public,
And sincere personal friends,
To perpetuate the memory of long and
Zealous political and professional service
In this colony
William Lodewyk Crowther
F. R. S. C. England

The W.L. Crowther Library was named in his memory, and presented to the State Library of Tasmania by his grandson Sir William Crowther (1887–1981).


  1. ^ W. E. L. H. Crowther (1969). "Crowther, William Lodewyk (1817–1885)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3. MUP. pp. 501–503. Retrieved 1 September 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Percival Serle (1949). "Crowther, William Lodewyk". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 1 September 2007. 
  3. ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/crowther-sir-william-edward-lodewyk-hamilton-12374

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
William Giblin
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
William Giblin
Tasmanian Legislative Council
Preceded by
Philip Fysh
Member for Hobart
Served alongside: Agnew/Smart, Wilson/McGregor
Succeeded by
William Crosby