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Johnston, Percival (1845–1926)

The death occurred yesterday, at his residence, Mildura, East Esplanade, Manly, of Mr. Percival Johnston, grandson of Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston, who arrived in Sydney with the First Fleet in 1788, and was acting Governor of New South Wales in 1808.

The late Mr. Johnston was born in 1845 at Annandale House, on the estate of his father, Captain Robert Johnston. The old house was occupied by the family for 111 years, and was demolished in 1905.

In 1865 the late Mr. Johnston in order to gain colonial experience lived on an outback station with blacks as his only companions for twelve months. He later acquired interests in the well-known station properties of Jeir and Nama in the Yass district. In the 'sixties Mr. Johnston visited New Zealand, and served as Parliamentary private secretary to Sir George Grey. The great New Zealand statesman invited Mr. Johnston to enter Parliament, but he declined the offer, as a political life did not appeal to him. Subsequently, Mr. Johnston was appointed by Mr. John Grogden, head of a great English firm of railway contractors, to take charge of the financial side of the construction of the first railway in New Zealand. He returned to Sydney in 1875, and engaged in pastoral pursuits. Mr. Johnston was a personal friend of Sir Henry Parkes, and on two occasions declined a seat in the Legislative Council.

Mr. Johnston's father, Captain Robert Johnston, R.N., was born in 1794, and was the first Australian-born person to enter the British Navy. The late Mr. Johnston was one of the oldest life members of the Royal Colonial Institute (1888), and was one of the original members and one of the first vice presidents of the Pioneers' Club of Sydney.

The late Mr. Johnston is survived by a widow, two sons, and one daughter. The sons are Messrs. D. Hope Johnston and G. G. Johnston (late of Sydney), and the daughter is Mrs. Burr (now in London).

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 March 1926, p 12

Citation details

'Johnston, Percival (1845–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 October 2020.

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