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Former Member Details

Sir Charles [1] COWPER, KCMG (1807 - 1875)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 26/04/1807
Place of Birth: Dryford , Lancashire, England
Date of Death: 19/10/1875
Place of Death: London, England
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Jul 1843 20 Jun 1848 4 years 11 months 21 days An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the County of Cumberland
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Aug 1848 01 Feb 1850 1 year 6 months 1 day An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the County of Cumberland
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Sep 1851 29 Feb 1856 4 years 6 months An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the County of Durham
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 09 Mar 1860 29 Nov 1860 8 months 21 days First (Quinquennial) Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 9 March 1860
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 13 Mar 1856 07 Dec 1870 14 years 8 months 25 days
Member for Sydney (City) 13 Mar 1856 26 Aug 1856 5 months 14 days
Member for Sydney (City) 03 Sep 1856 07 Sep 1857 1 year 5 days
Member for Sydney 15 Jan 1858 11 Apr 1859 1 year 2 months 28 days
Member for East Sydney 09 Jun 1859 27 Oct 1859 4 months 19 days
Member for East Sydney 10 Nov 1859 17 Nov 1859 8 days
Member for East Sydney 07 Dec 1860 10 Nov 1864 3 years 11 months 4 days
Member for East Sydney 22 Nov 1864 03 Feb 1865 2 months 13 days
Member for East Sydney 17 Feb 1865 23 Feb 1867 2 years 7 days
Member for Liverpool Plains 23 Dec 1869 11 Jan 1870 20 days
Member for Liverpool Plains 29 Jan 1870 07 Dec 1870 10 months 9 days
Premier 26 Aug 1856 02 Oct 1856 1 month 7 days
Premier 07 Sep 1857 26 Oct 1859 2 years 1 month 20 days
Colonial Secretary 09 Mar 1860 15 Oct 1861 1 year 7 months 7 days
Colonial Secretary 10 Jan 1861 15 Oct 1863 2 years 9 months 6 days
Premier 03 Feb 1865 21 Jan 1866 11 months 19 days
Premier 13 Jan 1870 15 Dec 1870 11 months 3 days
Colonial Secretary 26 Aug 1856 02 Oct 1856 1 month 7 days
Colonial Secretary 07 Sep 1857 26 Oct 1859 2 years 1 month 20 days
Representative of Government in the Legislative Council 09 Mar 1860 29 Nov 1860 8 months 21 days
Premier 10 Jan 1861 15 Oct 1863 2 years 9 months 6 days
Colonial Secretary 13 Jan 1870 15 Dec 1870 11 months 3 days
Additional Ministerial Department Committee No.12 20 Aug 1856 18 Mar 1857 6 months 27 days
Church and School Lands Committee No.11 19 Aug 1856 18 Mar 1857 7 months
Civil Service Superannuation Fund Committee No.19 11 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 8 days
Electric Telegraph Committee No.14 31 Oct 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 18 days
Library Committee No.4 03 Jun 1856 18 Mar 1857 9 months 16 days
Liverpool and London Fire and Life Assurance Company’s Bill Committee No.21 18 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months 1 day
Sole Commissioner of Railways Incorporation Bill Committee No.22 19 Nov 1856 18 Mar 1857 4 months
Standing Order Committee No.3 03 Jun 1856 18 Mar 1857 9 months 16 days
Burwood Tramroad Continuation Act Amendment Bill Committee No.14 03 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 16 days
Pyrmont Bridge Company’s Bill Committee No.15 13 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 6 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
Standing Order Committee 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 months 7 days
The Library Committee 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 months 7 days
Australian Gas Light Company’s Bill Committee No.18 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Murders by the Aborigines on the Dawson River Committee No.22 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days
Pyrmont Bridge Company’s Bill Committee No.19 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 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 Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 months 2 days
The Library Committee No.3 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 months 2 days
Library Committee No.3 10 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 4 months
Parliamentary Accommodation Committee No.10 17 Mar 1859 09 Apr 1859 24 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 10 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 4 months
Library Committee No.3 01 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 months 4 days
Retrenchment in the Public Expenditure Committee No.7 14 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 21 days Chairman, 21 September 1859
Secondary Punishment Committee No.8 14 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 21 days Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 01 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 months 4 days
Claims of the Reverend W.B Clarke Committee No.26 12 Mar 1861 11 May 1861 2 months
Departure of the Governor General Committee No.4 15 Jan 1861 11 May 1861 3 months 27 days Chairman
