Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson
(16 December 1812 – 11 January 1867) was the first Premier
of the Colony of New South Wales
Donaldson was born in London
. He entered his father's firm at the age of 15 and was sent first to Mexico
(1831-1834), for business training, and then to Sydney
, where he arrived in 1835. He returned to London between 1841 and 1844.
In 1848, Donaldson was elected a member of the first Legislative Council
of New South Wales, representing the County of Durham from 1848 to 1856. Comments made while running for re-election in 1851, led Sir Thomas Mitchell
to demand a public apology. While Donaldson complied Mitchell was not satisfied and challenged Donaldson to a duel
. Both men missed but they remained antagonised. He supported the development of steam ship services to Australia and the work of Caroline Chisholm
. In 1852 he achieved the carriage of a motion recommending that £10,000 should be applied to supporting Chisholm's work. He travelled to England in 1853-1854.
In March 1856 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly
of the first Parliament, representing Sydney Hamlets
. The first Legislative Assembly had trouble forming a Government. Eventually Governor Denison
invited Donaldson to be Premier and he took up the offices of Premier and Colonial Secretary on 6 June 1856. Two months and 20 days later, on 25 August 1856,... Read More