Parkes ministry (1877)

The second Parkes ministry was the sixteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by Sir Henry Parkes. It was the second of five occasions that Parkes was Leader of the Government.

Second Parkes ministry
16th Cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Henryparkes.jpg Australian states history 13.gif
Premier Henry Parkes and the Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)
Date formed22 March 1877 (1877-03-22)
Date dissolved16 August 1877 (1877-08-16)
People and organisations
Head of stateQueen Victoria (represented by Hercules Robinson)
Head of governmentHenry Parkes
No. of ministers8
Member partyunaligned
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyunaligned
Opposition leaderJohn Robertson
PredecessorThird Robertson ministry
SuccessorFourth Robertson ministry

Having served in the New South Wales Legislative Council between 1854 and 1856, Parkes was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in 1856, however resigned from Parliament later that year. He served in the Assembly on several occasions, between 1858 and 1870, being forced to resign on at least on occasion due to his personal insolvency. He came to power as Premier on the first occasion in 1872, serving as Premier for a period of three years. However, Parkes lost the confidence of the Assembly following Governor Robinson's decision to release of the bushranger Frank Gardiner led to the defeat of the ministry in 1875.[1]

John Robertson served as Leader of the Government between 1875 and 1877, before Robertson's supply bill was defeated in the Assembly and the Governor had refused to dissolve the parliament without supply.[2] Parkes formed his second ministry in a challenging environment where both Parkes and Robertson shared equal representation in the Legislative Assembly and business was sometimes at a standstill.[3]

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of Government, but not enshrined in formal use until 1920.

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887. Under the constitution, ministers were required to resign to re-contest their seats in a by-election when appointed.[4] Such ministerial by-elections were usually uncontested and on this occasion a poll was required for The Hawkesbury (William Piddington) and he was comfortably re-elected. The six other ministers, Henry Parkes (East Sydney), Francis Suttor (Bathurst), Richard Driver (Windsor), James Hoskins (The Tumut), William Windeyer (University of Sydney) and George Lloyd (Newcastle), were re-elected unopposed.[5]

This ministry covers the period from 22 March 1877 until 16 August 1877, when Parkes was in turn unable to obtain supply and resigned when Robertson indicated that he was able to form a government.[6][7]

Composition of ministryEdit

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
Sir Henry Parkes 22 March 1877 16 August 1877 147 days
Colonial Treasurer William Piddington
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction Francis Suttor
Secretary for Lands Richard Driver
Secretary for Public Works James Hoskins
Attorney General William Windeyer[a]
Secretary for Mines George Lloyd
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
Saul Samuel MLC

Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

  1. ^ A member of the government without a seat in the Executive Council.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Martin, A W. "Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–96)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 28 December 2020 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ "Legislative Assembly". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 March 1877. p. 5. Retrieved 18 February 2021 – via Trove.
  3. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Parkes, Sir Henry (1816–1896)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  4. ^ Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp. 442. ISBN 9781862875166. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  5. ^ Green, Antony. "By-elections 1875-77". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  6. ^ "In the Legislative Assembly". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 August 1877. p. 4. Retrieved 18 February 2021 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 February 2021.


Preceded by
Second Parkes ministry
Succeeded by