Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6

View articles from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6

Period: 1851-1890
Names: R-Z
General Editor: Bede Nairn
Published in hardcopy 1976


This volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography is the fourth of four for the 1851-1890 section. The first three volumes of this section and the two for 1788-1850 have already been published; six have been planned for the third section 1891-1939. This chronological division was designed to simplify production, for about 7000 articles are likely to be included. A general index volume will be prepared when the three sections are completed.

The placing of each individual's name in the appropriate section has been generally determined by when he/she did his/her most important work (floruit). For articles that overlap the chronological division, preference has usually been given to the earlier period, although most of the important Federationists will appear in the third section.

The selection of names for inclusion in the Dictionary has been 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 the Biographical Register at the Dictionary headquarters in the Australian National University.

Most authors were nominated by the Working Parties, and the burden of writing has been shared almost equally by university historians and by members of historical and genealogical societies and other specialists.

The Dictionary is a project based on consultation and co-operation. The Australian National University has borne the cost of the headquarters staff, of much research and of some special contingencies, while other Australian universities have supported the project in various ways. Its policies have been determined by the National Committee, composed mainly 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 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.


Special thanks are due to Professor J. A. La Nauze for his helpful guidance as chairman of the Editorial Board. Those who helped in planning the shape of the work have been acknowledged in earlier volumes.

The Dictionary is grateful for many privileges extended by the Australian universities, especially the Australian National University.

For assistance overseas thanks are due to David Barron and Ivan Page, Liaison Officers of the National Library of Australia in London, and to their staff; to the archivists and librarians of: the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London, Cambridge University Library, University of Durham Library, University of London Library and its King's College Library, and the University of Manchester Archives; the National Library of Scotland, St Andrews University Library, King's and Marischal Colleges, Aberdeen University Library, Edinburgh University Library, University of Glasgow Archives, and the Andersonian Library, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; Trinity College Library, University of Dublin, King's Inn's Library, Dublin; the National Library of Wales; the Alexander Turnbull Library and the National Archives, New Zealand; the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Mauritius Archives Department; Emeritus Professor Stephen Welsh, Sheffield, England, J. T. Lloyd, University of Glasgow, Dr Lewis Lloyd, Harlech, Wales, Ms Alice Gay, Paris, and Dr F. Seilheim, Rumbeck, West Germany; the officials of the General Register Office, Edinburgh, the Public Record Office, London, and County Record Offices; Monsignor Cavalieri, Rome, many other clergy and others who have answered calls for help.

The Dictionary deeply regrets the death of such notable contributors as Charles Bateson, Keast Burke, S. G. Claughton, L. }. Duffy, W. Hudson Fysh, F. C. Green, M. F. Hardie, W. R. Jewell, A. A. Morrison, H. Z. Palmer, C. C. Singleton, Clive Turnbull, M. J. L. Uren, G. P. Whitley and C. T. Wood who, in their several capacities, greatly assisted the work of this and previous volumes.

Within Australia the Dictionary is greatly indebted to many librarians and archivists in Canberra and each State; to the secretaries of many historical and genealogical societies; to the historical research officers of the Australian Post Office; to the Registrars-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and of Probates, in the various States, whose generous co-operation has solved many problems. Warm thanks for the free gift of their time and talents are due to all contributors and all members of the National Committee, Editorial Board, and the Working Parties, including past chairmen, H. J. Finnis, F. C. Green, R. B. Joyce, A. A. Morrison* and G. D. Richardson. For particular advice the Dictionary owes much to Professor J. J. Auchmuty, P. L. Brown, Professor K. J. Cable, Rev. S. G. Claughton*, Miss H. Curnow, Frank Cusack, G. L. Fischer, Professor B. Gandevia, A. J. and Nancy Gray, Rev. Dr L. B. Grope, Dr N. Gunson, A. Hicks, R. F. Holder, Rev. Dr M. Lohe, Dr J. A. Merritt, Professor J. N. Molony, Dr H. S. Patterson, J. Potts, A. Warrington Rogers, Dr F. B. Smith, Mrs Frances Stephens, David Symon, George Tibbits, Sir S. Douglas Tooth, G. P. Walsh and J. B. Windeyer.

Grateful acknowledgment is also due to the director and staff of Melbourne University Press; to the editorial staff: Nan Phillips, Martha Campbell, Sally O'Neill, Suzanne Edgar, Deirdre Morris, Chris Cunneen, H. J. Gibbney and Ann-Mari Jordens; to Ruth Frappell, Michael Bosworth and Susan Johnston in Sydney, Noeline Hall and Neil Stewart in Brisbane, Joyce Gibberd and Marlene Cross in Adelaide, Wendy Birman in Perth, Beth McLeod in Hobart and Margery Walton in New Zealand and to the administrative staff, Dorothy Smith, Norma Gregson, Jill Wright and Ivy Meere.

