Wednesday, December 21, 2011

John Douglas - a chronology of his life

Born in London, England, 6 March, seventh son of Henry Alexander and Elizabeth (Nee Dalzell) Douglas
Orphaned after the death of his parents.  Sent to Scotland where he was brought up by two of his aunts, who lived on Kinmount estate, owned by his uncles, the sixth and seventh Marquesses of Queensberry
Attended Edinburgh Academy, Scotland
Attended Rugby school, England
Attended Durham university, England.  Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Licentiate in Theology
Arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, on 11 August, after departing from Plymouth, England, on 23 April
Appointed sub-commissioner of crown lands for the NSW gold district (Southern), 25 March-31 October 1852 and magistrate at Tuena goldfield, 24 November 1852-21 June 1853
In March purchased Talgai property on the Darling Downs, with Thomas Hood and Edward Douglas
Member of the New South Wales legislative assembly for the seat of Darling Downs, 30 August-November
In July purchased Tooloombah property in the Rockhampton district, Queensland
Married Mary Anne Howe (Nee Simpson), in Sydney, 21 January.  Member of the New South Wales legislative assembly for the seat of Camden, 10 January-17 July
Elected Member for Port Curtis, Queensland, 12 May 1863 in the first parliament.  Parliament dissolved on 22 May 1863.  Re-elected on 26 June 1863 in the second parliament.  Position held until his resignation in early 1866
Appointed to the Macalister ministry as a minister of the Queensland legislative council without portfolio, 1 February.  Appointed postmaster general, 1 March.  Resigned from the Ministry 20 July and from the legislative council on 25 July.  Appointed Queensland treasurer on 19 December
Elected member for Eastern Downs, Queensland, 4 January.  Appointed Queensland secretary for public works, 21 May.  Re-elected member for Eastern Downs on 5 July.  Resigned as Queensland secretary for public works, 15 August
Parliament prorogued on 27 August, with a general election called.  Douglas decided not to stand for re-election for his Eastern Downs seat.  Elected member for East Moreton, Queensland, 28 September, resigning on 8 December to take up a seat in the legislative council when appointed  postmaster general, and leader of government business in the chamber, on 11 December
Resigned as postmaster general and from the legislative council on 13 November after being appointed Queensland agent-general for immigration and agent for the colony of Queensland on 1 October, based in London.  Departed for England on 30 September, arriving 9 December
Resident in London.  Resigned as agent-general on 28 December
Concluded agent-general position on 24 April.  Returned to Brisbane on 14 August.  Stood unsuccessfully for the seat of East Moreton
Successfully petitioned the Queensland parliament for a select committee into his role as agent-general.  Handed down on 30 July, its report cleared him
Stood unsuccessfully for the seat of Brisbane
Stood unsuccessfully for the seat of Darling Downs.  Successfully contested the seat of Maryborough, being elected to the legislative assembly on 27 April
Appointed secretary for public lands in the Thorn Ministry, 5 June.  His wife, Mary Douglas, killed in an accident in Brisbane, 23 November
Douglas appointed premier of Queensland, 8 March, as well as the position of vice-president of the executive council of Queensland, while continuing to retain the post of secretary for public lands.  Resigned the seat of Maryborough on 17 April and was re-elected unopposed on 27 April.  Made Companion, Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G), on 30 May.  Married Sarah Hickey, 30 July.  First son, Edward Archibald Douglas, born 2 November.  Resigned the portfolio of public lands and took the post of colonial secretary, 7 November.  Visited Thursday Island in November
Re-elected member for Maryborough, 15 November
Resigned the premiership, 21 January.  Second son, Henry Alexander Cecil Douglas, born 8 April
Resigned as leader of the opposition, 25 March.  Resigned as member for Maryborough, 24 November
Third son, Hugh Maxwell Douglas born 21 May
Fourth son, Robert Johnstone Douglas, born 13 April
Unsuccessfully stood for the seat of North Brisbane in August and Drayton and Toowoomba in October
Departed for England on 22 February
Returned to Brisbane from England on 12 February.  Appointed government resident and police magistrate, Thursday Island, 13 April.  Departed for Thursday Island, 23 April, arriving 1 May.  Appointed Special Commissioner for British New Guinea, 26 December, formally taking up the post on 27 February 1886
Purchased a property in Tenterfield, NSW in February where his family resided while he was in New Guinea
Returned to Thursday Island and resumed his post as Government Resident, Thursday Island
Departed for England 2 April.  Returned to Australia in September           
Died 23 July at Thursday Island.  The funeral was held on 24 July
Douglas Memorial Chapel, Quetta Memorial Cathedral, was dedicated on 29 June