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Robertson ministry (1885–1886)

Fifth Robertson ministry
22nd Cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Premier Sir John Robertson and the Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)
Date formed22 December 1885 (1885-12-22)
Date dissolved25 February 1886 (1886-02-25)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Victoria
GovernorThe Lord Carrington
Head of governmentSir John Robertson
No. of ministers9
Member partyunaligned
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyunaligned
Opposition leader
PredecessorFirst Dibbs ministry
SuccessorJennings ministry

The fifth Robertson ministry was the 22nd ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by the Premier, Sir John Robertson. It was the fifth and final occasion that Robertson was Premier. Robertson was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in March 1856.

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of Government, but was not a formal position in the government until 1920. Instead the Premier was appointed to another portfolio, usually Colonial Secretary.

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887.[1] Under the constitution, ministers in the Legislative Assembly were required to resign to recontest their seats in a by-election when appointed.[2] Such ministerial by-elections were usually uncontested and on this occasion all of the ministers were re-elected unopposed.[3] Louis Heydon resigned on 4 February 1886 because he disagreed with the suggested property tax,[4][5] and was not replaced as Minister of Justice.[6]

This ministry covers the period from 22 December 1885 until 25 February 1886, when Robertson's government faltered due to the destablishing influence of his old foe, Sir Henry Parkes.[7] Robertson was succeeded as Premier by Sir Patrick Jennings, and retired from parliament in June 1886.[8]

Composition of ministry

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
Sir John Robertson 22 December 1885 25 February 1886 65 days
Colonial Treasurer John Burns
Minister of Public Instruction James Young
Minister of Justice Louis Heydon 4 February 1886 44 days
Attorney General
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
George Simpson MLC 25 February 1886 65 days
Secretary for Lands Gerald Spring
Secretary for Public Works Jacob Garrard
Postmaster-General Daniel O'Connor
Secretary for Mines Robert Vaughn

Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See also


  1. ^ Green, Antony (20 October 2010). "Centenary of the First NSW Labor Government". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012.
  2. ^ Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp. 442. ISBN 9781862875166. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "By-elections 1885-87". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Mr Louis Francis Heydon (1848-1918)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  5. ^ Bennett, J. M.; Rutledge, Martha. "Heydon, Louis Francis (1848–1918)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  7. ^ Nairn, Bede. "Robertson, Sir John (1816–1891)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  8. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Robertson, Sir John (1816–1891)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 20 March 2011.


Preceded byFirst Dibbs ministry Fifth Robertson ministry 1885–1886 Succeeded byJennings ministry
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Robertson ministry (1885–1886)
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