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Arthur Hunter Palmer

Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer KCMG (28 December 1819 – 20 March 1898) was an Irish-Australian politician and a Premier of Queensland.

Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer

Arthur Hunter Palmer.jpg
5th Premier of Queensland
In office
3 May 1870 – 7 January 1874
Preceded byCharles Lilley
Succeeded byArthur Macalister
ConstituencyPort Curtis
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Port Curtis
In office
19 March 1866 – 14 November 1878
Preceded byJohn Douglas
Succeeded byAlbert Norton
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for North Brisbane
In office
15 November 1878 – 24 December 1881
Serving with Samuel Griffith
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byWilliam Brookes
Member of the Queensland Legislative Council
In office
24 December 1881 – 20 March 1898
Personal details
Born(1819-12-28)28 December 1819
Armagh, Co. Armagh,
Ireland, UK
Died20 March 1898(1898-03-20) (aged 78)
Toowong, Brisbane,
Resting placeToowong Cemetery
Spouse(s)Cecilia Jessie Mosman (d. 1885)
RelationsHugh Mosman (brother-in-law), Henry Palmer (brother)

Early lifeEdit

Palmer was born in Armagh, Ireland, the son of Lieutenant Arthur Palmer, R.N., and his wife, Emily née Hunter.[1] Palmer was educated at Youghal[2] Grammar School and a private tutor in Dublin.[1] Palmer emigrated to New South Wales in 1838, arriving in Sydney on the City of Edinburgh. Palmer worked for many years for Henry Cary Dangar on his New England stations, eventually becoming general manager of all Dangar's holdings.[1] Palmer went to Queensland and took up pastoral runs in the Belyando River valley which he called Beaufort Station. He began acting as a magistrate in 1865.[1]


In 1866, Palmer was elected to Parliament as member for Port Curtis[3] in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.[1] On 2 August 1867 he became Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Public Works in the R. R. Mackenzie ministry, and in September 1868 Secretary for Public Lands. Mackenzie resigned on 25 November 1868 and Palmer went into opposition. On 3 May 1870 Palmer became Premier and Colonial Secretary,[3] and in July 1873 Secretary for Public Works. Palmer's ministry was defeated on 6 January 1874.[1] During his term of office acts were passed which led to much development of new railways. Palmer was Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Public Instruction in the McIlwraith ministry which came into power in January 1879, but resigned these positions on 24 December 1881 to become President of the Queensland Legislative Council. Palmer remained in that position until his death.[2]

Hunter served as Administrator (deputy to the Governor) from 2 May 1883 to 6 November 1883, from 20 April 1886 to 12 December 1886, from 9 October 1888 to 1 May 1889, from 16 November 1890 to 6 May 1891. He also served as Lieutenant-Governor of Queensland from 15 November 1895 to 9 April 1896.[4]

Later lifeEdit

He died at Easton Gray, his home in Toowong, Queensland after a long illness[5] and was buried in Toowong Cemetery.[6]


Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer's headstone at Brisbane's Toowong Cemetery

In 1865, Palmer married Miss Cecilia Jessie Mosman. Cecilia was the sister of Hugh Mosman who discovered gold in Charters Towers and of Harriette Mosman, the second wife of Queensland Premier Thomas McIlwraith.[7] From 1872 to 1877, the Palmer family leased the house Fernberg in Paddington, which became Queensland's Government House in 1910.[8] Cecilia died in 1885, and was survived by three sons and two daughters.[9]

The family home, Easton Gray, was sold in 1944 for the construction of Toowong State High School, later Toowong College, and now the Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology.[10]

His grandson Beaufort Palmer was one of Australia's finest pilot instructors in World War II.[11]


Palmer was awarded a K.C.M.G. in 1881.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jobson, J. X. "Palmer, Sir Arthur Hunter (1819–1898)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Arthur Hunter Palmer". Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Governors and Deputy Governors of Queensland" (PDF). Queensland Parliament. 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Death of Sir Arthur Pauler". The Brisbane Courier. 21 March 1898. p. 5. Retrieved 28 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Palmer Sir Arthur Hunter Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine — Brisbane City Council Grave Location Search. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Death of Hon. Hugh Mosman". The Brisbane Courier. 16 November 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 22 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Government House (entry 600275)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  9. ^ "(Untitled)". The Brisbane Courier. 1 September 1885. p. 4. Retrieved 23 January 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "State High School for Toowong Area". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane. 7 February 1944. p. 3. Retrieved 22 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ Coleman, Mike. "Obituary: Beaufort Mosman Hunter Palmer, DFC". The Courier Mail. Brisbane. p. 95. Retrieved 17 August 2016.


Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Lilley
Premier of Queensland
Succeeded by
Arthur Macalister
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
John Douglas
Member for Port Curtis
Succeeded by
Albert Norton
New seat Member for North Brisbane
Served alongside: Samuel Griffith
Succeeded by
William Brookes