Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Denman
GCMG, KCVO, PC
|5th Governor-General of Australia|
31 July 1911 – 18 May 1914
|Prime Minister||Andrew Fisher
|Preceded by||The Earl of Dudley|
|Succeeded by||Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson|
16 November 1874|
|Died||24 June 1954
He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, intending a military career, but in 1894 unexpectedly inherited a peerage from his great-uncle and was able to take his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday the following year. He continued his military career in the Royal Scots, where he was promoted to lieutenant on 4 March 1896, but resigned in May 1899 and was placed in the Reserve. Returning to the army on the outbreak of the Second Boer War, Lord Denman was on 3 February 1900 commissioned as a lieutenant of the 11th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. He was promoted to captain in the battalion on 18 July 1900, and the following year was appointed a captain in the Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge´s Hussars) Imperial Yeomanry, followed by a promotion to major on 30 April 1902.
Lord Denman had little money until 1903, when he married Gertrude Pearson, daughter of the wealthy industrialist Weetman Pearson (later first Viscount Cowdray). Denman was then able to devote his time to public life and served in the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith as a Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) from 1905 to 1907 and as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (government chief whip in the House of Lords) between 1907 and 1911. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1907. In 1909, he was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Knight Commander. In 1911, the Colonial Secretary offered Denman the post of Governor-General of Australia to get him out of domestic politics. In the 1911 Coronation Honours, Lord Denman was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as a Knight Grand Cross.
The Denmans arrived in Melbourne on 31 July 1911. They found Andrew Fisher's Labor government firmly in control. As the most politically liberal Governor-General yet appointed, he got on well with the Labor ministers, and his modesty and generosity with his father-in-law's money made him popular with the public. In October 1912, the New South Wales Premier, James McGowen "evicted" him from Government House, Sydney. On 12 March 1913, he inaugurated the site of the future national capital and Lady Denman formally announced its name, Canberra. On 12 March 2013, his great-nephew, the 6th Baron Denman and his wife attended celebrations in Canberra commemorating the centenary of the naming of the city.
But Denman found that he had less real political influence than any previous Governor-General. As Australia, along with the other dominions, achieved political maturity, its Prime Minister communicated directly with his British counterpart, cutting the Colonial Secretary and the Governor-General out of the loop. The appointment of an Australian High Commissioner in London further reduced the Governor-General's diplomatic role.
In May 1913 the Labor government was unexpectedly defeated at a general election by Joseph Cook's Liberals. But Labor retained control of the Senate and was determined to frustrate Cook's government at every turn. By early 1914 it was clear that a constitutional crisis was developing. Denman was in poor health—that he was allergic to Australia's national flower, the wattle, did not help—and his marriage was suffering from his wife's unhappiness at being so far from home. He felt he lacked the strength to deal with the political situation, and in May 1914 he resigned.
With the outbreak of the Great War, Denman commanded a Yeomanry regiment from 1914 until 1915. He remained loyal to Asquith and the Liberals and so did not hold office again, leading a quiet life until his death in Hove, Sussex, 22 days after that of his wife. He was succeeded in the barony by his son, Thomas Denman, 4th Baron Denman.
Styles of address
- 1874–1894: Mr Thomas Denman
- 1894–1907: The Right Honourable The Lord Denman
- 1907–1909: The Right Honourable The Lord Denman PC
- 1909–1911: The Right Honourable The Lord Denman KCVO PC
- 1911: His Excellency The Right Honourable The Lord Denman KCVO PC
- 1911–1914: His Excellency The Right Honourable The Lord Denman GCMG KCVO PC
- 1914–1954: The Right Honourable The Lord Denman GCMG KCVO PC
- "Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman of Dovedale". thepeerage.com. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- "No. 27160". The London Gazette. 2 February 1900. p. 692.
- "No. 27429". The London Gazette. 29 April 1902. p. 2866.
- "No. 28050". The London Gazette. 13 August 1907. p. 5523.
- "No. 28251". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 May 1909. p. 3753.
- "No. 28483". The London Gazette. 7 April 1911. p. 2802.
- Cunneen, Chris (1981). "Denman, Thomas [Baron Denman] (1874–1954)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
- "No. 28505". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1911. p. 4593.
- Cunneen, Chris (1981). "Denman, Thomas (1874–1954)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Canberra Times, 11 March 2013
The Viscount Churchill
The Lord Herschell
The Earl Beauchamp
|Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms
The Lord Colebrooke
The Lord Ribblesdale
|Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords
The Earl of Dudley
|Governor-General of Australia
Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|