William Piddington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Richman Piddington
Colonial Treasurer
In office
14 May 1872 – 4 December 1872
Preceded by George Lord
Succeeded by George Lloyd
Colonial Treasurer
In office
22 March 1877 – 16 August 1877
Preceded by Alexander Stuart
Succeeded by William Long
Personal details
Born (1813-03-08)8 March 1813
Died 25 November 1887(1887-11-25) (aged 72)

William Richman Piddington (1815 – 25 November 1887) was an Australian bookseller and politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly between 1856 and 1877 and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1879 until his death. He served two brief terms as the Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales in 1872 and 1877.

Early life[edit]

Piddington was born in the parish of Newington St Mary, Surrey, England on 8 March 1813, to parents Bythima (nee Richman) and William Weston Piddington.[1] Being from a family of booksellers, William Richman Piddington was initially apprenticed to a bookshop in Bond Street, London[citation needed]. He emigrated to Sydney in 1838 and after farming for a short time on the Hunter River established a stationary and book shop at 332 George St, Sydney[2] (replaced in 1906 by the Eastway Brothers' Building[3]). Philosophically a radical, he became politically active during the 1840s and 1850s and opposed the conservative constitution proposed by William Wentworth. He was a member of the committee of the Anti-Transportation League and an alderman of the Sydney Municipal Council in 1851.

Colonial Parliament[edit]

At the first election under the new constitution Piddington successfully contested the seats of Northumberland and Hunter. When this seat was abolished at the 1859 election he transferred to the seat of Hawkesbury which he represented until 1877. In 1869, he accepted a life appointment to the Legislative Council.


Piddington was the Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales in two short lived governments of Henry Parkes in 1872 and 1877. He supported the extension of the rural railway network and was a strong opponent of state aid for religious schools. In his later years his political opinions became more conservative and he opposed the granting of universal male suffrage. He was described by David Buchanan as 'a little, squat, burly piece of pompous vulgarity' who 'abandoned all his political opinions and turned Tory'.


  1. ^ England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970
  2. ^ "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald. LI, (8447). New South Wales, Australia. 19 June 1865. p. 8. Retrieved 16 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. ^ "EASTWAY BROTHERS' PREMISES". The Sydney Morning Herald (21,484). New South Wales, Australia. 27 November 1906. p. 11. Retrieved 16 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
First election
Member for Northumberland and Hunter
1856 – 1859
Served alongside: Scott/Hely/White
Succeeded by
seat abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Hawkesbury
1859 – 1877
Served alongside: Darvall/Cunnenn/Moses
Succeeded by
Alexander Bowman
Political offices
Preceded by
George Lord
Colonial Treasurer
Succeeded by
George Lloyd
Preceded by
Alexander Stuart
Colonial Treasurer
Succeeded by
William Long