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Davison, Francis (1839–1930)

Our Mount Gambler correspondent writes:—The death occurred early on Saturday morning, September 13, of Mr. Francis Davison, solicitor and barrister, of the firm of Davison and Davison, Mount Gambier. Mr. Davison, who was over 91 years of age, is believed to have been the oldest practising barrister in the British Empire. Until a few weeks ago Mr. Davison had enjoyed wonderful health, and attended his office regularly. He was then taken ill, and little hope of his recovery was held out. Mr. Davison was the second son of the late Captain Francis Davison, of Blakiston Hall, Durham, England, and was born at Walkerford, near Raby Castle, in that county on April 11, 1839. His father came to Port Adelaide on the ship Cleveland, under the command of Captain Marley, when he was only four months old, and formed a sheep and cattle station at Blakiston, near Mount Barker, subsequently becoming Stipendiary Magistrate for that district. His demise occurred in 1861. The late Mr. F. Davison received his education at St. Peter's College, and after a year's residence at his father's cattle station on the Murray, was articled to the legal profession with the well known firm of Hartley, Bakewell, and Stow, Adelaide. He also spent one year in Melbourne in the office of Mr. Hugh John Chambers, solicitor of that city, and was admitted to practice at the Bar of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1862. After some five years at Mount Barker, Mr. Davison came to Mount Gambier, and established himself in the practice of his profession. Here he had continued until his death, with the exception of one year, during which he took his family with him on a trip to England, and one year in 1873 in Adelaide, where he practised his profession in partnership with Mr. Stock. He associated himself with the public life of the district in many ways. He filled the position of Mayor during four terms of office, was President for some years of the local Institute, a member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society ever since its inception, President of the School of Mines, in which be took a great interest; and President of the Fish Protection Society, and was instrumental in stocking the waters of the district with perch and trout. The late Mr. Davison was also Master of the first pack of hounds in the hunting field of Mount Gambier in 1872. He joined the Volunteer Force in 1884, being on the retired list with the rank of Major. A member of the Church of England, and also of the Craft of Freemasons and Oddfellows, Mr. Davison was known and widely respected among a large circle of friends. In 1864 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. John Hawdon, of Kyla Park, New South Wales, who died in 1890 leaving him with a family of two sons and one daughter—Mr. F. B Davison, Montacute; Mr. J. H. Davison, Mount Gambier; and Miss A. E. Davison, Adelaide. His second marriage took place in 1893 with Emily Millicent, daughter of the late Mr. George Glen, of Mayurra, near Millicent, by whom he had one son, Cuthbert Glen Davison, who was killed at Gallipoli in 1915, and one daughter, Mrs. Stanley Genders, of Narracoorte. There are five grand-children, and three great-grandchildren. Besides the practice of his profession Mr. Davison took a keen interest in pastoral and agricultural pursuits, and for many years owned a large tract of grazing land between O.B. Flat and the Glenelg River.

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Citation details

'Davison, Francis (1839–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/davison-francis-20035/text31170, accessed 20 July 2019.

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