Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Arthur Lloyd Windsor (1833–1913)

by C. E. Sayers

This article was published:

Arthur Lloyd Windsor (1833-1913), journalist, was born at sea on a voyage to Barbados, West Indies, son of Henry George Windsor, R.N.; his father's family owned sugar plantations in the West Indies. When Windsor was 5 his father died, and three years later he was sent to school at Ottery St Mary, Devon, England. He left school at 17 and lived at Clifton, Bristol, writing occasional articles for English periodicals such as the London Spectator. A few years later he went back to Barbados and taught at Codrington College. About the end of 1855 he visited Canada before returning to England. His income from inherited sugar estates diminishing, he coached young relations for the army, wrote for the Quarterly Review and taught classics at Clifton College. His collection of essays, published in London in 1860 as Ethica; or, Characteristics of Men, Manners, and Books, evidenced his wide reading and confidence in handling his subjects.

Soon afterwards Windsor was appointed editor of the Melbourne Argus. With his wife Elizabeth Jenkins, née Hucker, whom he had married at Clifton on 3 July 1861, he arrived in Melbourne in the Great Britain on 3 April 1863. He stayed with the Argus until 1865 but its political conservatism and managerial control irked him. He moved to Castlemaine and edited the Mount Alexander Mail; his 3-month-old son died there in May 1867. In 1869 he returned to Melbourne and in 1872 became editor of the Age.

Windsor worked in great harmony with its proprietor, David Syme. Conferring almost daily, they thrashed out the paper's attitude on matters of the day, and Windsor adapted the decisions to the editorial and news columns. He was the first editorial writer whom Syme really trusted and they became close friends. Comparing them, Alfred Deakin wrote that Windsor was 'more classically trained than Syme, far quicker and more adaptable … a far readier, more copious and polished writer and speaker … He had many enthusiasms but they were all short-lived, a fine literary taste and style, and a rich endowment of humour, insight and original speculation'. More bluntly, a colleague writing in 1913 said Windsor always passed for 'a sort of Tory, but nobody could nail him to anything … His forte, in which he was beyond rivalry, was the bitter satiric political or social article'. Absorbed in his work, he did not seek friends but he was not a misanthrope.

President of the Australian Institute of Journalists in 1892, Windsor was described as a scholarly looking man, with a small, straight nose, keen blue eyes and particularly fine, sensitive hands; not tall, he had a sturdy, well-knit frame. He retired in late 1900 and in March next year went to London but was not happy there and returned to Melbourne in ill health. Aged 79, he died of chronic nephritis at his home at Brunswick on 20 January 1913 and was buried in the Coburg cemetery.

Select Bibliography

  • B. Hoare, Looking Back Gaily (Melb, 1927)
  • A. Deakin, The Crisis in Victorian Politics, 1879-1881, J. A. La Nauze and R. M. Crawford eds (Melb, 1957)
  • C. E. Sayers, David Syme: A Life (Melb, 1965)
  • W. S. Robinson, If I Remember Rightly, G. Blainey ed (Melb, 1967)
  • Bulletin, 5 Jan, 9 Mar 1901, 30 Jan 1913
  • Australian Worker, 2 Apr 1908
  • Age (Melbourne), 22 Jan 1913.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

C. E. Sayers, 'Windsor, Arthur Lloyd (1833–1913)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 21 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (Melbourne University Press), 1976

View the front pages for Volume 6

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


at sea


20 January, 1913 (aged ~ 80)
Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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