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Peter Snodgrass (1817–1867)

from Ballarat Star

We (Argus) regret to announce the sudden death of Mr Peter Snodgrass, the representative of South Gipps Land in the Legislative Assembly, which occurred on the night of Monday, about eight o'clock, very suddenly, at his residence, Blairgowrie, South Yarra. Mr Snodgrass attended in his place in Parliament in the course of the day, and although he had complained of pain in the region of the heart since Saturday last, when he was amongst the party who proceeded by the Aldinga to Queenscliff to welcome our Royal visitor, no apprehensions were entertained of any serious consequence being likely to arise. Death, it is believed, was the result of aneurism of the heart, Mr Snodgrass was about forty-eight years of age, and having arrived in Australia very early in life, made Victoria his home. He was a member of the old Legislative Council— before the country had a Constitution—and held the office of chairman of committees. He was also for a time, we believe, head of the police staff of the colony; and having long been associated with squatting interests, he warmly sympathised with the pastoral tenants of the Crown, of whose cause he was a persistent and consistent advocate. In Parliament he never shone as a speaker; but in his time he was able to do yeoman's service to the party which he was well known to belong. He leaves a widow and eight children to regret their loss. The Age remarks that Mr Snodgrass "was the son of Colonel Kenneth Snodgrass, for a long period senior officer in command of the troops, and as such performed the duties of Officer Administering the Government on more than one occasion, both in New South Wales and Tasmania. Mr Peter Snodgrass distinguished himself, while a mere lad, in the capture of the first band of bushrangers that ravaged Port Phillip; and the example then set has been so well followed up that every succeeding gang has been disposed of in the same way. The deceased has been as intimately connected with the parliamentary history of the colony as any other member of the Legislature; and, although always voting in the interests of his party, usually exerted himself to bring about compromises and reconciliations. In private life he was universally esteemed." We find in the Herald the following:—"On Saturday he joined in the marine excursion to the Heads, and on Monday morning he was in his place in the Legislative Assembly, and at a later hour took part in the procession. While in his carriage he appeared to be in the highest spirits, expressed great admiration at the spectacle, and laughed and joked freely with the other gentlemen who were with him. After reaching home he complained of pain in his side, and a few minutes after the first attack he expired of aneurism of the heart. He had not complained latterly of any illness, but during a paroxysm on Saturday last of sea-sickness, a malady from which be had never suffered before he stated that he felt as if he had strained some internal organ. Mr Snodgrass was the son of the late Colonel Snodgrass, a distinguished Peninsular officer, who was for some time Commander of the Forces and Governor of New South Wales. Upon the first settlement of Victoria Mr Snodgrass came overland with stock, and from that time to the present he has been identified with squatting pursuits. On the first commencement of a Legislative Assembly in this colony he was elected member for the Kilmore Boroughs, and from that time to the present he has always occupied a seat in the Legislative Assembly as the representative, first, of Dilhousie, and subsequently of South Gipps Land. Mr Snodgrass was beloved and respected by politicians of every shade of opinion for his gentlemanly and genial manner, for the fearlessness with which he expressed his opinions, and the good feeling and goodness of heart always manifested by him in his intercourse with his brother members. He was for some time chairman of committees, and was a good authority on all matters of precedent. The death of Mr Snodgrass will leave a void not easily filled up in this community. Although comparatively a young man, he was one of the few remaining links between the past and the present, between Port Phillip and Victoria."

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Peter Snodgrass

Citation details

'Snodgrass, Peter (1817–1867)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Peter Snodgrass, n.d.

Peter Snodgrass, n.d.

Victorian Parliamentary Library, PH13000

Life Summary [details]


29 September, 1817
Lisbon, Portugal


25 November, 1867 (aged 50)
South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

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