Sir Maurice Charles O'CONNELL (1812 - 1879)**

  • Date of Birth: 13/01/1812
  • Place of Birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Date of Death: 23/03/1879
  • Place of Death: Parliament House, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Parliamentary Service

PositionStartEndPeriodNotes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council1 Aug 184520 Jun 18482yr(s) 10mth(s) 20day(s)
An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the District of Port Phillip

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Soldier, public servant and politician. Left for Ceylon with his parents in 1814 and in 1819 was sent to Europe for schooling. Became Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Burnett District. Acquired gold squatting properties and developed a small copper mine. However, in February 1860 his office was abolished. Refused reappointment as Commissioner of Crown Lands and for five years vainly pursued a campaign for compensation as far as the Colonial Office. Became President of the Legislative Council. Held the post until 1879 and acted as Deputy to the Governor four times.


Military Service

Joined the 73rd regiment at Gibraltar and Malta. However, in 1835 raised and led a regiment of Irish volunteers in the Spanish Carlist wars, rising to general of brigade in the British Auxiliary Legion. Returned to England with several Spanish decorations and in June 1838 purchased a Captaincy in the 28th regiment. Appointed as military secretary to his father in 1838. Sold his New South Wales commission in 1844.


Honours Received

Knighted in 1868 when he was Administrator of the Queensland Government and official host to the Duke of Edinburgh, one of Queen Victoria's sons, then on a Royal Visit.


Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held

Appointed as Member of the Legislative Council of Queensland 1859 - 1879. Minister without portfolio in the first Herbert Ministry, 1859. President of the Legislative Council of Queensland 1860 - 1879.


Personal

Son of Sir Maurice O'Connell (1768 - 1848), soldier and also a Member of the first Legislative Council, and his wife, Mary Bligh Putland, daughter of former Governor, Captain William Bligh Royal Navy. Married Eliza Emily Le Geyt of Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1835 and had no issue.


Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5