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Former Member Details

Mr William Bede DALLEY, QC (1831 - 1888)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 05/07/1831
Place of Birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Date of Death: 28/10/1888
Place of Death: Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 30 Dec 1856 25 Feb 1860 3 years 1 month 27 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 13 May 1861 13 May 1861 1 day Did not take his seat. First (Quinquennial) Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 10 May 1861.
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 16 Oct 1862 19 Nov 1864 2 years 1 month 4 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 11 Aug 1870 19 Sep 1873 3 years 1 month 9 days Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 28 May 1870. Resigned
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 09 Feb 1875 08 Apr 1880 5 years 2 months Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 9 February 1875. Resigned.
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 05 Jan 1883 28 Oct 1888 5 years 9 months 24 days Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 5 January 1883
Member for Sydney (City) 30 Dec 1856 19 Dec 1857 11 months 20 days
Member for Cumberland Boroughs 20 Jan 1858 15 Nov 1858 9 months 27 days
Member for Cumberland Boroughs 24 Nov 1858 11 Apr 1859 4 months 19 days
Member for Windsor 21 Jun 1859 25 Feb 1860 8 months 5 days
Member for Carcoar 16 Oct 1862 19 Nov 1864 2 years 1 month 4 days
Solicitor General 15 Nov 1858 11 Feb 1859 2 months 28 days
Attorney General without a seat in Executive Council 09 Feb 1875 21 Mar 1877 2 years 1 month 13 days
Attorney General 17 Aug 1877 17 Dec 1877 4 months 1 day
Acting Colonial Secretary 07 Oct 1884 11 May 1885 7 months 5 days
Attorney General and Representative of the Government in the Legislative Council 05 Jan 1883 06 Oct 1885 2 years 9 months 2 days
Australian Agricultural Company’s Newcastle Railway Bill Committee No.12 30 Oct 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 19 days
Australian Gas Company’s Light Bill Committee No.16 13 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 6 days Chairman
Late Shipwrecks, Port Jackson Committee No.11 30 Oct 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 19 days
Pyrmont Bridge Company’s Bill Committee No.15 13 Nov 1857 18 Dec 1857 1 month 6 days Chairman
Seizure of Gold Dust on board the “Ethereal” Committee No.18 04 Dec 1857 18 Dec 1857 15 days
St John’s College Bill Committee No.6 26 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 3 months 23 days
Australian Gas Light Company’s Bill Committee No.18 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days Chairman
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.30 23 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 4 days
Pyrmont Bridge Company’s Bill Committee No.19 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Seizure of Gold on board the ‘Ethereal’ and ‘May Nicholson’ Committee No.21 15 Jun 1858 26 Nov 1858 5 months 12 days
Special Return to Writ Committee No.5 31 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 27 days
University of Sydney Committee No.29 20 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 7 days
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.6 17 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 3 months 24 days
University of Sydney Committee No.8 14 Jan 1859 09 Apr 1859 2 months 27 days
Case of James Hibburd Committee No.16 23 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 12 days
Hawkesbury Benevolent Society’s Act Amendment Bill Committee No.35 16 Feb 1860 04 Jul 1860 4 months 19 days
Petition of Mrs Frances Dr Courcy Committee No.25 18 Oct 1859 04 Jul 1860 8 months 17 days
Sydney Grammar School Committee No.6 13 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 9 months 22 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
United Fire and Life Insurance Company’s Incorporation Bill Committee No.41 24 Oct 1862 04 Nov 1862 12 days
Payments made out of Public Funds without Authority of Parliament Committee No.4 26 Jun 1863 18 Aug 1863 1 month 24 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 24 Jun 1863 10 Dec 1863 5 months 17 days
Claim of Robert to Land in Illawarra Committee No.34 16 Feb 1864 11 Mar 1864 25 days
Library Committee No.3 24 Jun 1863 31 Mar 1864 9 months 8 days
Mr James K.Montgomery – Claim for Compensation Committee No.24 15 Sep 1863 22 Apr 1864 7 months 8 days
Library Committee No.3 19 Oct 1864 09 Nov 1864 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 19 Oct 1864 09 Nov 1864 22 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace. Vice - President and Honorary Counsel for the Society for Prevention and Cruelty to Animals. Trustee Public Library. Fellow of St John's College, University of Sydney. Fellow, Senate, University of Sydney. Steward, Australian Jockey Club. Member of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Member of Southern Cross Masonic Lodge.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Lawyer (Barrister). Educated in St. Mary's seminary and Sydney College. Dalley worked as a clerk, articled to F.W. Unwin in 1853 and was admitted to the Bar in July 1856. Returning to New South Wales after visiting England, Ireland and Europe in 1860 he was appointed immigration commissioner with Henry Parkes in 1861 to tour Britain. Returned from touring Britain in 1862 and became a leading criminal lawyer; and was refused elevation to the Supreme Court in 1876, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1877. Editor and part proprietor of Freeman's Journal 1865 and contibuted to many newspapers and magazines on literary and political topics. Financial independence and demand for his services encouraged him to accept only important cases. Dalley could hold his place with any barrister, not only in advocacy but in legal argument, and at his peak he was briefed in many fields of the law.
Military Service
Honours Received
Queens Counsel (QC) in 1877. Privy Councillor (PC) 1886. Memorial statue erected in Hyde Park, Sydney looking down Macquarie Street to the Law Courts and Parliament House. Bust by Simonetti placed in the Legislative Council Chamber in 1886.
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of John Dalley, storekeeper, and his wife Catherine Spillane, who were both transported as convicts. Married Eleanor Jane Long on 15 June 1872 in Darlinghurst and had issue, 3 sons and 2 daughters. He received a substantial legacy from his father in 1871. Roman Catholic, but had a Church of England wedding. Buried in Waverley cemetery.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4