ID 0137

State Government of Tasmania beginning 17 August 1892 - period in office of Premier Dobson, Henry ending on 14 April 1894

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Dobson, Henry
Date of beginning of period in office
17 August 1892
Date of end of period in office
14 April 1894 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Defeat in parliament
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
TAS 19 December 1893Henry DobsonMinisterialistsHenry DobsonMinisterialists

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Defeat in Parliament (Fysh): 'On 11 August 1892 a motion by Dobson calling on Ministers to amend their financial proposals was passed 19-15. Fysh resigned and ... ... advised the Governor to send for Dobson, Leader of the Opposition, and he was commissioned', Hughes and Graham, pp 253-254 (see 'Sources', below).

Defeat in Parliament (Dobson): 'When Dobson's financial measures were rejected by the Legislative Council he obtained a dissolution. The December 1893 elections produced few changes and after one adverse vote during the second reading of the Land Tax Bill Dobson resigned on the ground that he could not carry on the government efficiently, advising the Governor to send again for Fysh. Fysh declined and Braddon, Leader of the Opposition in the House, was then commissioned', Hughes and Graham, p. 254 (see 'Sources', below).

Ministerialists: During the 1890s, the factional politics of previous years began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. But these groupings were still fluid. The term ministerialists is often applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. Hughes and Graham label the Dobson ministry as Conservative (p. 254, see 'Sources', below) but the term reflects the predisposition of the premier rather than a party organization.

For the emergence of political parties in Tasmania, see Patrick Weller, 'Tasmania' in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 355-382 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035), and R P Davis, 'Tasmania', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 389-445, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392).

References: For a description of the style of parliamentary government in this period, see John Reynolds, 'Premiers and Political Leaders', in F C Green (editor), Tasmania: A Century of Responsible Government 1856-1956, pp 115-192, (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, [1956]), and note Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, [1988]).

For a survey of Fysh's career, see E. M. Dollery, 'Dobson, Henry (1841 - 1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, pp 311-312, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), on line at:


'Ministries: Names of the Members of Successive Ministries which have held Office in Tasmania since the inauguration of Responsible Government, together with the Dates of Appointment and Retirement', Journal of House of Assembly, Second Session of the Forty-Fifth Parliament of Tasmania, Anno LIII and LV Eliz II; Session 2 of the 45th Parliament, Volume 251, 2004-2006, (Hobart: Government Printer, Tasmania); and Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700).