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Member Details

Mr William FORSTER (1818 - 1882)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 16/10/1818
Place of Birth: Madras, Madras Presidency, India
Date of Death: 30/10/1882
Place of Death: Edgecliff, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 05 Apr 1856 30 Oct 1882 26 years 6 months 26 days
Member for Murray and St. Vincent (United Counties of) 05 Apr 1856 19 Dec 1857 1 year 8 months 15 days
Member for Murray and St. Vincent (United Counties of) 05 Feb 1858 11 Apr 1859 1 year 2 months 7 days
Member for Queanbeyan 17 Jun 1859 26 Oct 1859 4 months 10 days
Member for Queanbeyan 15 Nov 1859 10 Nov 1860 11 months 27 days
Member for East Sydney 29 May 1861 16 Oct 1863 2 years 4 months 18 days
Member for East Sydney 28 Oct 1863 10 Nov 1864 1 year 14 days
Member for Hastings 24 Dec 1864 15 Nov 1869 4 years 10 months 23 days
Member for Queanbeyan 23 Dec 1869 03 Feb 1872 2 years 1 month 12 days
Member for Illawarra 29 Feb 1872 28 Nov 1874 2 years 9 months
Member for Murrumbidgee 02 Jan 1875 09 Feb 1875 1 month 8 days
Member for Murrumbidgee 22 Feb 1875 04 Feb 1876 11 months 14 days
Member for Gundagai 30 Nov 1880 30 Oct 1882 1 year 11 months 1 day
Premier 27 Oct 1859 08 Mar 1860 4 months 11 days
Colonial Secretary 16 Oct 1863 02 Feb 1865 1 year 3 months 18 days
Secretary for Lands 27 Oct 1868 14 Apr 1870 1 year 5 months 19 days
Colonial Treasurer 09 Feb 1875 07 Feb 1876 11 months 30 days
Colonial Secretary 27 Oct 1859 08 Mar 1860 4 months 11 days
Resignation of Mr Quodling, late Inspector of Roads in the Northern Districts Committee No.19 26 Nov 1861 15 Jan 1852 0 days Chairman
Administration of Justice and Conduct of Official Business in Country Districts Committee No.20 11 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 8 days
Native Police Force Committee No.17 08 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 11 days
Richmond Bridge Company’s Bill Committee No.18 08 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 11 days
Sydney Bethel Union Bill Committee No.9 13 Aug 1856 18 Mar 1857 7 months 6 days
Australian Agricultural Company’s Newcastle Railway Bill Committee No.12 30 Oct 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 19 days Chairman
Australian Gas Company’s Light Bill Committee No.16 13 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 6 days
Burwood Tramroad Continuation Act Amendment Bill Committee No.14 24 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 25 days
Reclaiming Land, Woolloomooloo Bay Committee 25 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 3 months 24 days
Secondary Punishment Committee No.8 27 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 3 months 22 days
Seizure of Gold Dust on board the “Ethereal” Committee No.18 04 Dec 1857 18 Dec 1857 15 days Chairman
Australian Gas Light Company’s Bill Committee No.18 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Landed Property in cases of Intestacy Descent Bill Committee No.25 02 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 25 days
Management of the Survey Department Committee No.15 30 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 28 days
Murders by the Aborigines on the Dawson River Committee No.22 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days
Proposed Presbyterian College (petition) from the Reverend John Dunmore Lang Committee No.26 13 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 14 days
Question of Privilege – Governor General’s Answer to Address on proposed dispatch of Artillery to Indi 16 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 11 days
Retrenchment in the Public Expenditure Committee No.11 20 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 7 days
Seizure of Gold on board the ‘Ethereal’ and ‘May Nicholson’ Committee No.21 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days Chairman
Special Return to Writ Committee No.5 31 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 27 days
State of the Magistracy Committee No.17 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Vacant Seat – Question of Privilege Committee No.9 03 Mar 1859 09 Apr 1859 1 month 7 days
Case of Charles Wentworth Bucknell Committee No.17 23 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 12 days Chairman
Case of James Hibburd Committee No.16 23 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 12 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.4 02 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 months 3 days
Retrenchment in the Public Expenditure Committee No.7 14 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 21 days
Secondary Punishment Committee No.8 14 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 21 days
Seizure of Opium per “Kate Hooper” Committee No.41 13 Apr 1860 04 Jul 1860 2 months 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 01 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 months 4 days
University of Sydney Committee No.5 13 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 22 days
