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Hamlet, William Mogford (1850–1931)

Mr. William Mogford Hamlet, who was Government analyst of New South Wales for nearly 30 years, died at his residence, Glendowan, Glenbrook, yesterday, at the age of 81 years.

Born at Portsmouth, he was educated at a private school in Bristol. Science was unknown then in schools, but he gained some knowledge of chemistry and electricity from Pinnock's Catechism of Chemistry and an old tattered volume of Gilbert's Electricity. Visits to the laboratories of scientists strengthened his interest in the subjects. His father had mapped out a commercial career for him, and he was apprenticed to a shipping firm in Bristol. However, he continued his studies, and attended the Bristol trade and mining school in the evenings. There he obtained high honours in science, and received the Queen's medal for inorganic chemistry. Afterwards he gained a scholarship, which enabled him to proceed to the Royal College of Chemistry, where he studied under Valentine and Sir Edward Frankland. After an appointment as demonstrator of chemistry at the Bristol Medical School, he entered into a contract with the Bristol agents of the Peruvian Government to analyse the consignments of natural Peruvian guano, then imported from the Chinchas and Guanape Islands. He next received an appointment as official public analyst for Kings Lynn. In 1876 he fitted up a research laboratory for a large London brewery. Later he proceeded to the West Indies as chemist and assayer for a gold-mining company. In less than two years he was obliged to return to England owing to illness. He was advised to proceed to Australia for health reasons, and came to Sydney in a sailing ship in 1883. He was appointed Government analyst of New South Wales in 1887, and retired in 1915.

He leaves a widow and three children.

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'Hamlet, William Mogford (1850–1931)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 October 2020.

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