John Macrossan

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John Macrossan
John Murtagh Macrossan.jpg
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Kennedy
In office
25 November 1873 – 28 November 1878
Preceded by Edward MacDevitt
Succeeded by Henry Palmer
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Townsville
In office
4 March 1879 – 30 March 1891
Serving with William Brown, Robert Philp
Preceded by John Deane
Succeeded by William Brown
Personal details
Born John Murtagh Macrossan
Creeslough, County Donegal, Ireland
Died 30 March 1891
Sydney, Australia
Resting place Nudgee Cemetery
Nationality Irish
Spouse(s) Bridget Queely
Relations Hugh Denis Macrossan (son), Neal Macrossan (son), John Murtagh Macrossan (grandson)
Occupation Goldminer, Catholic lay leader

John Murtagh Macrossan (1832 – 30 March 1891)[1] was an Australian politician of the late 19th century in the parliament of Queensland.

Early and parliamentary life[edit]

Macrossan was born in Donegal, Ireland.[1] He moved to the colony of Victoria at the age of 21 to work on the gold diggings.[1] Twelve years later he moved to North Queensland where he became well known among the miners in 1873 was elected a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for the Kennedy electoral district.[1] He championed the causes of regulation of the mining industry and Separatism of North Queensland as a separate colony. From January 1879 he was member for Townsville and secretary for public works and for mines in the first and second McIlwraith Ministries. In January 1890 Macrossan became the Colonial Secretary in the Morehead government.


In the first McIlwraith Ministry, Macrossan successfully introduced the first mining regulations in Queensland on his third attempt in 1881. In 1889 Macrossan expanded upon this success by introducing new regulations which included provisions for a system of inspections by representatives of the miners.

Self-government of northern Queensland and Australian Federation[edit]

After advocating on the issue for many years, in October 1890 Macrossan brought forward a motion to bring about the separation of the north. Then Premier Samuel Griffith moved an amendment that it was desirable to have separate legislative authorities in southern, northern and central Queensland, which was carried. However, in the 1890s Regionalism became less of a focus as Federalism became closer to attainment. In February 1890 Macrossan attended the conference on federation held at Melbourne with Griffith, who was then leader of the opposition, and in 1891 he was one of the Queensland representatives to the first Constitutional Convention.

Four weeks after the conference opened he died, on 30 March 1891. Following a funeral at St Stephen's Cathedral, Macrossan was buried in Nudgee Cemetery.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Macrossan, Hon. John Murtagh". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource 
  2. ^ "Funeral Notice". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 2 April 1891. p. 1. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Edward MacDevitt
Member for Kennedy
Succeeded by
Henry Palmer
Preceded by
John Deane
Member for Townsville
Served alongside: William Brown, Robert Philp
Succeeded by
William Brown