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The Probert Encyclopaedia of People

JOHN THURSTON

Sir John Bates Thurston was a British colonial administrator. He was born in 1836 at London and died in 1897. He became a sheep farmer in Australia and in 1864 joined a botanising expedition to the South Sea Islands and was wrecked on Samoa. In 1869 he became consul at Fiji, and having been appointed chief secretary to the native king, was instrumental in having the islands handed over to Great Britain in 1874. He became colonial secretary of the new colony and governor in 1887, and high commissioner of the Western Pacific in the same year.
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