Australian peers and baronets

Peers of the Realm have been associated with Australia since its founding as a British colony. Many peers served as governors of the Australian colonies (states following Federation), and in the days when the practice of appointing British governors-general was current, the great majority were peers.

Australians themselves were previously eligible to receive British Imperial Honours. Such honours, in appropriate cases, included peerages and baronetcies. In other cases, already-extant peerages and baronetcies devolved upon persons who emigrated to Australia, or whose ancestors had emigrated to Australia.

Peerage titles bestowed included some distinctly Australian titles, such as Viscount Bruce of Melbourne. Imperial Honours were recommended to the sovereign by the Prime Minister of Australia, an Australian state premier, or sometimes by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Some Australians have been awarded peerages in recognition of services rendered in the United Kingdom, rather than Australia.

The practice of awarding British Imperial Honours for services rendered in Australia generally came to a halt when Malcolm Fraser, the last Australian prime minister to make nominations for Imperial Honours, lost the 1983 election to Bob Hawke, who discontinued the practice in favour of nominations solely for the Australian Honours System. (There had previously been a brief hiatus in the recommendation of Imperial Honours during the premiership of Gough Whitlam, 1972–75.) Despite the discontinuance of nominations on a federal level, individual states such as Queensland and Tasmania continued to recommend Imperial Honours until 1989. Australians based in the United Kingdom and other realms which continue to make nominations for Imperial Honours (such as Papua New Guinea) continue to be eligible for nomination to Imperial Honours, including peerages, and already-extant peerages and baronetcies continue to be inherited according to the instrument of their creation.

Not all recommendations for peerages have been accepted. Malcolm Fraser's recommendation of a peerage for Sir John Kerr was not supported by the British prime minister, James Callaghan.[1]

Australians with hereditary peerages

The following hereditary peers are or were Australians by birth or residence.





Australians associated with hereditary peerages

The following Australians are not or were not the holders of peerages themselves but have or had a close connection with a hereditary peer.

Hereditary peerages with Australian associations

Arms of the Baron Birdwood

A number of hereditary titles have been created for Britons that are associated with places in Australia.

In 1938 Birdwood was raised to the peerage, taking the title Baron Birdwood, of Anzac and of Totnes in the County of Devon. He died in 1951. As of 2007 the barony is held by his grandson, the 3rd Baron Birdwood.

Other hereditary peers who served as Governors-General

There were other Governors-General of Australia who were British hereditary peers but whose peerages pre-dated their assuming the office of Governor-General, or who were raised to the peerage after assuming or leaving office but with titles that contain no references to places in Australia:

Name of person Title in office Title at death Notes
John Hope 7th Earl of Hopetoun 1st Marquess of Linlithgow He was created Marquess of Linlithgow in October 1902, after he had left Australia, but while he was still formally Governor-General; his term continued until January 1903.
Hallam Tennyson 2nd Baron Tennyson 2nd Baron Tennyson
Henry Northcote 1st Baron Northcote 1st Baron Northcote
William Ward 2nd Earl of Dudley 2nd Earl of Dudley
Thomas Denman 3rd Baron Denman 3rd Baron Denman
Henry Forster 1st Baron Forster 1st Baron Forster
John Baird 1st Baron Stonehaven 1st Viscount Stonehaven He was raised to the peerage after his appointment as Governor-General was announced, but before taking up the office.
Alexander Hore-Ruthven 1st Baron Gowrie 1st Earl of Gowrie
Prince Henry 1st Duke of Gloucester 1st Duke of Gloucester Third son of King George V.
William Morrison 1st Viscount Dunrossil (died in office)
William Sidney 1st Viscount De L'Isle 1st Viscount De L'Isle
Ronald Munro Ferguson Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson 1st Viscount Novar He was raised to the peerage as 1st Viscount Novar after leaving the office. However, his peerage title contained no reference to any Australian place.

In addition to the above, some Governors of the Australian states (colonies prior to Federation) were peers prior to their appointment.

Australian life peers

Some Australians have been made life peers (barons) or peeresses (baronesses) of the United Kingdom. They include:

Abortive peerages

The following Australians were nominated for peerages, but died before the peerage was actually bestowed.

Australian baronets

The following Australians were awarded or have inherited baronetcies:

Baronetcy of Barnewall of Crickstown

The baronetcy is extant. John Aylmer Barnewall emigrated to Australia in 1840. He died at Upper Thornton, Victoria in 1890. In 1909, his son John Robert Barnewall succeeded to the baronetcy as 11th baronet. The 13th (and current) baronet, Sir Reginald Robert Barnewall, was born in 1924 and educated at Xavier College, Melbourne. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1961 and lives in Mount Tamborine, Queensland.

Baronetcy of Clarke of Rupertswood

Sir William John Clarke 1st Bt. (1882, Colony of Victoria)

The baronetcy is extant. The 4th and current Baronet, Sir Rupert Grant Alexander Clarke (born 1947), lives in Victoria.[12]

Baronetcy of Cooper of Woollahra

Sir Daniel Cooper, 1st Bt. (1863, Colony of New South Wales)

The baronetcy is extant. Currently held by Sir William Cooper, 6th Bt.

Baronetcy of Henry of Parkwood

Sir Charles Solomon Henry, 1st Bt. (1860-1919) was an Australian merchant and businessman who lived mostly in Britain and sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons from 1906 until his death. He had no heirs.

The baronetcy is extinct.

Baronetcy of Lauder of Fountainhall, Haddingtonshire

Baronetcy of Nicholson of Luddenham

Sir Charles Nicholson, 1st Bt. (1859, Colony of New South Wales)

The baronetcy is extinct.

Baronetcy of O'Loghlen of Drumcanora

Baronetcy of Samuel of Nevern Square

Baronetcy of Trollope of Casewick

Baronetcy of Way of Montefiore

Sir Samuel James Way, 1st Bt. (1836-1916; baronetcy awarded 1899, Colony of South Australia)

The baronetcy is extinct.

See also

See also John Blackwood, Architect, Orange,NSW. 11th Baron Dufering and Claneboye etc


  1. Gough Whitlam, The Truth of the Matter, pp. 229-233. Retrieved 1 May 2014
  5. Cowen, Zelman (1993). Isaac Isaacs. St Lucia, Queensland: U Queensland P. p. 204.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 33356. p. 1045. 14 February 1928. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  7. "Person Page 19129". Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  8. "Person Page 19177". Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  9. "Hall, Robert Lowe". 2003-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  10. "Biographical entry for Daniel Patrick O'Connell". Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  11. Gough Whitlam, The Truth of the Matter, p. 233. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  12. "The Official Roll of Baronets (as at 30th September 2014)". The Standing Council of the Baronetage. Retrieved 22 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  13. "University of Sydney Web Site". 3 December 2006.
  14. "on-line bio".


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