Library Committee No.3 15 Jan 1861 11 May 1861 3 months 27 days
Public Prisons in Sydney and Cumberland Committee No.8 23 Jan 1861 11 May 1861 3 months 19 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 15 Jan 1861 11 May 1861 3 months 27 days
Mr Francis Flanagan Committee No.21 10 Dec 1861 20 Jan 1862 1 month 11 days
Commercial Banking Company’s Act Amendment Bill No.14 11 Aug 1863 14 Aug 1863 4 days
Claims of Tenants of the Crown Committee No.35 15 Mar 1864 20 Apr 1864 1 month 6 days
Church of England Property Management Bill Committee No.8 16 Aug 1866 30 Aug 1866 15 days Chairman
Bishopric of Goulburn Lands Investment Bill Committee No.16 11 Oct 1866 17 Oct 1866 7 days Chairman
Reserve, Lavender Bay Committee No.6 31 Jul 1866 23 Oct 1866 2 months 23 days
Exchange of Land Scots Church Sydney Legalizing Bill Committee No.15 10 Oct 1866 31 Oct 1866 22 days Chairman
Alleged Irregularity in Registration of a Deed Committee No.17 31 Oct 1866 08 Nov 1866 9 days
Lawson’s Trust Bill Committee No.13 25 Sep 1866 13 Dec 1866 2 months 19 days
Proposed Electoral Alterations Committee No.12 25 Sep 1866 13 Dec 1866 2 months 19 days
Sydney Common Improvement Bill Committee No.23 06 Dec 1866 13 Dec 1866 8 days
Railway from Echuca to Deniliquin Committee No.10 21 Sep 1866 20 Dec 1866 3 months
Shoalhaven Municipality Committee No.22 27 Nov 1866 21 Dec 1866 25 days Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.3 02 Feb 1870 22 Feb 1870 21 days
George Swinnerton Yarnton Committee No.13 01 Mar 1870 23 Mar 1870 23 days
Immigration Committee No.10 22 Feb 1870 13 Apr 1870 1 month 23 days
Sydney Infirmary Committee No.14 01 Mar 1870 22 Apr 1870 1 month 25 days
Mrs Mary Fogg Committee No.18 22 Mar 1870 29 Apr 1870 1 month 8 days
Sale of Liquors Licensing Act Amendment Bill Committee No.21 01 Apr 1870 03 May 1870 1 month 3 days
Water Supply – Sydney and Suburbs Committee No.23 08 Apr 1870 03 May 1870 26 days
Refreshment Room Committee No.4 02 Feb 1870 07 May 1870 3 months 6 days
Petition of Hugh Maguire Committee No.6 18 Aug 1870 07 Oct 1870 1 month 20 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 12 Aug 1870 22 Mar 1871 7 months 11 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 12 Aug 1870 22 Mar 1871 7 months 11 days
Government Printing Office Committee No.9 13 Sep 1870 04 May 1871 7 months 22 days
Library Committee No.2 12 Aug 1870 22 Jun 1871 10 months 11 days
Refreshment Room Committee No.4 12 Aug 1870 22 Jun 1871 10 months 11 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace. Chairman of the New South Wales Association for Preventing the Revival of Transportation in 1850. President of the Australasian League for the Abolition of Transportation in 1851.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Pastoralist. Educated privately. Joined the Commissariat Department at 17. Between the ages of 19 and 26, he was the Secretary of the Church and School Lands Corporation. Acquired extensive areas of land by grant or purchase from 1827 and was a pastoralist from 1833. Was a large rural freeholder in County Argyle and owned town allotment in Goulburn. In 1857, as a tenant of the Crown, he held 19,720 acres in County Argyle (settled districts) and 47,000 acres in County Lachlan (unsettled districts). By 1859, he had sold his squatting interests in unsettled districts. Was first Chairman of the Sydney Tramway and Railway Company and its manager in 1849 - 1853. Was in financial difficulties in the 1860s and joined R. Towns & Company in 1867, investing heavily and unsuccessfully in Queensland pastoral property. (Robert Towns was a member of the Legislative Council from 1856 - 1861 and 1863 - 1873, much the same period that Cowper was a Member of the Legislative Assembly). Agent-General for New South Wales in London, 1871 - 1875.
Military Service
Honours Received
Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1869. Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1871.
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of William Cowper, clergyman, and his wife Hannah Horner. Arrived in Sydney with his parents when his father was appointed assistant chaplain of the colony in 1809. Married Eliza Sutton, daughter of Daniel Sutton of Wivenhoe, Essex, England in 1831 and they had 2 sons (one of whom, Charles Cowper junior (1834 - 1911) was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly) and 4 daughters. Church of England.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. Sir Charles Cowper - correspondence, ca.1850 - 1874 (A676, A677, A678); photographs in the PICMAN Database. 2. Cowper family - papers, 1831 - 1892 (MLMSS786). The silver salver presented to Cowper by the shareholders of the Sydney Railway Company in 1855 was presented to the Parliament of New South Wales by Sir Norman Cowper, Sir Charles Cowper's great-grandson, on 30 July 1985. The matching candelabrum was purchased by the Powerhouse Museum in 2003 (registration number 2003/195/1). David Clune and Ken Turner (Editors), The Premiers of New South Wales: Volume 1 - 1856 - 1901, The Federation Press, Sydney, 2006 [Chapter 2: "Cowper, Charles", by Allan Powell, p. 35]