Fellows of Senate

The Hon Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether

The Hon Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether was a Fellow of Senate of the University of Sydney from 1850 to 1875. During this period, he was Vice-Chancellor (Vice-Provost) from 1854 to 1862 and Chancellor from 1862 to 1865.


Profile

(1811 – 1899)
BA Camb
Fellow of Senate 1850 - 1875, including election by Senate as
– Vice-Chancellor (Vice-Provost) 1854 - 1862
– Chancellor 1862 - 1865

His early years

Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether, the son of a clergyman, arrived from England in New South Wales in 1838.

His career

He rapidly secured promotion in the government service, first as Immigrant Agent, then as Acting Colonial Treasurer (1841), Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court at Port Phillip, Clerk of the Councils (1842-51), Postmaster General and member of the Executive Council. He was an Alderman on Sydney’s first Town Council.

1850s

Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether (at rear) and family in the 1850s, photo 809_055 by Professor John Smith, University of Sydney Archives.

His membership of Senate

Merewether was instrumental in the establishment of the University and successfully proposed that the 180-acre Gross Farm be accepted as the alternative site to the inadequate Sydney College. He was a member of the founding Senate of the University. He was elected the second Vice-Provost* in 1854, a position he held until he was elected Chancellor in 1862. As a member of the original Building Committee of the University, he won approval for the construction of the buildings designed by Edmund Blacket.

* Title changed to Vice-Chancellor in 1860

The biographical notes on the Chancellors contain information derived from a variety of sources including: Australia’s First: A History of the University of Sydney; University News; University of Sydney Archives; Lawlink NSW: Law and History

1878

Portrait of Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether 1878, Unknown artist, oil on canvas, Commissioned by public subscription, University Art Collection, reproduced with the permission of the University of Sydney.

1878

Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether in 1878, from the portrait, Unknown artist, oil on canvas, Commissioned by public subscription, University Art Collection, reproduced with the permission of the University of Sydney.