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William Robertson jnr.
, c.1852

by Thomas Bock (attributed)

daguerreotype, hand-coloured (case: 9.2 cm x 8.0 cm, image: 7.0 cm x 5.5 cm)

William Robertson (1839–1892), barrister and politician, was the third of the seven children of pastoralist William Robertson (1798–1874) and his wife Margaret (née Whyte, 1811–1866). Robertson was born and educated in Hobart and then at Wadham College, Oxford. He is believed to be the first Australian to row in an Oxford eight, his team victorious against Cambridge in the Boat Race of 1861. Robertson graduated with a BA in 1862 and was married and called to the bar the following year. On his return to Australia, Robertson practised law in Hobart before heading to Victoria in 1864. He worked as a barrister in Melbourne and then assisted in the management of the family property, Corangamarah, which he and his three brothers jointly inherited on the death of their father in 1874. Robertson served as a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly between 1871 and 1874 and again from 1881 to 1886; he was also President of the Colac Shire council in 1880–81. After the dissolution of the partnership with his brothers in 1885, Robertson became sole owner of Corangamarah, later called The Hill, and in retirement enjoyed the lifestyle of an ‘hospitable and sports-loving country gentleman.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Fiona Turner (née Robertson) and John Robertson 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2011.6