Sir Anthony Musgrave, KCMG

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Anthony Musgrave, KCMG

Birthplace: St John's, Antigua
Death: October 09, 1888 (60)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Place of Burial: Toowong General Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of Anthony Musgrave, MD and Mary Harris Musgrave
Husband of Christiana Elizabeth Musgrave and Lady Jeanne Lucinda Musgrave
Father of Joyce Musgrave; Major Herbert Musgrave, Maj. D.S.O.; Dudley Musgrave and Arthur Musgrave, Brig. Gen.

Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Sir Anthony Musgrave, KCMG (bio) (bio) (his time in Jamaica) (link to his obituary) (news article from Austrlian press)

Sir Anthony Musgrave, KCMG (31 August 1828 – 9 October 1888) was a colonial administrator and governor. He was born at St John’s, Antigua, the third of 11 children of Anthony Musgrave and Mary Harris Sheriff. He died in office as Governor of Queensland in 1888.

After education in Antigua and Great Britain, he was appointed private secretary to Robert James Mackintosh, governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands in 1854. He was recognised for his "capacity and zeal", and quickly promoted, administering in turn the British West Indies territories of Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

After ten years of colonial service in the Caribbean, Musgrave was appointed governor of Newfoundland in September, 1864. Unlike his previous appointments, Newfoundland had responsible government and an active colonial assembly. He also found a colony in dire economic straits, containing a destitute population. During his tenure, Musgrave dedicated most of energies towards convincing Newfoundland to remedy this by joining the negotiations with other British North American colonies towards union in what would become the Canadian Confederation. In this project, he was allied with the goals of the colonial office. Despite his efforts, and what seemed like imminent success, Musgrave ultimately failed to move the colonial assembly to accepting terms of union. Canada was proclaimed on 1 July 1867—and Newfoundland would not join Confederation for eighty years.

It was agreed that Musgrave should next direct his energies concerning the expansion of the Canadian confederation away from the easternmost colony of British North America, to the westernmost—the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Following the death of Frederick Seymour, Musgrave took up his new responsibilities as colonial governor in August, 1869. Musgrave found a colony in an administrative and financial mess, with a fractious assembly, long-simmering disputes between the two colonies and their capitals—Victoria and New Westminster—and general frustration with the slow pace of negotiations for the colony to enter confederation. Musgrave proved to be both a capable administrator, and an able placater of the assembly's notoriously contentious members. In less than two years, in July, 1871, British Columbia joined Canada as its sixth province.

After a brief stint as governor of the South African colony of Natal, Musgrave's next posting was to South Australia. This proved to be a substantially less taxing appointment. During his tenure, Musgrave supported the assembly in its plans to borrow a large sum for the purpose of extensive railway construction, the imposition of additional taxation, and the introduction of a considerable number of immigrants into what was still a largely unsettled hinterland. During his tenure, Musgrave married his second wife, Jeanie Ludinda Field who was the daughter of David Dudley Field. Their daughter, Joyce, also died in Adelaide, in 1874.

After three and a half years in the Antipodes, Musgrave returned to the Caribbean as governor of Jamaica. He would govern the colony for the next six years, focussing much of his attention on improving its cultural life.

Musgrave's last appointment was back in Australia, as governor of the colony of Queensland. Like South Australia, Queensland enjoyed full responsible government, and Musgrave was more of a spectator of the political scene. During this period, he was faced with responding to the action of the colony's premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith, in "annexing" New Guinea as part of Queensland — an action repudiated by the colonial office. Musgrave was at the point of retiring from the colonial service when he died at his desk in Brisbane on Oct. 9, 1888.

Governor Anthony Musgrave was interred at Brisbane's Toowong General Cemetery where his Memorial grave is located and in the Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday evening 10 May 1939, there is a picture of his unkept grave and story of same.

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Sir Anthony Musgrave, KCMG's Timeline

August 31, 1828
St John's, Antigua
October 9, 1888
Age 60
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
October 1888
Age 60
Toowong General Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia