Herbert Angas Parsons

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Herbert Parsons
Herbert Parsons-1920-B4060.jpg
Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, 1920
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Torrens
In office
Succeeded by Electorate abolished
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Murray
In office
Personal details
Born Herbert Angas Parsons
(1872-05-23)23 May 1872
North Adelaide
Died 2 November 1945(1945-11-02) (aged 73)
Resting place North Road Cemetery
Political party Liberal Union
Spouse(s) Mary Elsie Bonython
Mother Rose Parsons
Father John Langdon Parsons
Alma mater University of Adelaide

Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, KBE, KC (1872–1945), was a Cornish Australian lawyer, politician and judge.

Early life and education[edit]

Parsons was born in North Adelaide on 23 May 1872, the only son of Cornish born minister and politician John Langdon Parsons (1837–1903) and his first wife Rose.[1]

He was educated at Prince Alfred College and Roseworthy Agricultural College before spending three years following "pastoral and financial pursuits". He then studied law at the University of Adelaide, graduating in March 1897, aged 24.


He was admitted to the Bar later in 1897.[2]

In 1912 he stood for parliament and was elected member of the South Australian House of Assembly for Torrens (1912-1915), and subsequently member for Murray.[3] He was briefly Attorney-General of South Australia and minister of education in 1915. Parsons was appointed K.C. in 1916, a judge of the Supreme Court in 1921, senior puisne judge in 1927, and acting chief justice in 1935. On occasions Parsons acted as deputy governor and, after his father's death, in 1904 he became consul for Japan.[2]

Service and recognition[edit]

Like his father-in-law, he became president of the Cornish Association of South Australia. He was also warden of the University of Adelaide's senate, and vice-chancellor from 1942-1944.

He was knighted in 1936,[4] and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1945.[5] He retired in 1945 and, having "spent many hours at the Adelaide Club, preferring its convivial atmosphere to his wife's Methodism".[2]

Personal life[edit]

On 18 April 1900, Parsons married Mary Elsie Bonython, eldest child of Sir John Langdon Bonython and his wife Mary Louisa Fredericka née Balthasar.[6] They had two sons.

Parsons died of cirrhosis on 2 November 1945. Survived by Lady Parsons and their two sons, he was buried with his parents in North Road Cemetery.[2]



  1. ^ Elizabeth Kwan, 'Parsons, John Langdon (1837–1903)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp 148-150.
  2. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Kwan, 'Parsons, Sir Herbert Angas (1872 - 1945)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp 148-150.
  3. ^ Statistical Record of the Legislature 1836-2007, Parliament of South Australia, pp.69&71.
  4. ^ Knight Bachelor, 1 January 1936 Citation: Puisne Judge in South Australia
  5. ^ KBE, 14 June 1945
  6. ^ W. B. Pitcher, Bonython, Sir John Langdon (1848 - 1939), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, Melbourne University Press, 1979, pp 339-341
Political offices
Preceded by
Hermann Homburg
Attorney-General of South Australia
Succeeded by
John Vaughan
Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
George Dankel
Thomas Ryan
Member for Torrens
Succeeded by
Electorate abolished
Preceded by
George Dunn
Maurice William Parish
Member for Murray
Succeeded by
John Francis Godfree
John Beavis Randell