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Albert Norton (1836–1914)

It will be learned with regret that the Hon Albert Norton, M.L.C., died at 6 am yesterday at his residence in Fernberg road, Milton. The deceased gentleman had been ailing for some time past, and during the last 10 days had been gradually sinking. His end, therefore, was not unexpected. He had had a lengthy useful, and honourable career, during which he made many friends, who will miss his familiar figure and keenly regret his death.

The late Hon Albert Norton who was one of the pioneer pastoralists of this State, was an Australian by birth, having been born at Elswick, near Sydney, on January 1, 1836. He was therefore in his 79th year. He was educated at the Rev F. Wilkinson's school, near Sydney and as a young man overlanded to Queensland, and settled down as a pastoralist at Rodd's Bay station in 1861. He possessed an extraordinary capacity for work, and had a good knowledge of the pastoral industry, having been gaining experience since a lad of 16 years, principally upon stations near Walcha, in New South Wales. At Rodds Bay, which was about 100 square miles in extent, he followed cattle raising, but disease and drought created many difficulties which might have thwarted and turned aside men of less determination and courage, than Mr Norton. His inflexible will and purpose caused him to succeed in his enterprise. He had a leaning towards politics and in 1866 he contested the Port Curtis seat with Sir Arthur Palmer and was defeated. In the following year he was summoned to the Legislative Council, and attended to his duties during the session of 1867-68, but then resigned. Meantime he continued to attend to his private interests, and in 1873 he retired from his cattle station, and took up his residence in Sydney. Queensland, however, was unwilling to lose the services of so useful a man, and an offer of Parliamentary honours induced him to return to the Northern colony, and in 1878 he was returned, without opposition, as representative for Port Curtis in the Legislative Assembly, a seat which he retained until 1893, when he was defeated by Mr. Jason Boles. In 1883 he accepted office as Minister for Works in the McIlwraith Ministry on the resignation of Mr Macrossan, and was re-elected without opposition. At the general election in 1883 he contested the Port Curtis seat, and was returned, defeating Mr George Thorn. He went out of office on the resignation of the Mcllwraith Ministry in the same year. Five years later, after being returned as member for Port Curtis, the high honour of the Speakership of the Legislative Assembly fell to him, the choice being unanimous. At the general election in 1893 he was defeated, and in the following year he was summoned to the Legislative Council, where a useful career awaited him. In 1902 he was elected Chairman of Committees, and held the position with distinction until 1907. He was Presiding Chairman of the Legislative Council during the interval between the departure of Governor Chermside and the arrival of Lord Chelmsford on November 30, 1905, and continued to sit and take an active interest in the proceedings of the Legislative Council to the end of last session.

Mr Norton was well versed in many subjects and a man of wide interests. He did much to further the mining interests of the State. He encouraged lectures in mineralogy, and it was his advocacy of a School of Mines that led to the establishment of an institution by which the requisite knowledge of assaying and the treatment of ores has been made available. He interested himself in the Royal Society of Queensland, of which he held the offices of president, vice president, and treasurer. He was also a member of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. For some years he was on the literary staff of the "Observer," and penned a number of able articles. One of his hobbies was that of gardening and his exhibits at the Horticultural Society, of which he was president, were a feature of the displays in recent years.

The funeral will move from the family residence in Fernberg road, Milton, for the Toowong Cemetery, at 10 o'clock this morning.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Brisbane Courier, 13 March 191, p 9

Citation details

'Norton, Albert (1836–1914)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


1 January, 1836
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


11 March, 1914 (aged 78)
Milton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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