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Hugh Mosman (11 February 1843 – 15 November 1909) was a mine owner and politician in Queensland, Australia. He discovered gold in Charters Towers. He was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Council.

Hugh Mosman
Hugh Mosman.JPG
Hugh Mosman
Member of the Queensland Legislative Council
In office
June 1891 – January 1905
Personal details
Hugh Mosman

(1843-02-11)11 February 1843
Mosman Bay, Sydney
Died15 November 1909(1909-11-15) (aged 66)
Toowong, Queensland
ParentsArchibald Mosman
Harriet née Farquharson
OccupationMine owner

Early lifeEdit

Mosman was born on 11 February 1843 in Mosman, New South Wales.[1] Merchant Archibald Mosman (1799–1863) was his father,[2] and his mother was Harriet née Farquharson[3] Hugh received his education at The King's School in North Parramatta, New South Wales.[4]

Mosman initially aspired to be a pastoralist, but failed to establish a successful career and was left broke.[5] He visited Queensland in 1860, hoping to acquire properties there; this was also unsuccessful.[6] Mosman decided then to try his hand at prospecting.[4] He spent the next ten years mining,[6] and in 1870 he revisited Queensland, choosing to work in Ravenswood.[4]


On 24 December 1871,[7] Mosman was travelling with miners George Clark, James Fraser, and his servant, Jupiter Mosman, attempting to locate missing horses.[8] After he found them, Jupiter located some shining gold nestled in a creek.[7] Mosman named the place where the gold had been located Charters Towers (Charters Tors) after the gold mining warden W. S. E. M. Charters.[9] After Jupiter's discovery was reported in January 1872, Ravenswood's population blossomed to around 30,000 people.[10] The discovery prompted a gold rush in north of Queensland.[4]

Mosman's life was largely simple from that point forward. In 1882, Mosman's left forearm was blown off by dynamite, which had exploded earlier than it was supposed to.[4] Mosman remained generally reclusive up until June 1891, when he became a member of the Queensland Legislative Council.[5] He did not give many speeches, and they were noted as being "conservative and unremarkable". He resigned in January 1905.[4]

Later lifeEdit

In retirement, Mosman pursued his interest in horse racing, owning a number of horses. His horse Balfour won the Queensland Turf Club Derby in 1902.[11]

In the final months of his life, he was not in good health. However, on Saturday 13 November 1909, Mosman went to Eagle Farm Racecourse for the Derby race, but was forced to return home after the first race feeling ill. On the following Monday 15 November, he was at his residence Easton Gray, Soudan Street, Toowong, Brisbane, when he drank a glass of milk and died.[5][11] He was buried in Toowong Cemetery on 16 November 1909.[12][13][14]

He never married but was well-connected through his sisters Harriette (second wife of Queensland Premier Thomas McIlwraith) and Cecilia (wife of Queensland Premier Arthur Hunter Palmer).[11] He and left over £70,000 to his relatives, much of it to his nephew Cecil Palmer.[4][14]


A street in Charters Towers was named after him.

The Mossman River was named by the explorer George Dalrymple on 6 December 1873. Dalrymple wrote "I named this river the Mossman River, after Mossman, an explorer and mining man, member of a very prominent mining family". The town of Mossman takes its name from the river.[15][16]

The house Easton Gray (home of the Palmer family) and its 18 acres of land was sold in 1944 to construct Toowong High School, now Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology.[17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Peach 2008, p. 30
  2. ^ ADB, Archibald Mosman.
  3. ^ Appleton 1983, p. 41.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g ADB, Hugh Mosman.
  5. ^ a b c Appleton 1983, p. 41, ADB, Hugh Mosman
  6. ^ a b Australian Encyclopaedia, 1958, p. 161
  7. ^ a b Citigold, Charters Town Story.
  8. ^ ADB, Hugh Mosman, Citigold, Charters Town Story
  9. ^ World History, Charters Towers.
  10. ^ St. Louis et al. 2012, p. 388.
  11. ^ a b c "Death of Hon. Hugh Mosman". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 16 November 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Family Notices". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 16 November 1909. p. 4. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Mosman, Hugh". Grave Location Search. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Metropolitan- Notes". The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts. Barcaldine, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 20 November 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  15. ^ Hodes, Jeremy. "Far North Queensland Place names mo – my". Queensland History. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  16. ^ "NOMENCLATURE OF QUEENSLAND.–200". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 21 May 1936. p. 14. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  17. ^ "STATE HIGH SCHOOL FOR TOOWONG AREA". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 7 February 1944. p. 3. Retrieved 22 June 2014.