Working of the Sydney Municipal Council Committee No.12 20 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 15 days
Alleged Embezzlement of Public Moneys by Corporal Francis Committee No.8 12 Oct 1860 09 Nov 1860 29 days
Field of Mars Common Committee No.22 31 Dec 1861 14 Jan 1862 15 days
Distribution of Relief to Sufferers by last Flood at Windsor Committee No.5 17 Sep 1861 20 Jan 1862 4 months 4 days
Mr F.W Birmingham Committee No.10 01 Oct 1861 20 Jan 1862 3 months 21 days
Reverend W.B Clarke Committee No.6 20 Sep 1861 20 Jan 1862 4 months 1 day
System of Railway Locomotion proposed by Mr E.Bell Committee No.18 12 Nov 1861 20 Jan 1862 2 months 9 days
Land Titles Declaration Bill Committee No.8 10 Jun 1862 02 Sep 1862 2 months 24 days
Tanners and Curriers Bill of 1859-60 Committee No.18 05 Aug 1862 19 Sep 1862 1 month 15 days
Slaughter of Cattle under Cattle Disease Prevention Act Committee No.17 05 Aug 1862 02 Dec 1862 3 months 28 days
Management of the Central Police Office Committee No.13 08 Jul 1862 12 Dec 1862 5 months 5 days
State of Manufactures and Agriculture in the Colony Committee No.26 02 Sep 1862 12 Dec 1862 3 months 11 days
Petition of Thomas Duke Allen Committee No.43 19 Nov 1862 19 Dec 1862 1 month 1 day
Mr J.E Liardet Committee No.14 22 Jul 1862 20 Dec 1862 4 months 29 days
Pawnbrokers Bill Committee No. 03 Oct 1862 20 Dec 1862 2 months 18 days
Railway through Ultimo Estate No.44 02 Dec 1862 20 Dec 1862 19 days
Harbour Defences Committee No.6 01 Jul 1863 20 Oct 1863 3 months 20 days
Miss Isabella Mary Kelly Committee No.5 01 Jul 1863 20 Oct 1863 3 months 20 days
Robert Stewart Committee No.13 11 Aug 1863 20 Oct 1863 2 months 10 days
Petition of Thomas Duke Allen Committee No.11 21 Jul 1863 08 Dec 1863 4 months 18 days
Bank of New South Wales Incorporation Act Amendment Bill Committee No.32 05 Dec 1864 12 Feb 1864 0 days
Death of John Hart in Benevolent Asylum at Liverpool Committee No.22 15 Sep 1863 02 Mar 1864 5 months 17 days
Reservations upon Runs in Tumut District Committee No.25 29 Sep 1863 11 Mar 1864 5 months 12 days
Bathurst Market Bill Committee No.36 30 Mar 1864 31 Mar 1864 2 days
Disorganized State of the Public Works Department Committee No.28 06 Oct 1863 07 Apr 1864 6 months 2 days
Mr James K.Montgomery – Claim for Compensation Committee No.24 15 Sep 1863 22 Apr 1864 7 months 8 days
Penal, Reformatory, and Charitable Establishments Committee No.8 08 Jul 1863 22 Apr 1864 9 months 15 days
Mr Austin Forrest Wilshire (Tanneries, & c.) 03 May 1865 08 Jun 1865 1 month 6 days
Claim of Mr Benjamin Richards to lease of “Yaraldool” Run Committee No.9 27 Aug 1867 28 Nov 1867 3 months 2 days
Mr Alexander Walker Scott – Land taken by Hunter River Railway Committee No.5 01 Oct 1869 11 Nov 1869 1 month 12 days
Marine Board Bill Committee No.8 08 Sep 1870 17 Mar 1871 6 months 10 days
Yass Roman Catholic Church Land Bill Committee No.20 18 Apr 1871 21 Apr 1871 4 days
Government Printing Office Committee No.9 13 Sep 1870 04 May 1871 7 months 22 days
Removal of Public Money from Bank of New South Wales Committee No.14 11 May 1875 22 Jun 1875 1 month 12 days
Royal Society of New South Wales Incorporation Bill Committee No.19 16 Sep 1881 27 Sep 1881 12 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
New South Wales Agent-General in London from 1876 until 1879. Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1842. Removed from the lists in 1849.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Pastoralist. Educated at regimental school, India; Reverend J. Crawford's school, Donnybrook, Ireland; W.T. Cape's School and The King's School, New South Wales. Accompanied one of first overland expeditions to Port Phillip; from 1839 bought land and squatting runs; by 1840 had station near Port Macquarie and property in Clarence River district; acquired property in New England district 1848; pioneered Burnett and Wide Bay districts 1849-1854, his runs there totalling c. 64,000 acres; when retired from active control of properties 1867, still had c. 80,000 acres in Queensland. Frequent contributor to Atlas, Empire, Southern Cross and other papers; well known as literary critic, satirist, political essayist, poet. Author of The Weir-Wolf: a tragedy, 1876; The Brothers: a drama, 1877, Political Presentments, 1878; and Midas, 1884. Estate valued at £30,000.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Thomas Forster, army surgeon, and his wife Eliza Blaxland, daughter of Gregory Blaxland of New South Wales. Married (1) Eliza Jane Wall on 8 April 1846 at Parramatta, to, daughter of Colonel Charles William Wall, and had issue, 2 sons and 6 daughters. Married (2) Maud Julia Edwards on 8 November 1873 at Armidale, and had issue, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Migrated with his parents from India to Wales 1822, Ireland 1825, and New South Wales in 1829. Church of England.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4 David Clune and Ken Turner (Editors), The Premiers of New South Wales: Volume 1 - 1856 - 1901, The Federation Press, Sydney, 2006 [Chapter 4: "Forster, William", by David Clune, p. 69]