John Hunter

1737 - 1821

Statue of John Hunter, Tower Place, Leith
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Statue of John Hunter, Tower Place, Leith

Governor of New South Wales (Australia) between 1795 and 1800. He was born in Leith (City of Edinburgh) the son of a ship-master. He was second-in-command on HMS Sirius to Arthur Phillip who founded the colony of New South Wales in 1788. Hunter is said to have governed the colony with "sense, duty and humanity", but he was not liked by the Duke of Portland, who was Secretary of State, and issued an order recalling him to England in 1799. His conduct was later vindicated and he was awarded a generous pension. He was briefly given command of the warship Venerable, but after this ship was wrecked he finished his career at a desk. In 1807, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and, three years later, to Vice-Admiral.

He died in London, where he lies buried in Hackney Old Cemetery.

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