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Sir Henry Wylie Norman

1826 – 1904

Sir Henry Wylie Norman (1826–1904), governor and army officer, was born in London, the son of a merchant who conducted his business chiefly in India and the Caribbean. Wylie joined the army in 1844 while in India and was stationed there with his regiment for the next fifteen years, seeing action in various skirmishes during the Indian Mutiny, and proving himself a most able officer and administrator. During the 1860s, he was assistant military secretary to the chief of the British army, military secretary to the governor-general of India, and aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria. In 1883, he became governor of Jamaica, leaving that role in 1888 to take up the position of governor of Queensland. Arriving in Brisbane in 1889, Norman encountered a colony experiencing significant financial difficulty, but was popular despite having to institute austerity in government expenditure. In 1895, having earlier declined the highly prestigious post of governor-general of India, he returned to London and served as agent-general for Queensland. In later years, Norman chaired royal commissions on the West Indian colonies and the Boer War, was promoted to Field Marshall, and was vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society. He was honoured with a memorial tablet in St Paul’s Cathedral on his death in 1904.

Updated 2018