ID 0307

State Government of Tasmania beginning 4 August 1869 - period in office of Premier Wilson, James Milne ending on 4 November 1872

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

Wilson, James Milne
Date of beginning of period in office
4 August 1869
Date of end of period in office
4 November 1872 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Death of premier 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Support from parliamentary factions and independents
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')

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Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
TAS 5 September 1872James Milne WilsonSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsFrederick Maitland InnesSupport from parliamentary factions and independents
TAS 6 September 1871James Milne WilsonSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames Milne WilsonSupport from parliamentary factions and independents

Previous period in this series for TAS | Next period in this series for TAS


Death of Premier (Dry): Beginning of Wilson's period in office: Premier Dry died in office on 1 August 1869 and Wilson was commissioned as head of new government on 4 August. The two ministers in the House of Assembly during Dry's government, Thomas Daniel Chapman and William Lambert Dobson, accepted commissions for the same ministries in the Wilson government.

Premier in upper house: Wilson accepted his commission as Premier while a member of the Legislative Council. He was the fourth Tasmanian premier to hold the office while a member of the Legislative Council. His Colonial Treasurer, Thomas Daniel Chapman led for the government in the House of Assembly.

Loss of election (Wilson): Wilson's government lost a vote of confidence over taxation measures and Wilson offered to resign as Premier but 'no new government could be formed so an election was required in September 1872', Newman, p. 23 (see 'References', below). The loss of a vote confidence after the election ended Wilson's period in office.

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 Wilson's career, see Neil Smith, 'Wilson, Sir James Milne (1812 - 1880)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, pp 415-416, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1976), 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).