Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore

Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore GCMG KStJ (26 November 1829 – 30 January 1912)[1] was a British Liberal Party politician and colonial administrator. He had extensive contact with Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

The Lord Stanmore
Arthur Gordon circa 1870–1880.
9th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
In office
26 October 1861  30 September 1866
Preceded byJohn Manners Sutton
Succeeded byCharles Hastings Doyle
19th Governor of Trinidad
In office
7 November 1866  1870
Preceded byE. E. Bushworth
Succeeded byJames Robert Longden
11th Governor of British Mauritius
In office
21 February 1871  18 August 1874
Preceded bySir Henry Barkly
Succeeded bySir Arthur Phayre
1st High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
June 1875  January 1880
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Des Vœux
2nd Governor of Fiji
In office
June 1875  January 1880
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Des Vœux
9th Governor of New Zealand
In office
29 November 1880  24 June 1882
Preceded bySir Hercules Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Jervois
16th Governor of British Ceylon
In office
3 December 1883  28 May 1890
Preceded byJohn Douglas
Succeeded byArthur Havelock
(Acting governor)
Personal details
Born(1829-11-26)26 November 1829
Died30 January 1912(1912-01-30) (aged 82)
RelationsGeorge Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen (father)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge


Gordon was born in London in 1829.[2] He was the youngest son of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen and his second wife, Harriet Douglas. His mother was the widow of Viscount Hamilton.[2]

Gordon was educated privately and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1849.[3]

After graduating in 1851, he worked as Assistant Private Secretary to the British Prime Minister (his father) between 1852 and 1855, and was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Beverley from 1854 to 1857.[1] In 1875, the Fiji Islands were created a separate Colony, and Sir Arthur Gordon was appointed the first Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Fiji, until 1880. In connection with this he also received the appointment of Consul-General, and High Commissioner of the Western Pacific, but that gave little additional power. He held a number of colonial governorships:

He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1871, and a Knight Grand Cross of the same Order in 1878.[15][16] He was created Baron Stanmore, of Great Stanmore, in the County of Middlesex on 21 August 1893.[17]

In 1897 Lord Stanmore became the chairman of the Pacific Islands Company Ltd ('PIC'), which was a company formed by John T. Arundel that was based in London with its trading activities in the Pacific that involved mining phosphate rock on Banaba (then known as Ocean Island) and Nauru.[18] John T. Arundel and Lord Stanmore were responsible for financing the new opportunities and negotiating with the German company that controlled the licences to mine in Nauru. In 1902 the interests of PIC were merged with Jaluit Gesellschaft of Hamburg, to form the Pacific Phosphate Company, ('PPC') to engage in phosphate mining in Nauru and Banaba.[19]

Gordon's ethnographic collection from Fiji, which was assembled during his Governorship, was donated to the British Museum in 1878.[20]

He was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts in March 1900.[21]


  • William Ewart Gladstone, Baron Arthur Hamilton-Gordon Stanmore (1961). Gladstone-Gordon correspondence, 1851–1896: selections from the private correspondence of a British Prime Minister and a colonial Governor, Volume 51. American Philosophical Society. p. 116. ISBN 9780871695147. Retrieved 28 June 2010.(Volume 51, Issue 4 of new series, American Philosophical Society Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions Series Volume 51, Part 4 of Transactions of the American Philosophical Society new ser v. 51, no. 4)(Original from the University of California)

Personal life and death

On 20 September 1865, Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, wed Rachel Emily Shaw Lefevre in London. The couple had a daughter and a son.[22]

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire in 1861.[23]

Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore died on 30 January 1912 in Chelsea, London.[22]


Coat of arms of Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Baron Stanmore
1st: Two Arms from the shoulder naked proper holding a Bow Or and letting fly an Arrow Argent (Gordon); 2nd: Our of a Ducal Coronet Or an Oak Tree fructed and penetrated transversely in the main stem by a Frame Saw inscribed with the word "Thorough" all proper, the tree charged with an Escutcheon Argent thereon a Heart Gules (Hamilton)
Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure three Boars' Heads couped within a Double Tressure adorned with Roses Thistles and Fleurs-de-lis alternately Or (Gordon); 2nd and 3rd, Quarterly, (i) and (iv), Gules three Cinquefoils pierced Ermine, (ii) and (iii) Argent a Lymphad the sails furled, the whole within a Bordure Sable (Hamilton)
Dexter: a Chief of the Fiji Islands habited and supporting with the exterior hand a Club all proper; Sinister: an Adigar of the Island of Ceylon habited and holding in the exterior hand a Staff of Office all proper
Haud Immemor [22]


  1. Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages – Peerages beginning with "S" (part 5)
  2. Tyler, W. P. N. "Gordon, Arthur Hamilton". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  3. "Gordon, the Hon. Arthur Charles Hamilton (GRDN846AC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. "No. 22548". The London Gazette. 17 September 1861. p. 3745.
  5. Newbury, Colin (Spring 2011). "Biography and Patronage in Crown Colony Governorships: Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon and "Personal Administration"" (PDF). Journal of Historical Biography. 9: 1–36.
  6. "No. 23133". The London Gazette. 3 July 1866. p. 3816.
  7. "No. 23655". The London Gazette. 4 October 1870. p. 4345.
  8. "Mauritius". Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  9. "No. 24178". The London Gazette. 5 February 1875. p. 475.
  10. Paul Knaplund, "Sir Arthur Gordon and Fiji: Some Gordon-Gladstone Letters." Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand 8#31 (1958) pp 281–296.
  11. "No. 24508". The London Gazette. 2 October 1877. p. 5455.
  12. "No. 24523". The London Gazette. 20 November 1877. p. 6313.
  13. "No. 24873". The London Gazette. 13 August 1880. p. 4462.
  14. "No. 25253". The London Gazette. 24 July 1883. p. 3699.
  15. "No. 23709". The London Gazette. 24 February 1871. p. 696.
  16. "No. 24623". The London Gazette. 10 September 1878. p. 5081.
  17. "No. 26437". The London Gazette. 1 September 1893. p. 4994.
  18. Albert F. Ellis, (1935) Ocean Island and Nauru: Their Story, Chapter IV
  19. Maslyn Williams & Barrie Macdonald (1985) The Phosphateers
  20. "Collection search: You searched for". British Museum. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  21. "No. 27174". The London Gazette. 16 March 1900. p. 1791.
  22. "Stanmore, Baron (UK, 1893 – 1957)".
  23. "No. 22536". The London Gazette. 6 August 1861. p. 3274.
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