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Thorn, George (1806–1876)

We are called upon to record the death of one of our oldest colonists, Mr. George Thorn, senior, which took place at his residence, Ipswich, at half-past five o'clock, on the morning of April 28. He had reached the advanced age of seventy years, and his health having been failing for a considerable time previously, more particularly since an accident he met with some two or three months back, the mournful event was not unexpected. Mr. Thorn was born on the 11th April, 1806, near Stockbridge, Hants, England; and arrived in New South Wales about forty-three years ago, as non-commissioned officer in the 4th Queen's Own Regiment. He afterwards entered the Survey Department, and was present with Governor Bourke at the laying out of the City of Melbourne; subsequently changed to the Commissary Department, and came to Moreton Bay in 1838, and took up his residence in Ipswich, in charge of sheep and cattle, and the farming operations carried on at the old ploughed station, now known as the Orange and Ipswich racecourse. He continued in that capacity until the colony was thrown open to settlement; was returned at the first general election for the West Moreton electorate, in company with Mr. A. D. Broughton and Dr. Nelson. He became owner of Normanby station in 1844 and during his colonial career managed to accumulate a considerable amount of property. It is deserving of notice in this connection that Mr. Thorn was offered a grant of land near Ipswich by Governor Bourke, but declined it, believing that land in that district would never be worth anything. He was always active and energetic in his undertakings, whether of a private or public character, and his death will be much regretted by his fellow-colonists. He leaves a large family, holding influential positions, one of his sons, Mr. George Thorn, jun., being Postmaster-General, and two others also members of the Legislature.

Mr. Thorn's funeral on Saturday was followed by a large, concourse of people, among whom were the Hon. George Harris, Hon. W. Hemmant, Hon. H. E. King, the Hon. W. Fryar, and many others from Brisbane. All classes and creeds were represented in the funeral. The procession was fully half a mile long. The funeral service was read by the Rev. J. Moseley, assisted by the Bev. J. Hassall, both of those clergymen also conducting the funeral service at the grave.

Original publication

Citation details

'Thorn, George (1806–1876)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/thorn-george-4719/text25119, accessed 26 May 2019.

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