Agar Wynne

Agar Wynne (15 July 1850 – 12 May 1934) was an Australian lawyer and politician. He began his career in the Victorian Legislative Council and served two terms as Solicitor-General of Victoria. In 1906, he transferred to the federal House of Representatives. He was Postmaster-General of Australia in the Cook Government from 1913 to 1914, but retired from federal politics at the 1914 election. He re-entered Victorian politics and briefly served as Attorney-General of Victoria (1917–1918).


Agar Wynne
Portrait of Agar Wynne (cropped).jpg
Postmaster-General of Australia
In office
24 June 1913 – 17 September 1914
Prime MinisterJoseph Cook
Preceded byCharlie Frazer
Succeeded byWilliam Spence
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Balaclava
In office
12 December 1906 – 30 July 1914
Preceded byGeorge Turner
Succeeded byWilliam Watt
Personal details
Born(1850-07-15)15 July 1850
London, England
Died12 May 1934(1934-05-12) (aged 83)
Streatham, Victoria, Australia
Political partyInd Protectionist (1906–09)
Liberal (1909–14)
Spouse(s)
Mary Jane Robertson
(m. 1886⁠–⁠1889)

Annie Dudgeon
(m. 1896)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
OccupationAttorney

Early lifeEdit

Wynne was born in London, but his family emigrated to Australia when he was a child. He educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and enrolled in an articled clerk's course at the University of Melbourne and was admitted as an attorney in July 1874. He married Mary Jane Robertson, née Smith, a widow with two children in November 1886. She died in 1889 and in February 1896 he married Annie Dudgeon, née Samuel, a widow with three children.[1]

Colonial politicsEdit

In 1888, Wynne won the seat of Western Province in the Victorian Legislative Council which he held until 1903 and was Postmaster-General and Solicitor-General from 1893 to 1894 in Sir James Patterson's government and Solicitor-General from 1900 to 1902 in Sir George Turner's and Sir Alexander Peacock's governments.[1][2]

Federal politicsEdit

Wynne won the seat of Balaclava at the 1906 elections in the Australian House of Representatives as an Independent Protectionist. He joined the Fusion government and served as Postmaster-General in the Cook Ministry from June 1913 to its fall in September 1914, but he did not contest the 1914 elections, apparently because he could not reorganise his department to run on efficient business principles.[1]

State politics and later lifeEdit

 
Wynne in 1925

Wynne returned to Victorian politics in 1917, winning the state seat of St Kilda and was Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, Minister of Railways and a Vice-President of the Board of Land and Works from November 1917 to March 1918 in Sir John Bowser's government. He did not stand for re-election in 1920.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1910, Wynne acquired Nerrin Nerrin, a 7,927-acre (3,208 ha) property near Streatham, Victoria. He ran merino sheep, raised Thoroughbred horses and created a wildlife sanctuary. He also had pastoral interests elsewhere in Victoria and in Queensland.[1]

Wynne was a committee member of the Victoria Racing Club from 1905. He won the Australian Cup twice, with Great Scot in 1903 and Peru in 1908. He also served terms as president of the Melbourne Swimming Club, the St Kilda Yacht Club, the Melbourne Club, and the Athenaeum Club.[1]

A supporter of the war effort, in 1917 Wynne offered £500 to the first member of the proposed Sportsman's Battalion to win the Victoria Cross.[3]

Wynne suffered a series of strokes late in life and died at Nerrin Nerrin on 12 May 1934, aged 83. He was survived by the daughter of his first marriage.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Bennet, Darryl (1990). "Wynne, Agar (1850–1934)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 15 November 2007 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ "Agar Wynne". re-member: a database of all Victorian MPs since 1851. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  3. ^ Richardson, p. 257.

SourcesEdit

  • Richardson, N. (2016) The Game of their lives, Pan Macmillan: Sydney. ISBN 9781743536667.
Victorian Legislative Council
Preceded by
Thomas Cumming
Member for Western Province
1888–1903
With: 2 others
Succeeded by
Alexander MacLeod
Preceded by
Isaac Isaacs
Solicitor-General of Victoria
Jun 1893 - Sep 1894
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Cuthbert
Preceded by
John Davies
Solicitor-General of Victoria
Nov 1900 - Jun 1902
Succeeded by
John Davies
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Turner
Member for Balaclava
1906–1914
Succeeded by
William Watt
Preceded by
Josiah Thomas
Postmaster-General
1913–1914
Succeeded by
William Spence
Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Robert McCutcheon
Member for St Kilda
1917–1920
Succeeded by
Frederic Eggleston
Preceded by
Harry Lawson
Attorney-General of Victoria &
Solicitor-General of Victoria

Nov 1917 - Mar 1918
Succeeded by
Harry Lawson
as Attorney-General
Succeeded by
Arthur Robinson
as Solicitor-General