After a few years as a squatter, Thomas McCombie became editor and part owner of the Port Phillip Gazette from 1844 to 1851. He was elected to Victoria's Legislative Council in 1856 but returned to England in 1859. He continued his interest in the colony while in England, writing and publishing articles on colonial matters. He returned to Melbourne in 1866 hoping to continue his political career but ill health forced him to leave for England for the last time in 1869. McCombie's publications included Essays on Colonization (1859) and The History of the Colony of Victoria from its Settlement to the Death of Sir Charles Hotham (1858).