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Former Member Details

Mr William Nicholas WILLIS (1858 - 1922)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 03/08/1858
Place of Birth: Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia
Date of Death: 03/04/1922
Place of Death: London, England
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 13 Feb 1889 16 Jul 1904 15 years 5 months 4 days
Member for Bourke 13 Feb 1889 06 Jun 1891 2 years 3 months 25 days
Member for Bourke 03 Jul 1891 25 Jun 1894 2 years 11 months 23 days
Member for Barwon 17 Jul 1894 05 Jul 1895 11 months 19 days
Member for Barwon 24 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Barwon 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 years 10 months 16 days
Member for Barwon 03 Jul 1901 16 Jul 1904 3 years 14 days
Case of Miss Brenning Committee No.20 03 Jul 1889 23 Jul 1889 21 days
Mr Manning, Chairman of Licensing Bench at Ryde Committee No.7 03 Dec 1889 17 Dec 1889 15 days
Mr Manning, Chairman of Licensing Bench at Ryde Committee No.9 30 Apr 1890 14 Oct 1890 5 months 15 days
Management of the Orange Hospital Committee No.38 21 Oct 1890 19 Dec 1890 1 month 29 days
Mrs Cunynhame, late Superintendent of Macquarie-street Asylum for Infirm and Destitute, Parramatta Committee No.14 25 Aug 1891 17 Sep 1891 24 days
Scottish Australian Mining Company (Limited) Railway Bill Committee No.8 11 Oct 1892 23 Nov 1892 1 month 13 days
City Mutual Life Assurance Company’s (Limited) Enabling Bill Committee No.7 26 May 1896 16 Jun 1896 22 days
The Abattoirs Committee No.8 02 Jun 1896 12 Nov 1896 5 months 11 days
Case of Thomas Buckley – Public Works Department Committee No.33 20 Oct 1896 16 Nov 1896 28 days
Printing Committee No.7 08 Aug 1901 19 Dec 1901 4 months 12 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Pastoralist and perhaps newspaper proprieter. Educated in a denominational school at Mudgee, then briefly at St Mary's School at Sydney. Commenced work at 9 years of age; shop assistant at Dubbo; later was successful as a hawker along the banks of Macquarie, Darling and Bogan Rivers. Entered partnerships opening and managing stores at Girilambone, Nyngan, Mulga and Brewarrina. Partnership dissolved after 9 years. By 1889 was a homestead lessee near Brewarrina; proprieter of Bourke Central Australian. Moved to Sydney when elected to the Legislative Assembly. Became a land agent. Fled to South Africa after a land scandal. Journeyed to London and established a publishing company.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of John Willis, blacksmith, and Margaret Willis. Married Mary Hayes on 25 January 1888 and had issue, 6 daughters and 1 son. Roman Catholic.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), Volume 12. Cyril Pearl, 'Wild Men of Sydney: A Turbulent Era in Australian Social and Political Life' (London, 1958)