Parkes ministry (1872–75)

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First Parkes ministry
14th cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Henryparkes.jpg Australian states history 13.gif
Premier Henry Parkes and the Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)
Date formed 14 May 1872 (1872-05-14)
Date dissolved 8 February 1875 (1875-02-08)
People and organisations
Head of state Queen Victoria (represented by Hercules Robinson)
Head of government Henry Parkes
No. of ministers 10
Member party unaligned
Status in legislature Minority government
Opposition party unaligned
Opposition leader John Robertson
Predecessor Third Martin ministry
Successor Third Robertson ministry

The first Parkes ministry was the fourteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and the first of five occasions of being led by the Honourable Henry Parkes.

Having served in the New South Wales Legislative Council between 1854 and 1856, Parkes was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in 1856, however resigned from Parliament later that year. He served in the Assembly on several occasions, between 1858 and 1870, being forced to resign on at least on occasion due to his personal insolvency. He came to power as Premier on the first occasion after the Sir James Martin ministry had involved itself in a petty squabble with the colony of Victoria over a question of border duties. The acting-governor had sent for William Forster before parliament met, but he was unable to form a ministry, and in May 1872 Parkes formed his first ministry.[1]

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of Government, but not enshrined in formal use until 1920.

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887. Under the constitution, ministers were required to resign to recontest their seats in a by-election when appointed. These by-elections are only noted when the minister was defeated; in general, he was elected unopposed.

This ministry covers the period from 14 May 1872 until 8 February 1875, when Parkes lost the confidence of the Assembly following Governor Robinson's decision to release of the bushranger Frank Gardiner led to the defeat of the ministry.[2][3]

Composition of ministry[edit]

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
Hon. Henry Parkes MLA 14 May 1872 8 February 1875 2 years, 270 days
Colonial Treasurer Hon. William Piddington MLA 4 December 1872 204 days
Hon. George Lloyd MLA 5 December 1872 8 February 1875 2 years, 65 days
Secretary for Lands Hon. James Farnell MLA a 14 May 1872 8 February 1875 2 years, 270 days
Secretary for Mines 9 May 1874 26 July 1874 78 days
Hon. Robert Abbott MLA 27 July 1874 8 February 1875 196 days
Secretary for Public Works Hon. John Sutherland MLA 15 May 1872 8 February 1875 2 years, 269 days
Attorney-General Hon. Edward Butler MLA 10 November 1873 1 year, 179 days
Hon. Joseph Innes MLA b 20 November 1873 8 February 1875 1 year, 80 days
Solicitor-General 14 May 1872 19 November 1873 1 year, 189 days
Minister for Justice and Public Instruction Hon. George Allen MLA 9 December 1873 8 February 1875 1 year, 61 days
Postmaster-General Hon. George Lloyd MLA 14 May 1872 4 December 1872 204 days
Hon. Saul Samuel MLC 3 December 1872 8 February 1875 2 years, 67 days
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
14 May 1872 2 years, 270 days

:a Without salary as Secretary for Mines.

b Without a seat in Cabinet from 9 December 1873.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Serle, Percival. "Sir Henry Parkes (1816–1896)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  2. ^ Martin, A. W. "Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–96)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Former Members - Chronological List of Ministries 1856 to 2009 (requires download)". Project for the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW. Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original (Excel spreadsheet) on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
Preceded by
Third Martin ministry
First Parkes ministry
Succeeded by
Third Robertson ministry