Cowper ministry (1856)

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First Cowper ministry
2nd cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Charlescowper.jpg Australian states history 09.gif
Premier Charles Cowper and the Colony of New South Wales (1856–1859)
Date formed 25 August 1856 (1856-08-25)
Date dissolved 2 October 1856 (1856-10-02)
People and organisations
Head of state Queen Victoria (represented by William Denison)
Head of government Charles Cowper
No. of ministers 6
Member party unaligned
Status in legislature Minority government
Opposition party unaligned
Opposition leader
Predecessor Donaldson ministry
Successor Parker ministry

The first Cowper ministry was the second ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by the Honourable Charles Cowper. It was the first of five occasions that Cowper was Leader of the Government. Cowper was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in March 1856, and fought unsuccessfully with Stuart Donaldson to form Government. When Donaldson's Government faltered a little over two months after it was formed, Cowper formed Government.

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of Government, but not enshrined in formal use until 1920.

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887. Under the constitution, ministers were required to resign to recontest their seats in a by-election when appointed. These by-elections are only noted when the minister was defeated; in general, he was elected unopposed.

This ministry covers the period from 26 August 1856 until on 2 October 1856, when Cowper resigned his commission, having lost the confidence of the Assembly.[1][2]

Composition of ministry[edit]

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
Hon. Charles Cowper MLA 26 August 1856 2 October 1856 37 days
Colonial Treasurer Hon. Robert Campbell MLA
Secretary for Lands and Works
Hon. Terence Murray MLA
Attorney-General Hon. James Martin MLA
Leader of the Government in Legislative Council
Hon. Alfred Lutwyche MLC

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Former Members - Chronological List of Ministries 1856 to 2009 (requires download)". Project for the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW. Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original (Excel spreadsheet) on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  2. ^ Ward, John M. "Cowper, Sir Charles (1807 - 1875)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
Preceded by
Donaldson ministry
First Cowper ministry
Succeeded by
Parker ministry