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Suttor, Sir Francis Bathurst (1839–1915)

Sir Francis Suttor, n.d.

Sir Francis Suttor, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 April 1915

Sir Francis Bathurst Suttor, President of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, died suddenly from heart failure at the beginning of the month. He had welcomed the Governor-General at the official opening in Sydney of the Royal Show a few days previously in his capacity as president of the society, and on returning home after the ceremony complained of heart weakness, from which he failed to recover.

Sir Francis Suttor, who was nearly seventy-six years of age at the time of his death, was born at Bathurst, N.S.W., and was one of the best and greatest men Australia has produced. His education took place in Bathurst and at the King's School, and on leaving the latter he returned to the district of his birth and started on the land with his father, Mr. W. H. Suttor, who was only sixteen years old, when in, 1821 he accompanied his father, Mr. George Suttor, over the Blue Mountains to take up land on the Bathurst Plains. This was Brucedale, eight miles north of Bathurst, and this property has ever since remained in the possession of the family.

Five years after he started with his father, Francis Suttor took up land on his own account in the Bathurst and Wellington districts, and devoted his energies to sheep-breeding and the production of a superior stamp of coaching horse, which before long was dragging the lumbering coaches of Cobb and Co. over the western roads. In 1875 he offered himself in Bathurst as candidate for Parliament. He was elected, and with a few short breaks has been a member since then till the present. He has contested seventeen elections, and on twelve occasions has been successful, and at various times has held the portfolios of Minister for Justice, Postmaster-General, Acting Secretary for Mines, Minister for Public Instruction, and Acting Colonial Secretary. Several times he was appointed to the Legislative Council, and in 1900 finally resigned from the Assembly to take the position of Vice-president of the Executive Council and representative of the Lyne Government in the Upper House. On 2nd June, 1903, he was appointed President of the Council, and held that office till he died.

Sir Francis, besides being interested in many public institutions, was president of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, the New South Wales Sheepbreeders' Association, and at one time of the Stockowners' Association of New South Wales. In 1894 he was sent to Canada to represent New South Wales at the Ottawa Conference, and was knighted in 1903. The pastoral interests of the State always had in him an ardent advocate, and throughout his career he fought strenuously on the side of the pastoralist, the farmer, and the settler.

In 1863 he married Miss Hawkins, a daughter of Mr. T. H. Hawkins, of Bathurst, and leaves a large family. Two sons are on the land, and a third is connected with the Orient Steamship Company in Sydney. In recognition of his many and great public services, the late Sir Francis Suttor was accorded a State funeral.

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'Suttor, Sir Francis Bathurst (1839–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 September 2020.

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