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William Robert Giblin

WR Giblin (AOT, PH30/1/9962)

William Robert Giblin (1840–87), politician and judge, was born at Hobart Town. He began work at thirteen for a legal firm and in 1864 was admitted to the Bar. A philanthropist and active Congregationalist, committed to helping the underprivileged, he founded the Hobart Working Men's Club (the first in Australia) and helped form football teams to deter hooliganism.

Giblin was petitioned by hundreds to stand for the House of Assembly, where he was elected unopposed, remaining until 1884. He served as Attorney-General, Colonial Treasurer and, from March to December 1878 and 1879–84, Premier. In 1885 he was appointed puisne judge of the Supreme Court. Giblin was the first native-born Tasmanian to become Administrator of the government, when Acting Chief Justice in 1886. (See also Colonial Politics.)

Further reading: ADB 4.

Wendy Rimon