James Martin (Australian politician)

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Sir James Martin

KCB, QC
Justice James Martin.jpg
6th Premier of New South Wales
In office
16 October 1863 2 February 1865
Preceded by Charles Cowper
Succeeded by Charles Cowper
Constituency Tumut (until 1864)
Monaro
In office
22 January 1866 26 October 1868
Preceded by Charles Cowper
Succeeded by John Robertson
Constituency Lachlan
In office
16 December 1870 13 May 1872
Preceded by Charles Cowper
Succeeded by Henry Parkes
Chief Justice of New South Wales
In office
19 November 1873 4 November 1886
Preceded by Sir Alfred Stephen
Succeeded by Sir Julian Salomons
Personal details
Born(1820-05-14)14 May 1820
Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland, UK
Died4 November 1886(1886-11-04) (aged 66)
Potts Point, New South Wales
Resting place Waverley Cemetery
Nationality British

Sir James Martin, KCB, QC (14 May 1820 – 4 November 1886) [1] was three times Premier of New South Wales, and Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1873 to 1886.

Premier of New South Wales head of government for the state of New South Wales, Australia

The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Government of New South Wales follows the Westminster system, with a Parliament of New South Wales acting as the legislature. The Premier is appointed by the Governor of New South Wales, and by modern convention holds office by virtue of his or her ability to command the support of a majority of members of the lower house of Parliament, the Legislative Assembly.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

The Chief Justice of New South Wales is the senior judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the highest-ranking judicial officer in the Australian state of New South Wales. The Chief Justice is both the judicial head of the Supreme Court as well as the administrative head. He or she is responsible for arranging the business of the court and establishing its rules and procedures.

Contents

Early career

Martin was born in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland but emigrated with his parents to Sydney, Australia at the age of one. [1] He was educated at Dame's School, Parramatta and, despite his family's poverty, [2] the Sydney Academy and Sydney College under the tutelage of William Timothy Cape, and left school at the age of 16 to become a reporter.

Midleton Town in Munster, Ireland

Midleton, is a town in south-eastern County Cork, Ireland. It lies some 16 km east of Cork City on the Owenacurra River and the N25 road, which connects Cork to the port of Rosslare. A satellite town of Cork City, Midleton is part of Metropolitan Cork. It is the central hub of business for the East Cork Area.

County Cork County in the Republic of Ireland

County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is the largest and southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city. The Cork County Council is the local authority for the county. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom, Midleton, and Skibbereen. In 2016, the county's population was 542,868, making it the third-most populous county in Ireland. Notable Corkonians include Michael Collins, Jack Lynch, and Sonia O'Sullivan.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

In 1838, Martin published the Australian Sketch Book, a series of character sketches he dedicated to Sydney barrister George Robert Nichols, [3] for whom he was then working as an articled clerk in 1840.

Martin qualified as a solicitor in 1845, and combined his legal career with employment as a newspaper editor and publisher. He married Isabella Long on 20 January 1853 and together they produced 15 children. [2]

Early political career

In February 1848 Martin nominated as a candidate for a by-election for the electorate of Durham in the New South Wales Legislative Council, but withdrew before polling day. In the general election held later in the same year he was a candidate for the electorate of Counties of Cook and Westmoreland, which he won with a margin of 16%. [2] His election however was declared void on the grounds that he did not meet the property qualifications to stand, [4] [5] however he was re-elected unopposed. [6] Martin subsequently sued the Speaker of the Legislative Council, Charles Nicholson and the Sergeant at Arms, William Christie, for trespass for having him removed when there had been no decision of the Electoral Court in accordance with the Electoral Act 1843. [7] The Full Court of the Supreme Court held that under the Electoral Act 1843 it was only the Electoral Court that could determine there was a vacancy and not the Governor. [8]

Durham was an electoral district for the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales, named after Durham County, which lies on the north side of the Hunter River. From 1856 to 1859, it elected three members simultaneously by voters casting three votes with the three leading candidates being elected. It was recreated in 1880, replacing parts of Paterson and Williams, as a single-member electorate. It was abolished in 1920.

New South Wales Legislative Council Upper house of the Parliament of New South Wales

The New South Wales Legislative Council, often referred to as the upper house, is one of the two chambers of the parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales. The other is the Legislative Assembly. Both sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. It is normal for legislation to be first deliberated on and passed by the Legislative Assembly before being considered by the Legislative Council, which acts in the main as a house of review.

The Electoral district of Counties of Cook and Westmoreland, also known as the United Midland Counties of Cook and Westmoreland, was an electorate of the New South Wales Legislative Council at a time when some of its members were elected and the balance were appointed by the Governor.

Martin was an effective legislator but his sharp tongue and intemperate speeches to the House made him few friends among his parliamentary colleagues. His most notable political achievement in his first eight years in office was to initiate the Parliamentary debate that led to the establishment of a branch of the royal mint in Sydney.

In 1856 the partly elected unicameral Legislative Council was abolished and replaced with a new parliament with elected members of the Legislative Assembly and appointed members of the Legislative Council. Martin was elected as one of two members for Cook and Westmoreland. When that electorate was largely replaced by the single member electorate of Hartley, Martin successfully stood for the new four member electorate of East Sydney. He was subsequently the member for Orange, Tumut, Monaro, Lachlan and East Macquarie. [2] In August 1856 he was made Attorney-General of New South Wales in the first ministry of Charles Cowper. The appointment was controversial, as Martin was the first holder of the office who had not been admitted as a barrister. [9] He had to resign his seat as a result of accepting the office, however he was re-elected unopposed. [10] The appointment was brief, as the government was defeated in a no-confidence motion in October 1856 and Martin returned to the backbench.

