Mr John (1) SMITH (1821 - 1885)**

  • Date of Birth: 12/12/1821
  • Place of Birth: Peterculter, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • Date of Death: 12/10/1885
  • Place of Death: New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Council3 Nov 187412 Oct 188510yr(s) 11mth(s) 10day(s)
Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 14 July 1874

Qualifications, occupations and interests

University professor. Educated at Marischal College Aberdeen (MA 1843, MD 1844). Visited Australia in 1846. Arrived in Sydney in 8 September 1852 as foundation professor of chemistry and experimental physics at University of Sydney. Proceeded on leave in Europe from 1860 until 1861, 1871 until 1872, 1882 until 1883 and the Faculty of Arts from 1884 until 1885; Member of University of Sydney Senate from 1861 until 1885. Honorary LLD from University of Aberdeen in 1876. Became a Director of the Australian Mutual Provident Society in 1864. Chairman from 1873 until 1880, 1883 until 1885. Member of Board of National Education from 1853 until 1866. Member of Council of Education until it was abolished in 1880, elected as chairman nine times. Elective trustee of Australian Museum. In 1860s was on committees of several religious organisations; vice president of Young Men's Christian Association. Honorary treasurer of Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary from 1866 until 1867. Commissioner of Several International Exhibitions. Vice President of Highland Society of New South Wales.

Honours Received

Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1878


Son of Roderick Smith, blacksmith, and Margaret Shier. Married Mary (Minnie) Macleod on 11 June 1872 at Bidston, Cheshire, England. Presbyterian.

Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6