Governor of New South Wales (12/12/1885-03/11/1890)
Charles Robert Carington, Lord Carrington, was Governor of New South Wales from 12 December 1885 to 3 November 1890.
Lord Carrington was born on 16 May 1843 at Whitehall, Middlesex, England. He was the son of Robert John Smith, second Baron Carrington, and Charlotte Augusta Annabella Drummond-Willoughby, daughter of Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. (1)
Lord Carrington was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1864). He was Liberal member for High Wycombe from 1865 to1868, joined the Royal Horse Guards and became a captain in 1869 and was aide-de-camp to the Prince of Wales on a visit to India from 1875 to 1876. In 1881 he became lieutenant-colonel of the Royal Buckinghamshire Infantry, and was a captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms from 1881 to1885. On 17 May 1868 he succeeded his father as the third Baron Carrington. On 15 July 1878 Lord Carrington married Cecilia Margaret Harbord. (2)
Lord Carrington arrived in Sydney per R.M.S Cathage on 11 December 1885. It has been stated that Lord Carrington restored the prestige of the Viceregal office through 'flair for combining respect for Australian capacity and Australian autonomy with pride in the British connection, and his wife's ability to reach out to all sections of the community…' (3) Throughout Lord Carrington's tenure as Governor he proved an able and tactful governor. Lord Carrington refrained from interference and faithfully conveyed local opinion to England particularly relating to Chinese immigration and naval defence. He exercised the powers of Governor by the granting of the dissolutions of parliament and the approval of appointments to the Legislative Council in 1886. He reportedly convinced Sir Henry Parkes in 1887 against seeking to change the colony's name to Australia and was instrumental in supporting the promotion of Federation. (4)
Lord Carrington - aided by his wife, re-established the opulence of Government House and the grandeur of the office of the Governor. Lord Carrington ensured this by surrounding himself with staff who were well educated, familiar with military protocol and endowed with the appropriate social skills. This helped to make ordinary functions into occasions. Lord Carrington and his wife oversaw the 1887 celebrations of Queen Victoria's jubilee and the 1888 centennial celebrations. The Carrington's had an unbounded appetite for public appearances, unveiling monuments, attending race meetings and cricket matches, speaking at public banquets, along with country visits and tours. Government House was also used for balls, dinners, garden-parties and fetes - all of these made Lord Carrington's term of office memorable to the populace of Sydney and of all New South Wales. (5)
Sydney gave the couple an unprecedented farewell, with thousands lining the streets and showering flowers on their carriage. In a parting speech Lord Carrington declared they were 'guests who found their welcome at once an adoption, and whose farewell leaves half their hearts behind'. Lord Carrington and his family departed from South Australia per R.M.S Orizaba's on 24 November 1890 arriving in England on 12 December 1890. (6)
Lord Carrington's later career included representing West Pancras on the London County Council from 1892 to 1907 and he chaired the Welsh Land Commission in 1893. He served in Campbell-Bannerman's ministry as president of the Board of Agriculture from 1905 to 1911, and was Lord Privy Seal in 1911 to 1912. He was president of the National Liberal Club and from 1896 to 1921 chairman of its General Committee. (7)
Lord Carrington received many honours including the appointment of Lord Chamberlain from 1892 to 1895. He was a special envoy in 1901 to make formal announcement of King Edward's coronation, and in 1910 under King George V he became Lord Great Chamberlain. He was made Earl Carrington and Viscount Wendover in 1895 and in 1896 adopted by licence the name of Wynn-Carington. He was created Marquess of Lincolnshire in 1912 and was Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire from 1915 to 1923. He died on 13 June 1928 survived by his wife and four of their five daughters; his only son had been killed in World War I. (8)
A note on the spelling of his name and title
Charles Robert Carington's family name is spelled with only one 'r' but his title of Lord Carrington is spelled with two 'r's. (9) He had assumed the surname of Carington in lieu of Carrington by Royal licence in 1880. (10) Some secondary sources record both his family name and his title with two 'r's.
1. Geoffrey Bolton, Charles Robert Carrington, Baron Carrington, The Governors of New South Wales 1788-2010, Sydney, Federation Press, 2009, p.332.
2. A. W. Martin, 'Carrington, Charles Robert (1843–1928)', Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/carrington-charles-robert-3169/text4745, (accessed 14 January 2014).
3. Loc. cit. note 1.
4. A. W. Martin, 'Carrington, Charles Robert (1843–1928)', ADB, (accessed 14 January 2014).
5. Rollo Gillespie, Viceregal Quarters: An Account of the Various Residences of the Governors of New South Wales from 1788 until the Present Day, Sydney, Angus and Robinson, 1975, p.195.
6. A. W. Martin, 'Carrington, Charles Robert (1843–1928)', ADB, (accessed 14 January 2014).
7. A. W. Martin, 'Carrington, Charles Robert (1843–1928)', ADB, (accessed 14 January 2014).
8. A. W. Martin, 'Carrington, Charles Robert (1843–1928)', ADB, (accessed 14 January 2014).
9. Advice received from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies re the Carington family of Bledlow in Buckinghamshire.
10. Thom's official directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the year 1886. Dublin : Alex. Thom & Co., 1886, p.251 (q.v. Carrington, Baron, Charles Robert Carington, 3rd Baron).