In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.

New South Wales Legislative Assembly one of the two chambers of the Parliament of New South Wales

The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Cook and Westmoreland was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales in the first and second Parliaments (1856–1859), named after Cook and Westmoreland counties in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon areas. It elected two members simultaneously, with voters casting two votes and the first two candidates being elected. It was largely replaced by Hartley, however both members moved to other electorates, James Martin became the member for East Sydney, while Robert Jamison became the member for Nepean.

Martin was admitted to the bar in 1856 and was made a Queen's Counsel in 1857. [11] He returned as Attorney General in the second Cowper Ministry in September 1857, and was again re-elected unopposed. [12] As Attorney General however, his reputation for intemperate language continued and after a series of conflicts with fellow Ministers he resigned the office in November 1858.

Premier of New South Wales

In October 1863, Martin was asked by the Governor of New South Wales to form a government with a mandate to address rising State deficits and rural unemployment. As Premier and Colonial Secretary Martin promptly introduced measures to reduce immigration and increase tariffs, but was unable to secure Parliamentary support for many of his reforms. With limited achievements to its credit, the government suffered a substantial swing at the 1865 election and Martin stepped down to make way for the return of Charles Cowper.

Cowper was once again defeated in a no-confidence motion in December 1865, and in January 1866 Martin became Premier for the second time as leader of a coalition government with former rival Henry Parkes. His government resigned in October 1868, but he returned to the Premiership for a third and final time between December 1870 and May 1872.

After politics

Martin retired from Parliament in November 1873 and was immediately named to the vacant position of Chief Justice of New South Wales. He held the post for 13 years, despite considerable ill health in later life.

James Martin died at home in Potts Point, Sydney on 4 November 1886 and buried in St Judes churchyard in Randwick, NSW. in 1909 his remains were moved to a new underground vault in the impressive Waverley Cemetery.

Honours

Martin was made a Queen's Counsel in 1857 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1869. [2] Martin Place, a pedestrian mall in the central business district of Sydney was named after him in 1892. 'Lady Martin Beach' a small beach accessible to the public from Wolseley Road, Point Piper, New South Wales is named after his wife, Isabella who resided at nearby Woollahra House.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Mennell, Philip (1892). "Martin, His Honour the Hon. Sir James"  . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co via Wikisource.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sir James Martin [1] (1820–1886)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales . Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  3. Nairn, Bede. "Martin, Sir James (1820–1886)". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  4. "Writ of election". New South Wales Government Gazette (89). 21 June 1849. p. 939. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "Legislative Council: Mr James Martin". The Sydney Morning Herald . 18 June 1849. p. 2. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.
    "Legislative Council: message from the Governor:- Mr James Martin". The Sydney Morning Herald . 20 June 1849. p. 2. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "Cook and Westmoreland election". The Sydney Morning Herald . 14 July 1849. p. 3. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "An Act to provide for the division of the Colony of New South Wales into Electoral Districts and for the Election of Members to serve in the Legislative Council.". Act No. 16 of 23 February 1843 (PDF). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  8. Martin v Nicholson (1850) 1 Legge 618 (PDF) Supreme Court (Full Court) (NSW), per Stephen CJ, Dickinson and Therry JJ.
  9. "Law Officers of the Crown". The Sydney Morning Herald . 9 September 1856. p. 4. Retrieved 30 January 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Representation of Cook and Westmoreland: return of Mr Martin". The Empire . 8 September 1856. p. 2. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  11. "NSW silk appointments". NSW Bar Association. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  12. "Cook and Westmoreland election: re-election of Mr Martin". The Sydney Morning Herald . New South Wales, Australia. 22 September 1857. p. 4. Retrieved 22 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.

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References

 

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Cowper
Premier of New South Wales
1863–1865
Succeeded by
Charles Cowper
Preceded by
Charles Cowper
Premier of New South Wales
1866–1868
Succeeded by
John Robertson
Preceded by
Charles Cowper
Premier of New South Wales
1870–1872
Succeeded by
Henry Parkes
New South Wales Legislative Council
Preceded by
John Panton
Member for Counties of
Cook & Westmoreland

1848–1856
Council replaced by
new Parliament
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New assembly Member for Cook and Westmoreland
1856–1859
Served alongside: Jamison
District largely replaced
by Hartley
New district Member for East Sydney
1859–1860
Served alongside: Black, Cowper/Faucett, Parkes
Succeeded by
John Caldwell
Preceded by
John Peisley
Member for Orange
1862–1863
Succeeded by
Charles Cowper, Jr.
Preceded by
Charles Cowper, Jr.
Member for Tumut
1863–1864
Succeeded by
Charles Cowper, Jr.
Preceded by
Thomas Garrett
Member for Monaro
1864–1865
Succeeded by
William Grahame
Preceded by
John Ryan
Member for Lachlan
1864–1869
Succeeded by
James Watson
Preceded by
Robert Stewart
Member for East Sydney
1869–1872
Served alongside: Buchanan, King, Parkes/Wilson
Succeeded by
John MacIntosh
Preceded by
John Suttor
Member for East Macquarie
1872–1873
Succeeded by
Walter Cooper
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Alfred Stephen
Chief Justice of New South Wales
1873–1886
Succeeded by
Sir Julian Salomons