Daly, Dominick (DNB00)

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DALY, Sir DOMINICK (1798–1868), governor of South Australia, was the third son of Dominick Daly of Benmore, county Galway, by his wife Joanna Harriet, widow of Rickard Burke of Glinsk, and daughter of Joseph Blake of Ardfry, county Galway. He was born at Ardfry on 11 Aug. 1798, and was educated at Oscott College, near Birmingham. Daly went to Canada in 1822 as private secretary to Sir Francis Burton, and in 1825 was appointed assistant-secretary to the government of Lower Canada. Two years afterwards he was appointed provincial secretary for Lower Canada, and upon the union of the Canadas in 1840 became the provincial secretary for the united provinces, and a member of the board of works with a seat in the council. He retired from the latter post in 1846, and from the former in 1848, but continued to represent the county of Megantic in the Canadian parliament. After more than twenty-five years' service in Canada he returned to England, and on 23 Oct. 1849 was placed on the commission appointed to inquire into the rights and claims over the New and Waltham Forests (Parl. Papers, 1850, vol. xxx.) On 16 Sept. 1851 Daly was appointed lieutenant-governor of Tobago, and on 8 May 1854 was transferred to the post of lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island. In July 1856 he received the honour of knighthood by letters patent, and in 1859 was succeeded as lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island by George Dundas. Daly was gazetted governor of South Australia in the place of Sir R. G. MacDonnell 28 Oct. 1861, but did not assume office until March 1862. Apart from the judicial difficulty, and the removal of Mr. Justice Boothby from his seat on the bench, matters went smoothly enough during Daly's administration of the colony. In 1864 and 1865 expeditions were despatched for the purpose of establishing a settlement in the northern territory. In 1867 he entertained the Duke of Edinburgh on his visit to the colony. During the last year or two of his life his health began to fail, and he died towards the close of the customary term of office, at the Government House at Adelaide, on 19 Feb. 1868, in the seventieth year of his age. Though not possessing any gifts as a speaker, Daly showed considerable sagacity and firmness as an administrator, while his genial manner and strict impartiality won him the golden opinions of the colonists over whom he ruled. He married, on 20 May 1826, Caroline Maria, second daughter of Ralph Gore of Barrowmount, county Kilkenny, who survived him, and by whom he had three sons and two daughters.

[Heaton's Australian Dict. of Dates, &c. (1879) p. 51; Men of the Time (1868), p. 224; Ward's Men of the Reign (1885), p. 243; Morgan's Sketches of Celebrated Canadians, &c. (1862), p. 375; Stow's South Australia (1883), pp. 37–42; Gent. Mag. 4th ser. (1868), v. 684; Burke's Peerage, &c. (1886), p. 1383; Dod's Peerage, &c. (1866), p. 208; London Gazette, 1849, ii. 3161, 1851, ii. 2361, 1854, i. 1442, 1856, ii. 2341, 1861, ii. 4303.]

G. F. R. B.