COGHLAN, Sir Timothy Augustine (1856-1926)


COGHLAN, Sir Timothy Augustine (1856-1926)
statistician
son of Thomas Coghlan of Irish Roman catholic stock was born at Sydney on 9 June 1856. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School, in 1873 joined the public works department, and became assistant-engineer of harbours and rivers in 1884. When it was decided to have a department of statistics for New South Wales Coghlan was appointed government statistician, and began his duties early in 1886. The appointment was much criticized, but Coghlan held the position for 19 years and showed great industry and ability in the conduct of it. He published in 1887 the first issue of The Wealth and Progress of New South Wales which continued to appear almost at yearly intervals. The thirteenth issue covered the years 1900-1. In 1895 appeared Statistics of the Seven Colonies of Australasia 1861 to 1894, called in later issues A Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia. These books vied in interest and value with the admirable works that Hayter (q.v.) of Victoria had begun issuing at earlier dates. Other volumes issued by Coghlan included Handbook to the Statistical Register of the Colony of New South Wales, first issue 1886, and various pamphlets on statistical subjects. He was also the author of Picturesque New South Wales, a popular illustrated guide-book, and he collaborated with T. T. Ewing in The Progress of Australasia in the Nineteenth Century, published in 1903.
Coghlan was also registrar of Friendly Societies from 1892 to 1905, a member of the public service board from 1896 to 1900, chairman of board of old age pensions 1901-5, and was president of the economics and statistics section at the 1902 meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1905 he was appointed agent-general for the state of New South Wales at London and, except for three short breaks, held the position until his death. He was an excellent man for this kind of work, qualified in every way to give information, and to deal with the many loans floated in London. He published in 1918 in four volumes his most important book, Labour and Industry in Australia from the first Settlement in 1788 to the Establishment of the Commonwealth in 1901. It is a history of labour, not a history of the labour movement, nor a history of Australia, but it should prove a mine of information for the future historian of Australia. It is especially valuable for its information about the prices of commodities and the consequent effect on the social life of the people. Coghlan was still carrying out his duties, and apparently in good health, when he died suddenly at London on 30 April 1926. He married in 1897 Helen, daughter of D. C. Donnelly, M.L.A., who survived him with a son and a daughter. He was knighted in 1914 and created K.C.M.G. in 1918.
The Times, 1 May 1926; The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 1926; Who's Who, 1920.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Timothy Augustine Coghlan — Sir Timothy Augustine Coghlan KCMG, (9 June 1856 – 30 April 1926) was an Australian statistician, holding the post of New South Wales government statistician for 19 years.Early lifeCoghlan was born in Sydney, the second son of Thomas Coghlan of… …   Wikipedia

  • List of statisticians — Statisticians or people who made notable contributions to the theories of statistics, or related aspects of probability, or machine learning. NOTOC CompactTOC8 side = yes seealso = yes nobreak = yes extlinks = yes x = A * Odd Olai Aalen (1947 ) * …   Wikipedia


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