REIBEY, Thomas (1821-1912)

REIBEY, Thomas (1821-1912)
premier of Tasmania, and public man
was born at Launceston, Tasmania, on 24 September 1821. His father, Thomas Reibey, was a prosperous grazier who married Richenda, daughter of Richard Allen, M.D., and his grandmother, Mary Reibey, was a well-known early resident of Sydney. At an early age Reibey was sent to England to be educated, and he matriculated and entered Trinity College, Oxford, in May 1840. The death of his father brought him back to Tasmania before he could graduate, and in 1843 he was admitted to Holy Orders by Bishop Nixon (q.v.). He was for some years rector of Holy Trinity church, Launceston, and afterwards rector of Carrick, where he built and partly endowed a church. About 1858 he became archdeacon of Launceston. He drew no stipend during the whole of his clerical life. About 1870, on account of a disagreement with Bishop Bromby (q.v.), he retired from active life in the church, though he continued to take much interest in it. In 1874 Reibey entered the Tasmanian house of assembly as member for Westbury and continued to represent it for 29 years. From March 1875 to July 1876 he was leader of the opposition and then became premier and colonial secretary. But parties were not clearly defined, there was much faction, and his ministry lasted only a little more than a year. He was again leader of the opposition from August 1877 to December 1878 when he became colonial secretary in the W. L. Crowther (q.v.) ministry until October 1879. In July 1887 he was elected speaker of the house of assembly and competently filled the position until July 1891. He was minister without portfolio in the Braddon (q.v.) ministry from April 1894 to October 1899. Four years later he retired from politics and confined his interests to country pursuits for the remainder of his long life. He had two estates and kept a stud of horses which he raced purely for the love of sport. In 1882 he had just failed to win the Melbourne cup with Stockwell and he also at one time owned Malua which won in 1884. He retired from racing towards the end of his life on account of his disapproval of some incidents that had occurred in connexion with it. He was president of more than one racing club and gave much energy to the improvement of agriculture as president of the Northern Agricultural Society. Keeping his faculties to the end he died in his ninety-first year on 10 February 1912. He married in 1842 Catherine McDonall, daughter of James Kyle of Inverness, who pre-deceased him. He had no children.
Reibey was a courteous and kindly man, everywhere respected and revered. He was nearly 30 years in the church and a similar period in politics, where he did his best to keep things moving during an obstructive period. He had little party spirit and was interested chiefly in what would be good for the colony. He was a good influence in the sporting community and few men have had a life so useful and varied.
The Mercury, Hobart, 12 February 1912; The Examiner, Launceston, 12 February 1912; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Thomas Reibey — Infobox Officeholder honorific prefix = name = Thomas Reibey honorific suffix = imagesize = small caption = order = 11th office = Premier of Tasmania term start = 20 July 1876 term end = 9 August 1877 deputy = predecessor = Alfred Kennerley… …   Wikipedia

  • Reibey — /ˈribi/ (say reebee) noun 1. Mary, 1777–1855, Australian businesswoman, born in England; extensive real estate and shipping interests. 2. her grandson, Thomas, 1821–1912, Australian politician; premier of Tasmania 1876–77. Mary Reibey was born… …  

  • 1912 in Australia — Infobox Australian year year = 1912 monarch = George V governor general = Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman pm = Andrew Fisher population = 4653721 australian = elections =South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia See also: 1911 in Australia,… …   Wikipedia

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