Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Charles Lumley Hill (1840–1909)

by A. A. Morrison

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Charles Lumley Hill (1840-1909), grazier, parliamentarian and cattle-breeder, was born at Tickhill Castle, Yorkshire, England, son of Charles John Hill, colonel of Hussars, and his wife Lady Frances Charlotte Arabella, daughter of Frederick Lumley and granddaughter of the fourth Earl of Scarbrough. Educated at Rossall School, he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, in October 1860 but did not take a degree. He migrated to South Australia in 1863 and had some experience on a station near Port Augusta. In 1864 he moved to Queensland where he soon became manager of Northampton Downs. In 1865 with his Oxford friends, William Holberton and William Thomas Allen, he bought sheep, drove them to the Barcoo River, took up part of Isis Downs and later acquired the runs of Westlands, Avington and Thornleigh. They had much trouble with the Aboriginals and Hill was prominent in measures to suppress them. The stations were sold when his partners returned to England.

In 1878 Hill was returned unopposed to the Legislative Assembly for the Gregory district where he had bought a share in Rosebrook station. At first he supported (Sir) Arthur Palmer and (Sir) Thomas McIlwraith but, disappointed at not receiving a portfolio, he joined Boyd Morehead and Oscar de Satgé in forming a cave within the government ranks. He was further alienated in 1880 when Morehead joined the ministry. McIlwraith's proposal for a transcontinental land-grant railway made Hill and other western graziers fearful of their properties and he strongly opposed the project in the press and public meetings. In 1882 he sold his properties, resigned his seat and sailed for England.

In 1883 Hill returned to Queensland and failed in his first attempt to win the Cook seat. He won it at a by-election in 1885 and was an independent supporter of (Sir) Samuel Griffith. In 1886 he was a representative of the assembly on the joint committee to discuss the deadlock arising from the Legislative Council's opposition to a money bill. Contemporary press comment suggests that he was rather too aristocratic to be popular. In 1888 he returned to pastoral pursuits and became a cattle-breeder. At Bellevue, near Esk, he built up a fine Hereford stud. On 24 July 1901 he had married Edith Maud Taylor, a widowed daughter of George Harris and sister-in-law of Richard Gardiner Casey. Aged 69 Hill died of malaria at Bellevue on 28 October 1909. His widow managed his estates and won repute for her business ability and as a grazier and cattle-breeder; she died on 6 July 1925 at Southport and was buried in Toowong cemetery.

Select Bibliography

  • Boomerang (Brisbane), 16 Feb 1889
  • Pastoral Review, 15 Aug 1906
  • Telegraph (Brisbane), 7 July 1925.

Additional Resources

Citation details

A. A. Morrison, 'Hill, Charles Lumley (1840–1909)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 16 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (Melbourne University Press), 1972

View the front pages for Volume 4

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


Tickhill Castle, Yorkshire, England


28 October, 1909 (aged ~ 69)
Esk, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death


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