Anthony Musgrave

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For his great-nephew, see Anthony Musgrave (entomologist).
Sir Anthony Musgrave
Anthony Musgrave.jpeg
Governor-General of Jamaica
In office
Governor of Queensland
In office
Personal details
Born 31 August 1828
St John's, Antigua,
Died 9 October 1888(1888-10-09) (aged 60)
Resting place Toowong Cemetery
Citizenship British
Spouse(s) Christiana Elizabeth Byam;
Jeanie Lucinda Field

Sir Anthony Musgrave GCMG (31 August 1828 – 9 October 1888) was a colonial administrator and governor. He died in office as Governor of Queensland in 1888.


He was born at St John's, Antigua, the third of 11 children of Anthony Musgrave and Mary Harris Sheriff.

After education in Antigua and Great Britain, he was appointed private secretary to Robert James Mackintosh, governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands in 1854. He was recognised for his "capacity and zeal", and quickly promoted, administering in turn the British West Indies territories of Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

British North America[edit]

After ten years of colonial service in the Caribbean, Musgrave was appointed governor of Newfoundland in September, 1864. Unlike his previous appointments, Newfoundland had responsible government and an active colonial assembly. He also found a colony in dire economic straits, containing a destitute population. During his tenure, Musgrave dedicated most of energies towards convincing Newfoundland to remedy this by joining the negotiations with other British North American colonies towards union in what would become the Canadian Confederation. In this project, he was allied with the goals of the colonial office. Despite his efforts, and what seemed like imminent success, Musgrave ultimately failed to move the colonial assembly to accepting terms of union. Canada was proclaimed on 1 July 1867—and Newfoundland would not join Confederation for eighty years.

Anthony Musgrave 1880.jpeg

In consultation with the colonial office and the Canadian Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, it was agreed that Musgrave should redirect his energies concerning the expansion of the Canadian confederation away from the easternmost colony of British North America, to the westernmost—the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Following the death of Frederick Seymour, Musgrave took up his new responsibilities as colonial governor in August, 1869. Musgrave found a colony in an administrative and financial mess, with a fractious assembly, long-simmering disputes between the two colonies and their capitals – Victoria and New Westminster—and general frustration with the slow pace of negotiations for the colony to enter confederation. Musgrave proved to be both a capable administrator, and an able placater of the assembly's notoriously contentious members. In less than two years, in July, 1871, British Columbia joined Canada as its sixth province.


Musgrave did a brief stint as governor of the South African colony of Natal.

South Australia[edit]


Musgrave's next posting was to South Australia. This proved to be a substantially less taxing appointment. During his tenure, Musgrave supported the assembly in its plans to borrow a large sum for the purpose of extensive railway construction, the imposition of additional taxation, and the introduction of a considerable number of immigrants into what was still a largely unsettled hinterland.


After three and a half years in the antipodes, Musgrave returned to the Caribbean as governor of Jamaica. He would govern the colony for the next six years, focussing much of his attention on improving its cultural life. Under his administration, the government purchased Jamaica Railway Company and extended the line. Musgrave also initiated the Jamaica Scholarship, and was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Jamaica, dedicated to fostering and encouraging the development of arts, science, and literature. The Musgrave Medal, awarded by the institute for excellence in these fields, was named in his honour in 1897.


Burial site of Sir Anthony Musgrave at Toowong Cemetery.

Musgrave's last appointment was back in Australia, as governor of the colony of Queensland, where he arrived on 7 November 1883 in the Ranelagh.[1] Like South Australia, Queensland enjoyed full responsible government, and Musgrave was more of a spectator of the political scene. He travelled with premier Samuel Griffith to visit the northern parts of the colongy including Cooktown, Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, Charters Towers, Mourilyan Harbour, Cardwell, and Bowen.[1] During this period, he was faced with responding to the action of the colony's premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith, in "annexing" New Guinea as part of Queensland — an action repudiated by the colonial office.

Governor Anthony Musgrave was at the point of retiring from the colonial service when he died at his desk in Brisbane on 9 October 1888 from strangulation of the bowel.[2] His funeral was held on 10 October 1888 at St John's Cathedral, after which he was interred in Brisbane's Toowong General Cemetery on the principal slope near to the grave of Governor Blackall, the location being personally selected by premier Thomas McIlwraith.[1]

In May 1939, his grave was reported as unkempt and overgrown with weeds.[3]


He married in 1854 to Christiana Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. Sir William Byam of Antigua (she died in 1859).[2] During his tenure in Australia, Musgrave married his second wife, Jeanie Lucinda Field who was the daughter of David Dudley Field.[1] Their daughter, Joyce, also died in Adelaide, in 1874.

Places named for Musgrave[edit]


British Columbia[edit]

  • Musgrave Landing is a locality on the southwest coast of Saltspring Island in the Gulf Islands of southwestern British Columbia.
  • The Musgrave Peaks (or Musgrave Range) is a part of the Coast Mountains, located in the Estevan Islands off the north-central coast of British Columbia. Musgrave also helped in the making of British Columbia by assisting in the negotiation in Ottawa.



South Africa[edit]

  • The major street Musgrave Road in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is named after Musgrave. It is the location of the Musgrave Centre mall, named after the road, rather than the former Lieutenant-Governor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Death of Sir Anthony Musgrave.". The Brisbane Courier (National Library of Australia). 10 October 1888. p. 5. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Chichester 1894.
  3. ^ "WEEDS TAKE POSSESSION.". The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 10 May 1939. p. 18 Edition: CITY FINAL LAST MINUTE NEWS. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Edward John Eyre
Lieutenant Governor of Saint Vincent
Succeeded by
George Berkeley
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Bannerman
Governor of Newfoundland
Succeeded by
Sir Stephen John Hill
Preceded by
Frederick Seymour
Governor of the United Colonies of
Vancouver Island and British Columbia

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Robert William Keate
Governor of Natal
Succeeded by
Sir Benjamin Pine
Preceded by
Right Honourable
Sir James Fergusson, Bt
Governor of South Australia
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General
Sir William F.D. Jervois, GCMG, CB
Preceded by
Edward Everard Rushworth Mann, acting
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Somerset M. Wiseman Clarke, acting
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Kennedy
Governor of Queensland
Succeeded by
General Sir Henry Norman