Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore

Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore GCMG KStJ (26 November 1829 – 30 January 1912)[1] was a Scottish Liberal Party politician and colonial administrator. He had extensive contact with Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

The Lord Stanmore
Arthur Gordon circa 1870–1880.
9th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
In office
26 October 1861 – 30 September 1866
Preceded byJohn Manners Sutton
Succeeded byCharles Hastings Doyle
19th Governor of Trinidad
In office
7 November 1866 – 1870
Preceded byE. E. Bushworth
Succeeded byJames Robert Longden
11th Governor of British Mauritius
In office
21 February 1871 – 18 August 1874
Preceded bySir Henry Barkly
Succeeded bySir Arthur Phayre
1st High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
June 1875 – January 1880
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Des Vœux
2nd Governor of Fiji
In office
June 1875 – January 1880
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Des Vœux
9th Governor of New Zealand
In office
29 November 1880 – 24 June 1882
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Jervois
16th Governor of British Ceylon
In office
3 December 1883 – 28 May 1890
Preceded byJohn Douglas
Succeeded byArthur Havelock
(Acting governor)
Personal details
Born(1829-11-26)26 November 1829
London, England
Died30 January 1912(1912-01-30) (aged 82)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge



Gordon was born at Argyll House,[2] his family's townhouse in London, in 1829.[3] He was the youngest son of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen and his second wife, Harriet Douglas. His mother was the widow of Viscount Hamilton.[3]

Gordon was educated privately and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1849.[4]

After graduating in 1851, he worked as Assistant Private Secretary to the British Prime Minister (his father) between 1852 and 1855, and was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Beverley from 1854 to 1857.[1] In 1875, the Fiji Islands were created a separate Colony, and Sir Arthur Gordon was appointed the first Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Fiji, until 1880. In connection with this he also received the appointment of Consul-General, and High Commissioner of the Western Pacific, but that gave little additional power. He held a number of colonial governorships:

He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1871, and a Knight Grand Cross of the same Order in 1878.[16][17] He was created Baron Stanmore, of Great Stanmore, in the County of Middlesex on 21 August 1893.[18]

In 1897, Lord Stanmore became the chairman of the Pacific Islands Company Ltd ('PIC'). Formed by John T. Arundel, PIC was based in London with its trading activities in the Pacific that involved mining phosphate rock on Banaba (then known as Ocean Island) and Nauru.[19] John T. Arundel and Lord Stanmore were responsible for financing the new opportunities and negotiating with the German company that controlled the licences to mine in Nauru. In 1902, the interests of PIC were merged with Jaluit Gesellschaft of Hamburg, to form the Pacific Phosphate Company, ('PPC') to engage in phosphate mining in Banaba and Nauru.[20]

Gordon's ethnographic collection from Fiji, which was assembled during his Governorship, was donated to the British Museum in 1878.[21]

He was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts in March 1900.[22]


  • William Ewart Gladstone, Baron Arthur Hamilton-Gordon Stanmore (1961). Gladstone-Gordon correspondence, 1851–1896: selections from the private correspondence of a British Prime Minister and a colonial Governor, Volume 51. American Philosophical Society. p. 116. ISBN 9780871695147. Retrieved 28 June 2010.(Volume 51, Issue 4 of new series, American Philosophical Society Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions Series Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions of the American Philosophical Society new ser v. 51, no. 4)(Original from the University of California)

Personal life and death


On 20 September 1865, Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, wed Rachel Emily Shaw Lefevre in London. The couple had a daughter and a son.[citation needed]

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire in 1861.[23]

Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore died on 30 January 1912 in Chelsea, London.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages – Peerages beginning with "S" (part 5)[self-published source] [better source needed]
  2. ^ 1891 England Census
  3. ^ a b Tyler, W. P. N. "Gordon, Arthur Hamilton". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Gordon, the Hon. Arthur Charles Hamilton (GRDN846AC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ "No. 22548". The London Gazette. 17 September 1861. p. 3745.
  6. ^ Newbury, Colin (Spring 2011). "Biography and Patronage in Crown Colony Governorships: Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon and "Personal Administration"" (PDF). Journal of Historical Biography. 9: 1–36.
  7. ^ "No. 23133". The London Gazette. 3 July 1866. p. 3816.
  8. ^ "No. 23655". The London Gazette. 4 October 1870. p. 4345.
  9. ^ "Mauritius". Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  10. ^ "No. 24178". The London Gazette. 5 February 1875. p. 475.
  11. ^ Paul Knaplund, "Sir Arthur Gordon and Fiji: Some Gordon-Gladstone Letters." Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand 8#31 (1958) pp 281–296.
  12. ^ "No. 24508". The London Gazette. 2 October 1877. p. 5455.
  13. ^ "No. 24523". The London Gazette. 20 November 1877. p. 6313.
  14. ^ "No. 24873". The London Gazette. 13 August 1880. p. 4462.
  15. ^ "No. 25253". The London Gazette. 24 July 1883. p. 3699.
  16. ^ "No. 23709". The London Gazette. 24 February 1871. p. 696.
  17. ^ "No. 24623". The London Gazette. 10 September 1878. p. 5081.
  18. ^ "No. 26437". The London Gazette. 1 September 1893. p. 4994.
  19. ^ Albert F. Ellis, (1935) Ocean Island and Nauru: Their Story, Chapter IV
  20. ^ Maslyn Williams & Barrie Macdonald (1985) The Phosphateers
  21. ^ "Collection search: You searched for". British Museum. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  22. ^ "No. 27174". The London Gazette. 16 March 1900. p. 1791.
  23. ^ "No. 22536". The London Gazette. 6 August 1861. p. 3274.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Beverley
With: William Wells
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Trinidad
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Mauritius
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Fiji
Succeeded by
New creation High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
Preceded by Governor of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Douglas
acting governor
Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Stanmore
Succeeded by