The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Agnew, Hon. James Wilson
Agnew, Hon. James Wilson, M.D., J.P., ex-Premier of Tasmania, was admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) in 1838, and M.D. of Glasgow University in 1839. Soon afterwards he emigrated to Tasmania, and for many years practised his profession in Hobart Dr. Agnew was made a J.P. for Tasmania on Feb. 10th, 1862. He was a member of the Legislative Council 1877-81, and from 1884 to July 1887, when he resigned. He was a member of Mr. Fysh's Ministry without office from Aug. 9th, 1877 (on which date he was sworn of the Executive Council) to March 5th, 1878, and of the Giblin Ministry, which succeeded, from March 5th to Dec. 20th, 1878. He again took office with Mr. Giblin, without portfolio, on Oct. 30th, 1879; but resigned on Feb. 5th, 1881. Dr. Agnew became Premier and Chief Secretary of the Colony on March 8th, 1886. On March 1st, 1887, Mr. Rooke was taken into the Ministry as Chief Secretary, Dr. Agnew remaining Premier until the 29th of the month, when he resigned with his colleagues. Dr. Agnew is Vice-President and Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Tasmania, and a member of the Council. He was for many years a member of the Tasmanian Council of Education, and on the establishment of the Tasmanian University was elected a member of the Council, but, in consequence of absence from the colony, resigned in 1891. He was President of the Tasmanian Commission for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880.