Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael

Thomas David Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael, GCSI, GCIE, KCMG, DL, FRSE (18 March 1859 – 16 January 1926), known as Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, 11th Baronet, between 1891 and 1912, was a Scottish Liberal politician and colonial administrator. He was also a keen naturalist.

The Lord Carmichael
Governor of Victoria
In office
27 July 1908  19 May 1911
MonarchsEdward VII (1908–10)
George V (1910–11)
Governors GeneralHenry Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote (1908)
William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley (1908–11)
PremierSir Thomas Bent (1908–09)
John Murray (1909–11)
Preceded bySir Reginald Talbot
Succeeded bySir John Fuller, 1st Baronet
Governor of Madras
In office
3 November 1911  30 March 1912
Governor GeneralCharles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Preceded bySir Arthur Lawley
Succeeded bySir Murray Hammick (acting)
Governor of Bengal
In office
1 April 1912  26 March 1917
MonarchGeorge V
Governors GeneralCharles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford
Preceded bySir William Duke
Succeeded byMarquess of Zetland
Personal details
Born(1859-03-18)18 March 1859
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died16 January 1926(1926-01-16) (aged 66)
13 Portman Street, London, England
Political partyLiberal
SpouseMary Nugent
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

Background and education

Born near Edinburgh, Scotland, Carmichael was the eldest son of Reverend Sir William Henry Gibson-Carmichael, 10th Baronet, and Eleanora Anne Anderson, daughter of David Anderson.[1]

He was educated at the Wixenford House school of Cowley Powles, then near Eversley[2] in Wixenford[3] and St John's College, Cambridge.[1][4] He succeeded his father as 11th Baronet in 1891.

Political career

Carmichael was Private Secretary to George Trevelyan and Lord Dalhousie, when Secretaries for Scotland.[1] He unsuccessfully contested Peebles and Selkirk in 1892 [5] but was successfully returned as Liberal Member of Parliament for Midlothian in 1895,[6] succeeding William Ewart Gladstone. He continued to represent this constituency until the 1900 general election.[7] During this period, Carmichael leased Malleny House and Garden.[8] He developed the gardens, as well as organising decorative ironwork to be added to the garden.[8]

Colonial Governor

Lord Carmichael as Governor of Victoria
Commemorative Plaque laid by Baron Carmichael, Governor of Bengal on 4th October 1912 in Dr Graham's Home in Kalimpong

Carmichael was appointed Governor of Victoria in 1908 and served from 27 July 1908 to 19 May 1911.[9]

As governor, Carmichael permitted Victoria Premier Sir Thomas Bent who had lost a no-confidence vote on 3 December 1908 to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections. Thomas Bent, however, lost the elections and John Murray succeeded him as premier. A Royal Commission investigation was started in 1909 to inquire into the financial misappropriations made by Bent.

In 1911 Carmichael was appointed governor of Madras and served from 3 November 1911 to 30 March 1912. He was elected President of The Asiatic Society for 1913–15.


He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1908, a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1911 and a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1917.[1] In 1912 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Carmichael, of Skirling in the County of Peebles.[10] Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee created a post Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, after his name. Carmichael College in Rangpur, Bangladesh is named after and was inaugurated by him in 1916.[11]

Other public appointments

Carmichael was also Chairman of the Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland from 1894 to 1897, a Trustee of the Board of Manufactures in Scotland from 1900,[12] a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery from 1904 to 1908 and of the National Gallery from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1923 to 1926.[3] Between 1920 and 1926 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Peeblesshire.[13]

In 1891 he founded the Scottish Beekeepers Association.[2]


He was a freemason. He was initiated, passed and raised within eight days of 1895 in the Dramatic and Arts Lodge No. 757. He became Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1902 and served for two years. He was also appointed Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Seven years later he became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. When he was appointed Governor of Victoria, he resigned from Grand Master only to become almost immediately Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.

Served as Provincial Grand Master of Midlothian 1904-1909.


Personal life

Lord Carmichael married the Hon. Mary Helen Elizabeth, daughter of Baron Albert Nugent, in 1886. They had no children. He died at 13 Portman Street, London, in January 1926, aged 66, and was buried at Skirling, Biggar, Lanarkshire. The barony became extinct on his death while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his cousin, Henry Thomas Gibson-Craig.[1] He was a keen amateur entomologist. During his career in India, he made a large collection of insects, mainly from the Darjeeling region, which he gave to the Indian Museum before leaving India. The damselfly species, Drepanosticta carmichaeli was named after him by Laidlaw in 1915.


  1. Thomas David Gibson-Carmichael, 1st and last Baron Carmichael
  2. Waterston, C D; Shearer, A Macmillan (2006). Royal Fellows of Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). Vol. Part One. The Royal Society of Edinburgh. p. 165. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013.
  3. Prior, Katherine. "Carmichael, Thomas David Gibson, Baron Carmichael (1859–1926)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32295. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. "Carmichael or Gibson-Carmichael, Thomas David [Gibson] (CRML877TD)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. Whitaker's Almanack, 1893, page 143
  6. "No. 26651". The London Gazette. 9 August 1895. p. 4487.
  7. House of Commons: Paddington to Platting[Usurped!]
  8. "Malleny. GDL00272". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  9. "No. 28141". The London Gazette. 29 May 1908. p. 3993.; ""; Peerage: Carew to Castlereagh[Usurped!]
  10. "No. 28579". The London Gazette. 9 February 1912. p. 972.
  11. "Carmichael College Rangpur – Brief History (English)". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  12. "No. 27165". The London Gazette. 16 February 1900. p. 1076.
  13. Peerage: Carew to Castlereagh[Usurped!]
  14. "Vice Regal Grand Master - Who and Why?". Kent Henderson. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2012.


  • Mary Helen Elizabeth (Nugent) Carmichael (baroness.) (1929). Lord Carmichael of Skirling. Hodder and Stoughton.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.