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Alexander Thomson
Family Name: Thomson  Variant Spellings:  
Given Names: Alexander
DOB 1800
DOD 1 January 1866 
Place of Birth: Aberdeen, Scotland
Place of Death: Geelong, Vic 
Age at Death: 65
Other Occupations: Pastoralist
Ship owner
Spouse: Barbara Dalrymple m.1824 Aberdeen, Scotland
Children: Jane b.1826 m.1849 at Geelong to Henry Creswick d.1912
Voyages: Possibly "Lang" from London via Hobart arr. Sydney 29 August 1824
  • Possibly "Lang" from London arr. Sydney 23 Jan 1826
  • Possibly "Lang" from London arr. Sydney 30 August 1827
  • "Lang" from London via Hobart Town arr. Sydney 21 Jan 1829
  • Possibly "Lang" dep. Deal 18 May 1830 for VDL and Sydney
  • "Auriga" from London arr. Hobart 7 December 1831
  • "Auriga" from Hobart arr. Sydney 10 January 1832
  • "Auriga" from Sydney arr. Hobart Town 10 February 1832
  • Came out as: Passenger 
    Date Settled Aus: 1831
    Date of Departure:  
    First Registered:
    Off Register:  
    Addresses: Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Sydney, NSW 1829 (shipping record)
  • Possibly India 1829 (shipping record)
  • Hobart Town, VDL 1831 (shipping record)
  • Break O'Day Plain, VDL 1833-1835 approx.
  • Melbourne, Vic 1836 (ADB)
  • Geelong 1837 onwards (ADB)
  • Positions Held: Colonial Surgeon, Port Phillip 1836 (Select Committee 1862)
  • MLC NSW 1843-1844 (Select Committee 1862)
  • MLC Victoria 1851, 1852-1854
  • MLA Victoria 1857-1861
  • First and fifth Mayor of Geelong 1850-1, 1855-7
  • Medical Officer Sunbury Boy's Home 1865
  • Publications:
    Notes: Contemporary sources give his age at death as 65, and therefore later biographies give his year of birth as 1800
  • Paproth argues that he was born in 1798, and qualified MRCS in London 1820
  • Emigrated from Scotland on inheriting a fortune from his mother
  • He made several (six?) voyages from England. Croll and Wettenhall state that he was a surgeon on convict ships, but it seems he was actually a surgeon on merchant ships
  • Batman's party took 50 herefords belonging to Thomson to Port Phillip in 1835. He established a station on the Barwon River and landed sheep at Point Henry, Corio Bay in 1836
  • He appears never to have registered as a medical practitioner in Scotland, England or Australia
  • There are numerous references to him in newspapers and in standard historical sources such as the Historical Records of Australia, Clyde Company Papers and Letters from Victorian Pioneers, that are not cited here for reasons of space
  • Acknowledgments: This record was updated in August 2004 with information supplied by Nick Hamilton of Armadale, Vic; in November 2011 with information from Richard Travers; and in November 2012 with information from Gwen Chessell
    References: Australian Dictionary of Biography
  • Croll RH, Wettenhall RR. Dr. Alexander Thomson. Melbourne, 1937
  • Croll RH. Dr. Alexander Thomson. Medical Journal of Australia 1939;i:331-8
  • Paproth D. Dr. Alexander Thomson : beginnings. Investigator (Geelong) 2009
  • Graham HB. Happenings of the now long past. Medical Journal of Australia 1952;ii:213-47
  • Mackay EA. Medical men as pastoral pioneers. Medical Journal of Australia 1934;ii:476-84
  • Howard GT. Port Phillip's early doctors 1835-1839. Medical Journal of Australia 1934; i: 361-6
  • Hopton AJ. List of registered and unregistered medical practitioners at Port Phillip between 1835 and 1851. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 1950;36:376-9
  • Brownhill WR. Pioneers : Alexander Thomson. In his: History of Geelong and Corio Bay. Postscript ed. Geelong, 1990: 57-62
  • Original members of the Port Phillip Medical Association. Australian Medical Journal (Sydney) 1846-7; i: 146
  • Arkley L. Hated protector : the story of Charles Wightman Sievwright, Protector of Aborigines 1839-42. Mentone, Vic, 2000
  • Legislative Assembly, Victoria. Report from the Select Committee upon Dr. Thomson's case Melbourne : John Ferres 1862 [recommends giving him job or pension, incl. biog. details]
  • Obituary. Australian Medical Journal, January 1866 [Dr. Thomson an old colonist, noted not as a doctor, but as a pioneer and politician]
  • Deaths. Geelong Advertiser 2 January 1866 [on 1 January at Kardinia, Geelong, Dr Alexander Thomson aged 65 years]
  • Deaths. Argus (Melbourne) 2 January 1866 at Kardinia, Geelong, Alexander Thomson MD in his 66th year]
  • Current topics. Geelong Advertiser 2 January 1866 [includes obituary of Alexander Thomson]
  • Ship news. Hobart Town Gazette 30 July 1824 [arrival of "Lang" from London]
  • Shipping intelligence. Sydney Gazette NSW Advertiser 26 January 1826 [arrival of "Lang" from London via Hobart Town]
  • Ship news. Australian (Sydney) 31 August 1827 [arrival of the "Lang" from London via Hobart]
  • Trade and shipping. Hobart Town Courier 27 December 1828 [arrival of "Lang" from London]
  • For London direct [advertisement]. Colonial Times (Hobart) 26 December 1828 ["Lang" on returning from Sydney - carries an experienced surgeon]
  • Shipping intelligence. Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 24 January 1829 [Mr A Thomson Surgeon on "Lang" from London]
  • India shipping. Asiatic Journal June 1830:117[departure of "Lang" from Deal 18 May for VDL and Sydney]
  • Ship news. Colonial Times (Hobart) 7 December 1831 [M. A. Thomson (charterer) Mrs Thomson and child on "Auriga" from London]
  • Shipping intelligence. Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 12 January 1832 [by the "Auriga" Alexander Thomson, formerly surgeon of the Australian trader "Lang", with a steam packet]
  • Sunbury Industrial Schools. Age (Melbourne) 15 November 1865 [Dr. Thomson appointed May, reported ophthalmia epidemic September, noted his experience in dealing with it in India]
  • Portraits:
    Links to Pictures:  
    Other Links:
    Image 1: Alexander Thomson 1854

    last updated 25-05-2019

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