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Member Details

Sir Joseph Palmer ABBOTT (1842 - 1901)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 29/09/1842
Place of Birth: Muswellbrook , New South Wales , Australia
Date of Death: 15/09/1901
Place of Death: Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 29 Nov 1880 11 Jun 1901 20 yrs 6 mths 14 days
Member for Gunnedah 29 Nov 1880 23 Nov 1882 1 yr 11 mths 26 days
Member for Gunnedah 20 Dec 1882 05 Jan 1883 17 days
Member for Gunnedah 11 Jan 1883 07 Oct 1885 2 yrs 8 mths 27 days
Member for Gunnedah 19 Oct 1885 26 Jan 1887 1 yr 3 mths 8 days
Member for Wentworth 26 Feb 1887 19 Jan 1889 1 yr 10 mths 25 days
Member for Wentworth 31 Jan 1889 06 Jun 1891 2 yrs 4 mths 7 days
Member for Wentworth 18 Jun 1891 25 Jun 1894 3 yrs 8 days
Member for Wentworth 17 Jul 1894 05 Jul 1895 11 mths 19 days
Member for Wentworth 24 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 11 mths 15 days
Member for Wentworth 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 yrs 10 mths 16 days
Secretary for Mines 05 Jan 1883 06 Oct 1885 2 yrs 9 mths 2 days
Secretary for Lands 07 Oct 1885 21 Dec 1885 2 mths 15 days
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 22 Oct 1890 12 Jun 1900 9 yrs 7 mths 22 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.7 17 Dec 1880 15 Mar 1881 2 mths 27 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 05 Jul 1881 05 Jul 1881 1 day
Institute of Surveyors Incorporation Bill Committee No.17 06 Sep 1881 11 Oct 1881 1 mth 6 days
Borough of Newcastle Leasing and Improving Bill Committee No.23 21 Oct 1881 28 Oct 1881 8 days
Lands granted to the Australian Agricultural Company Committee No.7 08 Jul 1881 13 Dec 1881 5 mths 6 days Chairman
Mrs Clyne’s Conditional Purchase Committee No.6 12 Sep 1882 02 Nov 1882 1 mth 22 days
Albury Gas Company’s Bill Committee No.14 24 Oct 1882 03 Nov 1882 11 days
Mineral Lease at Vegetable Creek Committee No.7 12 Sep 1882 21 Nov 1882 2 mths 10 days Chairman
Great Cobar Copper Mining Company’s Tramway Bill Committee No.28 23 Jan 1884 19 Feb 1884 28 days
Patrick Hannan’s Mining Claim at Temora Committee No.27 20 Dec 1883 02 Jul 1884 6 mths 13 days
Claim of Matthew McIvor to a Tin Mine at Pheasant’s Creek Committee No.42 25 Mar 1884 09 Oct 1884 6 mths 15 days
McIlveen and Clift’s Conditional Purchase Committee No.26 18 Dec 1883 29 Oct 1884 10 mths 12 days
Whaling Road, North Shore Committee No.46 06 May 1884 01 Nov 1884 5 mths 27 days
Road through Mr Polson’s property, Manning River Committee No.53 11 Jul 1884 01 Nov 1884 3 mths 22 days
Point Piper Road Committee No.57 13 Aug 1884 01 Nov 1884 2 mths 20 days
Hay Gas Bill Committee No.16 04 Feb 1886 13 Apr 1886 2 mths 10 days
New South Wales Trustees Executors and Agency Company’s Bill Committee No.19 16 Feb 1886 11 May 1886 2 mths 26 days
Sydney Corporation Act Amendment Bill Committee No.38 14 May 1886 14 May 1886 1 day
Bishopscourt Sale and Leasing Bill Committee No.29 31 Mar 1886 18 May 1886 1 mth 18 days
Mrs Payten’s Estate Leasing Bill Committee No.43 08 Jun 1886 24 Jun 1886 17 days Chairman
Inverell Church of England Lands Sale Bill Committee No.46 11 Jun 1886 06 Jul 1886 26 days Chairman
Privilege-Mr Barbour, MP Committee No.53 22 Jun 1886 22 Jul 1886 1 mth 1 day
Willoughby and Gordon Tramway Bill Committee No.54 13 Jul 1886 03 Aug 1886 22 days
Settled Estates Bill Committee No.39 14 May 1886 03 Sep 1886 3 mths 21 days
Evan McIntosh’s Conditional Purchase at Currabubula Committee No.8 04 Dec 1885 25 Oct 1886 10 mths 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 15 Mar 1887 06 Apr 1887 23 days
Sydney Corporation Act Amendment Bill Committee No.24 19 May 1887 19 May 1887 1 day
Willoughby and Gordon Tramway Bill Committee No.25 19 May 1887 01 Jun 1887 14 days
Hay and Deniliquin Tramway Bill Committee No.26 02 Jun 1887 30 Jun 1887 29 days
North Shore Boroughs Wharves Bill Committee No.29 24 Jun 1887 13 Jul 1887 20 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.6 22 Sep 1887 11 Oct 1887 20 days
North Shore Boroughs Wharves Bill Committee No.7 27 Sep 1887 17 May 1888 7 mths 21 days
