Frank Brennan (politician)

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For other people named Francis Brennan, see Francis Brennan (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Frank Brennan
Frank Brennan.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Batman
In office
8 February 1911 – 19 December 1931
Preceded by Henry Beard
Succeeded by Samuel Dennis
In office
15 September 1934 – 31 October 1949
Preceded by Samuel Dennis
Succeeded by Alan Bird
Personal details
Born 1873
Bendigo, Victoria
Died 6 November 1950 (aged 76–77)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Cecilia Mary O'Donnell
Relations Tom Brennan (brother)
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Catholic
For the Queensland politician, lawyer and Supreme Court judge, see Frank Brennan (judge).

Francis (Frank) Brennan (1873 – 6 November 1950) was an Australian lawyer and Australian Labor Party politician.

Brennan was born at Upper Emu Creek near Bendigo, Victoria and was a younger brother of Tom Brennan, later an assistant minister in the conservative Lyons government. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and achieved an LL.B. in 1901. He established a legal business specialising in union cases and became a Catholic layman. He joined the Labor Party in 1907 and unsuccessfully contested Bendigo in 1910,[1] but won Batman at a by-election in 1911. In 1913 he married Cecilia Mary O'Donnell.

Following Labor's election win in 1929, Brennan became Attorney-General in the Scullin Ministry, but was not particularly effective in this role. However, he lost his seat in the 1931 election as a result of the swing against Labor as a result of the Great Depression and a split in the Labor Party. He'd gone into the election holding Batman with a comfortably safe majority of 25.8 percent, but was defeated by United Australia Party challenger Samuel Dennis on an unheard-of swing of 26.6 percent. He recovered Batman in a rematch against Dennis in the 1934 election and held it until his retirement in 1949.

Brennan is the father of prominent author the late Niall Brennan, a biographer of both Archbiship Daniel Mannix[2] and businessman John Wren.[3]

Brennan died of hypertensive vascular disease in Melbourne.[4]


  1. ^ Colin Cleary (1999), Bendigo Labor. The Maintenance of Traditions in a Regional City, Epsom, Victoria, p.47
  2. ^ Niall Brennan (1964) Dr Mannix, Rigby, Adelaide
  3. ^ Niall Brennan (1971), John Wren: Gambler. His Life and Times, Hill of Content, Melbourne
  4. ^ Ryan, Kevin. "Brennan, Francis (Frank) (1873–1950)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Henry Beard
Member for Batman
Succeeded by
Samuel Dennis
Preceded by
Samuel Dennis
Member for Batman
Succeeded by
Alan Bird