Australian peers and baronets

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Peers of the Realm have been associated with Australia since early in its history as a British settlement. Many peers served as governors of the Australian colonies (states following Federation), and in the days when the practice of appointing British governors-general was current, the great majority were peers.

Australians themselves were previously eligible to receive British Imperial Honours. Such honours, in appropriate cases, included peerages and baronetcies. In other cases, already-extant peerages and baronetcies devolved upon persons who emigrated to Australia, or whose ancestors had emigrated to Australia.

Peerage titles bestowed included some distinctly Australian titles, such as Viscount Bruce of Melbourne. Imperial Honours were recommended to the sovereign by the Prime Minister of Australia, an Australian state premier, or sometimes by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Some Australians have been awarded peerages in recognition of services rendered in the United Kingdom, rather than Australia.

The practice of awarding British Imperial Honours for services rendered in Australia generally came to a halt when Malcolm Fraser, the last Australian prime minister to make nominations for Imperial Honours, lost the 1983 election to Bob Hawke, who discontinued the practice in favour of nominations solely for the Australian Honours System. (There had previously been a brief hiatus in the recommendation of Imperial Honours during the premiership of Gough Whitlam, 1972–75.) Despite the discontinuance of nominations on a federal level, individual states such as Queensland and Tasmania continued to recommend Imperial Honours until 1989. Australians based in the United Kingdom and other realms which continue to make nominations for Imperial Honours (such as Papua New Guinea) continue to be eligible for nomination to Imperial Honours, including peerages, and already-extant peerages and baronetcies continue to be inherited according to the instrument of their creation.

Not all recommendations for peerages have been accepted. Malcolm Fraser's recommendation of a peerage for Sir John Kerr was not supported by the British prime minister, James Callaghan.[1]

Australians with hereditary peerages[edit]

The following hereditary peers are or were Australians by birth or residence.


  • Manchester: Alexander Montagu, 13th Duke of Manchester, was born in Australia in 1962, making him an Australian citizen from birth; however, he has long resided in California. He succeeded to his father's dukedom in 2002. His younger brother, Lord Kimble Montagu, is also an Australian citizen and is the heir presumptive to the dukedom.[2] Lord Kimble is an academic at Monash University.


  • Sligo: Sebastian Browne, 12th Marquess of Sligo (born 1964) is a peer in the Peerage of Ireland. As Baron Monteagle he is also a peer in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He emigrated to Australia in 1997, where he is a residential real estate agent.




Australians associated with hereditary peerages[edit]

The following Australians are not or were not the holders of peerages themselves but have or had a close connection with a hereditary peer.

Hereditary peerages with Australian associations[edit]

Arms of the Baron Birdwood

A number of hereditary titles have been created for Britons that are associated with places in Australia.

  • Barony of Birdwood (1938): Sir William Birdwood was a British military commander prominent at Gallipoli. After retirement from the army in 1930, Birdwood made a bid to become Governor-General of Australia. He had the backing of King George V. However, the Australian Prime Minister James Scullin insisted that his Australian nominee Sir Isaac Isaacs be appointed. The King ultimately felt bound to accept the advice of the Prime Minister, but he did not disguise his reluctance and displeasure.[5]
In 1938 Birdwood was raised to the peerage, taking the title Baron Birdwood, of Anzac and of Totnes in the County of Devon. He died in 1951. As of 2007 the barony is held by his grandson, the 3rd Baron Birdwood.

Other hereditary peers who served as Governors-General[edit]

There were other Governors-General of Australia who were British hereditary peers but whose peerages pre-dated their assuming the office of Governor-General, or who were raised to the peerage after assuming or leaving office but with titles that contain no references to places in Australia:

