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Former Member Details

Dr William BLAND (1789 - 1868)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 05/11/1789
Place of Birth: London, England
Date of Death: 21/07/1868
Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Jun 1843 20 Jun 1848 5 years 20 days An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the City of Sydney
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Dec 1849 30 Jun 1850 7 months An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the City of Sydney
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 24 Mar 1858 21 Mar 1861 2 years 11 months 26 days First (Quinquennial) Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 23 March 1858
Political Party Activity
From the early 1820's he was involved in pro-emancipist struggles with Wentworth. He was Chairman of the committee of correspondence of the Australian Patriotic Association when it was formed in 1835. He supported the renewal of transportation but, unlike Wentworth, he was a democrat, favouring radical democracy and land reform throughout his political career.
Community Activity
Lifetime member of the Benevolent Society from 1830. On the staff of the Sydney Dispensary from its inauguration in 1826 to 1827. Treasurer of Sydney College from 1835 to 1844 and President from 1845. Trustee of the New South Wales Savings Bank from 1844. Regular patron of literary workers. Trustee and President of the Australian Medical Subscription Library founded in 1846; and first President of the Australian Medical Association in 1859.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Medical Practitioner. Trained in medicine and qualified as a surgeon's mate in the Navy in 1809 and as a Naval Surgeon in 1812. He was sentenced to seven years transportation, after killing a man in a duel in 1813. Arrived in Hobart in January 1814, reaching Sydney in July of that year. Pardoned on 27 January 1815. In 1818, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for libelling Governor Macquarie. Established a flourishing private practice as a medical practitioner, after being pardoned in 1815. Practice was interrupted by a period in jail. Owned land at Prospect Hill, Hunter's Hill, Yass and Gerringong. Bankrupted in 1861. Was a member of the Turf Club and then the Australian Racing Club in 1828. Inventor and editor of 'Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip, NSW, in 1825 by Messrs W H Hovell and Hamilton Hume, 1831; and author of 'New South Wales: Review of the Examination of Mr James Macarthur's Work, 1839'. In 1858, a public subscription raised over £1,000 as a presentation to him for his public services. The Legislative Assembly voted him an annuity in 1861 but the conservative Legislative Council rejected it; later in 1861 he was declared bankrupt.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Dr Robert Bland. Married (1) Sarah, daughter of William Henry on 17 April 1817; they later separated. Married (2), Eliza Smeathman, a widow, in February 1846. Church of England. From 1853 to 1857 he owned the house at 133 Macquarie Street, which is now the headquarters of the Royal Australian Historical Society.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1 Sydney Morning Herald, 16 September 1858; C. N. Connolly, "Politics, Ideology and the New South Wales Legislative Council 1856 - 1872", PhD Thesis, Australian National University, 1974 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: William Bland - papers, 1835 - 1868 (DLMSQ 20 - DLMSQ 21)