Mr William WESTGARTH (1815 - 1889)**

  • Date of Birth: 15/06/1815
  • Place of Birth: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Date of Death: 28/10/1889
  • Place of Death: South Kensington, London, England

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Council1 Nov 185030 Jun 18517mth(s) 30day(s)
5th Council (1849 - 1851)
An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the City of Melbourne

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Merchant; financier; politician; historian. The Westgarth family were a landed family from Durham in England. Educated at high schools at leith and Edinburgh and at Dr Bryce's Academy at Newcastle upon Tyne. After finishing school he worked for the mercantile firm of G. Young & Co. of Leith, which had Australian interests. He left leith on 11 July 1840 and arrived in Melbourne on 13 December 1840. He became a general import merchant in partnership with Alfred Ross in 1845. He left Australia for London in 1857 where he established a sharebroking firm. He was involved in the struggle for constitutional reform; and fought vainly for the secret ballot and a democratic new Victorian Legislative Council.

Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held

Member of the first Legislative Council of Victoria, 1851 - 1853.


Son of John Westgarth, surveyor-general of customs for Scotland, and his wife Christine Thomson. He married Ellison Mafie in April 1853 (while on a return visit to Britain) and they had 3 daughters.

Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6