Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet

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Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet

Birthplace: West Ham, Essex, England (United Kingdom)
Death: October 28, 1915 (78)
Cromer, Norfolk, England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: St. Martin's Churchyard, Norfolk, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Edward North Buxton, 2nd Baronet and Lady Catherine Buxton
Husband of Lady Victoria Buxton
Father of Noel Noel-Buxton, 1st Baron Noel-Buxton; Mary Catherine Ponsonby; Constance Victoria Hawker; Victoria Alexandrina de Bunsen; Charles Roden Buxton and 5 others
Brother of Samuel Gurney Buxton; Edward North Buxton; Francis William Buxton; Laura Priscilla Buxton and Sarah Eveleyn Buxton

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About Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet,_3rd_Baronet

BUXTON, Sir THOMAS FOWELL (1837-1915), philanthropist and governor, was born on 26 January 1837 at West Ham, Essex, England, eldest son of Sir Edward North Buxton, second baronet, of Warlies, Essex, and Colne House, Cromer, Norfolk, and his wife Catherine, née Gurney; his paternal grandfather of the same name, the first baronet, had been a notable leader of the anti-slavery movement. Educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge (M.A., 1859), in 1858 he succeeded to the baronetcy, landed interests and a partnership in the brewing firm of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. where he worked until 1889.

An Evangelical Anglican, Sir Fowell devoted much energy and money to religious and charitable causes, serving in the Church Missionary and British and Foreign Bible societies. He became vice-president of the British and Foreign Aborigines Protection Society, joined the committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and secured the amalgamation of these bodies. He was a zealous student of natural history and a conservationist.

On 12 June 1862 at Exton Buxton married Lady Victoria Noel (1839-1916); ten of their thirteen children survived infancy. His wife was crippled by a spinal condition from 1869. Buxton served as a Liberal in the House of Commons in 1865-68, was a promoter of the Imperial Federation League, and represented Britain at several European conferences on slavery and central African affairs. In 1880 he declined a peerage because he was proud to continue the style and forenames of his grandfather. From 1882 he was increasingly critical of the effects of British imperial practice in Africa and Asia and, in a reformist spirit, became a director of the Imperial British East Africa Co. Nevertheless he broke with the Liberal Party over Irish home rule in 1886.

In 1895 Buxton accepted the governorship of South Australia, after anxious and prayerful reflection. The British were amazed at the choice of this critic of the government's colonial policy. The South Australian government was even more surprised. It had requested a long interregnum to follow Governor Kintore's retirement. The radical premier C. C. Kingston had hoped for participation of the local executive in the nomination of future governors and to save money. He made the post unattractive by abolishing the vice-regal expense allowance and demanded that subordinate posts be filled locally. The Colonial Office tried 'to bring [Kingston and his colleagues] to their senses by sending them a man strong enough to live within his salary'. Kingston retaliated with a bill to reduce the governor's salary by £1000. Although the Colonial Office advised Buxton that this proposal was derogatory to the dignity of the office, he refused to withdraw his acceptance of the office. Kingston applied other petty economies: when Buxton arrived in Adelaide on 29 October he was charged customs duty on his wife's invalid carriage, and told that the governor's salary (reduction) bill had passed both Houses.

When formally advised to assent to the bill, Buxton felt obliged to reserve it but he urged the secretary of state to secure royal assent speedily, and thus negated the conservatives' efforts to embarrass the government. Tension developed next year when Kingston ignored Buxton's advice and left the office of chief secretary vacant for several weeks following the resignation of J. H. Gordon. But the government soon came to appreciate Buxton's gentle courtesy; his unassuming friendliness disarmed all radical criticism. Kingston declared 'Governor Buxton and his flock to be the most genial, sociable and common-sense family who have ever inhabited the Adelaide vice-regal mansion'. He deplored the coloured immigration restriction bill, 1896, but when he reserved it the Colonial Office instructed him to assent to a similar measure if it exempted British subjects from its operation. With that single exception, the Advertiser later claimed, 'no one could have more completely identified himself with the aspirations of the people over whom he ruled'. He attended the Federal Convention debates of 1897-98 as an observer and lobbied discreetly to help resolve disagreements.

