Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Sir William Lamond Allardyce (1861–1930)

by E. A. McLeod

This article was published:

Sir William Lamond Allardyce (1861-1930), governor, was born on 14 November 1861 at Bombay, India, son of Colonel James Allardyce, military surgeon, and his wife Georgina Dickson, née Abbott. After education at the gymnasium school, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Oxford Military College, England, in 1879 he was appointed clerk and interpreter in the Provincial Department in Fiji and, in 1882, stipendiary magistrate. Rapid promotion to senior posts followed: appointed colonial secretary in July 1902, that year he acted for two months as governor and was appointed C.M.G. A member of the legislative and executive councils, he was an efficient, tough-minded administrator and upholder of the native policy of Sir Arthur Gordon and Sir John Thurston. With 'a profound insight into Fijians' and expert in their language, he edited the first official newspaper in Fijian. Allardyce was governor of the Falkland Islands in 1904-14. He was active in establishing a profitable whaling industry, but was concerned about conserving resources. To reduce isolation, he worked towards the establishment in November 1912 of a radio station. Governor of the Bahamas in 1915-20, he was promoted K.C.M.G. in 1916.

In 1895 at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, he had married Constance Angel (d.1919), daughter of Molesworth Greene. In 1920 he married a widow Elsie Elizabeth Goodfellow, née Stewart. On 16 April Allardyce became governor of Tasmania, at a time when that office was under question. In September a Labor Party motion for its abolition was defeated in the House of Assembly on the Speaker's vote. Next February Allardyce complained to the colonial secretary about the inadequacy of his salary of £2750; in August he was told by the premier W. H. Lee that there was not the 'remotest possibility' of the assembly agreeing to an increase in his salary or allowances. No longer able to afford to hold office, Allardyce decided to take three months leave before retiring, and asked that the governor's remuneration and allowances be the subject of a statement in parliament. On 30 November 1921 that statement was followed by a successful motion in the assembly for the abolition of the office of governor, though a week later the Legislative Council rejected a similar motion.

Praised, even by those opposed to future appointment of State governors, for the expert and whole-hearted way in which they had carried out their duties, the Allardyces left Tasmania on 27 January 1922. He was governor of Newfoundland in 1922-28, and in 1927 was promoted G.C.M.G. He retired in 1928 and during the next year was a director of the Viking Whaling Co. Ltd, an Anglo-Norwegian venture. Survived by his wife and by the two daughters of his first marriage, he died of cancer on 9 June 1930 at Wokingham, Berkshire, England.

Select Bibliography

  • Votes and Proceedings (House of Assembly, Tasmania), 1920, 54, 1921, 166, Votes and Proceedings (Legislative Council, Tasmania), 1921, 59
  • Great Britain: Dominion Office and Colonial Office List, 1930
  • Mercury (Hobart), 21 Jan 1920, 24, 25, 27 Jan 1922, 11 June 1930
  • Examiner (Launceston), 2 Dec 1921, 25, 27 Jan 1922, 11 June 1930
  • World (Hobart), 19-21, 24 Jan 1922
  • papers (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University, England)
  • family papers (privately held)
  • official records (National Archives of Fiji, Suva)
  • GO 34/2 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
  • Premier's Dept, 1/350/110, 1/365/110, 1/373/110 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
  • private information.

Citation details

E. A. McLeod, 'Allardyce, Sir William Lamond (1861–1930)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 17 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (Melbourne University Press), 1979

View the front pages for Volume 7

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


14 November, 1861
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


9 June, 1930 (aged 68)
Wokingham, Berkshire, England

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