Crown Lands Purchases Validation Bill Committee No.9 28 Sep 1887 23 May 1888 7 mths 26 days Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.2 21 Sep 1887 29 May 1888 8 mths 9 days
Mrs Ann Rouse’s Conditional Purchase, parish of Kahibah Committee No.22 25 Oct 1887 06 Jun 1888 7 mths 13 days Chairman
Robert Munford’s Conditional Purchases, parish of Metz Committee No.39 20 Dec 1887 05 Jul 1888 6 mths 16 days
Evan McIntosh’s Conditional Purchase at Currabubula Committee No.11 29 Sep 1887 24 Jul 1888 9 mths 26 days
Claims of Captain Rossi Committee No.13 29 Sep 1887 24 Jul 1888 9 mths 26 days
Teralba Coal mining Reserve Committee No.59 08 Jun 1888 24 Jul 1888 1 mth 17 days
Conditional Purchase of Evan McIntosh, Currabubula Committee No.10 29 Nov 1888 16 Jan 1889 1 mth 19 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 24 Oct 1888 27 Jan 1889 3 mths 4 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 01 Mar 1889 25 Apr 1889 1 mth 28 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 03 Apr 1889 16 May 1889 1 mth 14 days
Illawarra Harbour and Land Corporation Bill Committee No.9 11 Apr 1889 05 Jun 1889 1 mth 26 days
Broken Hill Water Supply Bill Committee No.8 10 Apr 1889 10 Jul 1889 3 mths 1 day
Redhead Coalmine Railway Act Amending Bill Committee No.19 03 Jul 1889 17 Jul 1889 15 days
Conditional Purchases made upon Barratta Run Committee No.3 02 Apr 1889 04 Sep 1889 5 mths 3 days
Silverton Tramway Extension Bill Committee No.16 06 Jun 1889 10 Oct 1889 4 mths 5 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 30 Apr 1890 10 Dec 1889 7 mths 11 days
Conditional Purchases of C.H Thatcher, Forbes Land District Committee No.8 03 Dec 1889 17 Dec 1889 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 27 Nov 1889 21 Dec 1889 25 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 27 Nov 1889 21 Dec 1889 25 days
Conditional Purchases of C.H Thatcher, Forbes Land District Committee No.6 30 Apr 1890 23 Sep 1890 4 mths 25 days
Calaghan’s Conditional Purchases, Braidwood and Queanbeyan Committee No.32 09 Sep 1890 30 Oct 1890 1 mth 22 days
Hay and Deniliquin Tramway Bill Committee No.34 23 Sep 1890 13 Nov 1890 1 mth 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 30 Apr 1890 03 Dec 1890 7 mths 4 days
Library Committee No.3 28 Jul 1891 01 Apr 1892 8 mths 5 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 28 Jul 1891 01 Apr 1892 8 mths 5 days Chairman
Library Committee No.6 05 Oct 1892 18 Oct 1892 14 days
Standing Orders Committee No.5 05 Oct 1892 13 Jun 1893 8 mths 9 days Chairman
Library Committee No.4 27 Sep 1893 08 Dec 1893 2 mths 12 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 27 Sep 1893 08 Dec 1893 2 mths 12 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 27 Sep 1893 08 Dec 1893 2 mths 12 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 23 Jan 1894 05 Jun 1894 4 mths 14 days Chairman
Library Committee No.4 23 Jan 1894 11 Jun 1894 4 mths 20 days
Library Committee No. 3 29 Aug 1894 05 Jul 1895 10 mths 7 days
Standing Orders Committee No. 2 29 Aug 1894 05 Jul 1895 10 mths 7 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 14 May 1896 16 Nov 1896 6 mths 3 days Chairman
Refreshment Committee No.4 28 Apr 1897 10 Dec 1897 7 mths 13 days
Refreshment Committee No. 3 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Library Committee No. 4 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Library. Committee No. 3 20 Aug 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 10 mths 19 days
Standing Orders. Committee No. 2 20 Aug 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 10 mths 19 days
Standing Orders Committee No. 2 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Refreshment Committee No. 5 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 mths 29 days
Library Committee No. 4 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 mths 29 days
Standing Orders Committee No. 3 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 mths 29 days
Library Committee No.2 21 Feb 1899 30 Mar 1899 1 mth 10 days
Standing Orders Committee No.1 21 Feb 1899 30 Mar 1899 1 mth 10 days
Refreshment Committee No.3 21 Feb 1899 30 Mar 1899 1 mth 10 days
