Page:The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.djvu/190

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

by Mr. Vogel. The Land Transfer Registration Act was also passed. On Sept. 10th, 1872, he resigned, and Mr. Stafford came in again; but on March 3rd, 1873, Mr. Fox once more returned to office, though he resigned on April 8th, leaving his colleague, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Julius Vogel, to take his place as Premier. On July 29th, 1879, Sir George Grey's Government was defeated on an amendment moved by Sir William Fox (as he was now), but he failed to secure a seat at the general election in the same year. In 1880 he was appointed, with Sir F. D. Bell, upon the Commission for the West Coast to inquire into the question of native titles and report upon the confiscated lands, and subsequently became sole commissioner. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1879, and since his retirement from public life has devoted himself to lectures and addresses upon the temperance question. He married May 3rd, 1842, Sarah, eldest daughter of William Halcombe, of Poulton House, Wilts, who died in June, 1892. Sir William Fox is the author of "The Six Colonies of New Zealand" (1851), and "The War in New Zealand" (1866).

Francis, George W., the first director of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, was born in England in 1799, and emigrated to South Australia in 1849. Soon after his arrival he leased the old Botanic Garden, north of the Torrens, and was ultimately appointed director under Government. This post he held till his death on August 9th, 1865. Mr. Francis was the author of several works.

Francis, Hon. James Goodall, sometime Premier of Victoria, was born in London in 1819, and emigrated to Tasmania in 1834. Here he entered the mercantile firm of Boys & Painter, whose business he took over in 1847, in conjunction with his partner, Mr. Macpherson. A branch establishment was opened in Melbourne in 1853, under the management of Mr. Francis, and he henceforward resided in Victoria, going largely into squatting and viticulture, in addition to his mercantile concerns, which proved highly successful. In 1855 he was elected a director of the Bank of New South Wales, and was President of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce as far back as 1857. In Oct. 1859 he was returned to the Legislative Assembly for Richmond, which he represented till he resigned in 1874. Mr. Francis was Minister of Public Works in the Nicholson Administration from Nov. of that year to Sept. 1860, when he resigned with Mr. Service in connection with the dispute with the Upper House over the Land Bill. He was Minister of Trade and Customs in the first MᶜCulloch Government from June 1863 to May 1868, supporting and in a great measure initiating the partially protective tariff introduced by the Treasurer, Mr. Verdon, and also the Darling Grant; the tacking of both which measures to the Appropriation Bill he cordially approved. He was himself Treasurer in the third MᶜCulloch Government from April 1870 to June 1871. During the latter part of the Duffy Administration which succeeded, he led the opposition, and after the former were defeated, in June 1872, he formed a government which lasted until July 1874, when he retired, partly on political grounds and partly with a view to recruiting his health by a visit to the old country. Parliament under the auspices of his administration sanctioned a railway expenditure of £2,250,000; but the chief event of his tenure of power was the passing of the Education Act, introduced by Mr. Stephen, the Attorney-General, and which established the present highly popular, though expensive system of free education. Mr. Francis was by no means a skilled parliamentary orator or an eminently adroit manager of men, but his downright manners and bluff honesty rendered him, apart from mere politics, one of the most popular premiers Victoria has possessed. As a means of reforming the Upper House and averting deadlocks, Mr. Francis introduced into the Assembly a scheme embodying the Norwegian system, but it met with but cold support, and Mr. Francis in consequence resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. Kerferd. He on three occasions refused the honour of knighthood—a fact which no doubt contributed to establish his popularity. On his return from England Mr. Francis, though always previously looked on as a Liberal, avowed himself as strongly opposed to what he regarded as the extreme policy of the Berry Government, and was induced to enter the lists against Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, when that gentleman contested West Melbourne in 1878.