John Foulkes

John Charles Griffiths Foulkes (22 March 1861 – 4 December 1935) served in both houses of the Parliament of Western Australia, as a member of the Legislative Council from 1894 to 1896 and as a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1902 to 1911.

John Foulkes
Member of the Legislative Council
of Western Australia
In office
16 July 1894 – 27 July 1896
Preceded byNone (new creation)
Succeeded byWilliam Spencer
ConstituencySouth-West Province
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
11 June 1902 – 3 October 1911
Preceded byWilliam Sayer
Succeeded byEvan Wisdom
Personal details
Born(1863-10-06)6 October 1863
Llanyblodwel, Shropshire, England
Died30 November 1933(1933-11-30) (aged 70)
Chiswick, London, England
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

Foulkes was born in Llanyblodwel, Shropshire, England, a small village on the Welsh border. He attended Shrewsbury School before going on to St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1884. Foulkes afterward trained as a solicitor, serving his articles of clerkship in Wrexham, Wales. He came to Western Australia in 1890, and set up a law practice in Bunbury.[1] In 1894, he stood for the Legislative Council's South-West Province, and was elected to a two-year term. In December 1895, Foulkes left on a health trip to Europe, intending to return in time to contest his seat at the 1896 Legislative Council elections.[2] However, on the return voyage, his wife was taken ill with malaria, forcing them to remain in Italy while she recovered (and him to miss the election and thus lose his seat).[3]

After eventually arriving back in Australia, Foulkes moved his law practice to Perth.[1] He re-entered parliament at the 1902 Claremont by-election, which had been caused by the resignation of the sitting member, William Sayer, and retained it at the 1904 state election.[4] When parliament sat for the first time after the 1904 election, Foulkes was nominated by the government of Walter James (recently reduced to a minority in the assembly) to serve as speaker. The opposing candidate, Mathieson Jacoby, was elected "by a large margin", a result which was said to have marked "the beginning of the end" for the James government.[5] Foulkes remained in parliament until his retirement at the 1911 state election, and in 1913 returned to England. He died in London in December 1935, aged 74. His brother-in-law, Adam Jameson, was also a member of parliament.[1]


  1. ^ a b c John Charles Griffiths Foulkes – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Topics of the Week.", Bunbury Herald, 21 December 1895.
  3. ^ "Local and General.", Bunbury Herald, 21 July 1896.
  4. ^ Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN 0730984095.
  5. ^ "THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT."The West Australian, 29 July 1904.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
William Sayer
Member for Claremont
Succeeded by
Evan Wisdom