Charles Du Cane

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Sir Charles Du Cane
Charles Du Cane.jpg
3rd Governor of Tasmania
In office
15 January 1869 – 30 November 1874
Monarch Queen Victoria
Preceded by Colonel Thomas Browne
Succeeded by Frederick Weld
Personal details
Born (1825-12-05)5 December 1825
Ryde, Isle of Wight, England
United Kingdom
Died 25 February 1889(1889-02-25) (aged 63)
Witham, Essex, England
United Kingdom
Nationality United Kingdom British
Spouse(s) Georgiana Susan Copley
Education Charterhouse School
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford

Sir Charles Du Cane, KCMG (5 December 1825 – 25 February 1889) was a British Conservative Party politician and colonial administrator who was a Member of Parliament from 1852–1854 and Governor of Tasmania from 1868 to 1874.

Du Cane was born in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England in 1825, the son of Charles Du Cane of Braxted Park and Frances Prideaux-Brune. He was educated at the Charterhouse School in Surrey and Exeter College, Oxford. From 1848 to 1855, Du Cane played first class cricket for the Marylebone Cricket Club as a batsman.[1]

In 1852, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Maldon in Essex, but his election was declared void after it was discovered that Du Cane's agents had been involved in bribery although it was established that Du Cane was unaware of the corruption.[2] He spent two years as Civil Lord of the Admiralty. At the 1857 general election he was elected as MP for Northern Essex, and held the seat until the division was abolished at the 1868 general election.[3]

Du Cane was appointed Governor of Tasmania, and was sworn in at Hobart Town on 15 January 1869. He faced a minor constitutional crisis when the Premier of Tasmania, James Milne Wilson, threatened to resign after a taxation scheme he had proposed was defeated in parliament, which would have left Tasmania without a government, although Wilson withdrew his resignation and a general election took place.

Du Cane's tenure in Tasmania saw the colony grow strong and prosperous, partly due to industrial and resources booms and the improvement of communication between Tasmania, the mainland and England. He left Hobart in November 1874, and was appointed KCMG the next year after his return to England. Du Cane died at his family estate in Braxted Park, Essex on 25 February 1889,[4] survived by five children, including the artist Ella Du Cane.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles Du Cane (England), CricInfo.
  2. ^ Hansard's Parliamentary Debates: House of Commons – Maldon Election, Parliament of Great Britain, 18 March 1853.
  3. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 386. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  4. ^ Rimmer, Gordon. 'Du Cane, Sir Charles (1825–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 106–107.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Waddington and
Thomas Barrett Lennard
Member of Parliament for Maldon
With: Taverner John Miller
Succeeded by
George Sandford and
John Bramley-Moore
Preceded by
Sir John Tyssen Tyrell
William Beresford
Member of Parliament for North Essex
With: William Beresford to 1865
Sir Thomas Burch Western, Bt from 1865
Constituency abolished
Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas Gore Browne
Governor of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Frederick Weld