South Yarra, son of William Adamson and Isabella
educated at Brighton Grammar School. In the 1870’s he took over the
business of “McCann, Adamson & Co”, stock and station agents and from 1889
in partnership with Noble Powell and Walter Armstrong; from 1912 he was
managing director of “Adamson, Strettle & Co” (Bourke Street). The
firm was responsible for the shipment of horses, horse feed and equipment to
Calcutta and Marseilles for the British Government during the First World
War. Described as “an able and constructive administrator”, Adamson
served in politics as a Brighton City Councillor (1895-1913, Mayor 1901-02),
and in State Parliament from 1910 to 1922, notably as Minister for Public
Works (1915-17) in the (Sir Alexander) Peacock (Creswick Cemetery)
ministry; the Herald commented that “in Cabinet he was helpful in
constructive work, and as a critic of legislation. His breezy style
assisted to keep Cabinet meetings cheerful”. A keen follower of the
track, he owned Charlectoe which had some success, winning the Cooee
and Plenty Handicaps at Moonee Valley and the V.R.C Royal Handicap at
Flemington. “A calm, self-contained speaker, and one who had the
courage of his opinions”, Adamson died on 10 June 1926. A prominent
Freemason, among the mourners were
O. R. Snowball
(q.v.) and William
Allard (q.v.). He resided at Thyra - 57 Wilson Street,
Middle Brighton, designed by
(q.v.) in 1883.
(above) William Adamson
(Reproduced with kind permission of the
(above) Monumental Headstone
The Argus 12 June 1924.
The Age 12 June 1924.
Brighton Southern Cross 18 February 1922.
Thomson, K & Serle, G., “A Biographical
Register of the Victorian Legislature 1851-1900” (1972).
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