Members of the Western Australian Legislative Council, 1832–1870

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When it first met on 7 February 1832, the Western Australian Legislative Council consisted only of five government officials.

Western Australia was a crown colony from its establishment in 1829 as the Swan River Colony until the advent of representative government in 1870. During this time executive and legislative power was vested in the Governor of Western Australia, but from 1832 he had Executive and Legislative Councils to assist and advise him. The Western Australian Legislative Council met for the first time on 7 February 1832. This is a list of Members of the Western Australian Legislative Council between 1832 and 1870.

Official members, 1832–1870[edit]

The Western Australian Legislative Council was initially composed of five ex officio members; that is, members by virtue of their official government positions. These official positions were: the Governor, the Commandant, the Colonial Secretary, the Surveyor-General and the Advocate-General. The Collector of Revenue was added in 1847, and the Comptroller-General in June 1852.[1][2]

This is a list of official members of the Western Australian Legislative Council between 1832 and 1870. Due to gaps in official records, some dates are approximate and the list may omit some members who were acting in official positions.

Period Official members
Governor Commandant Colonial Secretary Surveyor General Advocate General Collector of Revenue Comptroller General
7 February 1832 – 1834 James Stirling
Frederick Irwin
Frederick Irwin (1788-1860).jpg
Peter Broun
Peter Broun.jpg
John Septimus Roe
John Septimus Roe 1850s.jpg
William Mackie
William Mackie.jpg
Not a member until 1847 Not a member until 1852
1834–3 January 1839 George Fletcher Moore
George Fletcher Moore.jpg
3 January 1839 – 27 January 1846 John Hutt
John Hutt.jpg
27 January 1846–November 1846 Andrew Clarke
Andrew Clarke.jpg
November 1846–May 1847 George Fletcher Moore (acting)
George Fletcher Moore.jpg
Richard West Nash (acting)
May–June 1847 Dr Richard Robert Madden Richard Robert Madden George Fletcher Moore
George Fletcher Moore.jpg
June 1847–12 August 1848 Henry Sutherland
12 August 1848–January 1849 Charles Fitzgerald
Charles Fitzgerald.jpg
January 1849–March 1850 Revett Henry Bland (acting)
March–October 1850 Thomas Yule (acting)
October 1850–March 1851 Charles Piesse
March 1851 – 1852 Thomas Yule (acting)
1852 Bartholemew Vigors (acting) Edmund Henderson
January 1852 – 1854 William Sanford
1854–1855 G. M. Reeves Richard Burnie
1855 John Bruce Richard Broun
Richard McBride Broun.jpg
1855–July 1855 Anthony O'Grady Lefroy
Anthony O'Grady Lefroy.jpg
July–23 July 1855 Frederick Barlee
Frederick Barlee.jpg
23 July 1855 – 1857 Arthur Edward Kennedy
1857–1859 George Stone (acting)
1859–28 February 1862 George Stone
28 February 1862 – 31 January 1863 John Hampton
John Hampton.jpg
31 January 1863[3]–May 1866 William Newland
May 1866–1 November 1868 George Hampton (acting)
George Hampton.jpg
2 November 1868[4]–30 September 1869 John Bruce (acting) Henry Wakeford
30 September 1869 – 1870 Frederick Weld
Frederick Weld.jpg

Unofficial nominee members, 1839–1867[edit]

In 1839 provision was made for the addition of four non-official nominee positions on the Legislative Council. The first four nominee members were sworn in on 4 March 1839. This is a list of non-official nominee members of the Legislative Council between 1839 and 1867.

Period Nominee members
4 March 1839 – 1840 William Locke Brockman
William Locke Brockman.png
George Leake Thomas Peel
Thomas Peel.jpg
William Tanner
William Tanner.jpg
1840-May 1840 vacant
May 1840-31 March 1841 Edward Barrett-Lennard
31 March[5]–April 1841 vacant
April–July 1841 Thomas Yule
July 1841 – 1842 William Mackie (acting)
William Mackie.jpg
1842–June 1842 vacant
June–July 1842 Thomas Yule
July 1842 – 1843 William Mackie
William Mackie.jpg
1843–March 1844 vacant
March 1844 – 1846 Francis Singleton
1846–1847 vacant
1847–June 1847 vacant
June–September 1847 Walter Andrews
September 1847 – 1848 vacant
1848–October 1848 Richard Nash
October 1848–31 May 1849 Samuel Moore
31 May–July 1849 vacant
July–December 1849 vacant
December 1849 – 1850 Lionel Samson
Lionel Samson.jpg
1850–December 1850 Marshall Clifton
Marshall Waller Clifton.jpg
December 1850–May 1851 Thomas Brown (acting)
May 1851–May 1852 Thomas Brown
May 1852–March 1855 William Clifton
March 1855–October 1856 John Wall Hardey
October 1856–March 1857 vacant
March–June 1857 Samuel Pole Phillips (acting) Edward Hamersley
June 1857–April 1859 Samuel Pole Phillips
April–October 1859 vacant
October 1859 – 1867 Lionel Samson
Lionel Samson.jpg

Unofficial nominee members, 1868–1870[edit]

During the 1860s there was much public debate about the possibility of instituting representative government. This culminated in June 1865 with the submission of a petition to the Legislative Council asking for a larger and partially elected Legislative Council. As a compromise, the Legislative Council sought permission to add two more nominee members. This permission was received in September 1867, but the Governor then went further by allowing the colony to informally elect six persons whom he would then nominate to the Legislative Council. The colony was divided into six districts: Perth, Fremantle, Guildford, Eastern Districts, Murray and Champion Bay. The first five of these district elected representatives who were then nominated to the Legislative Council as promised. The Champion Bay district, which had led the push for representative government, refused to participate in what it saw as a sham election, so the Governor nominated to the final seat his ally John Wall Hardey, who had polled only four votes in the Guildford district election. This arrangement prevailed until July 1870, when the Legislative Council was reconstituted under a system of representative government.[1][2]

Period Unofficially elected Nominated
Perth Fremantle Guildford Eastern Districts Murray
July 1868–May 1870 Julian Carr
Julian Carr2.jpg
Walter Bateman William Locke Brockman
William Locke Brockman.jpg
Samuel Pole Phillips James Lee Steere
James Lee Steere.jpg
John Wall Hardey
May–August 1870 Edward Newman


Except where otherwise indicated, all list data was obtained from The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook[6]

  1. ^ a b de Garis, Brian (1991). "The First Legislative Council, 1832–1870". In Black, David (ed.) (ed.). The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia. Parliament House, Perth, Western Australia: Parliament of Western Australia. ISBN 0-7309-3983-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  2. ^ a b de Garis, Brian (1981). "Political Tutelage 1829–1890". In Stannage, C. T. (ed.) (ed.). A New History of Western Australia. Nedlands, Western Australia: university of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0-85564-170-3.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  3. ^ Hasluck, Alexander (1959). Unwilling Emigrants. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ Wieck, George F. "Bruce, John (1808–1870)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  5. ^ Hasluck, Alexandra (1965). Thomas Peel of Swan River. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Black, David (ed.) (2005). The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook, Twenty-first Edition. Parliament House, Perth, Western Australia: Parliament of Western Australia. ISBN 1-920830-46-4.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)