Robert Blackwood (Australian politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Blackwood
Robert Blackwood.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Riverina
In office
16 December 1903 – 13 April 1904
Preceded by John Chanter
Succeeded by John Chanter
Personal details
Born (1861-06-24)24 June 1861
Crowlands, Victoria
Died 22 September 1940(1940-09-22) (aged 79)
St Kilda, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Free Trade Party
Spouse(s) Constance Ferrier Mailton
Occupation Farmer, business owner

Robert Officer Blackwood (24 June 1861 – 22 September 1940) was an Australian politician, businessman and pastoralist. He was briefly a member of the Australian House of Representatives for the Division of Riverina.

Blackwood was born in 1861 at Crowlands in Victoria, the son of Richard Blackwood (d. 1881) and Isabella, née Officer. He attended Melbourne Church of England Grammar School (1878–79), where he gained a reputation as an athlete. He was admitted to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1882,[1] where he began boxing – he later became the runner-up in the amateur light-weight boxing championship in England. He returned to Australia in 1889, taking over his father's property in partnership with his brothers.

An active community member around Deniliquin, Blackwood was a member of the Pastoralists' Association of Victoria and Southern Riverina. A supporter of Sir George Reid, he was elected to the House of Representatives for Riverina in New South Wales in 1903 by only five votes, representing the Free Trade Party. On petition by the former member, John Chanter, however, the result was declared void on the grounds of electoral irregularities.[2] Blackwood, who lost the subsequent by-election, was cleared of all charges but never stood for parliament again.

Blackwood continued to be active in rural affairs, becoming vice-president of the Pastoralists' Union of Southern Riverina in 1906. He was president of the Conargo Shire in 1907, and represented many companies; he became chairman of Dalgety & Co. and Australian Farms Ltd, and president of the Victorian Employers' Association and the Registered Clubs' Association of Victoria from 1916-30. He also became vice-president of the Royal Agricultural Society from 1920-1938.

Blackwood married Constance Ferrier Mailton on 23 July 1895 at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. Despite his deteriorating health he maintained contact with his business affairs until his death on 22 September 1940 at St Kilda; he was survived by his wife. He had no children.


  1. ^ "Blackwood, Robert (BLKT882RO)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Chanter v Blackwood (No 1) [1904] HCA 2, (1904) 1 CLR 39; (No 2) [1904] HCA 48, (1904) 1 CLR 121; and (No 3) [1904] HCA 18, (1904) 1 CLR 456.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Chanter
Member for Riverina
Succeeded by
John Chanter