Member of the Legislative Council, 01/09/1851-29/02/1856
Member of the Legislative Assembly, 29/03/1856-19/12/1857
Deputy Judge of the Metropolitan District Court, 30/01/1860-31/12/1860?
Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 30/01/1860-31/12/1860?
Member of the Legislative Assembly, 10/04/1861-10/11/1864
Secretary for Public Works, 16/10/1863-02/02/1865
Land Title Commissioner, 01/01/1865-03/06/1866
President of the Court of Claims, 20/09/1865-15/06/1887
Master in Equity, 11/05/1866-19/01/1885
Master in Lunacy, 16/05/1879-19/01/1885
Mayor, Municipality of Prospect and Sherwood, 03/09/1872-25/01/1875
Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 02/04/1879-05/04/1879
Arthur Todd Holroyd was born in London on 1 December 1806, the youngest child of Stephen Todd Holroyd and his wife Elizabeth nee Lofthouse. Educated at private schools in Twickenham and Chaple Town, and at Ripon Grammar School, he studied medicine at Winchester, the Webb Street School of Anatomy in Southwark, the University of Edinburgh (MD August 1830) and Christ's College, Cambridge (MB 1832). He obtained a position as physician to the St Mary-le-bone Dispensary. He became a fellow of the Zoological Society of London in 1826 and the Linnean Society in 1829. From June 1835 to November 1838 his travels and explorations included Rome, Egypt, Khartoum, Kordofan, the Sinai, Palestine and Syria. In 1839 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society as the first Englishman, and second European, to visit Kordofan. Although he practised as a physician in London, he changed to a career in law and entered Lincoln's Inn in 1835. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln Inn in May 1841. After he migrated to New Zealand in 1843, he practised as a barrister and solicitor in Wellington. (1) On 12 October 1845 he and his daughter Emily Sophia arrived in Sydney on the ship 'Bee' from Wellington. (2)
Holroyd was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 31 October 1845. (3) Elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1 September 1851 to 29 February 1856, he represented the Western Boroughs (i.e. Bathurst Plains and Carcoar). With the introduction of responsible government, he was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly representing Western Boroughs (29 March 1856 to 19 December 1857) and Parramatta (10 April 1861 to 16 October 1863 and 28 October 1863 to 10 November 1864). (4) On 30 January 1860, he was appointed Deputy Judge of the Metropolitan District Court and Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions during the absence of Alfred Cheeke. He was made an honorary magistrate on 21 February 1860. On 16 October 1863 he became Secretary for Public Works, a position he resigned from in October 1864, to be replaced by WM Arnold on 3 February 1865. In April 1864 a Parliamentary Select Committee cleared him of abusing his official position for private gain when selecting mineral lands at Illawarra. (5) On 1 January 1865, he was appointed Land Titles Commissioner, until succeeded by AW Scott on 4 June 1866. He was President of the Court of Claims from 20 September 1865 until his death on 15 June 1887. (6) On 11 May 1866, he became Master in Equity. In 1879 the Master in Equity was made also the Master in Lunacy under Act 42 Vic, No.7 (An Act to consolidate and amend the Law relating to the Insane [4 February 1879]). He thus assumed the Office of Master in Lunacy on 16 May 1879. He was replaced as Master in Equity and Master in Lunacy on 20 January 1885 by Henry Francis Barton. (7) In 1879 he was appointed an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court to preside at civil and criminal trials at Dubbo Circuit Court which was held from 2 to 5 April. (8)
Holroyd's commercial interests were varied. He was a director of the Commercial Bank of London before emigrating to New Zealand in 1843. In New South Wales, he was a director of the Australian Mutual Provident Society and Ophir Gold Mining Company, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of the Agricultural Society of New South Wales and Sydney Grammar School, original Fellow of St Paul's College at the University of Sydney, Patron of the New South Wales Bowling Club, and a member of the Committee of the Union Club. He was a prominent Freemason. His interests included collecting African and Aboriginal arms and artefacts. In March 1855, he bought a large portion of William Sherwin's grant at Merrylands West, Sydney, a property he called 'Sherwood Scrubs'. On his property he experimented with English fodder plants, cultivated an orangery, and in 1878 established the Great Western Steam Brick and pottery works. The Municipality of Prospect and Sherwood was established on 5 July 1872 and he was its first mayor. In 1927 the Municipality was renamed Holroyd in his honour. In 2001 the suburb of Holroyd was also given his name. (9)
Holroyd died at 'Sherwood Scrubs', Merrylands, on 15 June 1887. His only child, Emily Sophia Patton nee Holroyd (1831-1912), was a noted singing teacher in Japan and Shanghai. (10)
(1) HTE Holt, 'Holroyd, Arthur Todd (1806-1887)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, http://www.adb.online.edu.au/biogs/A040463b.htm (cited 11 January 2008); 'Mr Arthur Todd Holroyd [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/members.nsf/V3Home (cited 31 January 2008); 'Holroyd, Arthur Todd', JH Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time, Sydney, George Robertson, 1879, Cd-rom published by Archivecdbooks, 2007, p.94; 'Arthur Todd Holroyd', Australian Men of Mark, Vol.1, Sydney, Charles F Maxwell, 1889, Cd-rom published by Archivecdbooks, 2007, pp.113-118.
(2) Colonial Secretary; NRS 1291, Reports of vessels arrived, 1845. Ship Bee 12 October 1845, SR Reel 1272; Australian Men of Mark, op.cit, p.117.
(3) Supreme Court of New South Wales: NRS 13664, NSW Roll of Barristers and Solicitors, 1824-1876, SR Fiche 852, page 4a.
(4) 'Mr Arthur Todd Holroyd [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website , op.cit.
(5) DH Borchardt, Checklist of Royal Commissions, Select Committees of Parliament and Boards of Inquiry, Part IV, New South Wales, 1855-1960. La Trobe University Library, 1975.
(6) HTE Holt, op.cit.; Public Service Lists (Blue Books), 1860, p.79; 1863, p.68; 1864, p.76; 1865, pp.14, 74; 1866, p. 15; NSW Government Gazette No.24, 3 February 1860, p.235; No.34, 21 February 1860, p.347; No.198, 22 September 1865, p.2133; Blue Books, op.cit., 1865, p.44; 1887, p.125.
(7) NSW Government Gazette No.101, 11 May 1866, p.1176; Blue Books, op.cit., 1866, p.38; 1885, p.35, 80; NSW Government Gazette No.169, 16 May 1879, p.2145; No.40, 28 January 1885, p.787; No.45, 30 January 1885, p.843.
(8) NSW Government Gazette No.116, 1 April 1879, p.1481; NRS 6107, Notebooks: Circuit Court [Justice Holroyd]; April 1879 [2/4380] .
(9) HTE Holt, op.cit.; 'Mr Arthur Todd Holroyd [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website, op.cit., 'Mayors of Holroyd', Holroyd City website http://www.holroyd.nsw.gov.au/html/gm/clrs/mayorsofholroyd.htm (cited 31 January 2008); 'Holroyd City Local History' http://www.holroyd.nsw.gov.au/html/lcs/library/localhistory.htm (cited 31 January 2008); Holroyd City Media Release 9 May 2001, 'New Suburb for Holroyd', http://www.holroyd.nsw.gov.au/html/gm/pr/media/mediarelease01509.pdf (cited 31 January 2008).
(10) 'Emily Patton (1831-1912)', Notable C19 Australian Music Educators, http://education.deakin.edu.au/music_ed/history/Patton.html (cited 31 January 2008).