George Thorn

George Thorn
George Thorn.jpg
6th Premier of Queensland
In office
5 June 1876 β€“ 8 March 1877
Preceded by Arthur Macalister
Succeeded by John Douglas
Constituency Ipswich
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for West Moreton
In office
2 July 1867 β€“ 18 November 1873
Preceded by Joseph Fleming
Succeeded by Seat Abolished
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Fassifern
In office
25 November 1873 β€“ 9 January 1874
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by John Thorn
In office
4 August 1887 β€“ 10 May 1888
Preceded by Alfred Midgley
Succeeded by William Salkeld
In office
6 May 1893 β€“ 11 March 1902
Preceded by William Salkeld
Succeeded by Thomas Murray-Prior
Member of the Queensland Legislative Council
In office
9 January 1874 β€“ 16 June 1876
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Ipswich
In office
20 June 1876 β€“ 18 February 1878
Preceded by Arthur Macalister
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Northern Downs
In office
17 April 1879 β€“ 7 September 1883
Preceded by Joshua Peter Bell
Succeeded by Hugh Muir Nelson
Personal details
Born (1838-10-12)12 October 1838
Sydney, New South Wales,
Australia  Australia
Died 15 January 1905(1905-01-15) (aged 66)
Ipswich, Queensland,
Australia  Australia
Resting place Ipswich General Cemetery
Spouse(s) Celia Constance Maude Uniacke
Relations George Thorn Sr. (father), John Thorn (brother), Henry Thorn (brother), William Thorn (brother)
Occupation Grazier

George Henry Thorn (junior) (12 October 1838 – 15 January 1905) was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly and a Premier of Queensland, Australia.

Early life

George Thorn was born in Sydney, New South Wales, a son of George Thorn (senior) and his wife Jane (nΓ©e Handcock). His father was one of the founders of the city of Ipswich and a founding Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly representing the seat of West Moreton.

Thorn was schooled at The King's School, Parramatta. He attended the University of Sydney and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1858.[1]

His sister Jane Thorn married George Harris, a Member of the Queensland Legislative Council in 1860. The couple lived for 27 years in the now heritage-listed Newstead House in Brisbane, where their parties were the highlight of Brisbane society.[2]

Political life

At the 1867 colonial election, Thorn followed in his father's footsteps by being elected a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly in the seat of West Moreton, which he held until the 1873 election.[3]

Following that, he represented the seat of Fassifern from 25 November 1873 (the 1873 Queensland state election) until he resigned on 9 January 1874 in order to be appointed to the Queensland Legislative Council on 9 January 1874. His brother John Thorn won the resulting by-election in Fassifern on 24 January 1874.[3]

During Thorn's time on the Legislative Council, he was the Government's representative in the Council. He also held the role of Queensland Postmaster-General (9 January 1874 to 8 July 1876).[3]

On 14 June 1876, Arthur Macalister, member for Ipswich, resigned. Although the Legislative Council was a lifetime appointment, Thorn resigned on 16 June 1876 to successfully contest the seat of Ipswich at a by-election on 20 June 1876.

Thorn became Premier of Queensland and Secretary for Public Works and Mines on 5 June 1876. However, he resigned from these roles on 8 March 1877, but remained in the ministry of his successor, John Douglas as Secretary for Public Works from 8 March 1877 to 7 November 1877 and then as Secretary for Public Lands and Mines from 7 November 1877 to 6 February 1878.[3]

On 14 February 1878, Thorn married Celia Constance Maude Uniacke, daughter of Richard Uniacke of Melbourne, at "Ellengowan" on the Darling Downs.[4]

Thorn resigned from the seat of Ipswich on 18 February 1878. John MacFarlane won the resulting by-election on 7 March 1878.[3]

Thorn became Queensland commissioner to the 1878 Paris Exposition. On his return from Europe, on 17 April 1879 by another by-election, he successfully contested the seat of Northern Downs and held it until the 1883 election in September.[3]

On 19 July 1887, Alfred Midgley, the member for Fassifern, resigned. Thorn won the resulting by-election on 4 August 1887. He held the seat until the 1888 election.[3]

On 6 May 1893 (the 1893 Queensland state election), Thorn was elected again in Fassifern. He held the seat until 11 March 1902 when he was defeated in the 1902 election by Thomas de Montmorency Murray-Prior. He had no further involvement in politics after that.[3]

Later life

On 15 January 1905, George Thorn died from heart failure at his home at Booval, Queensland.[5][6] He was buried in the Anglican section of Ipswich General Cemetery.[7]


The gold mining town Thornborough was named after him.[8][9]

See also


Political offices
Preceded by Premier of Queensland
Succeeded by
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by Member for West Moreton
Served alongside: Patrick O'Sullivan, Samuel Hodgson, John Ferrett, Joshua Peter Bell, Frederick Forbes
New seat Member for Fassifern
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member for Ipswich
Preceded by Member for Northern Downs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member for Fassifern
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member for Fassifern
Succeeded by