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Former Member Details

Mr Francis COTTON (1857 - 1942)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 05/05/1857
Place of Birth: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Date of Death: 28/11/1942
Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 17 Jun 1891 11 Jun 1901 9 years 11 months 26 days
Member for Newtown 17 Jun 1891 25 Jun 1894 3 years 9 days
Member for Newtown-Camperdown 24 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Newtown-Camperdown 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 years 10 months 16 days
Selection made by James Connelly, at Tamworth Committee No.16 25 Aug 1891 01 Apr 1892 7 months 8 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 28 Jul 1891 01 Apr 1892 8 months 5 days
Hillgrove and Armidale Water-power Electric Bill Committee No.4 05 Oct 1892 01 Nov 1892 28 days
Australasian Rights Purchase Bill Committee No.9 11 Oct 1892 16 Nov 1892 1 month 6 days
Menindie Irrigation Bill Committee No.21 23 Feb 1893 22 Mar 1893 1 month
Orange Showground Bill Committee No.23 13 Aug 1896 19 Aug 1896 7 days
Printing Committee No.5 14 May 1896 16 Nov 1896 6 months 3 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Newspaper Editor. Educated privately and at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide. First employment was on a cattle station in Port Lincoln, South Australia. He arrived in New South Wales in 1875 and was a shearer, farmer and drover. In 1889, became a journalist and moved to Sydney. In 1891, he was editor of 'Democrat' a paper advocating a single tax. He also wrote for 'Australian Worker' and other papers. Journalist when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. He founded the tax reform group in Forbes in 1887 and joined the Single Tax League in Sydney in 1889. Was active in the Liberal Association in 1889. Represented Wagga Wagga shearers on the Trades and Labor Council in 1890. Was a member of the Labour Defence Committee during the 1890 maritime strike. He was on the Royal Commission inquiring into the strike in 1890-1891. He was a pacifist.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Son of Richard, a grocer, and Esther Ann, nee Payne. Married Evangeline Mary Geake Lake on 1 January 1883 in Forbes, New South Wales and had issue 3 sons and 3 daughters. Methodist.
Additional Information
References: Australian Dictionary of Biography, volume eight; Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales 1856-1901 Civilizing Capitalism: The Labour Movement in New South Wales 1870-1900, p41. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: Francis Cotton - invitations to Australian Commonwealth Celebrations, 1901 (MLMSS 2509X)