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Member Details

Sir George Wigram ALLEN (1824 - 1885)

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Date of Birth: 16/05/1824
Place of Birth: Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Date of Death: 23/07/1885
Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 06 Jun 1860 13 May 1861 11 mths 8 days First (Quinquennial) Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 25 May 1860.
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 11 Dec 1869 14 Aug 1883 13 yrs 8 mths 4 days
Member for Glebe 11 Dec 1869 03 Feb 1872 2 yrs 1 mth 24 days
Member for Glebe 19 Dec 1872 09 Dec 1873 11 mths 21 days
Member for Glebe 17 Dec 1873 28 Nov 1874 11 mths 12 days
Member for Glebe 11 Dec 1874 12 Oct 1877 2 yrs 10 mths 2 days
Member for Glebe 29 Oct 1877 09 Nov 1880 3 yrs 12 days
Member for Glebe 18 Nov 1880 26 Nov 1882 2 yrs 9 days
Member for Glebe 01 Dec 1882 14 Aug 1883 8 mths 15 days
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction 09 Dec 1873 08 Feb 1875 1 yr 2 mths
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 23 Mar 1875 23 Nov 1882 7 yrs 8 mths 1 day
George Swinnerton Yarnton Committee No.13 01 Mar 1870 23 Mar 1870 23 days
Public Vehicles and Boats Committee No.6 08 Feb 1870 29 Apr 1870 2 mths 22 days
Water Supply – Sydney and Suburbs Committee No.23 08 Apr 1870 03 May 1870 26 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.5 11 Aug 1870 03 Nov 1870 2 mths 24 days
Camperdown Cemetery Trust Bill Committee No.17 21 Feb 1871 02 Mar 1871 10 days
St Andrew’s Parsonage Sale Bill Committee No.18 22 Feb 1871 07 Mar 1871 14 days Chairman
Government Printing Office Committee No.9 13 Sep 1870 04 May 1871 7 mths 22 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 14 Nov 1871 14 Nov 1871 1 day
Parramatta Gas Company’s Incorporation Bill Committee No.8 07 Dec 1871 14 Dec 1871 8 days
The Civil Service Committee No.6 21 Nov 1871 01 Feb 1872 2 mths 12 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.5 14 Nov 1871 01 Feb 1872 2 mths 19 days
Library Committee No.2 15 Nov 1871 01 Feb 1872 2 mths 18 days
Loder’s Estate Bill Committee No.9 08 Dec 1871 01 Feb 1872 1 mth 25 days
Parramatta Gas Company’s Incorporation Bill Committee No.6 14 Jun 1872 20 Jun 1872 7 days
Bathurst Gas Bill Committee No.7 14 Jun 1872 21 Jun 1872 8 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 02 May 1872 10 Jul 1872 2 mths 9 days
Loder’s Estate Bill Committee No.9 25 Jun 1872 11 Jul 1872 17 days
The Petersham Church Grant Bill Committee No.8 20 Jun 1872 25 Jul 1872 1 mth 6 days
The Civil Service Committee No.16 30 Jul 1872 02 Aug 1872 4 days
Library Committee No.3 12 Jun 1872 13 Aug 1872 2 mths 2 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 12 Jun 1872 13 Aug 1872 2 mths 2 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 05 Nov 1872 05 Nov 1872 1 day
Loder’s Estate Bill Committee No.8 14 Nov 1872 12 Dec 1872 29 days
Petersham Church Grant Bill Committee No.9 14 Nov 1872 15 Jan 1873 2 mths 2 days Chairman
Patents Committee No.10 19 Nov 1872 14 Mar 1873 3 mths 24 days
Underwood’s Estate Bill Committee No.21 04 Feb 1873 25 Mar 1873 1 mth 22 days
Wharf Accommodation, Sydney Harbour Committee No.7 13 Nov 1872 24 Apr 1873 5 mths 12 days
Library Committee No.3 06 Nov 1872 25 Apr 1873 5 mths 20 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 05 Nov 1872 25 Apr 1873 5 mths 21 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 06 Nov 1872 25 Apr 1873 5 mths 20 days
The Sydney Museum Committee No.27 24 Feb 1874 18 May 1874 2 mths 25 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.6 11 Sep 1873 24 Jun 1874 9 mths 14 days
Wharf Accommodation, Sydney Harbour Committee No.30 29 Apr 1874 25 Jun 1874 1 mth 28 days
Letter addressed to M.M Rochefort and Grousset Committee No.5 05 Nov 1874 26 Nov 1874 22 days
Library Committee No.2 04 Nov 1874 26 Nov 1874 23 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 04 Nov 1874 26 Nov 1874 23 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 31 Mar 1875 11 Aug 1875 4 mths 12 days Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.3 18 Nov 1875 22 Aug 1876 9 mths 5 days
Library Committee No.2 18 Nov 1875 22 Aug 1876 9 mths 5 days
Refreshment Room No.4 18 Nov 1875 22 Aug 1876 9 mths 5 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 14 Dec 1876 11 Oct 1877 9 mths 28 days
Library Committee No.2 14 Dec 1876 11 Oct 1877 9 mths 28 days
Library Committee No.4 30 Jan 1878 21 May 1878 3 mths 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.5 30 Jan 1878 21 May 1878 3 mths 22 days
