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Former Member Details

Sir Maurice Charles O'CONNELL, Kt (1812 - 1879)

Member Photo
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
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Aug 1845 20 Jun 1848 2 years 10 months 20 days An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the District of Port Phillip
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
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.
Local Government Activity
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