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William Bowie Sawers (1844–1916)

William Sawers, by Swiss Studios, 190?

William Sawers, by Swiss Studios, 190?

National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an23504831

The Hon. William Bowie Stewart Campbell Sawers, a well-known pastoralist of New South Wales, died at Neutral Bay, Sydney, on the 19th ult. Born at Stirling, Scotland, in 1844, he came to Australia at the age of 21, and at once became identified with pastoral matters under the late Messrs. White, of Bando, Liverpool Plains.

In conjunction with the late H. C. White, Mr. Sawers purchased Bundabulla, in the Brewarrina district, a property of 160,000 acres, carrying 50,000 sheep. Mr. White in 1873 disposed of his share in the property to Mr. Ebenezer Orr and Mr. W. A. Wilson, and the firm was thereupon styled Sawers & Orr. Later on Mr. Sawers, in conjunction with Mr. Wilson, acquired the whole of Bundabulla, and retained it until 1909. At the time of his death Mr. Sawers' pastoral interests with Mr. Wilson comprised May Vale and Lindsay, in the Barraba district.

For many years Mr. Sawers took a very active interest in Parliamentary affairs, and sat in the New South Wales House as representative for Bourke, and later for Tamworth. Retiring from State politics he was elected to the first Federal Parliament as member for New England. In 1903 he was defeated at the general election, and finally withdrew from political life.

Mr. Sawers was a man of wide and choice reading, and brought great knowledge to bear upon his political duties. He was a man possessed of a keen sense of honour, and had a high conception of personal responsibility and sympathy towards those with whom he was in any way associated. His brother, the late Mr. John Sawers, was for many years superintendent in Australia for the Bank of Australasia.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • 'May Vale', Pastoralists' Review, 15 March 1911, p 37 (pdf)

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Sawers, William Bowie (1844–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

William Sawers, by Swiss Studios, 190?

William Sawers, by Swiss Studios, 190?

National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an23504831

Life Summary [details]


Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland


19 May, 1916 (aged ~ 72)
Neutral Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.