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Dumaresq, Henry (1792–1838)

On the morning of Monday, the 5th instant, at Port Stephens, in about the 46th year of his age, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Dumaresq, Commissioner of the Agricultural Company. His death was awfully sudden, He retired to his chamber on Sunday night, about 10 o'clock, in good health; was shortly after seized with an apoplectic fit; and about half-past four the following morning breathed his last.

This lamented officer was educated in the rudiments of military science in the Royal Military College at Great Marlow, Bucks; and having attained the highest honours which that establishment could confer, in the year 1808 he joined the 9th regiment of foot, then serving in the Peninsula. In this honourable and arduous service he continued until nearly the close of the war, when he was appointed to the staff of General Packenham. From the Peninsula he proceeded with the army to the campaign of New Orleans, in which he served as Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Byng. On his return from that country, he joined the army in Belgium, then the theatre of those memorable engagements which terminated in the restoration of universal peace. In several of these perilous struggles, Lieut.-Colonel Dumaresq performed a gallant part; and in the battle of Waterloo, whilst in the act of returning from a post of imminent danger, to which he had been bravely leading some troops, he received a wound in the lungs, from which he never perfectly recovered, and the effects of which are supposed to have hastened his untimely death. A musket ball lodged in his body, and although he submitted, a few years ago, to a most painful surgical operation for the purpose of extricating it, the effort was unavailing, and he has carried the fatal lead to his tomb.

Lieutenant Colonel Dumaresq arrived in this Colony in the year 1825, a few months before his brother-in-law, Sir Ralph Darling. He was private secretary to that Governor throughout the whole of his administration, with the exception of an interval of absence on a visit to his native country, whence he returned in 1829, bearing the Royal Charter, constituting and appointing the enlarged Legislative Council.

On the retirement of Sir Edward Parry, about four years ago, from the charge of the extensive establishments in this colony, of the Australian Agricultural Company, Lieut. Col. Dumaresq was appointed to succeed him, as the Company's Chief Commissioner; and with so much ability and success had he performed the duties of that responsible office, that the Court of Directors spontaneously voted a handsome increase to his salary, accompanied by a high eulogium on his official services.

To the Company the Colonel's death will be no ordinary loss, his ample local experience, joined to his other qualities, having peculiarly fitted him for the active, prudent, and profitable management of their affairs. The subordinate officers and servants of the establishment are mournfully sensible that by that sudden event they have lost a just and kind superior, whose constant endeavour it was to promote their general happiness, and whose personal example recommended to them the duties and the consolations of our holy religion. By a large and respectable circle of friends his memory will long be cherished for the virtues which made him at once an exemplary member of society, and an ornament and pattern of private life. His numerous family connexions have sustained an irreparable bereavement, but their grief is assuaged by that "sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life," which is supplied by that Gospel of which he died a firm and a consistent believer.

Original publication

Citation details

'Dumaresq, Henry (1792–1838)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dumaresq-henry-2003/text29059, accessed 23 November 2017.

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