Guide to the papers of Members of the New South Wales Parliament, 1856-2006 in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
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Sir Henry Parkes (1815 - 1896)

 

Biographical Note

Sir Henry Parkes (1815-1896), journalist and parliamentarian, was born at Warwickshire, England, youngest child of Thomas Parks and his wife Martha, nee Faulconbridge. After limited formal education Parkes was apprenticed as a bone and ivory turner. In 1836 he married Clarinda Varney and after his business failed Parkes and his wife departed England for Australia in 1839. Parkes took up various manual positions before establishing a business in 1845 as an ivory turner and importer of fancy goods. This business expanded and was in financial difficulty by 1850.

Parkes became involved in literary and political activities in Sydney and contributed articles to journals and newspapers, sometimes under the pseudonym 'Faulconbridge'. In 1850 he was involved in the establishment of the Empire newspaper and was editor-proprietor until 1958 when he was again in financial difficulty and was made bankrupt. In 1861 Parkes travelled to England as an Emigration Commissioner for which he was paid by the government. On his return in 1863 he became an importer but was again made bankrupt in 1870. He wrote and published a number of works and was extremely active in various political organisations.

Parkes was appointed a member of the old Legislative Council (1854-1856) and was elected a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly in the first parliament after responsible government in 1856. He was elected an MLA in the seats of Sydney (City), 1856; Cumberland, 1858; East Sydney, 1859-1861; Kiama, 1864-1870; East Sydney, 1869-1870; Mudgee, 1872; East Sydney, 1872-1877; Canterbury, 1877-1880; East Sydney, 1880-1882; Tenterfield, 1882-1884; Argyle, 1885; and St Leonards, 1885-1895. Parkes was appointed Colonial Secretary (1866-1868) and Premier and Colonial Secretary (1872-1875, 1877, 1878-1883, 1887-1889, 1889-1891). He was Secretary for Lands (1888). Parkes was active in the anti-transportation movement, established the Australian League (1850) and was prominent in the movement for Federation.

Parkes was appointed K.C.M.G. in 1877 and G.C.M.G. in 1888. Parkes first wife Clarinda died in 1888 and in 1889 he married secondly Eleanor Dixon. After her death in 1895 he married thirdly Julia Lynch.[ref:ADB 5]

 

Papers

Title

 Henry Parkes - correspondence, ca.1874-1917
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

FM3/796

Title

 Henry Parkes - letters, 1893-1895
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

MLMSS 579

Title

 Henry Parkes - papers, ca.1538-1895
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

A13-A14, A19, A26, A30, A54-A55, A68, A71

Title

 Parkes family - papers of the Parkes family and related families, 1874-1923
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

MLMSS 2421

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - autograph letter sent to Sir Edmund Barton, 8 June 1893
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

MLDOC 477

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - correspondence, 1873-1889
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

B1476

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - further papers, 1879-1896? with related material, 1850, 1888 and 1916
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

MLMSS 6072

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - letters received from Lord Jersey, 1891-1893
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

MLMSS 6426

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - letters received from Thomas Woolner, 1861-1892
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

A722

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - papers, 1833-1896
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

A 871 - A 1052

Title

 Sir Henry Parkes - papers, 1843-1932
 

Creator

Parkes, Henry, 1815 - 1896
 

Call No.

DLMS 171- 173, DLMSQ 382- 385

Political Service

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Sydney-City 1856-1856
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Cumberland 1858-1858
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

East Sydney 1859-1861
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Kiama 1864-1870
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

East Sydney 1869-1870
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Mudgee 1872-1872
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

East Sydney 1872-1877
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Canterbury 1877-1880
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

East Sydney 1880-1882
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Tenterfield 1882-1884
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

Argyle 1885-1885
 

House

Member of Legislative Assembly

Electorate

St Leonards 1885-1895
 
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