Rt. Hon. Sir Robert
Duff PC, GCMG
[Courtesy of Government
Historic Houses Trust]
of New South Wales.
Born in Scotland
in March 1893 and arrived with his family in May.
His first year
was troubled. The Premier, Sir George Dibbs asked him, to send his
assent to a proclamation abolishing the old electoral rolls and
constituencies. He did this. In December of the same year, he found
himself in a dilemma when a motion of no-confidence was carried
against Edmund Barton Attorney-General and R. E. OConnor,
Minister for Justice for holding briefs against the Crown. If he
had forced Dibbs to resign by refusing his advice, the dismantled
electoral machinery would have not allowed the new ministers to
stand for ministerial re-election. Therefore, Duff was accused of
partisanship by Sir Henry Parkes and other free traders, and criticized
in the press, but he believed his decision had been justified.
the July 1894 elections, Dibbs asked the Governor to nominate ten
new members to the Legislative Council. Duff offered to make three
new appointments, but Dibbs resigned.
On the imperial
level, Duff was involved in negotiations for compensation for the
seizure of the Costa Rica Packet in the Dutch East Indies. When
the Sino-Japanese War broke out he warned the New South Wales government
of the dangers to neutral ships trading in coal with those at war.
He died at Government
House in 1895 and was the first New South Wales Governor to die
in office. He was buried in Waverley Cemetery and his funeral hatchment
is in the Church of St. James, Sydney.
A. W. Martin, 'CARRINGTON, CHARLES ROBERT', Australian Dictionary
of Biography, Vol 5 ed. Douglas Pike pp90-100 ( Melbourne University