Thomas Walker (Australian philanthropist)

Thomas Walker (Australian Philanthropist)

Thomas Walker (Australian philanthropist)

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Thomas Walker (3 May 1804 - 2 September 1886) was an Australian politician and banker; he and his daughter Dame Eadith Walker were important philanthropists.

Life and career

Thomas Walker was born at Leith, Scotland, in 1804, and came to Sydney as a young man. About the year 1822 he joined the firm of W. Walker and Company, general merchants, the senior partner of which was his uncle. Some years later he acquired this business in partnership with a cousin, and carried it on successfully. He was made a magistrate in 1835, in 1837 visited Port Phillip, and in 1838 published anonymously an account of his experiences under the title, A Month in the Bush of Australia.

In 1843 he was elected one of the representatives of Port Phillip in the first elected New South Wales Legislative Council, and in January 1845 he was one of the six members of the council who signed a petition praying that Port Phillip should be made into a separate colony. Walker, however, gave up taking an active part in politics, though he kept his interest in them and published some pamphlets on the land question. His financial affairs prospered, and he invested widely. His special interest was the Bank of New South Wales, of which he was president for many years before his death. The statement that he was one of the original founders of the bank is not correct, but his uncle was one of the early shareholders. Walker was a conscientious, benevolent man who went about doing good. He took a personal interest in...
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