Parkes ministry (1877)

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Second Parkes ministry
16th 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 22 March 1877 (1877-03-22)
Date dissolved 16 August 1877 (1877-08-16)
People and organisations
Head of government Henry Parkes
Head of state Queen Victoria (represented by Hercules Robinson)
Number of ministers 8
Member party unaligned
Status in legislature Minority government
Opposition party unaligned
Opposition leader John Robertson
Predecessor Third Robertson ministry
Successor Fourth Robertson ministry

The second Parkes ministry was the sixteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by the Honourable Henry Parkes. It was the second of five occasions that Parkes was Leader of the Government.

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 in 1872, serving as Premier for a period of three years. However, 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 in 1875.[1]

John Robertson served as Leader of the Government between 1875 and 1877, before Robertson was defeated at the 1877 election. Parkes formed his second ministry in a challenging environment where both Parkes and Robertson shared equal representation in the Legislative Assembly and business was sometimes at a standstill.[2]

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 22 March 1877 until 16 August 1877.[3]

Composition of ministry[edit]

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
Hon. Henry Parkes MLA 22 March 1877 16 August 1877 147 days
Colonial Treasurer Hon. William Piddington MLA
Minister for Justice and Public Instruction Hon. Francis Suttor MLA
Secretary for Lands Hon. Richard Driver MLA
Secretary for Public Works Hon. James Hoskins MLA
Attorney-General Hon. William Windeyer MLA a
Secretary for Mines
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
Hon. George Lloyd MLA
Postmaster-General Hon. Saul Samuel MLC

:a A Member of the Government without a seat in the Executive Council.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin, A. W. "Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–96)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  2. ^ Serle, Percival. "Sir Henry Parkes (1816–1896)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  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 Robertson ministry
Second Parkes ministry
Succeeded by
Fourth Robertson ministry