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Farnell ministry

Farnell ministry
18th Cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Premier James Farnell and the Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)
Date formed18 December 1877 (1877-12-18)
Date dissolved20 December 1878 (1878-12-20)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Victoria
GovernorHercules Robinson
Head of governmentJames Farnell
No. of ministers9
Member partyunaligned
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyunaligned
Opposition leaderHenry Parkes
PredecessorFourth Robertson ministry
SuccessorThird Parkes ministry

The Farnell ministry was the eighteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by James Farnell. Farnell was first elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1860.

The eighth parliament had been a challenging environment, where neither Sir John Robertson nor Sir Henry Parkes had been able to maintain the confidence of the Legislative Assembly. The 1877 election did not resolve the issue with neither Robertson nor Parkes obtaining a majority. Instead the government was formed by Farnell as a compromise Premier.

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of the Government, but was not a formal ministerial office 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.[1] Such ministerial by-elections were usually uncontested and on this occasion a poll was required for Yass Plains (Michael Fitzpatrick) and he was easily re-elected. The six other ministers, James Farnell (St Leonards), Henry Cohen (West Maitland), Joseph Leary (The Murrumbidgee), John Sutherland (Paddington), William Suttor Jr. (East Macquarie) and John Burns (The Hunter), were re-elected unopposed.[2]

This ministry covers the period from 18 December 1877 until 20 December 1878, when Farnell resigned following his inability to gain safe passage of a land bill through Parliament. Sir Henry Parkes succeeded Farnell as Leader of the Government.[3][4][5]

Composition of ministry

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Secretary for Lands
James Farnell 18 December 1877 20 December 1878 1 year, 2 days
Colonial Secretary Michael Fitzpatrick
Colonial Treasurer Henry Cohen
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction Joseph Leary
Secretary for Public Works John Sutherland
Attorney General William Foster MLC
Secretary for Mines William Suttor
Postmaster-General of New South Wales John Burns
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Representative of the Government in the Legislative Council
John Marks MLC 14 January 1878 340 days

Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See also


  1. ^ Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp. 442. ISBN 9781862875166. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ Green, Antony. "By-elections 1877-80". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  3. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Farnell, James Squire (1827–1888)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ Goodin, V W E. "Farnell, James Squire (1825–1888)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
Preceded byFourth Robertson ministry Farnell ministry 1877–1878 Succeeded byThird Parkes ministry
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Farnell ministry
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