Uniquely among Australian governors, Buxton regularly visited and chatted with the inmates of the gaols, the Home for Incurables, the lunatic asylum and the destitutes' refuges. These people were to him 'individuals with lives and interests of their own'. He travelled to meet the Aboriginals, tried to explain their tribal land tenure and other customs to the whites, and frequently exhorted government, churchmen and pastoralists to make amends for past mistakes.

The Buxtons stimulated Adelaide's musical life and worked tirelessly for a host of religious, educational and charitable organizations: Government House became the meeting place of numerous committees and Buxton gave very large sums to drought victims. Lady Victoria became the first president of the Church of England Mothers' Union in Adelaide and founded several working-girls' clubs. They 'brought Government House nearer to the people than ever it was before'. Lady Victoria afterwards remembered, with 'real pleasure', 'our Garden Parties for State school-teachers, for the police and their wives, the hospital nurses, the market-gardeners and their families … [and] the Anglican Sunday-School teachers'. The family's tie with South Australia was cemented in 1896 when their daughter Constance Victoria married Rev. Bertram Robert Hawker.

On leave in England in 1898 the Buxtons' eldest son developed a near-fatal illness and Lady Victoria's condition worsened. Buxton resigned without returning to Australia. He had been appointed K.C.M.G. in 1895 and was promoted G.C.M.G. in 1899. He continued to 'stick up for South Australia' and strove to prevent Joseph Chamberlain tampering with the Constitution of the Commonwealth. He continued his philanthropic work. Since 'he used to say that the real advantage of wealth was not the great house but the “stray sixpence in the pocket”', it was fitting that when he died, on 28 October 1915, it was in a cottage at Cromer because he had made Colne House a hospital for wounded soldiers. The Art Gallery of South Australia holds a portrait of Buxton by John Collier.,_3rd_Baronet

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet, GCMG DL, commonly referred to as "Sir Fowell Buxton", was the Governor of South Australia from 29 October 1895 until 29 March 1899. He was the grandson of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, a British MP and social reformer, and the son of Sir Edward North Buxton, also an MP.

He attended Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Lady Victoria Noel on 12 June 1862 and they had a total of 13 children, ten surviving infancy. She was crippled by a spinal condition in 1869.

He was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for King's Lynn at the 1865 general election, but was defeated at the 1868 election. After his defeat, he stood again for Parliament unsuccessfully on several other occasions: in Westminster at the 1874 general election, in Western Essex at the 1880 general election and at the by-elections in Northern Norfolk in 1876 and 1879. He was appointed High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1876.

When Buxton was appointed governor, the Premier of South Australia, Charles Kingston was angry that the South Australian government had not been involved in the decision about who should be the new governor, so made life as hard as possible for Buxton and his family. The governor's allowance was reduced and customs duty was charged on their household items (including his wife's invalid carriage). Buxton took up the job anyway, and later was described as the most genial, sociable and common-sense governor, due to his gentle and unassuming friendliness. He visited gaols and hospitals, and showed genuine interest in Aboriginal culture during his time as governor. He eventually returned to England due to the ill health of his wife.

Their second son, Noel Buxton acted as aide-de-camp to his father as governor, and later was a human rights campaigner and British Member of Parliament.

A memorial to Sir Thomas and his wife Victoria was erected in St Thomas' Church in Upshire in Essex in 1917, designed by Sir Robert Lorimer.


Presented to Quaker Monthly Meeting in Surrey



27 MAY 2019 06:29:50 GMT -0500 Derek Farrow Farrow Web Site <p>MyHeritage family tree</p><p>Family site: Farrow Web Site</p>Family tree: 117708142-1 Discovery 117708142-1


Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Bart GCMG KCMG 3 27 MAY 2019 Added via a Person Discovery Discovery

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Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet's Timeline

January 26, 1837
Essex, England
Age 3
Upton, Church Street, Essex, England
Age 17
Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill, Berkshire, England
April 8, 1865
August 30, 1867
January 9, 1869
July 29, 1870
Age 33
June 5, 1872
January 5, 1874