Sir William Montagu MANNING, K.C.M.G.,Q.C.,LL.D (1811 - 1895)**

  • Date of Birth: 20/06/1811
  • Place of Birth: Alphington, Devon, England
  • Date of Death: 27/03/1895
  • Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Council27 Feb 185129 Feb 18565yr(s) 3day(s)
A Non-Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 – 1856
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly9 Apr 185618 May 18571yr(s) 1mth(s) 10day(s)
Member of the NSW Legislative Council3 Sep 18618 May 187614yr(s) 8mth(s) 6day(s)
Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 24 June 1861
Member of the NSW Legislative Council8 Feb 188827 Feb 18957yr(s) 20day(s)
Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 30 December 1887
Member for Cumberland (South Riding)9 Apr 18566 Jun 18561mth(s) 29day(s)
1st (1856 - 1857)
Member for Cumberland (South Riding)14 Oct 185618 May 18577mth(s) 5day(s)
1st (1856 - 1857)
Attorney General6 Jun 185625 Aug 18562mth(s) 20day(s)
Attorney General3 Oct 185625 May 18577mth(s) 23day(s)
Attorney General21 Feb 18608 Mar 186017day(s)
Attorney General31 Oct 186815 Dec 18702yrs 1mth 15days
5th (1865 - 1869)
6th (1870 - 1872)
Solicitor-General19 Nov 18495 Jun 18566yr(s) 6mth(s) 18day(s)
Sydney Bethel Union Bill Committee No.913 Aug 185618 Mar 18577mths 6days
1st (1856 - 1857)
Additional Ministerial Department Committee No.1220 Aug 185618 Mar 18576mths 27days
1st (1856 - 1857)
Administration of Justice and Conduct of Official Business in Country Districts Committee No.2011 Nov 185618 Mar 18574mths 8days
1st (1856 - 1857)
Australian General Assurance Company’s Bill Committee No.2319 Nov 185618 Mar 18573mths 28days
1st (1856 - 1857)

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Lawyer (Barrister) and pastoralist. Educated at Tavistock, Southampton and University College in London. Worked for his uncle, Sergeant Manning and entered Lincolns Inn in 1827. Called to the Bar in 1832. Practised on Western Circuit. Arrived in Sydney on 31 August 1837 and was appointed as a magistrate and Chairman of Quarter Sessions. Solicitor General from 1844 until 1856. Acting Supreme Court Judge from 1848 until until 1849. Acquired real estate from 1837. Became a squatter in Lachlan district. Joined shipping ventures and and had interests in mineral lands. Fellow of Senate of University of Sydney from 1861 until 1895. Chancellor from 1878 until 1895. Founding President of New South Wales Rifle Association from 1860 until 1895. Vice President of Horticultural Society of New South Wales in 1870s. Lover of literature and music. Early member, trustee and later Vice President of Australia Club. Civil Service Club. Steward of Australian Jockey Club. Member of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Active in charitable institutions.

Honours Received

Appointed as a Queens Counsel in 1857. Knighted in 1858. Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1892.


Son of John Edye Manning, Supreme Court Registrar, and Matilda Cooke. Married (1) Emily Anne Wise on 16 August 1832 in Paris and had issue, 2 daughters and 1 son. Married (2) Eliza Anne Sowerby on 7 June 1849 and had issue, 3 daughters and 1 son. Church of England.

Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5 NOTE: As at August 1998, the silver epergne given to W. M. Manning on his retirement on 23 May 1857 is on display in the Centenary Galleries of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia (No. 992 / L334). Lent by Mrs Philippa Pearson, Ohio USA, in 1997. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. Sir William Montagu Manning - papers, 1855 - 1894 (MLMSS 1107); photographs in the PICMAN Database. 2. William Montagu Manning - papers, 1791 - 1892, with papers of his family, 1791 - 1832 (MLMSS 246); photographs in the PICMAN Database. 3. Sir William Montagu Manning - correspondence, 1833 - ca. 1916, and associated material, 1872 - 1873. 4. Sir William Montagu - commission of appointment as judge of the Supreme Court, 1881 (MLDOC 1086).