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Hordern, Sir Samuel (1876–1956)

Samuel Hordern, n.d.

Samuel Hordern, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 June 1956

Sir Samuel Hordern, the senior member of one of Australia's most prominent pioneer families, died at his Darling Point, Sydney, home on 3rd June at the age of 79. He had been a semi-invalid for some years, as the result of an accident at his Retford Park property, near Bowral, N.S.W., and at the time of his death had resigned from the many company, charitable, and educational boards with which he had been connected for many years.

He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and Bath College, England, and then joined the family retail firm of Anthony Hordern and Sons, which had been founded by his grandfather, who married a granddaughter of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, the Colony's first senior chaplain and one of the founders of the sheep industry in Australia. Sir Samuel assumed control of the business on the death of his father, Mr. Samuel Hordern, in 1909 and became governing director when it was formed into a private company in 1912. He retired from the company in 1926 when it was sold to public investors, but continued to direct many other organisations. He was a former chairman of the A.M.P. Society, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and a former director of the Perpetual Trustee Company of N.S.W., the Commonwealth Bank Board, and the Royal Insurance Company.

Like other members of his family, Sir Samuel was keenly interested in the primary industries and devoted much of his time to the affairs of the Royal Agricultural Society of N.S.W. He followed his father as a councillor of the society and was himself president for 26 years, from 1915 to 1941, during which period great expansion took place. His brother, Mr. Anthony Hordern, of Milton Park and Mungadal, has also been a councillor for many years, whilst his son, Mr. Samuel Hordern, has been president for the past two years. For his work with the R.A.S. Sir Samuel was created a Knight Bachelor in 1919, and received the honour of K.B.E. in 1938.

As a further contribution to the primary industries Sir Samuel developed Retford Park into a noted stud stock property, and in particular bred some of the best Jersey cattle in the State. He was also a keen racing man and for a time was acting chairman of the Australian Jockey Club. His horses won many important races, including the A.J.C. Derby and Melbourne Cup (Artilleryman) and Caulfield Cup (Violoncello).

In 1900 Sir Samuel Hordern married Miss Charlotte See, eldest daughter of Sir John See, who represented Grafton in the N.S.W. State Parliament from 1880 to 1904, and was Premier from 1901 to 1904. Lady Hordern died in 1952, but he is survived by his son and two daughters, Mrs. Oscar M. Peall and Mrs. William A. Winter-Irving.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Hordern, Sir Samuel (1876–1956)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hordern-sir-samuel-506/text507, accessed 21 November 2019.

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