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Member Details

Sir Daniel COOPER, Bt (1821 - 1902)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 01/07/1821
Place of Birth: Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, England
Date of Death: 05/06/1902
Place of Death: London, England
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Jun 1849 30 Jun 1851 2 yrs 1 mth An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the Counties of St Vincent and Auckland
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 01 Mar 1855 29 Feb 1856 1 yr 1 day An Elective Member of the first Legislative Council 1843 - 1856 for the Counties of Murray and St Vincent
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 11 Mar 1856 10 Nov 1860 4 yrs 8 mths
Member for Sydney Hamlets 11 Mar 1856 19 Dec 1857 1 yr 9 mths 9 days
Member for Sydney Hamlets 12 Jan 1858 11 Apr 1859 1 yr 3 mths
Member for Paddington 10 Jun 1859 10 Nov 1860 1 yr 5 mths 1 day
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 22 May 1856 31 Jan 1860 3 yrs 8 mths 10 days
The Library Committee No.3 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 mths 7 days Speaker and Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 12 Aug 1857 18 Dec 1857 4 mths 7 days The Speaker and Chairman
The Library Committee No.3 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 mths 2 days The Speaker and Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 25 Mar 1858 26 Nov 1858 8 mths 2 days The Speaker and Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 10 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 4 mths The Speaker and Chairman
Parliamentary Accommodation Committee No.10 17 Mar 1859 09 Apr 1859 24 days
Sydney Insurance Company’s Act Amendment Bill Committee No.33 04 Feb 1860 04 Jul 1860 5 mths 1 day
Standing Orders Committee No.2 01 Sep 1859 04 Jul 1860 10 mths 4 days Chairman
Tanners and Curriers’ Bill Committee No.37 29 Feb 1860 04 Jul 1860 4 mths 6 days
Library Committee No.3 10 Dec 1858 14 Jul 1860 1 yr 7 mths 5 days The Speaker and Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 27 Sep 1860 09 Nov 1860 1 mth 14 days
Library Committee No.3 27 Sep 1860 09 Nov 1860 1 mth 14 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Director of the Sydney Railway Company 1850. Director of the Bank of New South Wales from 1847, President 1855 - 1861. Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1851. Benefactor and member of the Senate of University of Sydney University 1857 - 1861. Renowned philanthropist. Chairman of the London Committee of the Sydney International Exhibition 1881. Commissioner of Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886. Associated with the Royal Colonial Institute. Imperial Federationist.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Merchant. Emigrated to New South Wales with his parents when he was a child. In 1835 he returned to England to complete his education. Upon his return to Sydney in 1843 established extensive commercial interests and accumulated great wealth. In 1853 he also inherited a large fortune from his uncle, Daniel Cooper, the wealthy emancipist merchant. Owned much Sydney property and held extensive runs in the settled and unsettled districts. Cooper was elected the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1856, when he was only thirty-five years old. The task of presiding over the Assembly was a difficult responsibility because the infant Parliament had yet to establish its own set of procedural traditions. Cooper provided much needed direction in the early years of the Assembly both in terms of business brought before of the House and the development of Parliamentary conventions. In 1856 he clashed with Premier Donaldson who attempted to make clerical appointments to the Assembly Office without consulting the Speaker; he eventually persuaded Donaldson to give way. In the same year Cooper came to an understanding with Premier Cowper that the Speaker should have the right to choose clerical staff for the Assembly. However in 1860 Premier Forster made a number of appointments in both the Assembly and Council Offices without informing or even consulting the Presiding Officers. Although Cooper resigned from Office over this principle he obtained a resolution from the Legislative Assembly that Clerks and other officers of the House should be appointed by the Executive only upon the recommendation of the Speaker. He returned to England in 1861, continuing his association with New South Wales by acting as Agent-General on several occasions. Author of 'A Federal British Empire the best defence of the Mother Country and her Colonies', 1880. Estate valued at over £440, 000. The Irish poet Francis Macnamara (1886 - 1946) was a grandson, by his daughter Edith Cooper.
Military Service
Honours Received
Knight Bachelor (KB) 1857; Baronet 1863; Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1880; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) 1888
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Second son of Thomas Cooper, merchant, and his wife Jane Ramsden, daughter of Samuel Ramsden. Married 3 September 1846, Elizabeth Hill, and had issue, 2 sons and 3 daughters.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: Sir Daniel Cooper - papers, 1857 - 1902 (MLMSS 1847); photographs in the PICMAN Database. Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995