Biography of Sir James Wilson Agnew
Sir James Wilson Agnew
James Wilson Agnew graduated MD from the University in 1839, after having gained Membership of Royal College of Surgeons from London in 1838.
Agnew emigrated to Sydney, Australia, but it was in Tasmania where Agnew would settle and have a successful career as a physician and popular politician. From his first appointment in 1841 as assistant surgeon to the agricultural establishment, Agnew continued to practice in Holbart, Tasmania, until 1877, when he was appointed to the Legislative Council. From 8 March 1886 and 29 March 1887, Agnew held the office of Premier and Chief Secretary of Tasmania. He resigned from politics thereafter, but continued his memberships on various boards, such as the Council of Higher Education and in 1890 the Council of the University of Tasmania. An active member of the Tasmanian Society (the Royal Society of Tasmania), Agnew was the first chairman of the board of management of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and chairman of the trustees of the Hobart Public Library until 1901. He was also president of the Tasmanian Racing Club and father of the Tasmanian Club.
In 1894 he received a Knighthood for his services to Tasmania.