The Foundation General Editor

Douglas Henry Pike (1908-1974), station worker, clergyman, historian and editor, was born on 3 November 1908 at Tuhshan, China, son of Douglas Fowler Pike and his wife Louisa, nee Boulter, Australian-born Baptist missionaries with the China Inland Mission. He was educated at the Inland Mission School at Chefoo and arrived in Australia in 1924 where he worked until 1926 as a teacher in the Victorian Department of Education and attended the University of Melbourne. Next year for family reasons he went to New South Wales and became a station overseer successively on several properties, including Collaroy, in the Cassilis-Merriwa district. For a time he managed a religious printery in Sydney, but soon went back to the land. In September 1938 he returned to Melbourne and until 1940 trained for the ministry at the Church of Christ College, Glen Iris. On 25 November next year he married Olive, daughter of Rev. T. Hagger.

Following ordination, Pike worked from 1942 as a Church of Christ clergyman in Adelaide and enrolled at the University of Adelaide, completing his course in 1947 with first-class honours in history and the Tinline [q.v.] scholarship (B.A., 1948; M.A., 1951; D.Litt., 1957). After a temporary lectureship in history at the university, he became a lecturer at the University of Western Australia in 1949, but returned to Adelaide as reader late in 1950. Appointed to the chair of history at the University of Tasmania in i960, he became foundation general editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography on 31 January 1962, commuting between Hobart and Canberra until December next year; he settled in Canberra on 1 January 1964 as a professor in the Research School of Social Sciences of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University.

The Dictionary had been mooted in the 1950s and by 1961 a small staff had been engaged on preliminary work for it, but no firm plans had been made for its production. With characteristic energy and foresight Pike set about organizing the project. He soon discovered that a general editor required the skills of a manager and the tact of a diplomat as well as the qualities of an historian and biographer— as he often remarked, his country pioneering stood him in good stead. He needed his diverse range of experience as he consolidated the administrative structure, comprising section editors, National Committee, Editorial Board and Working Parties, and began the task of producing the first two volumes, 1107 entries, covering 1788- 1850. Volume 1 appeared in 1966 and Volume 2 in 1967.

By that time Pike had put into shape a complex and efficient production system. His natural courtesy and firm belief in the value of the Dictionary had enabled him to obtain the co-operation of a great variety of people: his office staff, who helped in administration, research and checking; senior academics, who assisted in the broad aspects of editing, in the listing of entries and the allocation of authors, and very many writers (about 300 for each volume), from a wide range of occupations and locations. All of these, except the office staff, were unpaid. The principle of honorary national collaboration was firmly established, stemming from the history departments of all the Australian universities, through local historical and genealogical societies, State and National libraries and archives, to many individuals throughout the continent. Not the least of Pike's achievements was to gain the support of registrars of births, deaths and marriages and probates. He was warmly appreciative of all this willing help.

Volumes 1 and 2 established the scholarly base of the Dictionary and its social and educative value. Pike had acquired a distaste for adjectives and adverbs—of course, many of them escaped his net, but he was always sadly aware of it—and had developed a flair for lean prose. He was a great raconteur and more than once claimed that when a minister he could always reduce his sermons to one sentence as he ascended the pulpit. He did not overtly expect his authors to do the same with their articles, but often gave the impression that he wanted something like it; some of them objected, but reconciliations were nearly always reached, and each volume won renown (as he might have put it) for succinct restatement of what was well known and much compact presentation of what was new. This high repute was mainly attributable to Pike's skill and industry, but he never tired of acknowledging the teamwork that went into the Dictionary.

Pike's sympathetic and effective teaching and his publications, especially Paradise of Dissent: South Australia 1829-1857 (1957) and Australia: The Quiet Continent (1962), had established him as one of Australia's most distinguished historians; his work on the Dictionary revealed him as incomparably the country's best academic editor. He was quietly spoken, with a dry but genial sense of humour, leavened by the wisdom that flowed from his innate generosity and his spacious experience and fertile memory; his personal qualities complemented his erudition to enable him to grasp the total substance of the Dictionary as well as the significance of every article and its relationship to the whole. He was conscious of the constraint to keep volumes and articles within the allotted word lengths, but was equally aware of the individuality of each author and the uniqueness of each entry. As successive volumes appeared in 1969 and 1972 they revealed how he had mastered the complex task of harmonizing concise biographical writing, virtually all of it new, with the occasionally conflicting demands of contributors and publishers. The Ernest Scott Prize in 1969 and the Britannica Australia Award in 1971 provided appropriate recognition for his great achievement.

In 1973 there were signs that his health was suffering, at least partly from his intense editorial efforts, but by the latter part of the year he had Volume 5 substantially prepared. Pike was to retire on 31 December and had been invited to carry on in order to complete Volume 6, the last of the 1851-1890 series. But he suffered a cerebral thrombosis on 11 November and was admitted to Canberra Hospital where he died on 19 May 1974, survived by his wife and two sons.