Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Henry Goulburn (1784–1856)

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Henry Goulburn (1784-1856), politician, was born on 19 March 1784 in London, the eldest son of Munbee Goulburn and his wife Susannah, daughter of the fourth Viscount Chetwynd, and brother of Frederick Goulburn. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1805; M.A., 1808), entered the House of Commons in 1808, and in 1810 became under-secretary at the Home Office. In August 1812 he became under-secretary for the colonies under Bathurst and remained in that post until December 1821 when he was appointed chief secretary to the lord lieutenant of Ireland. He was an honourable man of high principles, a neat and industrious but unimaginative administrator. During his term as under-secretary the Colonial Office was firmly established within the framework of the British administration.

From 1828 to 1830 Goulburn was chancellor of the exchequer and in 1834-35 Home Secretary. He was again chancellor of the exchequer in 1841-46. He died on 12 January 1856.

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Citation details

'Goulburn, Henry (1784–1856)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 18 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (Melbourne University Press), 1966

View the front pages for Volume 1

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


19 March, 1784
London, Middlesex, England


12 January, 1856 (aged 71)

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