Norman Ewing

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Norman Ewing
Norman K. Ewing.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
In office
29 March 1901 – 17 April 1903
Succeeded by Henry Saunders
Personal details
Born (1870-12-26)26 December 1870
Wollongong, New South Wales
Died 19 July 1928(1928-07-19) (aged 57)
Launceston, Tasmania
Nationality Australian
Political party Free Trade Party
Occupation Solicitor

Norman Kirkwood Ewing (26 December 1870 – 19 July 1928), Australian politician, was a member of three parliaments: the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, the Australian Senate, and the Tasmanian House of Assembly. He became a Judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania, and was Administrator of Tasmania from November 1923 to June 1924.

Norman Ewing was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 December 1870. The son of Anglican clergyman Thomas Campbell Ewing and Elizabeth née Thomson, one of his uncles was John Thomson, who would himself become a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. His brothers were John Ewing and Sir Thomas Ewing, who were also members of parliament (though in different jurisdictions).

Ewing was educated at Illawarra College in Wollongong, then Oakwoods at Mittagong, and finally night school in Sydney. Articled to M. A. H. Fitzhardinge, he became a solicitor in 1894, practising initially at Murwillumbah. In 1895, he contested the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Tweed for the Protectionist Party, but was unsuccessful. Later that year, Ewing moved to Perth, Western Australia. He was admitted to the bar the following year, and in 1897 established the firm of Ewing and Downing. That year he published The Practice of the Local Courts of Western Australia.

On 4 May 1897, Norman Ewing was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Swan. A few months later he married Maude Louisa Stone, daughter of Sir Edward Stone. They would have one son and two daughters. Ewing held the seat of Swan until March 1901, when he resigned it to take up a short-term seat in the first Australian Senate, which he had won on a Free Trade ticket. His term was due to continue until 31 December 1903. In 1902, while still a Senator, Ewing stood unsuccessfully for the position of Mayor of Perth. He resigned as Senator eight months early on 17 April 1903, becoming the first member of either house of the Australian Parliament to resign his seat.

In 1905, Ewing moved to Hobart, Tasmania, where he established the firm of Ewing and Seager. In the federal election of 12 December 1906, he contested a Tasmanian seat in the Senate as an Anti-Socialist, but was defeated by a small margin. He then turned to Tasmanian state politics, winning the Tasmanian House of Assembly seat of Franklin in April 1909. He would hold the seat for over six years, for the last year of which he was Leader of the Opposition.

Ewing was made a King's Counsel in 1914, and in September the following year resigned his seat in parliament to accept an appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania. As Judge of the Supreme Court, he was involved in the 1915 Tasmanian Royal Commission into the public debt sinking fund; charges brought against Dr Victor Ratten in 1918; the 1919–20 Royal Commission into the administration of the Northern Territory, known as the Darwin Rebellion; and the 1920 Royal Commission into the imprisonment of twelve IWW members.

From November 1923 to June 1924, Ewing was appointed Administrator of Tasmania, while awaiting the arrival of the new governor Captain Sir James O'Grady. In 1924 he had a stroke, and thereafter worked only intermittently. He died at Launceston on 19 July 1928, and was buried at Carr Villa cemetery.