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La Trobe, Charles Joseph (1801–1875)

Charles La Trobe, by Francis Grant, 1855

Charles La Trobe, by Francis Grant, 1855

State Library of Victoria, 49208799

We (Melbourne Argus) have received intelligence by cable of the death of Mr. Charles Joseph La Trobe, who more than twenty years ago occupied the position of Governor of this colony. Mr. La Trobe was appointed Superintendent of the Port Phillip district on September 30, 1839, and was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Victoria on its separation from New South Wales, on July 1, 1851. He was the third son of the Rev. C. J. La Trobe, by his marriage with Miss Sims, the daughter of a clergyman of an old Saxon family, in the West Riding of the county of York, and was born in London on the 20th March, 1801. Descended from a noble French Protestant family (who emigrated from the south of France on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, and settled in Ireland), and originally destined for the Church, he was educated with his brothers among the Moravians. After some years of travel in America and on the Continent, he was selected in 1837 by Lord Glenelg, then Secretary of State, to undertake the tour of the West Indian colonies, for the purpose of reporting upon the application of the funds voted by Parliament for the education and moral improvement of the negroes. Having made his report to the Government on the completion of that arduous service, he was appointed Superintendent of this colony, then known as the Port Phillip district, and remained at the head of affairs for nearly fourteen years. At length, feeling the necessity of repose, he resigned the Lieutenant-Governorship, and returned to Europe on the 5th May, 1854. He was married in 1835 to the third daughter of M. de Mont Mollin, a gentleman of high position and consideration in the principality of Neufehatel, in Switzerland. This lady died in January, 1854, leaving four children, and her death shadowed the last few weeks preceding Mr. La Trobe's departure.

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'La Trobe, Charles Joseph (1801–1875)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 August 2020.

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