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Athol Richardson

Athol Richardson
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Ashfield
In office
11 May 1935 – 5 February 1952
Preceded byMilton Jarvie
Succeeded byJack Richardson
Personal details
Born15 May 1897
Newcastle New South Wales
Died22 May 1982
Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia
SpouseIsabel McCrea Watson
ChildrenOne son, one daughter

Athol Railton Richardson OBE, QC (15 May 1897 – 22 May 1982) was an Australian politician and judge. Richardson represented the Electoral district of Ashfield for the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party from 11 May 1935 until 5 February 1952.

Early life

Richardson was born to parents Stephen Arthur Richardson, a Salvation Army officer, and mother Elizabeth Sarah Urquhart in Newcastle, New South Wales. Richardson jnr served in World War I in the 2nd and 4th squadrons of the Australian Flying Corps in France from 1917 till 1919. He married Isabel McCrea Watson on 23 February 1928 and had one daughter and one son.[1]

Political career

Richardson entered politics by contesting and winning the Electoral district of Ashfield for the United Australia Party at the 1935 election. He was subsequently re-elected to the seat of Ashfield at the 1938, 1941 and 1944 elections.[2] He resigned to unsuccessfully contest the federal seat of Parkes in 1946.[3] He regained Ashfield at the subsequent by-election and retained it at the 1947 and 1950 elections.[2]

During his time in parliament he held various ministerial portfolio's including Minister for Social Services (13 October 1938 – 5 August 1939), Minister for Health (22 February 1939 – 30 June 1939), Minister for Labour and Industry (26 June 1939 – 5 August 1939) and Treasurer (16 August 1939 – 16 May 1941). He was also Deputy Leader of the Opposition for 1941 until 1945.[1]

Richardson retired from politics upon his appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1952. During his judicial tenure, Richardson remained a member of the Liberal Party; Tom Hughes describes him as a man of 'orderly habits', but criticises him as 'a well-meaning man who gained marks only for sincerity and effort'.[4] Richardson retired from the bench in 1967.

Death and honours

Richardson died on 22 May 1982, at Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia.[1]

Honours received


  1. ^ a b c d "The Hon. Athol Railton Richardson (1897-1982)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b Green, Antony. "Elections for Ashfield". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ "1946 legislative election: House of Representatives - New South Wales". Psephos: Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  4. ^ Hughes, Tom (2 February 2006). "Address: Supreme Court judges' dinner". Archived from the original on 6 March 2011.
  5. ^ "NSW Senior Counsel appointments". NSW Bar Association. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  6. ^ "The Order of the British Empire - Officer (Civil) (OBE) entry for Mr Athol Railton Richardson". Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 12 June 1976. Retrieved 31 July 2020.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly Preceded byMilton Jarvie Member for Ashfield 1938 – 1952 Succeeded byJack Richardson Political offices Preceded byHerbert Hawkins Minister for Social Services 1938 – 1939 Succeeded byGeorge Gollan Preceded byHerbert FitzSimons Minister for Labour and Industry 1939 Succeeded byGeorge Gollan Preceded byAlexander Mair Treasurer of New South Wales 1939 – 1941 Succeeded byWilliam McKell Party political offices Preceded byBertram Stevens Deputy Leader of the United Australia Party 1941 – 1943 Party disbanded New political party Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party 1945 – 1946 Succeeded byVernon Treatt
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Athol Richardson
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