Benjamin Pine

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Sir Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine (1809–1891) was at various times administrator of Natal, the Gold Coast, Antigua, the Leeward Islands and Western Australia.


Born in 1809, Benjamin Pine became a career officer in the British Colonial Service. From 1850 to 1855, he was Lieutenant-Governor of Natal Colony, and from March 1857 until 17 April 1858 was Governor of the Gold Coast.

On 30 July 1868, Pine was appointed by letters patent to the position of Governor of Western Australia. Shortly afterwards, however, a vacancy occurred for the position of Governor of the Leeward Islands, and it was decided that he should fill that position instead. He never arrived in Western Australia, and six months passed before the colony received news that he would not be coming.

Pine served as Governor of the Leeward Islands from 1869 until 1871. His title then became Governor of Antigua until 1873, but the Leeward Islands continued under his governorship. He died in 1891.

The city of Pinetown, in modern day KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is named after him.

Status as Governor of Western Australia

In Burt (1996), Sir Francis Burt, who was a lawyer, a judge and himself a former Governor of Western Australia, analysed the question whether Pine should be considered to have served as Governor of Western Australia. He concluded that the appointment by letters patent, together with the publication of that appointment in the newspapers of the colony, legally implied that Pine was Governor...
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