Sir Thomas Rainsford BAVIN (1874 - 1941)**

  • Date of Birth: 05/05/1874
  • Place of Birth: Kaiapoi, New Zealand
  • Date of Death: 31/08/1941
  • Place of Death: Bellevue Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly31 Mar 191714 Oct 193518yr(s) 6mth(s) 14day(s)
Member for Gordon31 Mar 191718 Feb 19202yr(s) 10mth(s) 19day(s)
24th (1917 - 1920)
Member for Ryde20 Mar 19207 Sep 19277yr(s) 5mth(s) 19day(s)
25th (1920 - 1922)
Member for Ryde25 Mar 192218 Apr 19253yr(s) 25day(s)
26th (1922 - 1925)
Member for Ryde30 May 19257 Sep 19272yr(s) 3mth(s) 9day(s)
27th (1925 - 1927)
Member for Gordon8 Oct 192714 Oct 19358yr(s) 7day(s)
28th (1927 - 1930)
Member for Gordon25 Oct 193018 May 19321yr(s) 6mth(s) 24day(s)
29th (1930 - 1932)
Member for Gordon11 Jun 193212 Apr 19352yr(s) 10mth(s) 2day(s)
29th (1930 - 1932)
Member for Gordon18 Apr 193514 Oct 19355mth(s) 27day(s)
31st (1935 - 1938)
Attorney General and Minister for Justice20 Dec 192117 Feb 19221mth(s) 29day(s)
Attorney General 13 Apr 192217 Jun 19253yr(s) 2mth(s) 5day(s)
Premier of New South Wales18 Oct 19273 Nov 19303yr(s) 17day(s)
Colonial Treasurer18 Oct 192715 Apr 19291yr(s) 5mth(s) 29day(s)
Colonial Secretary1 Feb 192915 Apr 19292mth(s) 15day(s)
The Governor's Opening Speech Committee No.117 Jul 191730 Mar 19188mths 14days
24th (1917 - 1920)

Political Party Activity

Nationalist Party. Resigned 1920, becoming deputy leader of Progressives, stood as Coalition candidate 1922, rejoined Nationalist Party, leader 1925-1932. United Australia Party (UAP); vice-president UAP 1932-1935.

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Lawyer (barrister). Educated at Auckland Grammar School, Newington College, University of Sydney, BA (Hons) 1894, LLB (Hons) 1897. Teacher at Newington College while studying law; editor Hermes; called to Bar 1897; active in early closing movement and federation movement; acting professor of law University of Tasmania 1900; private secretary to Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, from 1901 until 1903, Alfred Deakin from 1903 until 1904; returned to Bar in Sydney acquiring reputation in constitutional law; King's Counsel (KC)1924; appointed judge of New South Wales Supreme Court 1935; member Australia National Defence League from 1906 until 1909; President of Royal Commissioner of Food Supply; foundation member Round Table group 1912; joint secretary of Universal Service League from 1915 until 1917; first president of League of Nations Union New South Wales 1920; New South Wales president of Royal Institue of International Affairs, 1924; first president of Australia Institute of International Affairs 1930; chairman of British Commonwealth Relations Conference, 1938; author of Thomas Rainsford Bavin: Extracts from his Speeches from 1923 until 1932 1933, The Work and Aims of the Institute of International Affairs 1934, The Jubilee Book of the Law School of the University of Sydney from 1890 until 1940, Sir Henry Parkes: His Life and Work 1941; contributor as 'Lex' to Daily Telegraph. North Suburbs Cemetery from St Andrew's Church of England Cathedral.

Honours Received

Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1933. Held honorary commission of the Royal Australian Naval Intelligence Service 1918

Local Government Activity

Alderman at Willoughby from 1911 until 1914


Son of Rainsford Bavin, Wesleyan minister, and Emma Buddle. Married Edyth Ellen Winchcombe on 6 Feb 1901 at Sydney, daughter of Frederick Earle Winchcombe (q.v.); and had issue, l son and 3 daughters. Church of England.

Additional Information

References: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: Sir Thomas Bavin - letters received. (MLMSS 2116); photographs in the Leaf cat 1.