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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Mr John Baker


Full Name John Baker
Date of Birth 28 Dec 1813
Prior EmploymentPastoralist
Part-proprietor whaling station at Encounter Bay 1843-46
Public ActivitiesLike many of the prominent politicians during the early days of South Australian settlement, John Baker was a well educated pastoralist who held vast tracts of grazing country in new found areas throughout South Australia. Baker migrated from England to Van Dieman's Land (now Tasmania) and then settled in South Australia in 1839. His involvement with pastoral interests, livestock development and the early financial industry of the young colony were reflected in his actions as a member for Mount Barker in the period 1851-1856. During development of the colony's new constitution, Baker supported adult male franchise in the elections for the House of Assembly
however, he argued strongly for restricted enfranchisement for electors of the Upper House, believing that full democracy would jeopardise the interests of property owners like himself. Baker's Premiership in 1857 lasted only 12 days, but in that time he was pivotal in creating a compromise system between the Upper and Lower Houses regarding the power to initiate and amend revenue-raising, or "money" bills. A self-interested vote of censure of the government was proposed by Sir Robert Torrens five days after Baker was sworn in as Premier, and the entire ministry stepped down after the vote was passed 24-7. Baker later resigned from politics and was notably involved in determining the site of the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, and also served as trustee on its board. He frequently referred to South Australia as "the best spot on the face of the globe", a comment which reflected his pride in the colony he had helped develop. Baker died in Adelaide in 1872.
Other InformationImage reproduced with permission -
State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B22855
Deceased18 May 1872


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
08 Jul 1851 - 02 Feb 1857Legislative CouncilMount Barker Pre-Party SystemCouncil Expired by Law
09 Mar 1857 - 27 Mar 1861Legislative CouncilThe Province Pre-Party SystemNot Re-elected
07 Aug 1863 - 18 May 1872Legislative CouncilThe Province Pre-Party SystemDeceased


Offices Held

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18 May 1872Former Member

Ministerial Appointment

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21 Aug 1857 - 01 Sep 1857Chief Secretary
21 Aug 1857 - 01 Sep 1857Premier
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