Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1

View articles from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1

Period: 1788-1850
Names: A-H
General Editor: Douglas Pike
Published in hardcopy 1966


This volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography is the first of two for the period 1788-1850. Four volumes are planned for the period 1851-1890 and probably six for the period 1891-1938, This chronological division was designed to simplify production, for some six thousand articles are likely to be included. In the last volume of each of the first two sections, a provisional list of names proposed for the next period will be attached as a temporary guide until a complete index is prepared. The placing of each individual's name in the appropriate section has been generally determined by when he did his most important work (floruit). For articles that overlap the chronological division, preference has usually been given to the earlier period, although all the important Federationists will appear in the third section.

The selection of names for inclusion in the first two volumes was the result of much consultation and co-operation. After quotas were estimated, Working Parties in each State prepared provisional lists, which were widely circulated and carefully amended. Many of the names were obviously significant and worthy of inclusion. Others, less notable, were chosen simply as samples of the Australian experience. Some had to be omitted through lack of material, and thereby joined the great anonymous mass whose members richly deserve a more honoured place; however, many thousands of these names are accumulating in a 'Biographical Register' at Dictionary headquarters in the Australian National University, and copies of this register are circulated at intervals to Australian libraries. Most authors were nominated by the Working Parties, and nearly all contributed their entries without payment. The burden of writing has been shared almost equally by university historians and by members of Historical and Genealogical Societies and other specialists. Most of the unsigned entries were prepared by Dictionary staff.

The Dictionary is an all-Australian, Commonwealth-wide venture based on consultation and co-operation. The Australian National University has borne the cost of the small headquarters staff and much research, while other Australian Universities have supported the project in various ways. Each year its policies have been determined by the National Committee of representatives from the Departments of History in each Australian University. At Canberra the Editorial Board has kept in touch with all these representatives and, through them, with the Working Parties. In turn the editorial work has called for much consultation with the Working Parties, librarians, archivists and other local experts, as well as overseas correspondents and research assistants in each Australian capital. With such varied support the Australian Dictionary of Biography can truly be called a national project.


The Dictionary is grateful for financial help from the Bushell Trust and the Directors of the Myer Foundation; and for many privileges extended by the Australian Universities, especially those in Canberra, Sydney and Hobart.

For assistance overseas special thanks are due to Mrs Judy Egerton in London and her correspondents in Edinburgh and Dublin, to the officials of the Public Record Office, Somerset House and the County Records Offices, to Colonel J. T. Hall and Captain A. McG. Robertson for information on the Royal Marines, and to the host of clergy, archivists and others who have answered Mrs Egerton's calls for help; to F. H. Torrington, Liaison Officer of the National Library of Australia in London, and to Miss Phyllis Mander-Jones for valuable advice; to Dr W. J. de Kock, editor in chief of the Dictionary of South African Biography, and to Dr Birgita Lager, editor of the Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon, for generous co-operation; to the officials of the Parliamentary, Alexander Turnbull and Hocken Libraries in New Zealand; to Professor Samuel C. McCulloch as correspondent in America; to Dr David J. Murray (Southern Rhodesia); to Dr E. H. McCormick (Auckland), C. P. Wright (Ottawa), the President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and to the British and New Zealand High Commissioners, Canberra, for advice on particular articles.

Within Australia the Dictionary is greatly indebted to the librarians and archivists of each State library, to the secretaries of many Historical and Genealogical Societies, and to the Registrars-General of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, whose generous co-operation has solved many problems of research. Warm thanks for the free gift of their time and talents are due to the contributors of articles; to M. H. Ellis, Period Editor and member of the Editorial Board until January 1962 and of the National Committee until his resignation in June 1963; to Dr Bernard Smith, consultant on the Fine Arts; and, for advice on particular entries, to Marcel Aurousseau, P. E. B. Mansell, Stewart Hindmarsh, Cleve Manhood, Geoffrey H. Scott, Miss Anne Stock, Mrs Vivi Westerlund, Mrs Bertha Mac Smith, Dr John Cumpston, Dr Niel Gunson, Miss Louisa F. Carne and many others; to the Chairmen and members of the National Committee, the Editorial Board and the Working Parties. Grateful acknowledgment is also due to the staff of Melbourne University Press; to the editorial staff: Mrs Ann Mozley until January 1962, Mrs Judith litis until October 1963, Gavin Long from April 1963, Miss Kathleen O'Donoghue from September 1963, A. W. Bazley in 1964; to the painstaking research assistance of A. J. and Nancy Gray, Mrs Vivienne Parsons and G. P. Walsh in Sydney, Mrs Anne Rand until 1963, and Mrs Decie Denholm in Hobart, Miss Mary O'Keefe in Brisbane, Mrs Kathleen Thomson in Melbourne; Mrs Marjorie Findlay in Adelaide and E. Zalums in Perth; to the secretarial staff and to the tireless enthusiasm of Mrs Nan Phillips, personal assistant to the General Editor.