Thomas Laidlaw (politician)

Thomas Laidlaw (23 September 1813 – 12 June 1876) was a Scottish-born Australian politician.

Thomas Laidlaw

He was born at Melrose in Roxburghshire to merchant Alexander Laidlaw and Helen Cochrane. A banker, he migrated to New South Wales in 1839 and settled at Yass, where he became a partner in a general store. In 1841 he married Catherine Galvin, however she died the following year and they had no children.[1]

In 1859 he was elected unopposed to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Yass Plains, but immediately resigned as he realised his role as deputy postmaster at Yass, on a salary of £20 a year, was an office of profit under the crown which disqualified him from parliament. He resigned as postmaster and was re-elected unopposed.[2] He declined the position of Colonial Treasurer in the second Cowper ministry. He did not re-contest in 1860 and could not be persuaded to stand for parliament again.[1] He remained active in local politics, supporting the re-election of Robert Isaacs in 1866. He was nominated at the election in 1869, however this was without his consent as he supported the candidacy of Michael Fitzpatrick.[3]

In 1866 he sold his store, which had now expanded to include brewery and post office, and became a pastoralist.[4]

Laidlaw died at Yass on 12 June 1876(1876-06-12) (aged 62).[5]


  1. ^ a b Edgar, Suzanne (1974). "Laidlaw, Thomas (1813–1876)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 21 June 2021 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ Green, Antony. "Elections for the District of Yass Plains". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  3. ^ "To the editor of the Herald". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 December 1869. p. 2. Retrieved 21 June 2021 – via Trove.
  4. ^ "Mr Thomas Laidlaw". Australian Town and Country Journal. 24 June 1876. p. 13. Retrieved 21 June 2021 – via Trove.
  5. ^ "Mr Thomas Laidlaw (1813-1876)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 23 June 2019.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New district Member for Yass Plains
Succeeded by
Henry O'Brien