Joshua Peter Bell

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For other people named Joshua Bell, see Joshua Bell (disambiguation).
Joshua Peter Bell
StateLibQld 1 86924 Sketch of Sir Joshua Peter Bell.jpg
Sketch of Joshua Peter Bell from 1881
Born (1827-01-19)January 19, 1827
Died December 20, 1881(1881-12-20) (aged 54)

Sir Joshua Peter Bell K.C.M.G. (19 January 1827 – 20 December 1881) was a pastoralist and parliamentarian from Queensland, Australia. His eldest son was barrister and parliamentarian Joshua Thomas Bell.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born in Kildare, Ireland, eldest son of Thomas Bell and his wife Sarah, née Alexander. The family emigrated to Australia around 1830. He attended the Sydney College and King's School, Parramatta. In 1848, Bell became joint manager of Jimbour Station in Darling Downs, Queensland with his brother Alexander after his father had taken over the lease of the property. Bell soon assumed sole control of the station due to his astute management that saw the station becoming one of the most respected in the area.[1]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Early parliamentary career[edit]

Due to his status as a prominent landholder, Bell was invited to stand in the elections in 1862 for the seat of West Moreton. He won this seat with a considerable majority and remained in office for six years. In 1868 he stood for the seat of Northern Downs (Dalby), the local constituency of Jimbour Station, in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.[2] He was successful in this election and continued to hold the seat for eleven years.

Ministerial career[edit]

Monument at the grave of Joshua Peter Bell.

In his eleven years in parliament in the seat of Northern Downs, Bell gained a number of ministerial roles. In 1864 he was appointed treasurer (in the first Queensland ministry under Robert Herbert)[3] a position he held until 1866. In 1886 there was a financial crisis owing to the failure of two banks, Bell as treasurer stated that he intended to issue "inconvertible government notes". The governor, Sir George Bowen, considered that would be an infringement of the prerogatives of the crown and then premier Arthur Macalister resigned on 20 July 1866.[2] Bell later assumed the role of treasurer in a subsequent government in 1871 and remained in office for further three years. Bell also held a number of other ministerial positions, notably Minister for Lands in 1866 and acting Minister for Works in 1867.[1]

Further career[edit]

In 1879 Bell transferred to the Queensland Legislative Council and was elected president.[2] For a short period of time from March to November 1880, Bell was appointed as Administrator in the absence of the then Governor Sir Arthur Kennedy. He was appointed K.C.M.G. in 1881, but died suddenly later that year and was buried at Toowong Cemetery.[1][4]


The town of Bell was named after him.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Morrison, A. A. "Bell, Sir Joshua Peter (1827 - 1881)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Percival Serle, ed. (1949). "Bell, Joshua Peter". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  3. ^ Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Bell, Hon. Sir Joshua Peter". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource
  4. ^ "Brisbane City Council - Online - Grave Location Search". Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bell (entry 2133)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 April 2014.