John Nanson

John Leighton Nanson (22 September 1863 – 29 February 1916) was a journalist and politician in Western Australia. A former writer and sub-editor with The West Australian, he served in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1901 to 1905 and again from 1908 to 1914. Nanson was a minister in the governments of Alf Morgans, Walter James, Newton Moore, and Frank Wilson, including as attorney-general from 1909 to 1911.


John Nanson
John Nanson.png
Attorney-General of Western Australia
In office
30 June 1909 – 7 October 1911
PremierNewton Moore
Frank Wilson
Preceded byHector Rason
Succeeded byThomas Walker
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
24 April 1901 – 28 June 1904
Preceded bySamuel Mitchell
Succeeded byJohn Holman
ConstituencyMurchison
In office
28 June 1904 – 27 October 1905
Preceded byPatrick Stone
Succeeded byPatrick Stone
ConstituencyGreenough
In office
11 September 1908 – 21 October 1914
Preceded byPatrick Stone
Succeeded byJohn Cunningham
ConstituencyGreenough
Personal details
Born(1863-09-22)22 September 1863
Carlisle, Cumberland, England
Died29 February 1916(1916-02-29) (aged 52)
Wimborne, Dorset, England

Early lifeEdit

Nanson was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England. He attended Carlisle Grammar School and King William's College (on the Isle of Man). After leaving school, Nanson emigrated to Australia, initially living in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and then going to South Australia. He arrived in Western Australia in the mid-1880s, worked as a journalist. In 1899, he was made an associate editor of The West Australian, having previously served as its Fremantle correspondent.[1]

PoliticsEdit

Nanson was elected to parliament at the 1901 state election, winning the seat of Murchison from the sitting member, Samuel Mitchell.[2] In November 1901, after only seven months as an MP, he was made Minister for Lands in the newly formed Morgans ministry, which lasted for just 32 days. Nanson was elevated to the ministry for a second time in January 1904, as a minister without portfolio in the James ministry. He replaced Hector Rason as Minister for Works a few months later, but the government fell in August 1904 (after a vote of no confidence).[1]

At the 1904 state election, Nanson had switched seats, defeating Patrick Stone in the seat of Greenough. His old seat, Murchison, was lost to the Labor Party.[2] However, Nanson did not re-contest his seat at the 1905 election, instead travelling to England to study law. He was called to the bar in 1908, and later that year returned to Australia, reclaiming the seat of Greenough at the 1908 state election. Nanson was elevated to the ministry for a third time in May 1909, as a minister without portfolio in the Moore ministry. In a reshuffle the following month, he was made Attorney-General and Minister for Education. He retained his portfolios when Frank Wilson replaced Newton Moore as premier in September 1910, but the government was defeated at the 1911 election.[1]

Later lifeEdit

Nanson left for England in 1913, and did not re-contest Greenough at the 1914 election. He died in Wimborne, Dorset, in February 1916, aged 52. He had married Janet Drummond Durlacher in 1887, with whom he had three children.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d John Leighton Nanson – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b 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.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Samuel Mitchell
Member for Murchison
1901–1904
Succeeded by
John Holman
Preceded by
Patrick Stone
Patrick Stone
Member for Greenough
1904–1905
1908–1914
Succeeded by
Patrick Stone
John Cunningham
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Sommers
Minister for Lands
1901
Succeeded by
Adam Jameson
Preceded by
Hector Rason
Minister for Works
1904
Succeeded by
William Johnson
Preceded by
Newton Moore
Attorney-General
1909–1911
Succeeded by
Thomas Walker
Preceded by
Frank Wilson
Minister for Education
1909–1911
Succeeded by
Thomas Walker