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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Hamilton, Sir Robert George Crookshank

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Hamilton, Sir Robert George Crookshank, K.C.B., M.A., LL.D., Governor of Tasmania, is a son of the late Rev. Zachary Macaulay Hamilton, D.D., minister of Bressay, Shetland, N.B., and grandson of Rev. Gavin Hamilton, of Hoy, Orkney, and Helen (Macaulay), his wife, aunt of Lord Macaulay. He was born in Shetland in 1836, and educated at Aberdeen University, where he graduated M.A. in 1857, receiving the LL.D. degree in 1885. He entered the Civil Service as a temporary clerk in the War Office in 1855, and the same year was attached to the Commissariat Department in the Crimea. On his return, in 1857, he was employed in the Office of Works, and subsequently in the Education Department, where he was accountant from 1861 to 1869. He was accountant to the Board of Trade from 1869 to 1872, assistant secretary from 1872 to 1878, secretary to the Civil Service Inquiry Commission from 1874 to 1875, and accountant-general of the Navy from 1878 to 1882. In May of the latter year Lord North brook appointed him Under-Secretary to the Admiralty; but he had scarcely entered upon his duties, when he was called on to take the place of the murdered Mr. Burke, as Acting Under-Secretary for Ireland, which position he retained until April 1883, when he was made Under-Secretary, retaining the position till Nov. 1886, when he was appointed Governor of Tasmania. Sir Robert Hamilton, who was made K.C.B. in 1884, had, as a result of his official experiences, become a convert to Home Rule, and it was felt to be an anomaly that he should continue in office under a Unionist Administration. Hence his transfer to the Colonial Service. Sir Robert at different times took a leading part in the reorganisation of various departments of the English Civil Service, and in 1879 served on the Royal Commission to inquire into the condition of colonial defences. He married first, in 1863, Caroline, daughter of Frederick A. Geary (who died in 1875); and secondly, in 1877, Teresa Felicia, daughter of Major Reynolds, 57th Regiment, who long resided at Hobartville, Richmond, N.S.W. He was appointed Governor of Tasmania in Dec. 1886, and entered on the duties of his office in March 1887. Sir Robert was one of the patrons of the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888.