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Former Member Details

Sir Stuart Alexander DONALDSON (1812 - 1867)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 16/12/1812
Place of Birth: London, Westminster, England
Date of Death: 11/01/1867
Place of Death: 'Carleton Hall', Cumberland, England
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Feb 1848 31 Jan 1853 5 years An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the County of Durham
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Feb 1855 29 Feb 1856 1 year 1 month An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the Sydney Hamlets
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 11 Mar 1856 11 Apr 1859 3 years 1 month 1 day
Member for Sydney Hamlets 11 Mar 1856 06 Jun 1856 2 months 27 days
Member for Sydney Hamlets 16 Jun 1856 03 Oct 1856 3 months 18 days
Member for Cumberland (South Riding) 04 Nov 1856 19 Dec 1857 1 year 1 month 16 days
Member for Cumberland (South Riding) 30 Jan 1858 11 Apr 1859 1 year 2 months 13 days
Premier 06 Jun 1856 25 Aug 1856 2 months 20 days
Colonial Treasurer 03 Oct 1856 07 Sep 1857 11 months 5 days
Colonial Secretary 06 Jun 1856 25 Aug 1856 2 months 20 days
Governor General's Opening Speech 23 May 1856 23 May 1856 1 day
Additional Ministerial Department Committee No.12 20 Aug 1856 18 Mar 1857 6 months 27 days
Audit of the Revenue Accounts Committee No.6 06 Aug 1856 18 Mar 1857 7 months 13 days
Civil Service Superannuation Fund Committee No.19 11 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 8 days
Library Committee No. 4 03 Jun 1856 18 Mar 1857 9 months 16 days
Petition of Peter Rawlings Committee No.5 04 Jun 1856 18 Mar 1857 9 months 15 days
Standing Order Committee No.3 03 Jun 1856 18 Mar 1857 9 months 16 days
Governor General’s Opening Speech 11 Aug 1857 11 Aug 1857 1 day
Audit of the Accounts of the Revenues Committee 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 months 7 days
Navigation of the Murray and its Effluents Committee No.10 27 Oct 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 22 days
Scab and Catarrh in Sheep Committee No.9 23 Oct 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 26 days
Seizure of Gold Dust on board the “Ethereal” Committee No.18 04 Dec 1857 18 Dec 1857 15 days
Standing Order Committee 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 months 7 days
The Library Committee 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 months 7 days
Treasury Iron Chest and Accounts Committee No.17 17 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 2 days
Customs Department Committee No.12 20 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 7 days
Irish Female Immigrants (Petition from Celtic Association) Committee No.20 28 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 30 days
Management of the Survey Department Committee No.15 30 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 28 days
Moreton Bay Judge’s Appointment Bill Committee No.6 31 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 27 days
Murders by the Aborigines on the Dawson River Committee No.22 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days
Navigation of the Murray, & c. Committee No.8 13 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 14 days
Question of Privilege – Governor General’s Answer to Address on proposed dispatch of Artillery to Indi 16 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 11 days
Railway Accident Committee No.28 14 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 13 days
Retrenchment in the Public Expenditure Committee No.11 20 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 7 days
Scab and Catarrh in Sheep Committee No.14 27 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months
Seizure of Gold on board the ‘Ethereal’ and ‘May Nicholson’ Committee No.21 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days
Special Return to Writ Committee No.5 31 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 27 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 months 2 days
The Library Committee No.3 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 months 2 days
Treasury Iron Chest and Accounts Committee No.4 30 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 28 days
Irish Female Immigrants Committee No.4 15 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 3 months 26 days
Library Committee No.3 10 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 4 months
Standing Orders Committee No.2 10 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 4 months
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1838. Leading Founder of the Australian Club (treasurer; trustee; committeeman; vice-president). Member of the University of Sydney Senate from 1851 - 1856. Consul General for Sardinia in 1855. Foundation Member of the Union Club in 1856. With Sir William Burton, Sir Charles Nicholson, Sir George Macleay and W. C. Wentworth was active in the General Association for the Australian Colonies being appointed as Chairman in 1860.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Pastoralist and merchant. Educated privately. Entered father's firm at 15 and went to Mexico for business training 1831 - 1834. Arrived in Sydney, where father's firm was associated with Alexander Riley and Richard Jones, 5 May 1835. Partner Richard Jones & Co., 1837. Manager on Jones' retirement 1838; agent for Lloyds of London, 1839. Took up runs at Tenterfield and Clifton in New England District, 1840, with 34, 000 sheep on 250, 000 acres. Formed business partnership with William Dawes 1841. To London 1841 - 1844. Suffered severely in depression of early 1840s, but by 1851 had cleared debts and realized over £30, 000. Acquired tweed factory near Newcastle; shareholder in many companies; extensive pastoral interests; trustee New South Wales Savings Bank. Travelled to England 1853 - 1854. A commissioner for railways 1857. Returned to England June 1859, leaving brothers-in-law to manage pastoral holdings. Revisited Australia in 1861 and 1864.
Military Service
Honours Received
Knighted in 1860
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
In 1860 unsuccessfully contested the seats of Dartmouth and later Barnstaple for the House of Commons in England.
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Stuart Alexander Donaldson, merchant, and his wife Betsy Cundall. Married on 21 February 1854 in England to Amelia Cowper, daughter of Frederick Cowper of Carleton Hall, Cumberland, England (not related to Sir Charles Cowper), and had issue, 4 sons and 1 daughter. Church of England
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: Stuart Alexander Donaldson - papers, 1834 - 1857 (A726-A731); photographs in the PICMAN Database. David Clune and Ken Turner (Editors), The Premiers of New South Wales: Volume 1 - 1856 - 1901, The Federation Press, Sydney, 2006 [Chapter 1: "Donaldson, Stuart Alexander", by David Clune, p. 15]