DOBSON, Henry (1841-1918)


DOBSON, Henry (1841-1918)
premier of Tasmania
son of John Dobson, solicitor, and his second wife a daughter of Richard Willis, was born at Hobart on 24 December 1841. Educated at the Hutchins School, he was called to the Tasmanian bar in 1864. He was elected to the house of assembly for Brighton in 1891, and held the seat until 1899. Soon after entering the house he became leader of the opposition, and after the defeat of the second Fysh (q.v.) ministry was Premier from 17 August 1892 to 14 April 1894. It was a Period of depression and his attempts at retrenchment made his ministry unpopular, though his successors found it difficult to follow any other course. Dobson took much interest in the federal movement and was a representative of Tasmania at the 1897 convention. At the first federal election he was elected a senator for Tasmania and was again elected in 1903. He was temporary chairman of committees in the senate from 1904 to 1908 and chairman of committees 1908-9. He lost his seat at the 1910 election and took no further part in politics. He died on 10 October 1918. He married Emily Lemprière in 1868, who survived him with one son and four daughters. A well-educated man much interested in literature and music, Dobson was enthusiastic about everything he took up. He early realized the value of fruit-growing and the tourist traffic in Tasmania, and did much to develop both, though he at first received little encouragement.
The Mercury, Hobart, 11 October 1918; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, 1915.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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