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Dalglish, James Campsie (1845–1888)

from Goulburn Herald (NSW)

It is with regret that we record the sudden death of Mr. James Campsie Dalglish of Wandara, Cowper-street, which took place at the Federal Coffee Palace, Melbourne, on Sunday evening last. The deceased gentleman, accompanied by Mrs. Dalglish, Mr. J. Dalglish (brother of deceased), and Mr. A. G. de Lauret (brother-in-law), had been in Melbourne for about a fortnight, and were staying at the Federal Coffee Palace. On Sunday Mr. Dalglish appeared to be in his usual health, and about five o'clock in the evening was preparing to go out when he was seized with faintness, and said he would lie down for a few minutes, but he had but just time to stagger to his bedside when he dropped dead. The cause of death is surmised to have been heart disease; but the deceased had previously enjoyed good health, the only illness from which he suffered having been caused by injuries received about twelve years ago through a horse falling with him.

The news was received in Goulburn yesterday morning, and caused a shock of surprise, not only amongst the numerous friends and acquaintances of the deceased gentleman, but the public generally.

Mr. Dalglish was a native of New South Wales, having been born at Campsie (his father's estate) on the Patterson River. At an early age he proceeded to Scotland, and completed his education in Glasgow, where he also learned the profession of surveyor. Prior, to leaving Scotland Mr. Dalglish was offered a lucrative appointment to remain, and was also offered a good position to go to India, but those he refused, preferring to cast in his lot with his own countryman and take his chance in his native land. He returned to the colony about twenty-four years ago, and began the practice of his profession. According to the Blue Book, he received his first appointment under the colonial government on the 6th June 1867. Mr. Dalglish and Mr. A. O. Betts (who is at present chairman of the land board at Cooma) passed their examination together, and entered the government service at the same time. From 1867 till 1872 Mr. Dalglish was surveying on the staff in this district, the coastal district, and the Lachlan district. In 1872 he was promoted a first-class surveyor, and removed to Dubbo; and in 1875 he was appointed district surveyor at that place, which position he filled with the greatest satisfaction till about the middle of 1883, when for the sake of his health and for family reasons he returned to Goulburn, where he accepted the position of first-class surveyor. Prior to leaving Dubbo, however, the department offered him the position of district surveyor at Forbes, but this appointment he declined. On his return here he frequently relieved Mr. E. Twynam, the district surveyor, and in March 1887, when Mr. Twynam was appointed acting Surveyor-general, Mr. Dalglish was appointed acting district surveyor at Goulburn. This office he held until February 1888, when he was granted six months' leave of absence. On the 15th August, when the term of his leave expired, he resigned from the survey department, after a service of nearly twenty-one years, and his place was filled by Mr. J. L. Tritton.

Mr. Dalglish was considered a very efficient officer, in fact his name was coupled with that of Mr. Twynam as the two most efficient officers in the survey service. His administration at Dubbo and Goulburn was marked by extreme care and caution, and it is said that not a single mistake has ever been attributed to him. He had great capacity for the prompt disposal of work. Many of Mr. Dalglish's topographical reports of the various parts of the country in which he had been surveying were considered of such an interesting and valuable nature that the attorney-general had copies of them sent to nearly all the district surveyors in the colony for perusal, in order to induce them to send in similar reports. He was very popular, not only with the public but with those over whom he had charge, and who in every case were very devoted to him. The present district surveyor, Mr. Tritton, who served under Mr. Dalglish for seven years, speaks of him as the most efficient officer in the department, and as a man whom many of his staff might look upon as a friend. Mr. Tritton says–"I owe my present position to the training received under Mr. Dalglish, and I have lost a sincere friend."

Mr. Dalglish was married about thirteen years ago to Miss Mary de Lauret, oldest daughter of the late Mr. A. G. de Lauret of Wynella near Goulburn. He leaves a widow and six children, four sons and two daughters, the eldest, a son, about twelve years old, and the youngest about six months old. Mr. Dalglish was well connected in Scotland, and was a nephew of the late Sir Robert Torrens (of land title fame), and his cousin Mr. Dalglish was for many years representative of Glasgow in the House of Commons. Deceased was about forty-one or forty- two years of age.

Mr. Dalglish held a large interest in the Broken Hill Proprietary Mine, and it in understood he was a man of substantial wealth. He had taken passages for himself and family in the R. M. S. Ormuz to sail on the 5th April next for Europe, it being his intention to have his children educated in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

The deceased gentleman was of unostentatious and agreeable manners, and took considerable interest in local matters. He was until recently an active member of the hospital committee, and was also member of the mechanics' institute committtee.

Arrangements were made for bringing the remains of the deceased to Goulburn by the express train this morning, for interment in the De Lauret family vault in the Roman Catholic cemetery immediately afterwards, the funeral to be strictly private.

Mrs. Dalglish has received many messages of condolence, and much sympathy is expressed for her in her bereavement.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Dalglish, James Campsie (1845–1888)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dalglish-james-campsie-18088/text29673, accessed 25 September 2017.

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