ID 0356

State Government of Victoria beginning 3 August 1880 - period in office of Premier Berry, Graham ending on 9 July 1881

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

Berry, Graham
Date of beginning of period in office
3 August 1880
Date of end of period in office
9 July 1881 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
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
VIC 14 July 1880James ServiceSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsGraham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 28 February 1880Graham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames ServiceSupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 11 May 1877James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsGraham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independents

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Loss of general election (Service): Beginning of Berry's third period in office; Service introduced his own constitutional reform bill to limit the powers of the Legislative Council. 'When that Bill was narrowly defeated in the Assembly, the governor granted Service a dissolution. The second election in less than five months [held on 14 July 1880] brought Berry perilously close to a majority. Following negotiations with the Catholic leaders, Sir Bryan O'Loghlen and John O'Shanassy, [Berry] resumed the premier's office in August 1880.' Strangio, p.66 (see 'References', below). Berry was commissioned to form a government on 3 August 1880.

Defeat in parliament (Berry): Radical reform measures had lost their support and Berry delayed introducing another constitutional reform bill. When an agreement was finally reached between the Assembly and the Legislative Council in June 1881, some changes to the size, length of term, and franchise for the Council were accepted, but the powers of the Council remained unchanged. Supporters of financial aid for Catholic schools had become dissatisfied with the Berry government, and '... the Berry era closed, his third ministry defeated on a no confidence motion.' Strangio, p.66-67 (see 'References', below). The want of confidence motion was moved by O'Loghlen, and passed 41 to 38 in the early hours of 1 July 1881; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1880-1 Session, vol. 36, 30 June 1881, pp 2918-2919. Berry asked the governor for a dissolution, but was refused and Berry tendered his resignation on 6 July 1881.

References: For a study of the Victorian parliament in this period, see, Wright, ch. 5 (see 'Sources', below), and note the 'Prologue' in Geoffrey Serle, The Rush to be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883-1889, pp 1-13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). Note also, Alfred Deakin, The Crisis in Victorian Politics, 1879-1881: A Personal Retrospect, edited by J A La Nauze and R M Crawford, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1957). A study of Berry's periods in office can be found in Paul Strangio, 'Broken Heads and Flaming Houses: Graham Berry, the Wild Colonial', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 4 (see 'Sources', below); note John Lack, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Service and Gillies: The Grand Coalition Premiers 1883-1890', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 5 (see 'Sources', below). For a survey of Berry's career, see Geoffrey Bartlett, 'Berry, Sir Graham (1822–1904)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), on line here [accessed 3 March 2014].


Parliament of Victoria, One Hundred Years of Responsible Government 1856-1956, (Melbourne: Government Printer, 1957, Parliamentary Paper No. 40 of 1956-58); Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019); Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593). In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.