Edward Lord (Vizegouverneur)

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Edward Lord (1846)

Edward Lord (born 15 June 1781 in Pembroke, United Kingdom; † 14 September 1859 in London) was a British officer, merchant and interim Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania).


Lord was born in 1781, the third son of Joseph and Corbetta Lord. He joined the Royal Navy and was promoted to Lieutenant at Portsmouth on 12 September 1798.

In 1803 Lord was on board David Collins’ expedition first to Port Phillip and a year later to Van Diemens Land where he helped build Hobart. By October 1806 he had risen to become the highest official under Collins. On 8 October 1808 he married Maria Risely. When William Bligh, forced by the events of the Rum Rebellion, arrived in Hobart in March 1808, he was accused of abuse of office by Collins and Lord as they would trade to the detriment of the colony.

After Collin’s sudden death in March 1810, Lord took over. However, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, relieved Lord of all his offices and appointed John Murray as the new Lieutenant Governor. After Lord returned to England, his renewed application for the office of Lieutenant Governor was finally rejected on 18 August 1812. Lord left the Navy and was granted a total of 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) of land in Australia and Van Diemens Land through the influence of his brother John Owen, a Member of Parliament. He sailed back to Hobart aboard his own brig, the James Hay, with £30,000 worth of goods, and became a good friend of Lieutenant Governor Thomas Davey.

In 1817 Lord was accused of smuggling and ordered by Macquarie to Sydney for trial. Lord refused, however, and was ultimately able to remain unmolested in Hobart, as Davey and his successor William Sorell did nothing to arrest him. During a stay in England in 1819 Lord complained about the unjustified accusations to Henry Bathurst and was granted another 3,000 acres of land. On his return to Hobart he continued to increase his fortune through trade and advantageous barter, so that by 1820 he was considered the richest man in Tasmania. Lord was also founder of the first bank in what is now Tasmania, the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land. As he had to go to court in far away Sydney in case of defaulting debtors, he asked already in 1823 to grant Van Diemen’s Land the status of an independent colony – with its own court.

In 1828 Lord appointed a receiver for his estates in Van Diemens land and settled at Downe in the county of Kent. He died in London in 1859 at the age of 78.


  • Thea Rienits: Lord, Edward. In: Douglas Pike (ed.): Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press, Carlton (Victoria) 1966-2012 (English).