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Former Member Details

Mr James ASHTON (1864 - 1939)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 08/05/1864
Place of Birth: Ashby near Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Date of Death: 06/08/1939
Place of Death: Double Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 17 Jul 1894 20 Aug 1907 13 years 1 month 4 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 02 Oct 1907 22 Apr 1934 26 years 6 months 21 days Life Appointment under the Constitution Act: Date of Writ of Summons 24 September 1907.
Member for Hay 17 Jul 1894 05 Jul 1895 11 months 19 days Freetrade
Member for Hay 24 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Goulburn 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 years 10 months 16 days Liberal & Reform Party
Member for Goulburn 03 Jul 1901 16 Jul 1904 3 years 14 days
Member for Goulburn 06 Aug 1904 30 Aug 1904 25 days Seat vacated by acceptance of office
Member for Goulburn 06 Sep 1904 20 Aug 1907 2 years 11 months 15 days Nationalist Party
Secretary for Lands 29 Aug 1904 01 Oct 1907 3 years 1 month 3 days
Honorary Minister 02 Oct 1907 25 Jun 1909 1 year 8 months 24 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 28 Aug 1894 28 Aug 1894 1 day
Library Committee No. 3 29 Aug 1894 05 Jul 1895 10 months 7 days
Selection made by Martin Tully Committee No.8 17 Sep 1895 17 Oct 1895 1 month 1 day
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 12 May 1896 12 May 1896 1 day
City and North Sydney Tunnel Roadway Bill Committee No.14 01 Jul 1896 14 Jul 1896 14 days
North Shore Bridge Bill Committee No.13 01 Jul 1896 28 Jul 1896 28 days
Ryan’s Conditional Purchase in the Wagga Wagga Land District Committee No.21 04 Aug 1896 10 Sep 1896 1 month 7 days
City and North Sydney Railway Bill; Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill. North Shore Bridge Bill Committee No.17 21 Jul 1896 21 Oct 1896 3 months 1 day North Shore Bridge Bill Committee apointed 13 August 1896
Annual Leases of Owen McCosker, Cope’s Creek Committee No.16 14 Jul 1896 29 Oct 1896 3 months 16 days
Pitt Town Settlement Committee No.30 06 Oct 1896 12 Nov 1896 1 month 7 days
Library Committee No.3 14 May 1896 16 Nov 1896 6 months 3 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 27 Apr 1897 27 Apr 1897 1 day
Library Committee No.3 28 Apr 1897 10 Dec 1897 7 months 13 days
The Governor's Opening Speech Committee No. 1 21 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 18 days
Library Committee No. 4 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Library. Committee No. 3 20 Aug 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 years 10 months 19 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No. 2 08 Sep 1898 25 Oct 1898 1 month 18 days
Illawarra Harbour and Land Corporation Act Further Amendment Bill Committee No.22 02 Dec 1898 06 Dec 1898 5 days
Borough of Lithgow Validating Bill Committee No.21 01 Dec 1898 08 Dec 1898 8 days
Library Committee No. 4 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 months 29 days
Saywell’s Tramway and Electric Lighting Bill Committee No. 12 18 Sep 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 months 6 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No. 1 17 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 4 months 7 days
Library Committee No.2 21 Feb 1899 30 Mar 1899 1 month 10 days
Library Committee No.3 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Municipal District of Broken Hill Electric Lighting Bill Committee No.9 10 Aug 1899 16 Aug 1899 7 days
Library Committee No.5 02 Aug 1899 10 Oct 1899 2 months 9 days
Action of Mr.Chisholm, Police Magistrate at Wollongong, in the case of Morgan v. Clift Committee No. 22 21 Nov 1899 30 Nov 1899 10 days
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No.16 07 Nov 1899 23 Dec 1899 1 month 17 days
