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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Weston, Hon. William Pritchard

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Weston, Hon. William Pritchard, sometime Premier of Tasmania, son of a London physician, was born in London in 1804. Soon after 1830 he emigrated to Tasmania, and took up a grant of land at Ringwood, Cressy, in the north of the island. He was for many years a leading magistrate and property owner of the colony, and took a prominent part in the Anti-Transportation League, which was formed to resist Earl Grey's expressed intention to resume the despatch of convicts to the island. In 1851 he was associated with the Rev. John West as the delegate of the Tasmanian League at the great Melbourne Conference, held in February, when "The League and Solemn Engagement of the Australasian Colonies" was adopted, pledging the latter never to employ convicts as servants, and to resist their importation by all constitutional means. He again represented Tasmania as delegate at the Anti-Transportation Conference of the United Colonies held in Sydney in April 1851. In 1856 Mr. Weston was returned to the first House of Assembly for the Kingwood district. Having been the mover of the vote of want of confidence carried against the Gregson Ministry in April 1857, Mr. Weston was called upon to form an Administration, in which he acted as Premier without office for about three weeks, when he resigned the leadership of the Government to Mr. (now Sir) Francis Smith, but still held office without portfolio as a member of the Executive Council. Sir Francis having accepted the office of Chief Justice, Mr. Weston again resumed the premiership in Nov. 1860, but resigned in July 1861. He died on Feb. 21st, 1888, at St. Kilda, Vict., where he had resided for a number of years prior to his death.