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Cowper ministry (1861–1863)

Third Cowper ministry
7th Cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Premier Charles Cowper and the Colony of New South Wales (1860–1862 and 1862)
Date formed10 January 1861 (1861-01-10)
Date dissolved15 October 1863 (1863-10-15)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Victoria
GovernorWilliam Denison / Sir John Young
Head of governmentCharles Cowper
No. of ministers7
Member partyunaligned
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyunaligned
Opposition leader
History
PredecessorFirst Robertson ministry
SuccessorFirst Martin ministry

The third Cowper ministry was the seventh ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and third occasion of being led by Charles Cowper.

Cowper was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in March 1856, and fought unsuccessfully with Stuart Donaldson to form Government. When Donaldson's Government faltered a little over two months after it was formed, Cowper formed Government on the first occasion, but he also lost the confidence of the Assembly a few months later. Cowper formed Government on the second occasion between 1857 and 1859; but it also lost the confidence of the Assembly. Cowper was again asked to form Government following the decision by Premier John Robertson to step aside and focus on land reform.[1] Each of the ministers retained their portfolios from the first Robertson ministry, with the only change being that Cowper replaced Robertson as the leader.

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 re-contest their seats in a by-election when appointed,[2] although in general the minister was re-elected unopposed. Because each of the ministers retained their appointments from the Robertson ministry, no by-elections were initially required. Charles Cowper Jr. was opposed at the 1861 by-election for The Tumut, but was comfortably re-elected.[3] Thomas Smart (The Glebe) was re-elected unopposed in May 1863, following his appointment as Colonial Treasurer.[4]

The appointment of John Darvall QC as Attorney General in 1863 however was controversial, not only as he was a conservative appointed to the liberal ministry, but because John Hargrave, who had been Attorney General since March 1860, accepted the lesser role of Solicitor General to allow Darvall to be appointed.[5] Darvall was challenged by his friend Henry Parkes at the East Maitland by-election in a campaign marked by person attacks.[6][7][8]

This ministry covers the period from 10 January 1861 until 15 October 1863, when Cowper was defeated amidst criticism of the ministry's financial management.[9][10]

Composition of ministry

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Premier Charles Cowper 10 January 1861 15 October 1863 2 years, 278 days
Colonial Secretary
10 January 1861 [a] 2 years, 278 days
Colonial Treasurer Elias Weekes 20 March 1863 2 years, 69 days
Thomas Smart 21 March 1863 15 October 1863 208 days
Secretary for Lands John Robertson MLA / MLC / MLA[b] 10 January 1861 [a] 2 years, 278 days
Secretary for Public Works William Arnold
Attorney General John Hargrave MLC 10 January 1861 [a] 31 July 1863 2 years, 202 days
John Darvall QC[c] 1 August 1863 15 October 1863 75 days
Solicitor General John Hargrave MLC[c]
Representative of the Government in the Legislative Council 10 January 1861 [a] 2 years, 278 days
Clerk of the Executive Council Charles Cowper Jr. 1 September 1861 2 years, 44 days

  Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

  1. ^ a b c d Continued in role from First Robertson ministry.
  2. ^ John Robertson was appointed to the Legislative Council on 2 April 1861 to promote the Robertson land bills in the council, resigning on 1 October 1861 after they were passed and was re-elected to the Legislative Assembly.
  3. ^ a b John Hargrave accepted the lesser role of Solicitor General to allow John Darvall QC to be appointed Attorney General.

See also

References

  1. ^ Nairn, Bede. "Robertson, Sir John (1816–1891)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp. 442. ISBN 9781862875166. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "1861 The Tumut by-election". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  4. ^ Green, Antony. "1863 The Glebe by-election". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  5. ^ A barrister of England, New South Wales and Victoria (4 August 1863). "To the editor: Mr Darvall's appointment as Attorney General". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 5. Retrieved 5 September 2020 – via Trove.
    Holroyd, Arthur (5 August 1863). "To the editor: Mr Darvall's appointment as Attorney General". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 3. Retrieved 5 September 2020 – via Trove.
    A barrister of England, New South Wales and Victoria (6 August 1863). "To the editor: Mr Darvall's appointment as Attorney General". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 5. Retrieved 5 September 2020 – via Trove.
  6. ^ "Nomination for East Maitland". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 August 1863. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 5 September 2020 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "East Maitland election". The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. 13 August 1863. p. 2. Retrieved 5 September 2020 – via Trove.
  8. ^ Rathbone, R W. "Darvall, Sir John Bayley (1809 - 1883)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ Ward, John M. "Cowper, Sir Charles (1807–1875)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 15 December 2020.

 

Preceded byFirst Robertson ministry Third Cowper ministry 1861–1863 Succeeded byFirst Martin ministry
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Cowper ministry (1861–1863)
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