GARRAN, Andrew (1825-1901)

GARRAN, Andrew (1825-1901)
journalist and politician
son of an English merchant, was born in London on 19 November 1825. Educated at Hackney grammar school and Spring Hill college, Birmingham, Garran went on to London university and graduated M.A. in 1848. Having developed a chest weakness he spent 18 months at Madeira as a private tutor, and about the end of 1850 left England for Australia. At Adelaide he became a contributor to the Austral Examiner, which, however, came to an end when the great exodus to the Victorian diggings took place in 1852. Garran also went to Victoria and for about a year was a private tutor near Ballan. In 1854 he became editor of the South Australian Register, but two years later John Fairfax (q.v.) invited him to come to Sydney as assistant-editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. He showed great ability in this position, and his leading articles were particularly notable contributions to the paper. He also found time to attend law lectures at the university of Sydney and took his LL.B. degree in 1870. On the death of the editor, John West (q.v.), in December 1873, Garran was immediately appointed to the position. He carried out the duties with great ability until 1885. His health had always been frail and having then reached his sixtieth year he resigned.
Garran, however, could not be idle. He had undertaken the editing of the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia which appeared in 1886 in three large volumes, a work of much greater value than has generally been understood. What was practically a second edition appeared in London in 1892 under the title Australasia Illustrated. He was nominated to the legislative council of New South Wales in February 1887, and, after the great strike of 1890, was appointed president of the royal commission on strikes. Parkes (q.v.) in his Fifty Years of Australian History speaks of Garran's "care, patient labour and ability in conducting this enquiry". In 1892 Garran was appointed president of the newly-formed council of arbitration and on accepting the position resigned from the legislative council so that no question of political influence could arise, but two years later he resigned from the council of arbitration and again entered the legislative council. He was vice-president of the executive council and representative of the Reid (q.v.) government in the council from March 1895 to November 1898, and showed remarkable energy in carrying out his duties in spite of the frailty of his constitution. He had been correspondent of the London Times at Sydney for many years and retained this position until his death on 6 June 1901. He married in 1854, Mary Isham, daughter of John Sabine, who survived him with one son and five daughters. His son, Sir Robert Randolph Garran, G.C.M.G., born in 1867, became a distinguished constitutional lawyer and public servant. He was the author of The Coming Commonwealth (1897), Heine's Book of Songs (a translation) (1924), and with Sir John Quick (q.v.) The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth (1901).
Andrew Garran was an excellent journalist and exercised considerable influence on Australian history. About 1890, when the federal movement was in much danger in New South Wales, though a convinced freetrader Garran held that federation was of more importance than any fiscal system. He realized too that if each colony insisted upon its own terms, federation would be quite impracticable, and that with federation there would at least be free-trade between the states. He continued to work vigorously for federation and lived just long enough to see its fruition.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 June 1901; The Times, 7 June 1901; A Century of Journalism; B. R. Wise, The Making of the Australian Commonwealth.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Andrew Garran — (19 November 1825 ndash; 6 June 1901), English Australian journalist and politician, was the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald from 1873 to 1885.Garran was born in London in 1825. He was educated at Hackney Grammar School in the Hackney borough …   Wikipedia

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