Francis Clarke

Francis Clarke (25 March 1857 – 18 May 1939) was an Australian politician.

Francis Clarke
Francis Clarke.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cowper
In office
29 March 1901 – 16 December 1903
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byHenry Lee
Personal details
Born(1857-03-25)25 March 1857
Stroud, Colony of New South Wales
Died18 May 1939(1939-05-18) (aged 82)
Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyProtectionist Party

Early lifeEdit

Born in Stroud, New South Wales, the son of Thomas Clarke and Ellen Walsh. He attended St Stanislaus' College at Bathurst before becoming a surveyor.

Political careerEdit

He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1893 to 1898, representing the seats of Macleay and Hastings and Macleay.[1] Clarke played a role in expediting the re-inclusion of Edmund Barton in the Australasian Federal Convention for the establishment of the Australian Federation. Barton was a major driver in the Federation movement but as he lost his seat in the NSW Colonial parliament he faced exclusion from the discussions. To expedite his return to the political process Clarke resigned from his safe seat of Hastings and the Macleay triggering a by-election which Barton won with Clarke's endorsement.

He was later appointed a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1899–1900, representing the Protectionist Party.[1] Serving as an early alderman of the Borough of North Sydney, Clarke served a single term as mayor (1898–1899).[2]

In 1901, he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Protectionist member for Cowper. He held the seat until his defeat in 1903 by Henry Lee of the Free Trade Party.[3]

Later lifeEdit

After leaving politics he was drafted as a member of the Royal Commission on Customs and Tariffs 1904-07 and the Royal Commission on Northern Territory railways and ports (1913–1914). He died in Manly in 1939.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Mr Francis Clarke (1857-1939)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  2. ^ "BOROUGH OF NORTH SYDNEY". New South Wales Government Gazette (136). New South Wales, Australia. 15 February 1898. p. 1220. Retrieved 8 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-17.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Otho Dangar
Member for Macleay
1893 – 1894
Served alongside: Hogan
District abolished
New district Member for Hastings and Macleay
1894 – 1898
Succeeded by
Edmund Barton
Preceded by
Edmund Barton
Member for Hastings and Macleay
1900 – 1901
Succeeded by
Robert Davidson
Civic offices
Preceded by
John Mitchell Purves
Mayor of North Sydney
1898 – 1899
Succeeded by
John Mitchell Purves
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Cowper
1901 – 1903
Succeeded by
Henry Lee