James Robert Wilshire

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James Wilshire
Personal details
Born James Robert Wilshire
(1809-07-29)29 July 1809
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 30 August 1860(1860-08-30) (aged 51)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

James Robert Wilshire (29 July 1809 – 30 August 1860)[1] was an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council between 1855 and 1856 and again from 1858 until his death. He was also a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for one term between 1856 and 1857.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Wilshire was the second son of a successful Sydney tanner, James Wilshire [3] and his wife Esther, née Pitt.[1] The Wilshires were one of the oldest colonial families in NSW, James's grandfather, also James Wilshire, having arrived in the colony in 1800.[4]

Wilshire was educated privately and worked in his father's tannery which he inherited in 1840. He married twice, first to Elizabeth Thompson (in 1836) and, following her death in 1846, married her younger sister, Sarah in 1847.[5] He had twelve children in all, six with of each of his wives. His oldest son, James Thompson Wilshire, became a politician, and his youngest (born a week after his death), Henry Austin Wilshire, became a well-known architect.

Political activity[edit]

In November 1842 he was elected as a Councillor of the first Sydney Council,[6] and served as the third Mayor of Sydney in 1843-44. Wilshire was a political supporter of John Dunmore Lang and a strident opponent of the reintroduction of transportation. He was a generous supporter of the Benevolent Society. In January 1855, prior to the establishment of responsible self-government, Wilshire was returned to the semi-elected Legislative Council for City of Sydney.[2] He represented the electorate of Sydney City in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 13 March 1856 to 19 December 1857.[2] Subsequently, at the first election under the new constitution he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as one of the four members for the same seat. Wilshire was defeated at the next election, in 1858. He did not hold a ministerial or parliamentary position. Following his defeat he accepted a five-year appointment to the Legislative Council which he retained until his death.[2]


  1. ^ a b Walsh, G. P. (1976). "Wilshire, James Robert (1809–1860)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Mr James Wilshire (1809 - 1860)". Former members of the New South Wales Parliament, 1856-2006. New South Wales Parliament. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  3. ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wilshire-james-2801 'James Wilshire (1771-1840)'
  4. ^ http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/147281080 'Table Talk, 24 Jan 1890'
  5. ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wilshire-james-robert-4865
  6. ^ http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/65549/hs_chos_electoral_history.pdf
New South Wales Legislative Council
Preceded by
William Thurlow
Member for City of Sydney
Jan 1855 – Feb 1856
With: Robert Campbell, Henry Parkes
Original Council
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New district Member for Sydney City
13 Mar 1856 – 19 Dec 1857
With: Henry Parkes/William Dalley
Charles Cowper
Robert Campbell
Succeeded by
George Thornton