SUTTOR, Sir Francis Bathurst (1839-1915)

SUTTOR, Sir Francis Bathurst (1839-1915)
son of William Henry Suttor and his wife, Charlotte Augusta Anne Francis, and grandson of George Suitor (q.v.), was born at Bathurst, New South Wales, on 30 April 1839. He was educated at The King's School, Parramatta, and after obtaining five years experience on his father's station, took up land in the Bathurst and Wellington districts. He made a study of sheep-breeding and his flocks became known throughout the colony. He also bred a superior type of horse for coaches which were extensively used in Australia at that period. In 1875 he was elected to the legislative assembly of New South Wales for his native city, and, except for a few short intervals, held the seat until 1900. He was minister for justice and public instruction in the second Parkes (q.v.) ministry from 22 March to 16 August 1877, and held the same position in the third Parkes ministry from December 1878 to April 1880; he was minister of justice from May to August 1880, then became postmaster-general until November 1881, when he became minister of public instruction until January 1883. From February 1886 to January 1887 he was postmaster-general in the Jennings (q.v.) ministry. He was minister of public instruction in the second Dibbs (q.v.) ministry from January to March 1889, and held the same post in Dibbs's third ministry from October 1891 to August 1894. In this year he represented New South Wales at the Ottawa colonial conference. He retired from the legislative assembly in 1900, and was nominated to the legislative council where he represented the Lyne (q.v.) and See (q.v.) ministries and was vice-president of the executive council from June 1900 to May 1903. On 2 June 1903 he was appointed president of the legislative council, and held this position until his death. On 29 April 1914 the members of the legislative council gave a banquet in honour of Suttor's seventy-fifth birthday. In replying to the toast of his health Suttor mentioned that his father, uncle, brother and himself had given between them over 80 years of service in parliament. He also said that there were then 138 living descendants of his father and mother.
Suttor's activities were not confined to politics. He was a trustee of the national art gallery and of the Australian museum, and was a member of the senate of the university. He was always keenly interested in the primary producer, was president of the Sheep-breeders' Association, and president of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales. He was an excellent chairman and president of the council, invariably courteous and dignified. Except for an occasional holiday he had scarcely an idle day in his life, and when he died on 4 April 1915 few men were better known in his state, and possibly no one was more esteemed. He married in 1863 Emily, daughter of T. J. Hawkins, who predeceased him. He was survived by three sons and five daughters. He was knighted in 1903.
Burke's Colonial Gentry; The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1915; Birthday Banquet tendered by the Members of the Legislative Council, Official Souvenir.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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