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Thomas Drummond Wanliss (1830–1923)

The death has occurred at Edinburgh of Mr Thomas Drummond Wanliss, former proprietor of the Ballarat Star, aged 94 years. Thomas David Wanliss was born near Abernethy, in Perthshire, Scotland, where his father had a farm on the River Earn. He held a clerical position for some time before coming to Victoria in 1850. The diggings attracted him, and he went to Ballarat, where he had varying success. Later he became a leading investor and made a considerable sum of money. He also became interested in mining in Tasmania, in the jarrah timber industry in Western Australia, and in pastoral pursuits. In June, 1886, he stood for the Wellington province, but was defeated by the late Mr David Ham. Two months afterwards, when the seat held by the late Mr G. F. Belcher was vacant, he again stood for election, his opponent being Mr. Henry Gore. The election was an historic one, the voting being —Gore, 2,512, Wanliss, 2,511. Sir Alexander Peacock relates how he spent two hours looking for an elector at Allendale who voted for Gore, and thus gave what really was a winning vote. Later in the "nineties" Mr. Wanliss entered the Legislative Council, and held the seat for some years. He was a large shareholder in one of the banks when the banking crisis occurred, and lost heavily. He made several visits to Scotland before permanently taking up his residence there. He was an ardent advocate of Scottish Home Rule in an earlier publication known as The Fiery Cross, which espoused that principle. For many years Mr. Wanliss was proprietor and editor of the Ballarat Star and occupied a leading place in journalism. He look a leading part in all public questions connected with the development of Ballarat in its earlier days.

Apart from journalism, Mr. Wanliss's literary work was solely in connection with historical matters, books written by him being A History of the War in Europe (the Franco Prussian war), and Bars to British Unity. Mr. Wanliss's family comprises Mr. Newton Wanliss, solicitor, who retired from practice some years ago, Colonel D. S. Wanliss now chief judge in Rabaul, Colonel Cecil Wanliss, late of the South Lancashire Regiment, who after the war was one of the assistant commissioners at Cologne (Germany); Lady Irvine (wife of the Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice Sir William lrvine); Mrs. Archie Fisken (of Yendon), and Miss Mabel Wanliss.

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Citation details

'Wanliss, Thomas Drummond (1830–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


16 July, 1830
Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland


19 April, 1923 (aged 92)
Edinburgh, Mid-Lothian, Scotland

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