Library Committee No.3 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Refreshment Committee No.4 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 08 Aug 1899 23 Dec 1899 4 mths 16 days Chairman
Library Committee No.5 02 Aug 1899 23 Dec 1899 4 mths 22 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 20 Jun 1900 24 Jul 1900 1 mth 5 days
Names for Electorates, Federal Parliament Committee No.17 16 Aug 1900 30 Aug 1900 15 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Member of Union Club; Freemason from 1864; Grand Master United Grand Lodge of New South Wales 1895 - 1899, New South Wales Delegate to Federal Conventions 1891 (where acted as Chairman of Committees) and 1897 - 1898.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Lawyer (solicitor). Educated Church of England school Muswellbrook; John Armstrong's school Redfern; J. R. Huston's Surrey Hills Academy; and the King's School, Parramatta. Articled to his uncle, Robert Palmer Abbott 1858 - 1859 and later to Alexander Dick ; manager of the common law branch of Montagu Consett Stephen's office in 1863; admitted as a solicitor 1865; set up practice with G. Pilcher in West Maitland; soon began practice in Murrundi, specialising in land cases; Commissioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1872; came to Sydney in 1880, founding the law firm of Abbott & Allen.
Military Service
Honours Received
Knighted in 1892; Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1895.1883,
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Elder son of John Kingsmill Abbott, squatter, and Frances Amanda Brady. Married (1) Matilda Elizabeth Macartney in 1873, (died 1880), and they had 1 daughter and 2 sons. Married (2) Edith Solomon in 1883 and had issue, 3 daughters and 1 son. Church of England. His son, Macartney Abbott, was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3 Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. Sir Joseph Palmer Abbott papers, 1873 - 1898 (A3808); 2. Sir Joseph Palmer Abbott - letters received 1885 - 1900 (MLMSS 718); 3. Sir Joseph Palmer Abbott - papers, 1890 - 1898 (MLMSS 2668). Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 Joseph Abbott was born on 29 September 1842 at Muswellbrook in New South Wales. A successful rural solicitor with extensive pastoral interests, he established a strong legal reputation and from 1872 he was a Commissioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales for the Maitland Circuit. He married Matilda Macartney in 1873. She died in 1880 and in 1883 he married Edith Solomon. He had two sons and one daughter with his first wife and one son and three daughter with his second wife. Abbott entered the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Gunnedah in 1880 and despite declining to contest the 1887 election he was re-elected as the Member for Wentworth. From 1883 until 1885 he held the portfolio of Secretary for Mines in the Stuart Ministry and he was Secretary for Lands under George Dibbs in 1885. Although he sat with Dibbs in opposition, he later took an independent stand and distanced himself from the Protectionist faction. As the unofficial head of the Independents in the Lower House, Abbott was considered by many to be a third political leader. Despite narrowly losing the election for Speaker in 1889 he went on to chair the Public Works Committee, concentrating primarily on administrative reform. Abbott was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1890 and rapidly developed a reputation as an authority on parliamentary procedure. He also assumed a firm and dignified control over a hitherto unruly Assembly, making a ruling that members had to rise from their seats, take off their hats and speak clearly and audibly whenever they wished to address the Speaker. He resigned the Speakership in 1900 and retired from Parliament in 1901. As a leading advocate of Federation, Abbott was chosen to be a New South Wales delegate to the Federal Conventions of 1891,1897 and 1898 where he acted as Chairman of Committees. He died on 15 September 1901 at Turramurra in New South Wales.