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Gore, St George Richard (1812–1871)

by A. A. Morrison

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

St George Richard Gore (1812-1871), pastoralist and politician, was born on 26 March 1812 at Dublin, the eldest of five sons of Thomas Gore and his wife Elizabeth, née Corbet; his father was rector of Mulrankin, County Wexford, and brother of the seventh baronet of Manor Gore. Educated by his father he entered Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1831; M.A., 1834). He was called to the Bar and practised in London until 1839 when he decided to migrate. With his brother Ralph Thomas, naval officer, he arrived in the Bengal at Sydney in February 1840. On 17 August he married Frances, daughter of Edward Caldwell of Lyndhurst.

In November 1841 Gore's widowed mother arrived at Sydney in the Fairlie with three sons: Robert, barrister; St John Thomas, army officer; and William Francis, student. In May Gore and a partner had been licensed to settle on the Darling Downs on a run they named Yandilla. In 1844 William was ordained an Anglican priest and next year Ralph and Thomas joined their brother on the Downs where Thomas soon acquired the Tummaville run. Robert was drowned when the Sovereign was wrecked in March 1847. After a dispute in 1848 Gore took up a new run called Bodumba, leaving Yandilla to a family combine: William, Ralph and Robert's mother-in-law, Margaret Baldock. After Ralph died in England in 1860, his widow married Osmond Priaulx who joined the partnership.

Gore took an aristocratic pride in the proper management of his estate and the welfare of his employees but his indiscreet comments and membership of the squatter clique made him unpopular outside Warwick where he was elected to the Legislative Assembly without opposition on 20 May 1860. On 14 January 1862 he became secretary for public lands and works in the Herbert ministry but was defeated by an organized sectarian vote in the by-election resulting from his acceptance of public office. On 3 July 1863 he was nominated to the Legislative Council where he represented the government; from 13 September 1866 to 15 August 1867 he was postmaster-general under Arthur Macalister and from 28 January to 3 May 1870 under Charles Lilley. Gore surrendered his Bodumba and Canning Creek leases in 1869 and acquired a stud property called Lyndhurst, near Warwick, where he died on 16 August 1871, leaving four sons and three daughters. He is commemorated by a statue in Warwick, a street in Toowoomba, a highway and a railway station.

His eldest son St George Ralph was born on 21 September 1841 in Sydney and spent his early years on his father's property. In 1866 he joined a family friend, Charles Graham, on a station in the Peak Downs district but after three disastrous years abandoned the venture and became clerk of Petty Sessions at Nanango. On 3 February 1873 he was transferred to Brisbane as clerk in the Registrar-General's Office, became a deposition clerk in the Brisbane Police Court in 1874, clerk assistant of the Legislative Council in 1876 and chief clerk of the Colonial Secretary's Office in 1877. On 6 April 1876 he married Eugenia Marion, daughter of Eyles Browne. When his cousin, the 8th baronet, died unmarried on 31 December 1878 Gore succeeded to the title. He used it in spite of some derision from local democrats, stayed in Queensland and on 1 January 1880 was appointed immigration agent and chief inspector of Pacific Islanders and of Distilleries. In 1884 when two officers of the recruiting ship Stanley were tried for violence in New Britain Gore was alleged to have approved their actions. Sir St George died at his home in Brisbane on 17 October 1887, leaving four children.

Select Bibliography

  • H. S. Russell, The Genesis of Queensland (Syd, 1888)
  • M. J. Fox (ed), The History of Queensland, vol I (Brisb, 1919)
  • T. Hall, The Early History of Warwick District (Toowoomba, 1923)
  • D. Gunn, Links With the Past (Brisb, 1937)
  • J. Trude, Notes on Yandilla station (State Library of Queensland)
  • Glennie diary (State Library of Queensland)
  • run registers and mortgage records (Queensland State Archives)
  • manuscript catalogue and newspaper indexes under Gore (State Library of New South Wales)
  • I. Elliot, Family history (privately held).

Citation details

A. A. Morrison, 'Gore, St George Richard (1812–1871)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/gore-st-george-richard-1215/text5665, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 21 October 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

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