Angas Parsons

Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, KBE, KC (23 May 1872 – 2 November 1945), generally known as Sir Angas Parsons, was a Cornish Australian lawyer, politician and judge.

Herbert Angas Parsons
Herbert Parsons-1920-B4060.jpg
Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, 1920
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Torrens
In office
Succeeded byElectorate abolished
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Murray
In office
Personal details
Herbert Angas Parsons

(1872-05-23)23 May 1872
North Adelaide
Died2 November 1945(1945-11-02) (aged 73)
Resting placeNorth Road Cemetery
Political partyLiberal Union
Spouse(s)Mary Elsie Bonython
MotherRose Parsons
FatherJohn Langdon Parsons
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide

Early life and educationEdit

Parsons was born in North Adelaide on 23 May 1872, the only son of Cornish born minister and politician John Langdon Parsons (1837–1903) and his first wife Rose.[1]

He was educated at Prince Alfred College and Roseworthy Agricultural College before spending three years following "pastoral and financial pursuits". He then studied law at the University of Adelaide, serving his articles with George Ash[2] and graduating in March 1897, aged 24.


He was admitted to the Bar later in 1897.[3] He joined with Patrick McMahon Glynn, KC. in partnership in 1898;[2] they were joined in October 1908 by George McEwin and subsequently by (later Sir) Mellis Napier.

In 1912 he stood for parliament and was elected member of the South Australian House of Assembly for Torrens (1912-1915), and subsequently member for Murray.[4] It was around June of this year that he became universally referred to as "Angas Parsons". He was briefly Attorney-General of South Australia and minister of education in 1915. Parsons was appointed K.C. in 1916, a judge of the Supreme Court in 1921, senior puisne judge in 1927, and acting chief justice in 1935. On occasions Parsons acted as deputy governor and, after his father's death, in 1904 he became consul for Japan.[3]

Service and recognitionEdit

Like his father-in-law, he became president of the Cornish Association of South Australia. He was also warden of the University of Adelaide's senate, and vice-chancellor from 1942 to 1944.

He was knighted in 1936,[5] and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1945.[6] He retired in 1945 and, having "spent many hours at the Adelaide Club, preferring its convivial atmosphere to his wife's Methodism".[3]

Personal lifeEdit

On 18 April 1900, Parsons married Mary Elsie Bonython (1874–1956), eldest surviving child of Sir John Langdon Bonython and his wife Mary Louisa Fredericka née Balthasar.[7] They had two sons.

Mary Elsie Parsons served with distinction as Mayoress at official functions for her widowed brother Sir John Lavington Bonython in 1911 and 1912.

Parsons died of cirrhosis on 2 November 1945. Survived by Lady Parsons and their two sons Philip Brendon Angas Parsons (1905– ) and Geoffrey Bonython Parsons (1908– ), he was buried with his parents in North Road Cemetery.[3]



  1. ^ Elizabeth Kwan, 'Parsons, John Langdon (1837–1903)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp. 148–150.
  2. ^ a b "General News". The Southern Cross. X (445). South Australia. 7 January 1898. p. 11. Retrieved 11 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Kwan, 'Parsons, Sir Herbert Angas (1872 - 1945)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp. 148–150.
  4. ^ Statistical Record of the Legislature 1836-2007 Archived 12 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Parliament of South Australia, pp.69&71.
  5. ^ Knight Bachelor, 1 January 1936 Citation: Puisne Judge in South Australia
  6. ^ KBE, 14 June 1945
  7. ^ W. B. Pitcher, Bonython, Sir John Langdon (1848 - 1939), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, Melbourne University Press, 1979, pp. 339–341
Political offices
Preceded by
Hermann Homburg
Attorney-General of South Australia
Succeeded by
John Vaughan
Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
George Dankel
Thomas Ryan
Member for Torrens
Succeeded by
Electorate abolished
Preceded by
George Dunn
Maurice William Parish
Member for Murray
Succeeded by
John Francis Godfree
John Beavis Randell