Palmer, Arthur Hunter (DNB01)

PALMER, Sir ARTHUR HUNTER (1819–1898), colonial politician, born at Armagh on 28 Dec. 1819, was the elder son of Lieutenant Arthur Palmer, R.N. (d. 30 April 1836), by his second wife Emily (1791–1826), daughter of Robert Hunter of Dublin and Downpatrick. He was educated at Youghal grammar school, emigrated to New South Wales in 1838, and for twenty-three years was associated with Henry Dangar's stations, of which he ultimately became general manager. In 1866 Palmer was returned to the legislative assembly of Queensland for Port Curtis, and in August 1867 became colonial secretary and secretary for public works in the government of Sir Robert Ramsey Mackenzie. In September he took the additional portfolio of secretary for lands, and in November 1868 he retired with his colleagues. In May 1870 he formed an administration in which he was premier and colonial secretary, and in 1873 he also acted as secretary for lands. In 1874 his government resigned office, and Palmer himself, leaving Port Curtis, was elected for Brisbane. In the first administration of Sir Thomas Mcllwraith [q. v. Suppl.] he was colonial secretary and secretary for public instruction from January 1879 to December 1881, when he was appointed president of the legislative council. In the same year he was created K.C.M.G. He administered the government of Queensland on several occasions during a vacancy in the governorship. He was honorary colonel of the Queensland defence force, a trustee of the Queensland Museum, and a director of the Queensland National Bank. He died at Brisbane on 20 March 1898. On 8 June 1865 he married Cecilia Jessie (d. 31 Aug. 1885), daughter of Archibald Mosman of Armidale, New South Wales. By her he had three sons and two daughters.

[Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 1898; Mennell's Dict. of Australasian Biogr. 1892; Burkes Colonial Gentry, 1891, i. 47-8.]

E. I. C.