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Biographical entry Scott, James Reid (1839 - 1877)

1 April 1839
Earlston, Berwick, Scotland
25 August 1877
New Town, Tasmania, Australia
Explorer and Politician


James Scott arrived in Tasmania in 1856 and learnt the art of surveying from his uncle. In 1865 he was made a justice of the peace and the following year was elected as an independent to the House of Assembly. This was the start of Scott's long political career. Scott was also a keen explorer and botanist and went on several expeditions to parts of Tasmania little explored. In 1876 he reported to the minister of lands and suggested that the western lands should be opened up and made accessible to encourage prospecting and mining.



Life event - Migrated to Australia (Launceston)
Career position - Justice of the Peace
1866 - 1872
Career position - Member of the House of Assembly for Selby
1868 -
Award - Fellow of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Career position - Member of the Royal Commission on distillation
1871 - 1872
Career position - Chairman of Committees
1872 - 1873
Career position - Colonial Secretary
1872 - 1877
Career position - Member for South Esk in the Legislative Council
1873 - 1877
Career position - Carried out several expeditions to new areas in the west and south-west of Tasmania

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Archives Office of Tasmania

  • James Reid Scott - Records, 1860 - 1877, NI 1179.34; Archives Office of Tasmania. Details

Published resources

Book Sections


McCarthy, G.J.