Conditional Purchase of George Humphries Cowled Committee No. 10 03 Jul 1900 26 Jul 1900 24 days
Names for Electorates, Federal Parliament Committee No.17 16 Aug 1900 30 Aug 1900 15 days
Library Committee No.5 20 Jun 1900 28 Nov 1900 5 months 9 days
Dismissal of Mrs. Abraham Shaftesbury Girls Asylum Committee No. 8 03 Jul 1900 01 Dec 1900 4 months 29 days
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No. 9 03 Jul 1900 30 Dec 1900 5 months 28 days
Standing Orders Committee No.5 08 Aug 1901 20 Dec 1901 4 months 13 days
Lease of the Kensington Racecourse Committee No.7 17 Jun 1902 31 Jul 1902 1 month 15 days
Condition of the Blind Workers of the State Committee No.16 09 Sep 1902 20 Dec 1902 3 months 12 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 17 Jun 1902 20 Dec 1902 6 months 4 days
Goulburn Roman Catholic Church Land Sale Bill Committee No.3 01 Jul 1903 30 Jul 1903 1 month Chairman
Murrumbidgee Northern Water Supply and Irrigation Bill Committee No.14 11 Sep 1903 24 Nov 1903 2 months 14 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 01 Jul 1903 01 Dec 1903 5 months 1 day
Standing Orders Committee No.3 21 Sep 1904 09 Nov 1904 1 month 20 days
Coraki Roman Catholic Church Trustees Enabling Bill Committee No.12 29 Nov 1904 06 Dec 1904 8 days
Government Savings Bill Committee No.13 02 Dec 1904 06 Dec 1904 5 days
Diocese of Goulburn Church Land Sale Bill Committee No.13 23 Aug 1905 05 Sep 1905 14 days Chairman
Bread (Amendment) Bill Committee No.17 19 Sep 1905 28 Nov 1905 2 months 10 days
High street Alstonville Closing Bill Committee No.9 18 Sep 1906 23 Sep 1906 6 days
Bread (Amendment) Act Committee No.12 11 Oct 1906 07 Dec 1906 1 month 27 days
Occupation of Land at la Perouse by the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company Committee No.13 22 Nov 1906 13 Dec 1906 22 days
Political Party Activity
Freetrade; Liberal and Reform Party; Nationalist Party.
Community Activity
Senator, Sydney University 1920 until 1924; Chairman of the Commonwealth Board of Inquiry into Federal and State taxation 1920 until 1921; Director of Sydney Hospital 1905 until 1906; Chairman of the Council of the Australian Red Cross Society during World War I.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Grazier; lawyer; businessman. Educated at Sandhurst Grammar School until ten years of age. At the age of ten worked in a printing office. At age 13 moved to Echuca, where he worked on two local newspapers and then moved to Hay where he was a compositor on the Hay Standard for two years. In 1879, Joined Cramsie, Bowden and Company station suppliers. Transferred to the Melbourne branch in 1884 until 1888. Returning to Hay in 1888 purchased a half-share of the Riverine Grazier for £1000. Sold out in 1892 and purchased the Narrandera Argus. Later qualified for the Bar but was not admitted. In 1910, with Sir Samuel McCaughey, Member of the Legislative Council, became a shareholder and director of Coreena Pastoral Company owning Queensland properties. Acted as an attorney and adviser to McCaughey and to the New Zealand and Australia Land Company Limited of Edinburgh. By 1933, acquired properties in New South Wales for his four sons. Became Chairman of the Mutual Life and Citizens Assurance Company 1927 until 1939; Director of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney 1923 until 1938 and Chairman from 1833 until 1838; Director of the Union Trustee Company of Australia Limited , Anthony Hordern and Sons Limited, Scottish Union and National Insurance Company and New South Wales Wool and Produce Company.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of James Ashton, coffee-roaster and later sharebroker, and his wife Mary Ann Kinsman Brittan. Married Helen, on 6 March 1899, and had issue 4 sons. Estate was valued at £23,279. Church of England.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7