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Bagot, Robert Cooper (1828–1881)

from Australasian (Melbourne)

It is with feelings of deep sorrow we have to announce the death of Mr. R. C. [Robert Cooper] Bagot, the well-known secretary of the Victoria Racing Club. Up to Sunday last Mr. Begot was in the enjoyment of his usual health and spirits, but on that day he was seized with an attack of pleurisy and inflammation of the lungs, and notwithstanding all that that his medical advisers (Messrs James and Turner) could do for him the malady assumed a very serious aspect, and on Thursday morning he succumbed to it, and passed away.

Probably there was no one more widely known throughout the Australian colonies than the deceased gentleman. His name, indeed, was a household word, we may say, amongst all classes, and as secretary of the Victoria Racing Club, a position he held for nearly 20 years, he had gained for himself universal esteem. The turf in Victoria is indebted to him for having from small beginnings brought the leading club of this colony to the highest pitch of popularity and success. When he assumed the secretaryship of the V.R.C. racing was in a very primitive state. He it was who planned, and successfully carried out, all those improvements that have made the Flemington Racecourse second to none in the world. Gifted with great energy and determination, he was the master spirit in advising the committee of the V.R.C. to that course of action which has been crowded with such splendid results. He may be said to have popularised sport in Australia, and the vast assemblages of spectators that congregated at Flemington, particularly on Cup day, had to thank him for the completeness of the arrangements which enabled them to enjoy racing in a manner hitherto unknown on any racecourse in the world. Bluff in manner and free in speech, Mr. Bagot was, nevertheless, one of the best-hearted of men, and his co-operation was generally sought, and always cheerfully given towards any charitable object. He was what may be termed a most able administrator and financier, and his energy generally enabled him to surmount obstacles that would have deterred most ordinary persons at the outset. He never knew what it was to fail. As secretary of the V.R.C. his place will not easily be filled up, and as long as racing is carried on in Australia the name of Bagot will be handed down for many a year to come as that of one who did more than any other man in the Australian colonies to popularise the national pastime, and by his administrative talents raise the Victoria Racing Club to the proud position it now holds as the leading turf institution in Australia.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Robert Cooper Bagot

Additional Resources

  • profile, Sydney Sportsman, 25 September 1901, p 6
  • profile, Australasian (Melbourne), 22 September 1928, p 26

Citation details

'Bagot, Robert Cooper (1828–1881)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bagot-robert-cooper-2916/text35966, accessed 22 April 2019.

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