Name of person Title in office Title at death Notes
John Hope 7th Earl of Hopetoun 1st Marquess of Linlithgow He was created Marquess of Linlithgow in October 1902, after he had left Australia, but while he was still formally Governor-General; his term continued until January 1903.
Hallam Tennyson 2nd Baron Tennyson 2nd Baron Tennyson
Henry Northcote 1st Baron Northcote 1st Baron Northcote
William Ward 2nd Earl of Dudley 2nd Earl of Dudley
Thomas Denman 3rd Baron Denman 3rd Baron Denman
Henry Forster 1st Baron Forster 1st Baron Forster
John Baird 1st Baron Stonehaven 1st Viscount Stonehaven He was raised to the peerage after his appointment as Governor-General was announced, but before taking up the office.
Alexander Hore-Ruthven 1st Baron Gowrie 1st Earl of Gowrie
Prince Henry 1st Duke of Gloucester 1st Duke of Gloucester Third son of King George V.
William Morrison 1st Viscount Dunrossil (died in office)
William Sidney 1st Viscount De L'Isle 1st Viscount De L'Isle
Ronald Munro Ferguson Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson 1st Viscount Novar He was raised to the peerage as 1st Viscount Novar after leaving the office. However, his peerage title contained no reference to any Australian place.

In addition to the above, some Governors of the Australian states (colonies prior to Federation) were peers prior to their appointment.

Australian life peers[edit]

Some Australians have been made life peers (barons) or peeresses (baronesses) of the United Kingdom. They include:

  • James Atkin (1867–1944) Born in Brisbane. He served as a judge of the King's Bench division of the High Court of England and Wales, and in 1928 was appointed a law lord. He took the title of Baron Atkin, of Aberdovey, in the County of Merioneth.[6]
  • Sir Alec Broers (born 1938), former Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, was ennobled in 2004. His title as a life peer is Baron Broers, of Cambridge in the County of Cambridgeshire
  • Richard Casey (1890–1976) resigned from the Australian Federal Parliament in 1960 in order to accept a life peerage. He became Baron Casey, of Berwick in the State of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia, and of the City of Westminster, and he took his seat in the House of Lords. In 1965 he was made Governor-General of Australia.
  • Robin Corbett (1933–2012), British Labour Party politician; born in Fremantle, Western Australia, but moved to England as a small child. Corbett was made a life peer in 2001, as Baron Corbett, of Castle Vale in the County of Warwickshire.
  • Sir Howard Florey (1898–1968) was made a life peer in 1965 as Baron Florey, of Adelaide in the State of South Australia and Commonwealth of Australia and of Marston in the County of Oxford. Both Florey and the discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming, were knighted in 1944. Florey's additional peerage recognised the monumental work he did in making penicillin available in sufficient quantities to save millions of lives in World War II.
  • Trixie Gardner (born 1927), dentist and Conservative politician, was made a life peeress as Baroness Gardner of Parkes in the State of New South Wales and Commonwealth of Australia, and of Southgate in Greater London, on 19 June 1981.[7] She is the only Australian-born life peeress, and was the last recipient of a peerage with reference to a place in Australia.
  • Robert Hall (1901–1988), Australian-born economic adviser to the UK government (1953–61) and a member of Britain's Economic Planning Board (1947–61), was made a life peer in 1969. He took the name Baron Roberthall, of Silverspur in the State of Queensland and Commonwealth of Australia and of Trenance in the County of Cornwall.[8][9]
  • Sir Robert May (born 1936), Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government, President of the Royal Society, and a Professor at Sydney, Princeton, Oxford, and Imperial College London, was made a life peer in 2001. After his initial preference for "Baron May of Woollahra" failed an objection from the Protocol Office of the Australian Prime Minister's Department, he chose the title Baron May of Oxford, of Oxford in the County of Oxfordshire.
  • Augustus Uthwatt (1879-1949), Australian-born judge; Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice; Lord of Appeal in Ordinary; Privy Counsellor; 1946 he took the title Baron Uthwatt, of Lathbury, in the County of Buckingham.

Abortive peerages[edit]

The following Australians were nominated for peerages, but the peerage was never actually bestowed.

