JAMISON, Sir John (1776-1844)


JAMISON, Sir John (1776-1844)
pastoralist and public man
son of Thomas Jamison who arrived on H.M.S. Sirius as surgeon's mate, and was subsequently principal surgeon on the staff at Sydney. John Jamison was born in 1776, was educated as a surgeon, and joined the navy. While in the Baltic Sea he was successful in treating an outbreak of cholera in the Swedish army, and was made a knight of the order of Gustavus Vasa. His father having died in 1811 he succeeded to his property on the Nepean, and arrived at Sydney on 28 July 1814. He accompanied Macquarie (q.v.) on his visit to the Bathurst Plains in June 1815, but two and a half years later he was out of favour with the governor, who described him in a private dispatch as "intriguing and discontented". Jamison's possessions grew, he was one of the founders of the Bank of New South Wales in 1817, and he became one of the most prominent men of the time. In November 1824 he was included in the list of 10 men recommended for a colonial council, but about a year later Brisbane (q.v.) withdrew his nomination on account of charges Jamison had made that female convicts had been sent to Emu Plains for immoral purposes. The charges were held to be baseless, and in September 1826 Darling (q.v.) was instructed that Jamison was not to be given any civil offices. Jamison made various attempts to get this embargo removed, but nearly four years later the colonial office would give him no satisfaction. Darling in July 1829 mentioned that Jamison was then president of the Agricultural Society and "holding perhaps the largest stake in the country". In 1830 the Society for the Encouragement of Arts' Manufactures and Commerce, at London, awarded Jamison the large gold medal "for his successful method of extirpating the stumps of trees" (Transactions, 1831, p. xxix). Jamison was restored to the magistracy in 1831, and in October 1837 was appointed a member of the legislative council. In 1842 he established a cloth mill on his estate at Regentsville near Penrith. In July 1843 he was omitted from the legislative council nominations on account of his years and infirmities. He died at Regentsville on 29 June 1844.
Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. VIII to XXIV; Death notice The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 1844.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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