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Former Member Details

Mr John BLACK (1817 - 1879)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 01/12/1817
Place of Birth: St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Date of Death: 03/02/1879
Place of Death: St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 09 Jun 1859 10 Nov 1860 1 year 5 months 2 days
Member for East Sydney 09 Jun 1859 26 Oct 1859 4 months 18 days
Member for East Sydney 08 Nov 1859 10 Nov 1860 1 year 3 days
Secretary of Lands 27 Oct 1859 08 Mar 1860 4 months 11 days
Governor General’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 31 Aug 1859 31 Aug 1859 1 day
Alluvial Lands of the Hunter Committee No.10 16 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 19 days
Case of Charles Wentworth Bucknell Committee No.17 23 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 12 days
Case of James Hibburd Committee No.16 23 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 12 days
Cases of Charles Skerrett Committee No.32 03 Feb 1860 04 Jul 1860 5 months 2 days
Federation of the Australian Colonies Committee No.38 03 Apr 1860 04 Jul 1860 3 months 2 days
Grievances Committee No.26 06 Dec 1859 04 Jul 1860 6 months 29 days
Library Committee No.3 01 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 months 4 days
Maitland Pasturage Reserve Committee No.34 16 Feb 1860 04 Jul 1860 4 months 19 days
Moreton Bay Immigration and Land Company’s Act Amendment Bill Committee No.39 03 Apr 1860 04 Jul 1860 3 months 2 days
Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company’s Incorporation Bill Committee No.13 20 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 15 days
Pitt-street Tramway Bill Committee No.18 29 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 6 days
Seat claimed by James Hoskins, Esquire, Committee No.23 13 Oct 1859 04 Jul 1860 8 months 22 days
Secondary Punishment Committee No.8 14 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 21 days
St Andrew’s College Bill Committee No.24 14 Oct 1859 04 Jul 1860 8 months 21 days
University of Sydney Committee No.5 13 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 22 days
Working of the Sydney Municipal Council Committee No.12 20 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 15 days
Federation of the Australian Colonies Committee No.5 28 Sep 1860 09 Nov 1860 1 month 13 days
Library Committee No.3 27 Sep 1860 09 Nov 1860 1 month 14 days
Moreton Bay Immigration and Land Company’s Act Amendment Bill Committee No.10 12 Oct 1860 09 Nov 1860 29 days
Petition of Mr N.L Kentish Committee No.4 27 Sep 1860 09 Nov 1860 1 month 14 days
Church and School Lands Committee No.15 20 Sep 1859 10 Nov 1860 1 year 1 month 22 days
Dean of St Andrew’s Sydney Committee No.36 17 Feb 1860 10 Nov 1860 8 months 25 days Chairman
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.4 02 Sep 1859 10 Nov 1860 1 year 2 months 9 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Ship broker. Educated at the elementary English School and at the Grammar School, St Andrews. Employed as a ship-broker and commission agent, then entered a lawyer's office and not finding this to his liking became, in 1839 legal adviser to Adam Thom, first recorder of Rupert's Land, Red River Settlement, Canada. Joined the Hudson's Bay Company and became a Commissioned Officer. In 1850 was the chief trader at the Company's factory at Fort Garry. Became a Member of the Red River Settlement's Council and President of the Petty Court in 1851. For some time was a tenant of a farm belonging to John Robertson near Scone. Moved to Sydney in 1857, and became a partner in Mollison & Black, ship-brokers and commission agents, handling the movements of Chinese immigrants. Was Chairman of the Land League (which was pressing for a thorough reform in the administration of the land system) in 1856, at the inception of responsible government for New South Wales; soon after, was asked to stand for Parliament. The aims of the Land League, together with an elective Upper House, railway extension, retrenchment in the government's expenses, reform of the immigration system, and a National system of education, formed the basis of his policies. With James Martin, Henry Parkes and Charles Cowper, was elected for East Sydney on 9 June 1859. Black became Secretary for Lands in William Forster's administration from 27 October 1859 to 8 March 1860. Did not seek re-election after the dissolution of Parliament in November 1860 and returned to Scotland in 1862. Went to Canada again where he was appointed recorder of Rupert's Land until 1870, when the province of Manitoba was created. Was a member of the delegation of Red River settlers to Ottawa in 1870.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of John Black. Married 1845 to the eldest daughter of Alexander Christie, Governor of Red River Settlement, Canada and had no issue. Returned to Britain in 1852, his wife dying at Torquay, Devon, in 1853. Returned to Canada in 1854, migrated to New South Wales, arriving in Sydney in September 1855. Resigned his position and returned to Scotland.
Additional Information
References: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3