About Robert William Duff
Sir Robert William Duff, GCMG, PC (8 May 1835 – 15 March 1895) was a Scottish Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1861 to 1893 and was Governor of New South Wales from 1893 to 1895.
Duff was born at Fetteresso Castle, Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, son of Arthur Duff (grandson of Robert Duff) and his wife Elizabeth Innes, daughter of John Innes of Kincardine. He was educated at Blackheath School, London. He entered the Royal Navy in 1848, and was made a commander in 1865. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and J.P. for Banffshire and Kincardineshire. In 1871, he married Louisa Scott and they had seven children: Helen, Robert W., Arthur, Heather, Isabel, Dorothy and Patrick.
Duff served as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Banffshire from 1861–93. He joined Robert Lowe as one of the Adullamites opposing the parliamentary Reform Bill of 1866, which led to the Reform Act 1867. He was a junior Lord of the Treasury and Liberal whip from 1882–5, and Civil Lord of the Admiralty in 1886. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1892.
Governor of New South Wales
Duff was appointed Governor of New South Wales in March 1893 and was subsequently awarded the GCMG. He reached Sydney to take up his duties on 29 May 1893. In February 1895, he became ill while visiting Hobart and returned to Government House in Sydney, where he died of multiple hepatic abscesses and septicaemia on 15 March. He was interred in Waverley Cemetery. He is the only NSW Governor to have died in Office