Refreshment Room No.6 30 Jan 1878 21 May 1878 3 mths 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 11 Sep 1878 24 Jul 1879 10 mths 14 days
Refreshment Room No.4 11 Sep 1878 24 Jul 1879 10 mths 14 days Chairman
Library Committee No.2 11 Sep 1878 24 Jul 1879 10 mths 14 days
Library Committee No.2 29 Oct 1879 13 Jul 1880 8 mths 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 29 Oct 1879 13 Jul 1880 8 mths 15 days
Refreshment Room No.4 29 Oct 1879 13 Jul 1880 8 mths 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 17 Dec 1880 06 Apr 1881 3 mths 21 days
Library Committee No.2 17 Dec 1880 06 Apr 1881 3 mths 21 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 06 Jul 1881 29 Jul 1881 24 days
Library Committee No.3 06 Jul 1881 20 Dec 1881 5 mths 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 30 Aug 1882 21 Nov 1882 2 mths 23 days
Library Committee No.2 30 Aug 1882 21 Nov 1882 2 mths 23 days
Earnshaw’s Estate Bill Committee No.17 09 Mar 1883 16 Mar 1883 8 days Chairman
Cohen’s Estate Bill Committee No.18 30 Mar 1883 04 Apr 1883 6 days
Library Committee No.2 18 Jan 1883 02 May 1883 3 mths 15 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Commissioner of National Education 1853 - 1867; member Council of Education 1873; trustee Sydney Grammar School 1859; member Sydney University Senate 1878 - 1885; benefactor of educational institutions. Associated with Church Missionary Society and British and Foreign Bible Society; President of latter at death. President of Law Institute of New South Wales 1870. Vice-president of Royal Commissions on international exhibitions Sydney 1879, Melbourne 1880.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Lawyer (solicitor). Educated in W.T. Cape's School and Sydney College. Articled to father 1841; admitted solicitor 1846; partner with father 1847; senior partner when father retired 1855. Director of companies engaged in steam, mining and commercial ventures, insurance firms and building societies, including Bank of New South Wales and Australia Gaslight Company.
Military Service
Honours Received
Knighted 1877; Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1884.
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Alderman of the Municipal Council of The Glebe 1859 - 1877. Mayor 1859 - 1877; first mayor.
Personal
Eldest son of George Allen (a Member of the first Legislative Council to 1856; and a Member of the Legislative Council after Responsible Government), solicitor, and his wife Jane Bowden; Married Marian in July 1851 and had issue, 4 daughters and 6 sons. Wesleyan Methodist . In 1875 income was apparently c. £15,000 p.a. Estate valued at £300,000. His son, Arthur Wigram Allen (1862-1941) was a noted amateur photographer and many of his photographs have been published in 'An Edwardian Summer: Sydney and beyond through the lens of Arthur Wigram Allen' (Sydney 2010).
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3 . Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 George Wigram Allen was born 16 May 1824 at Surry Hills in Sydney, and was the first Australian-born Speaker. After serving as an articled clerk he entered into an extremely successful law partnership with his father, George Allen. He married Marian Boyce in July 1851 and they had six sons and four daughters. Allen's business interests also extended to steam and mining companies as well as insurance firms and building societies. Allen took a particular interest in education not only through his role of Commissioner of National Education from 1853 until 1867, but through his generous donations to several educational institutions. His father, George Allen Senior was appointed to the first Legislative Council in 1845 and was nominated to the new Legislative Council at responsible government in 1856. Like his father, Allen became interested in the political sphere at a relatively young age when he was elected the first Mayor of Glebe in 1859 at the age of thirty-five. He held this office for a period of eighteen years, during which time he also entered the state political arena. He was appointed to the Legislative Council for twelve months in 1860 and he entered the Legislative Assembly as the Member for The Glebe between 1869 and 1882. He was Minister of Justice and Public Instruction between 1873 and 1875. Following the defeat of the first Parkes Ministry in 1875 he was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly by a margin of one vote. Although he immediately resigned due to ballot irregularity, he was re-elected Speaker with a large majority. He remained Speaker until 1882 and in 1877 he was knighted for his services as Speaker. He died on 23 July 1885.