  • Sir John Forrest was to have been made an hereditary peer, but died before the peerage was formally created. He was an explorer and statesman, who became the first Premier of Western Australia (1890–1901). After Federation he entered Federal Parliament (1901–1918). On 6 February 1918, he was informed that he was to be elevated to the British peerage as Baron Forrest, of Bunbury in the Commonwealth of Australia and of Forrest in Fife, and a public announcement was made of the honour. He died at sea off the coast of Sierra Leone while en route to England for medical treatment. Despite the announcement, no Letters Patent were issued before his death, so the peerage was not officially created. He is sometimes referred to as "Lord Forrest", however this is an inaccurate title. He died childless, and so the barony would have become extinct upon his death even if he had survived to receive it.
  • Daniel Patrick O'Connell was nominated for a life peerage in the 1979 UK Honours List but died before the peerage could be granted.[10]
  • In 1977, the Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser at least informally raised with the UK Prime Minister James Callaghan the prospect of the Governor-General Sir John Kerr being elevated to the peerage. This was done at the same time as recommending Kerr's appointment as a Privy Counsellor. Callaghan supported the latter recommendation, but felt unable to support the former.[11]

Australian baronets[edit]

The following Australians were awarded or have inherited baronetcies:

Baronetcy of Barnewall of Crickstown[edit]

The baronetcy is extant. John Aylmer Barnewall emigrated to Australia in 1840. He died at Upper Thornton, Victoria in 1890. In 1909, his son John Robert Barnewall succeeded to the baronetcy as 11th baronet. The 13th (and current) baronet, Sir Reginald Robert Barnewall, was born in 1924 and educated at Xavier College, Melbourne. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1961 and lives in Mount Tamborine, Queensland.

Baronetcy of Clarke of Rupertswood[edit]

Sir William John Clarke 1st Bt. (1882, Colony of Victoria)

The baronetcy is extant. The 4th and current Baronet, Sir Rupert Grant Alexander Clarke (born 1947), lives in Victoria.[12]

Baronetcy of Cooper of Woollahra[edit]

Sir Daniel Cooper, 1st Bt. (1863, Colony of New South Wales)

The baronetcy is extant. Currently held by Sir William Cooper, 6th Bt.

Baronetcy of Henry of Parkwood[edit]

Sir Charles Solomon Henry, 1st Bt. (1860-1919) was an Australian merchant and businessman who lived mostly in Britain and sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons from 1906 until his death. He had no heirs.

The baronetcy is extinct.

Baronetcy of Lauder of Fountainhall, Haddingtonshire[edit]

  • Sir Piers Robert Dick Lauder, 13th Baronet, born 3 October 1947 at Nicosia, Cyprus, where his father was an officer serving in the British Army. From 1974 until 2006, Lauder (who only uses the surname Lauder) was a programmer and Computer Systems Officer in the Basser Department of Computer Science at Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia.[13][14] His main interests are in the areas of networking and operating systems. With Judy Kay he co-authored the Fair Share Scheduler, now being sold by Aurema under the name "ARMTechShareExpress". With Professor Robert (Bob) Kummerfeld he co-authored the Message Handling Systems network ("MHSnet") used, among others, by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Professor Kummerfeld and Piers Lauder were jointly elected to the Australian Internet Hall of Fame in 1998[dubious ]. Sir Piers Lauder is a founding member of AUUG, the Australian Unix and Open Systems User Group. He has twice been appointed Programme Chairman at AUUG Conferences in Sydney and has taken leave from the university to work overseas on three separate occasions, twice at the invitation of Bell Laboratories to work in the lab that originated UNIX, and once at the invitation of UUNET to work in the burgeoning ISP business. He is an enthusiastic proponent of the Python programming language. He has, by his partner Jane Elix, a natural child, Angus Thomas Lauder Elix (born 1996). They also have a foster-daughter, Akira Crease. The heir presumptive to the baronetcy is Mark Andrew Dick Lauder (born 1951), second and youngest son of the 12th Baronet. He was born in Berlin at the British Military Hospital. His heir apparent is his only son, Martin Dick-Lauder (born 1976).

