|Sir William Bisset Berry|
|4th Speaker of the Cape House of Assembly|
|Prime Minister||William Philip Schreiner
John Gordon Sprigg
|Preceded by||Henry Juta|
|Succeeded by||James Molteno|
|Born||26 July 1839
|Died||8 June 1922
Queenstown, Eastern Cape
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and educated at that University, Bisset Berry came to the Cape Colony in 1864 as a ship's surgeon and settled in Queenstown, Eastern Cape. His engagement to Agnes Baden-Powell was announced in The Illustrated London News of 27 April 1901,> but they never married.
He later became Queenstown's mayor and was elected as its representative in the Cape Parliament in 1894.
Speaker of the Cape Parliament
Although he hated publicity, he was an engaging public speaker and a skilled debater so when there was a vacancy for the position of Speaker of Parliament, he was elected unopposed in 1898, even though he had only 4 years of parliamentary experience and his command of the Afrikaans language was not great. Reclusive and humble to a fault, he lamented his inexperience and lack of qualifications, but actually fared well and showed himself to be decisive and firm when necessary.
His term in office came at a time of great instability and he presided over the votes of no confidence in Sprigg's government and the application of martial law in the Cape Colony. In 1902 he distinguished himself with his strong opposition to the attempt by the British Colonial Office to suspend the Cape constitution.
- Illustrated London News, 27 April 1901
- Kilpin, Ralph (1918). "The old Cape House, being pages from the history of a legislative assembly online". Ebooksread.com. Cape Town, South Africa: T. M. Miller. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- Royal Commonwealth Society: Proceedings Vol.29. London: Royal Colonial Institute, 1898.
John Frost, CMG
|Member of the Legislative Assembly for Queenstown
Sir Henry Juta
|Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Cape Colony