William Haines (Australian politician)

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This article is about the Victorian Premier. For the South Australian pioneer, see William Haines (South Australian politician).
William Clark Haines
Williamhaines.jpg
1st Premier of Victoria
In office
30 November 1855 – 11 March 1857
Constituency Nominee/
South Grant
Preceded by -
Succeeded by John O'Shanassy
In office
29 April 1857 – 10 March 1858
Preceded by John O'Shanassy
Succeeded by John O'Shanassy
Personal details
Born 1810
Hampstead, London, UK
Died 3 February 1866
South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Mary Dugard
Religion Anglican

Dr William Clark Haines (1810 – 3 February 1866),[1] Australian colonial politician, was the first Premier of Victoria.

Haines was born in London, the son of John Haines, a physician. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Caius College, Cambridge,[2] where he graduated in medicine; he later practiced surgery for several years. In 1835 he married Mary Dugard, with whom he had nine children.

Haines migrated to the Port Phillip District (later Victoria) in 1841 and settled in the Geelong area. He farmed in the area as well as practising as a surgeon. He was appointed a member of the Victorian Legislative Council (then a partly elected, partly appointive body) in 1851, and in 1853 he was elected for district of Grant. He served as Colonial Secretary 1854-55. Politically, he represented the small farmers against the squatters who owned most of Victoria's land.

When Victoria gained full responsible government in 1855 Haines was leader of the Government.[1] He was commissioned as Victoria's first Premier and Chief Secretary on 28 November 1855 and served until 11 March 1857.[3] Haines was elected to the Legislative Assembly for South Grant in November 1856.[3][4] Haines was again Premier from April 1857 to March 1858. Haines then visited Europe for three years.[4] In 1860 he moved to the seat of Portland which he represented until 1864. Haines served as Treasurer from 14 November 1861 to 27 June 1863,[3] in the third O'Shanassy government. He served again in the Legislative Council, representing Eastern Province, from August 1865 until his death in February 1866.[3]

The historian Raymond Wright describes Haines as a bluff, plain "honest farmer" type, who was "much enjoyed for his appalling public speaking." His main concern as Premier was to democratise the Constitution which had been drawn up for Victoria by colonial officials before self-government, mainly to protect the interests of the squatter class. A bill was introduced to enlarge the Assembly, redraw electoral boundaries and abolish the property qualification for both votes and candidates. But the unstable situation in the Assembly brought his ministry to an early end.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Malone, Betty. "Haines, William Clark (1810–1866)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Haines, William Clark (HNS828WC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Haines, William Clark". re-member: a database of all Victorian MPs since 1851. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Haines, Hon. William Clarke". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource
  • Geoff Browne, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1900-84, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1985
  • Don Garden, Victoria: A History, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, 1984
  • Kathleen Thompson and Geoffrey Serle, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1856-1900, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1972
  • Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel. A History of the Parliament of Victoria, 1856-1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992


Victorian Legislative Council
New creation Nominated Member
31 October 1851 – August 1852
Succeeded by
Archibald Michie
New seat Member for Grant
August 1853 – December 1854
With: John Myles
Succeeded by
Horatio Wills
Preceded by
John Foster
Nominated Member and
Colonial Secretary

12 December 1854 – March 1856
Original Council
abolished
Political offices
New creation Premier of Victoria
30 November 1855 - March 1857
(First Term)
Succeeded by
John O'Shanassy
(First Term)
Preceded by
John O'Shanassy
(First Term)
Premier of Victoria
April 1857- March 1858
(Second Term)
Succeeded by
John O'Shanassy
(Second Term)
Victorian Legislative Assembly
New creation Member for South Grant
November 1856 – November 1858
With: Horatio Wills
John Myles
Succeeded by
John Bell
Preceded by
Norman McLeod
Member for Portland
November 1860 – August 1864
Succeeded by
John Macpherson
Victorian Legislative Council
Preceded by
Matthew Hervey
Member for Eastern Province
April 1857– September 1880
With: Henry Murphy
William Highett
Robert Turnbull
Benjamin Williams
Succeeded by
Robert S. H. Anderson