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Member Details

Sir John Beverley PEDEN, K.C.M.G.,K.C.,B.A.,LLB. (1871 - 1946)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 25/04/1871
Place of Birth: Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
Date of Death: 31/05/1946
Place of Death: Paddington, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 17 Jul 1917 22 Apr 1934 16 years 9 months 6 days Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 6 May 1917
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 23 Apr 1934 22 Apr 1946 12 years A Member of the indirectly elected Council 1934 - 1978. A Member before reconstitution.
President of the Legislative Council 05 Feb 1929 22 Apr 1934 5 years 2 months 18 days Last President appointed by the Governor
President of the Legislative Council 24 Apr 1934 22 Apr 1946 11 years 11 months 30 days The first President to be elected by the Members of the Legislative Council
Political Party Activity
National Party, councillor 1917-1918.
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Lawyer (barrister) and Professor. Educated at Bega Public School, Sydney Grammar and University of Sydney, BA 1892, LL B 1898; assistant of lecturer in Latin University of Sydney 1896; called to Bar 1898 registered on North circuit; law lecturer University of Sydney 1903, professor, Dean of Law Faculty, fellow of Senate University of Sydney 1910-1941; vice-warden St John's College 1892-1899, fellow 1898-1928; Judge Advocate 1916; trustee Member of Legislative Council Assurance Co. Ltd; director of New South Wales Land and Agency Co. and associated companies; owned farm at Cobargo near Bega; Chairman trustees Sydney Grammar School 1932-1946; executive of Universal Service League 1915-1916; Chairman Sydney Round Table group; trustee of Captain Cook's Landing Place at Kurnell; president of Sydney University Union 1893-1894, 1910-1911; joint secretary of Australasian Association for Advancement of Science 1898; member Australia Club; chancellor of diocese of Bathurst and later of Newcastle.
Military Service
Honours Received
Kings Counsel in 1923. Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1930.
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Son of Magnus Jackson, farmer and Mayor of Randwick, and Elizabeth Neathway Brown. Married Margaret Ethel Maynard on 21 December 1904 and had issue, 2 daughters. Church of England. North Suburbs Crematorium from St Andrew's Church of England Cathedral.
Additional Information
Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. Peden family - papers, 1833 - 1947 (MLMSS 1663); photographs in the PICMAN Database. 2. Peden family - further papers, 1876 - 1946 (MLMSS 3765). Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11 Ken Turner and Michael Hogan (editors), The Worldly Art of Politics, Sydney, Federation Press, 2006 (Chapter 14: "Sir John Peden: Representing the public interest", by Gareth Griffith, page 155) Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 John Peden was born on 25 April 1871 at Randwick in Sydney. He married Margaret Maynard in December 1904 and they had two daughters. Peden's father, Magnus Peden, was Mayor of both Randwick and Bega. Academically brilliant, John Peden's accomplishments included First Class Honours in both Latin and Law, as well as the University Medal for Law. Although he established a successful practice, Peden directed his legal expertise towards lecturing and organising the Law Department as the Dean of the Sydney University Law Faculty. Most notably, Peden was an authority on Australian and New South Wales constitutional law.Peden was a Member of the Legislative Council from 1917 until his retirement in 1946. As President of the Council between 1929 and 1946, Peden brought to the office his skill as an orator and an immense legal knowledge. A passionate supporter of preserving the traditions of the Council, Peden was of the view that as a house of review, the Council could maintain objectivity because Bills before the Chamber would be considered solely on merit rather than from a political allegiance. Peden's belief in the continued existence of the Legislative Council was tested by J T Lang's efforts to abolish the Council. In 1929 he ensured the Council's continued existence by drafting and inserting section 7A into the Constitution Act of 1902 by an amendment. The amendment guaranteed that the Council would neither be abolished nor have its powers altered except through a referendum. Furthermore, Peden established a safeguard by preventing amendments or a repeal of Section 7A without a referendum. Peden was the last President to be appointed; and the first to be elected by the House after the reforms of 1934. Possessing a sound knowledge of both Standing Orders and Parliamentary procedure he was able to command control of the House with great ease. Sir John Peden died at Paddington on 31 May 1946, one month after retiring.