Baronetcy of Matheson of Lochalsh[edit]

Sir Alexander Matheson, 3rd Baronet (6 February 1861 – 7 August 1929), born in Mayfair, London, was the son of Sir Alexander Matheson, 1st Baronet, a Scottish member of the House of Commons. In 1894 he migrated to Western Australia. In 1897, he was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for North-East Province, serving until 1901. In 1901 he was elected to the Australian Senate as a Senator for Western Australia, on a platform of absolute free trade, industrial arbitration, old-age pensions, uniform franchise and White Australia. He served until his retirement in 1906. Returning to England, he succeeded to the Matheson baronetcy in 1920, and died in 1929.

Baronetcy of Nicholson of Luddenham[edit]

Sir Charles Nicholson, 1st Bt. (1859, Colony of New South Wales)

The baronetcy is extinct.

Baronetcy of O'Loghlen of Drumcanora[edit]

  • Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, 3rd Baronet (1828-1905), emigrated to Victoria in 1862 was appointed a Crown Prosecutor in 1863. He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his elder brother in 1877. He held a seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1878 to 1883, and was Premier of Victoria from 1881 until 1883. He rejoined the Legislative Assembly in 1888, holding a seat until 1900.
  • Sir Colman Michael O'Loghlen, 6th Baronet (1916-2014), was educated at Xavier College, Melbourne and succeeded to the baronetcy in 1951.
  • Michael O'Loghlen, Q.C., is the son of the 6th baronet and is the prospective 7th baronet following his father's death.

Baronetcy of Samuel of Nevern Square[edit]

  • Sir Saul Samuel, 1st Baronet (1820–1900)
  • Sir Edward Levien Samuel, 2nd Baronet (1868–1937)
  • Sir Edward Louis Samuel, 3rd Baronet (1896–1961)
  • Sir John Oliver Cecil Samuel, 4th Baronet (1916–1962)
  • Sir John Michael Glen Samuel, 5th Baronet (born 1944)

Baronetcy of Trollope of Casewick[edit]

  • Sir Gordon Clavering Trollope, 15th Baronet (29 October 1885 – 18 October 1958), was born in Sydney and attended Newington College (1898–1901). He later worked as a woolbroker in Australia.
  • Sir Anthony Owen Clavering Trollope, 16th Baronet (15 January 1917 – 1987), elder son of the 15th Baronet, was born in Sydney and attended North Sydney Boys High School.
  • Sir Anthony Simon Trollope, 17th Baronet (born 31 August 1945) was born in Sydney and attended North Sydney Boys High. He is married, with two daughters.
  • The heir presumptive to the baronetcy is Hugh Irwin Trollope (b. 31 March 1947), who is married with one son and two daughters. Hugh Trollope was born in Sydney and attended North Sydney Boys High School. As a result of a family illness he became a boarder at Newington College (1964-1966), which his grandfather had attended. He was a notable Rugby Union player for Newington and Gordon Club.

Baronetcy of Way of Montefiore[edit]

Sir Samuel James Way, 1st Bt. (1836-1916; baronetcy awarded 1899, Colony of South Australia)

The baronetcy is extinct.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gough Whitlam, The Truth of the Matter, pp. 229-233. Retrieved 1 May 2014
  2. ^ "Manchester, Duke of (GB, 1719)".
  3. ^ "Portarlington, Earl of (I, 1785)".
  4. ^ "Dufferin and Claneboye, Baron (I, 1800)".
  5. ^ Cowen, Zelman (1993). Isaac Isaacs. St Lucia, Queensland: U Queensland P. p. 204.
  6. ^ "No. 33356". The London Gazette. 14 February 1928. p. 1045.
  7. ^ "Person Page 19129". Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.[unreliable source]
  8. ^ "Person Page 19177". Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.[unreliable source]
  9. ^ "Hall, Robert Lowe". 2003-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  10. ^ "Biographical entry for Daniel Patrick O'Connell". Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  11. ^ Gough Whitlam, The Truth of the Matter, p. 233. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  12. ^ "The Official Roll of Baronets (as at 30th September 2014)". The Standing Council of the Baronetage. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  13. ^ "University of Sydney Web Site". 3 December 2006. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  14. ^ "on-line bio". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2014.