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James Chester Manifold

James Chester Manifold (10 February 1867 – 30 October 1918) was an Australian politician and philanthropist.

Chester Manifold
Chester Manifold.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Corangamite
In office
29 March 1901 – 23 November 1903
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byGratton Wilson
In office
31 May 1913 – 30 October 1918
Preceded byJames Scullin
Succeeded byWilliam Gibson
Personal details
Born(1867-02-10)10 February 1867
Camperdown, Victoria, Australia
Died30 October 1918(1918-10-30) (aged 51)
At sea, Pacific Ocean
Political partyProtectionist (1901–09)
Liberal (1909–17)
Nationalist (1917–18)
Spouse(s)Lilian Eva Curle

Early lifeEdit

Manifold was born in Camperdown, Victoria, attended Geelong Grammar School, and went to England with his family in 1881. However, the family returned to Australia because the northern climate did not agree with his health, and he subsequently attended Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. When he came into possession of a property left to him by his father, he mostly rented it to dairy farmers, to whom he later sold the land on liberal terms. He was a director of the Camperdown Cheese and Butter Factory, established in 1891, and was its chairman after 1907.

He was a member of Hampden Shire Council in the 1890s, being its president twice. On 11 March 1891, he married Lilian Eva Curle.

Federal politicsEdit

Manifold was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1901 as the inaugural member for Corangamite, representing the Protectionist Party. He retired in 1903 due to ill health, but in 1913 was persuaded to oppose the sitting Labor member, future Prime Minister James Scullin, representing the Commonwealth Liberal Party. He defeated Scullin in the election of that year, and held the seat until his unexpected death from pneumonia on 30 October 1918, during a voyage to North America. He was buried at sea, and was survived by a son and a daughter. In 1921, a statue of Manifold by Nelson Illingworth was unveiled at Camperdown by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce.

His son, Sir Thomas Chester Manifold, was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1929-1935, representing the electoral district of Hampden for the Nationalist Party and later the United Australia Party.[1]


  • de Serville, P.H. (1986). "Manifold, James Chester (1867 - 1918)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  1. ^ Parliament of Victoria - Retrieved 2011-01-03
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
new seat
Member for Corangamite
Succeeded by
Gratton Wilson
Preceded by
James Scullin
Member for Corangamite
Succeeded by
William Gibson