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Former Member Details

Mr Thomas BARKER (1799 - 1875)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 25/03/1799
Place of Birth: Soho , London , England
Date of Death: 12/03/1875
Place of Death: Bringelly , New South Wales , Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 06 Apr 1853 29 Feb 1856 2 years 10 months 24 days Non-elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856.
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 10 Apr 1856 19 Dec 1857 1 year 8 months 10 days
Member for Gloucester and Macquarie 10 Apr 1856 19 Dec 1857 1 year 8 months 10 days
Governor General's Opening Speech 23 May 1856 23 May 1856 1 day
Australian General Assurance Company’s Bill Committee No.23 19 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months
Australian Mutual Provident Society’s Bill Committee No.26 12 Dec 1856 18 Mar 1857 3 months 7 days
Australian Trust Company’s Bill Committee No.13 19 Sep 1856 18 Mar 1857 6 months
Customs Department Committee No.15 31 Oct 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 18 days
Railway Terminus and Wharfs at Newcastle Committee No.25 09 Dec 1856 18 Mar 1857 3 months 10 days
Sole Commissioner of Railways Incorporation Bill Committee No.22 19 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months
Governor General’s Opening Speech 11 Aug 1857 11 Aug 1857 1 day
Reclaiming Land, Woolloomooloo Bay Committee 25 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 3 months 24 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Director and president of the Sydney Railway Company; when the company's property was sold to the Government in 1855, he held the honorary appointment of Commissioner for Railways. Director and chairman of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney; founder and Director of the Sydney Exchange Company; Trustee of the Savings Bank of New South Wales; Warden of the council of the Sydney district 1843; Elected to the council of the Australian College 1831; Served on the committee which opposed proposed National School system 1836; member of the Denominational School Board 1848; council member Sydney College; trustee of Sydney Grammar School and Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts; first direct benefactor of Sydney University; a founder of the Sydney Bethel Union; and with his wife, active in the Sydney Female Refuge Society. Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1834.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Flour manufacturer, cloth and wool manufacturer and pastoralist. Educated at private schools in England. Articled by his guardian to the engineer John Dickson, whom he accompanied to New South Wales in 1813, where he worked as an engineer and millwright. In 1826 with John Smith he built a large windmill at Darlinghurst, and soon after a second mill was built. He bought a steam flour mill c.1828. In 1834 he retired from the milling business which he let to his brother James for £2, 000 pa. He travelled extensively overseas from 1837 to 1849. On his return, he re-entered the milling business, which he carried on with his brother as Barker & Company until about 1860. He built a cloth-mill in the late 1840s and started a woollen-mill in 1852, which he sold in 1862, regained in 1870 and re-sold in 1874. Was granted 800 acres at Yass in 1824; by the 1830s he had "three most extensive farms" on the Goulburn plains. In the 1840s he grazed sheep and cattle on the Murrumbidgee; in the 1850s he bought more land in County Argyle.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of James Barker and his wife Mary Shuldham. Married (1) Joanna on 4 June 1823 and had no issue. Married (2) Katherine Heath Gray in 1857, and had issue, 1 son. Church of England.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1. Papers in the University of Sydney Archives - Papers of Thomas Barker (Group P.21). A Guide is available online at the Sydney University Archives website. Portrait in the Great Hall, University of Sydney. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. Thomas Barker - papers 1813-1857 (A5398). 2. Thomas Barker - papers, ca.1828-1873. 3. Thomas Barker - papers re surveying and sale of Scarvell Land Grant overseen by Thomas Barker on behalf of the estate of John Dickson, mainly letters received, 1845-1865 (MLMSS 3294 ADD-ON 1989. Photographs in the PICMAN Database. The Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales owns a silver presentation tray with two matching claret jugs and coasters which were presented to Thomas Barker in 1840. The inscription is: Presented to Thomas Barker, Esquire, of Sydney, New South Wales, by his friends in Edinburgh; in testimony of their esteem for his character, and their admiration of his public usefulness in promoting the welfare of all classes of Scottish emigrants, and the prosperity of the important Colony of New South Wales, 9th April 1840.