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Henry Cary Dangar (1830–1917)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Henry Dangar, n.d.

Henry Dangar, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 May 1917

The death of Mr. Henry Cary Dangar, M.L.C.. took place early yesterday morning at his residence, Granthan, Potts Point, in his 87th year.

Australia has its great names—the names of men famous in its history—explorers, statesmen, pastoralists, captains of industry and commerce. And among these is the Dangar family. Mr. Henry Cary Dangar was born at Port Stephens on June 4, 1830. His father, Mr. Henry Dangar, who was descended from an old Huguenot family, and lived as a boy on a farm near St. Neots, Cornwall, came out to Australia in 1822, at the age of 23. A love of adventure lured him and five brothers to seek their fortunes in the then little known land beyond the seas—New Holland, as it was called. Mr. Henry Dangar was destined to play an important part as an Australian pioneer. For six years he was occupied in survey work in the Hunter River district; and in 1826 he acquired an area of 700 acres, which was the nucleus of the afterwards well-known Neotsfield estate, on which his eldest son, Mr. W. J. Dangar, resided in later days. He laid out the original plan of Newcastle, or Kingstown, as it was then called. From 1830 till 1832 he had his home at Port Stephens, and was associated with the Australian Agricultural Company, in conjunction with the well-known Arctic explorer, Sir Edward Parry, who was the general manager of the company. Then, in 1832, Mr. Dangar packed his belongings in a boat, went up the Hunter, and settled at Neotsfield—so called after his old Cornwall home—and thenceforward engaged in pastoral pursuits, paying much attention to the improvement of stock. He was also one of the first to test the tinning of meat as a profitable industry in this country, and for this purpose he established a factory at Newcastle. For some years he sat in the old Legislative Council, but politics never attracted him greatly. He died in 1861, leaving a widow, five sons, and two daughters.

Such was the beginning of the pioneering life of this honoured Australian family. It was at Port Stephens that Henry Cary Dangar was born in 1830. Mr. Dangar was for years one of our best-known and most respected public men—he sat in the Parliament of New South Wales for over 40 years—as he has also been one of our most prominent pastoralists. His life was a full one and a busy one, and in the 86 years he spent in this country he saw many wonderful changes. Few men had a richer store of reminiscences.

Going to England as a youth, Mr Dangar completed his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, and there he took his M.A. degree. He entered the Middle Temple, and in 1854 was called to the Bar. But having made himself acquainted with law, he was satisfied to let it rest there. He used to tell his friends that the only person he ever defended was hanged; but Mr. Dangar loved a joke. He has a son, Mr. R. N. Dangar, practising law in Sydney at the present time. But for himself, the call of the free, wide spaces was too insistent to be ignored, and, returning to New South Wales, he followed the pastoral pursuits which his father had begun. He went on from success to success; and the State owes much to him, particularly as a horse-breeder. In other days than these—before the automobile came—the Dangar horses were the envy of all who drove in carriages. The Dangar horses were picked out at the shows; and on the turf, too, they were well known.

For nearly half a century Mr. H. C. Dangar had been prominently identified with turf affairs in this State as a breeder and owner of racehorses. For over 47 years he had been a member of the committee of the Australian Jockey Club, and for a long time was chairman of it. He saw the A.J.C. grow from a very small beginning to the proud position it now occupies—the wealthiest and best-equipped racing institution in Australasia. When he resigned as a member of the committee in February of this year a special resolution was carried placing on record his long and valuable services to the club. One of the best horses that carried his popular black jacket, orange sleeves and cap, was Gibraltar, who credited him with the A.J.C. Second Foal Stakes and Derby in 1890, and the V.R.C. St. Leger Stakes in 1891. Mr Dangar inherited the famous Neotsfield Stud from his brother, Mr. W. J. Dangar, and subsequently presented that property to his son, Mr. R. H. Dangar. Gibraltar was one of the last good horses he bred there before handing the place to his son, but before doing so he imported Positano for the St. Simon strain, and before sending him to the stud he raced him. In Mr. Dangar's colours Positano won several good races, including the A.J.C. Spring Stakes. Another good but unlucky horse raced by him was Leonidas, and Attalus won in his colours. During his ownership of Neotsfield Mr. Dangar bred a Derby winner in Bob Ray, who was sold as a yearling for 35 guineas.

All other healthy forms of sport also claimed Mr. Dangar's interest—notably yachting. He was for a considerable time Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and his name is associated with the Peri and the Mistral—the redoubtable Mistral that finally struck her colours to the Magic. In ocean races, the chief event in which the late Mr. Dangar took a part was the race to Newcastle and back, between the schooner Chance and the cutter Xarifa, Mr. Dangar representing the owner of the Chance on the Xarifa, which was owned by Mr. Charles Parbury.

The late Mr. Dangar took a very keen interest in rifle-shooting. He was one of the founders, and for many years an active member, of the National Rifle Association of New South Wales. He was a member of the first committee, which was formed in 1860, and continued to hold this office until 1870. From 1866 to 1868 he was honorary secretary, from 1870 to 1877 he was vice-president, and from 1877 to 1909 he was a trustee. A bronze shield was competed for from 1861 to 1867 between New South Wales and Victoria, and Mr. Dangar was one of the winning team in the latter year. In 1876, when a team of New South Wales riflemen was sent to Philadelphia to compete in the international contest, Mr. Dangar generously made up the deficiency in the public subscriptions for the purpose—a matter of about £800. Many other public movements were indebted to him for generous support. It is not without interest to note that the cloisters at St. Paul's College, in the grounds of the Sydney University, were built at his expense, in memory of his old college days.

In the field of politics, as already stated, Mr. Dangar served the State for a very long time. Originally elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1874 as member for West Sydney, he was elected member for East Sydney in 1880; and three years later he was j appointed to the Legislative Council. For 30 years he was one of the most regular and zealous attendants at the House; and as a vigorous debater his remarks were at all times listened to with interest and attention. Of late falling health had interfered with his attendance.

In 1865 Mr. Dangar married Miss Lucy Lamb, daughter of Commander Lamb, R.N. His wife and a daughter (Mabel) predeceased him, but a large family remains—four sons and six daughters. The sons are Mr. Richard Halifax Dangar, of Neotsfield, Mr. Reginald Neville Dangar, of Sydney, Colonel Horace William Dangar, a member of the Military Board in Melbourne, and Mr. Leonard Adrian Dangar, of Warialda. The daughters are Mrs. H. M. Osborne (formerly of Moss Vale, and now of Queensland), Mrs. Lewin (wife of Captain C. Le P. Lewin, R.N., Mrs. Dangar, wife of Major O. C. Dangar, M.C. (formerly of the 13th Hussars, and now serving with the Australian Imperial Forces in Egypt), and the Misses Elinor, Muriel, and Dorothy Dangar.

The funeral will take place this morning, leaving Grantham for the Waverley Cemetery at 11 o'clock.

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Citation details

'Dangar, Henry Cary (1830–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Henry Dangar, n.d.

Henry Dangar, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 May 1917

Life Summary [details]


4 June, 1830
Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia


25 April, 1917 (aged 86)
Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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