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Major Sir George Cumine Strahan KCMG (9 December 1838 – 17 February 1887) was a British military officer and colonial administrator, best known as the Governor of Tasmania from 1881 to 1886.

Sir George Strahan

George Strahan portrait.jpg
67th Governor of the Gold Coast Colony
In office
June 1874 – 7 April 1876
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byCharles Lees
Succeeded byCharles Lees
14th Governor of Barbados and the Windward Islands
In office
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded bySir John Pope Hennessy
Succeeded byD.J. Gamble
5th Governor of Tasmania
In office
7 December 1881 – 28 October 1886
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byFrederick Weld
Succeeded byRobert George Crookshank Hamilton
Personal details
Born(1838-12-09)9 December 1838
Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died17 February 1887(1887-02-17) (aged 48)
Bournemouth, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Spouse(s)Catherine Livingstone
Alma materRoyal Military Academy, Woolwich
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1857 –
UnitRoyal Artillery


Early life and military careerEdit

Strahan was born on 9 December 1838 in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in the United Kingdom. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he joined the Royal Artillery corps of the British Army as a lieutenant in 1857.

Colonial careerEdit

Strahan was assigned as aide-de-camp to the last two Lord High Commissioners of the Ionian Islands: William Ewart Gladstone (actually High Commissioner Extraordinary, later to become Prime Minister) and Sir Henry Storks. When Storks was appointed Governor of Malta in 1864, Strahan accompanied him and served his successor, Sir Patrick Grant, until 1868 when he was made chief secretary of Malta. Further administrative appointments in various capacities followed in the Bahamas (colonial secretary 1868–1872, acting governor 1872–1873), Lagos Colony (administrator 1873–1874), Gold Coast (governor 1874–1876) and the Windward Islands/Barbados (governor 1876–1880).

Governor of TasmaniaEdit

Strahan was appointed Governor of Tasmania in April 1880, and was knighted shortly after. He did not, however, take up the appointment until arriving in Hobart in December 1881. The long delay was caused by Strahan acting as administrator of the Cape Colony and high commissioner to Southern Africa until the arrival of Sir Hercules Robinson.

Strahan was a popular governor in Tasmania, regarded as attentive to education, health and rural industry. His own health was occasionally questioned, and the spells of illness he suffered during his term were put down to having spent so many years in the tropical climates of the Caribbean and Africa.

Strahan left Tasmania in October 1886, and returned to England via Melbourne. He was appointed as Governor of Hong Kong to replace Sir George Bowen, but died in Bournemouth on 17 February 1887 before he could take up the appointment.


The town of Strahan on the West Coast of Tasmania was named after George Strahan in 1892.


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir James Walker
Governor of the Bahamas
Succeeded by
Sir John Pope Hennessy
Preceded by
Charles Lees, acting
Governor of the Gold Coast
Succeeded by
Charles Lees, acting
Preceded by
Sir John Pope Hennessy
Governor of Barbados and the Windward Islands
Succeeded by
D.J. Gamble (acting)
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Weld
Governor of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Hamilton