David Watkins (Australian politician)

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The Honourable
David Watkins
David Watkins.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Newcastle
In office
29 March 1901 – 8 April 1935
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by David Watkins
Personal details
Born (1865-05-05)5 May 1865
Wallsend, New South Wales
Died 8 April 1935(1935-04-08) (aged 69)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Marion
Children David Oliver Watkins
Occupation Coal miner, unionist

David Watkins (5 May 1865 – 8 April 1935) was an Australian politician and Member of the Australian House of Representatives for Newcastle from Federation in 1901 until his death in 1935. His death left former Prime Minister Billy Hughes as the only remaining member of the First Parliament still in the House.

Early life[edit]

Born in Wallsend, New South Wales as the third son of John Watkins, a miner, and his wife Mary Ann, née Hopkins, both Welsh immigrants. For a period after leaving school at aged 13, Watkins worked for the Newcastle Morning Herald. He married Marion Alice (née Arthur) with Wesleyan forms on 30 July 1890.[1]

Watkins later embarked upon a career as a coal miner in the Wallsend colliery in 1881.

Political career[edit]

In 1894, after several years as a trade union official, he entered politics when he successfully ran for Wallsend in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly on behalf of the Labor Party.

Upon Federation, Watkins won the seat of Newcastle in the House of Representatives for the Australian Labor Party. He never achieved ministerial status although did not change his seat or party allegiance during his federal political career. He was the only sitting federal Labor member not to join the splinter NSW Labor Party.


Watkins died of cancer on 8 April 1935, aged 69. His second son, David Oliver Watkins, stood for his seat in parliament at the resulting 1935 by-election, which he won on a reduced margin and held for 23 years.

Watkins was buried with his wife, Marion Alice, who predeceased him at Sandgate Cemetery.


Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Wallsend
Succeeded by
John Estell
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Newcastle
Succeeded by
David Oliver Watkins
  1. ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/watkins-david-8995%7C ABN Biography - Retrieved 2017-09-06