Performing an Imperial Career: Hamilton Goold-Adams in Southern Africa, Cyprus and Queensland

Andonis Piperoglou, Andrekos Varnava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article examines the mobile yet chequered imperial career of Hamilton Goold-Adams. Initially serving as a military officer in the India, Ireland, Malta and the West Indies, Goold-Adams rose to distinction in the British imperial administration after serving in Bechuanaland and in the South African War. He then became Governor of the Orange River Colony (1901–1907), High Commissioner of Cyprus (1911–1914), and Governor of Queensland (1915–1919). Rarely considered in imperial history, little is known about the dynamics of Goold-Adams’ imperial mobility, actions and public reflections. It has been argued that explorations into imperial careers have foregrounded alternative ways of approaching historical biography while enhancing historical understandings of intersecting imperial discourses, movements, and identities. Providing insight into the spatiality of empire, as well as of imperial subjectivity, this article charts Goold-Adams’ military and administrative imperial service in southern Africa and Cyprus and then analyses how he performatively reflected on these imperial appointments while serving in Queensland. Through an examination of a series of public lectures delivered by Goold-Adams in Brisbane, we argue, that his pervious imperial appointments were performatively drawn upon to encourage an interested settler colonial audience to continue thinking of themselves as loyal and well-informed British imperial subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-123
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • British Empire
  • imperial biography and careers
  • performing empire
  • South Africa
  • Cyprus
  • Queensland


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