Robertson ministry (1875–1877)

The third Robertson ministry was the fifteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by John Robertson. It was the third of five occasions that Robertson was Premier. Robertson was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in March 1856.

Third Robertson ministry
15th Cabinet of the Colony of New South Wales
Sir John Robertson.jpg Australian states history 13.gif
Premier John Robertson and the Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)
Date formed9 February 1875 (1875-02-09)
Date dissolved21 March 1877 (1877-03-21)
People and organisations
Head of stateQueen Victoria (represented by Sir Hercules Robinson)
Head of governmentJohn Robertson
No. of ministers8
Member partyunaligned
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyunaligned
Opposition leaderHenry Parkes
PredecessorFirst Parkes ministry
SuccessorSecond Parkes ministry

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

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887. Under the constitution, ministers were required to resign to recontest their seats in a by-election when appointed.[1] Such ministerial by-elections were usually uncontested and on this occasion the ministers were all re-elected unopposed.[2]

In 1876 William Forster was appointed Agent-General for New South Wales in London and was replaced as Colonial Treasurer by Alexander Stuart.[3] In January 1877 Thomas Garrett was accused of bribery in relation to positions within the Department of Lands, and insobriety affecting his capacity to fulfill his responsibilities as minister.[4] Garrett resigned as minister and the government narrowly survived a censure motion by 29 votes to 26.[5] Ezekiel Baker replaced Garrett as Secretary for Lands.[3]

This ministry covers the period from 9 February 1875 until 21 March 1877, when Robertson was unable to obtain supply and resigned when Henry Parkes indicated that he was able to form a government.[3][6][7]

Third Robertson ministry 1875

Composition of ministryEdit

Portfolio Minister Term start Term end Term length
Colonial Secretary
John Robertson 9 February 1875 21 March 1877 2 years, 40 days
Colonial Treasurer William Forster 7 February 1876 363 days
Alexander Stuart 8 February 1876 21 March 1877 1 year, 41 days
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction
Representative of the Government in the Legislative Council
Joseph Docker MLC 9 February 1875 2 years, 40 days
Secretary for Lands Thomas Garrett 5 February 1877 1 year, 362 days
Ezekiel Baker 6 February 1877 21 March 1877 43 days
Secretary for Public Works John Lackey 9 February 1875 2 years, 40 days
Attorney General William Dalley MLC[a]
Secretary for Mines John Lucas
Postmaster-General John Burns

Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See alsoEdit


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


  1. ^ Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp. 442. ISBN 9781862875166. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ Green, Antony. "1874-75 by-elections". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Part 6 Ministries since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Legislative Assembly: personal explanation". The Sydney Morning Herald. 31 January 1877. p. 2. Retrieved 10 July 2021 – via Trove.
  5. ^ "Legislative Assembly: vote of censure". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 February 1877. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 10 July 2021 – via Trove.
  6. ^ "Legislative Assembly". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 March 1877. p. 5. Retrieved 18 February 2021 – via Trove.
  7. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Robertson, Sir John (1816–1891)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 20 March 2011.


Preceded by
Third Robertson ministry
Succeeded by