NICHOLSON, William (1816-1865)

Born in Cumbria, England, Nicholson migrated to Australia in 1841. He commenced business as a grocer and prospered. Nicholson was a member of the Legislative Council 1852-60 and premier of Victoria 1859-60. He was responsible for introducing the bill to introduce a secret ballot for Victorian elections, the first government in the world to adopt such a law. He also proposed the first land bill to open Crown lands for free selection, but the bill was so altered by the Legislative Council that its effectiveness was reduced when it became law in 1860. Nicholson purchased the pastoral licence to View Hill from George Symons in 1861 and held it until his death.

Sources: Maxime Palmer, Tarrawarra: 130 years on a Victorian property, Melbourne, 1967, pp. 16-18