William Addison Adamson

William Addison Adamson (1858-1924)

Politician, Councillor, Mayor, Stock And Station Agent & Horse Owner

Location: Pres*G*51

Born in South Yarra, son of William Adamson and Isabella née Bruce and 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 VRC Royal Handicap at Flemington. Described as “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 OR Snowball (q.v.) and William Allard (q.v.). He resided at Thyra – 57 Wilson Street, Middle Brighton, designed by Lloyd Tayler (q.v.) in 1883.

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).

(Image reproduced with kind permission of the Victorian Parliament Library)