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Taylor, James

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Birth Date: 1820 (London, England)

Death Date: 19 October 1895 (Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia)

Parents: John William Taylor and Ann (nee Fielder)

Family: Sarah Boulton on 16 Febuary 1850 at Drayton, Aubigny, 5 sons, 4 daughters

Religion: Church of England


Acquired pastoral experience between 1840 and 1846; Arrived on the Darling Downs in 1848 and became head stockman at Cecil Plains for HS Russell; Partner with HS Russell at Cecil Plains in 1850 and sole proprietor in 1859; Acquired Dunmore, Goodar and Coomrith stations on the Western Downs in the 1870s; Acquired Mount Marlow Station on the Barcoo River in 1878

Local Government Service: Mayor of Toowoomba, 1890

Parliamentary Representation:

House Party Electorate From To Elected/Departure Reason
Assembly NONE Western Downs 27 Apr 1860 14 Sep 1870 Retired
Council NONE Legislative Council 4 Nov 1871 10 Jan 1881 Retired
Council NONE Legislative Council 1 Jul 1881 17 Aug 1893 Retired

Parliamentary Service

Description From To
Secretary for Public Lands 28 Jan 1869 3 May 1870

Additional Information

Notes: As Secretary for Public Lands, Taylor administered his office from Toowoomba without regard for the public good. Huge areas of Cecil Plains were withheld from selection and sold off to Taylor himself in 1870. This action was one of the reasons he resigned and subsequently Lilley lost government. In 1869, Taylor bought 'Union House', which he renamed 'Clifford House' after his father's home village in Yorkshire. Clifford House became Taylor's private residence, having been built in 1860 as a residential club for squatters. He contested the seat of Drayton and Toowoomba in 1870 but was unsuccessful. He proved to be one of the most vigorous and obstructive of the squatting rearguard. He resigned in 1881 and contested the seat of Drayton and Toowoomba but was again unsuccessful. Director, of the Queensland Brewing Co., the Queensland Mercantile and Agency Co. and the Land Bank of Queensland. Trustee, Toowoomba School of Arts and a member of the Queensland Turf Club, the Royal Agricultural Society, the Queensland Club and the Brisbane Diocesan Synod. Throughout his life he was known as the 'King of Toowoomba'. He will be remembered for his development of Cecil Plains and his role as the founding father of Toowoomba

Sources: Image courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Neg:198062; Hogan, Janet, Building Queensland's Heritage, (Richmond, Vic: Richmond Hill Press, 1978) ; Waterson, DB, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament: 1860-1929, 2nd revised edition (Sydney: Casket Publications, 2001); Waterson, DB, 'Taylor, James (1820-1895)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, V.6, Melbourne University Press, 1976, p.248

[Last Modified: Wednesday, 19 July 2017]