History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Biographies/Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton/Notes

Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton - Transcriptions and notesEdit


Detailed, if anecdotal, biography of Barton up to 1918

NOTABLE CITIZENS. MR. E. C. BARTON Born in Melbourne 66 years ago next December, Mr. Edward Campbell Barton has had a most interesting career in many countries. His mother was a Campbell, and hailed from Ayrshire. His father came to Australia from Dublin to try his hand at mining, but he gave it up, and, having been reared as a lawyer, he entered into partnership with a solicitor in Melbourne. Later he mlgrated to New Zealand. The subject of this sketch was educated at Otago University, where he studied chemistry under Dr. Black, who was a scholarly man. To follow engineering, Mr. Barton left Otago for England, and after spending a period there went across to Germany, entering Karlsruhe University for the purpose of further study. There he sat under such famous men as Sohneke for physics and Lothar Mayer, the chemist. Going on to Heidelberg, he heard the illustrious Bunsen, whose name is known to every lad who has used a Bunsen burner in the "lab." Mr. Barton says that none of the famous German professors lectured to a class of more than six students. Bunsen was in the habit of delivering such a difficult lecture at the opening of the term that all the students, except the selected six, were in despair, and relied for their future chemical knowledge on a popular edition of Bunsen given by his favourite pupil, Birnbaum. Kelvin practised the same method at Glasgow. He believed in driving the mediocrities into another class. In order that he might be able thoroughly to understand the lectures of the German professors, Mr. Barton decided upon arrival in Germany to learn the language by a drastic method. In answer to an advertisement written by the English Consul, Mr. Barton boarded with a family which understood neither English nor French, and he jocularly remarks, "Every meal for a week or two had to be taken with a dictionary in one hand, and a knife and fork in the other." After two months' residence he was able to attend and follow lectures. Upon leaving Germany, Mr. Barton, then a youth, decided to visit America, but land speculation caused him to return to England "stoney broke." As a matter of fact, he crossed the Atlantic as a steerage passenger. He bought over two square miles of Kansas country without knowing anything about the land tax, and, when the bill arrived, it ate up practically all his funds. When he got back to England he was but 22 years of age. Scotland attracted him, and he entered a works which manufactured papermaking and flourmilling machinery. He thence went to London, where he secured work in an electrical business at Woolwich, and it is on record that he was in charge of the first English municipal electrical installation. The town of Godalming decided to light itself electrically, and the power was obtained from the water wheel. The venture was accorded much publicity at the time, and everything worked smoothly until Christmas time when winter rains caused a flood, submerged the water wheel, and left Godalming in darkness. Other interesting experiences kept Mr. Barton a very much occupied man until he made up his mind to return to Australia. He worked in Melbourne, Tasmania, and Gympie, erecting electrical plants, and then went to New Zealand to install electric light in the Dominion Parliament at Wellington. Later he "illuminated" the Queensland Parliament. In 1887 he entered into partnership with a Mr. White and together they ran a 40 h.p. plant in Brisbane. Mr. Barton formed the business into a limited liability company in 1895, making the employees shareholders. The company was called the Brisbane Electric Supply Company. Subsequently the company's title was changed to that of the City Electric Light Company — the name it now.bears — and, in spite of difficulties and vicissitudes, became a very powerful concern. In 1907 politics attracted Mr. Barton, and he won the Brisbane seat for the Kidston party. Nobody was more astonished when the poll was declared. Politics did not seize him, however, and three years later he was in Europe representing Queensland at the Royal Geographical Congress at Geneva. Two years afterwards he arrived in Rome to attend the next congress, but the city was in the grip of cholera, and no congress was held. In 1915 he resigned the position of managing director of the Clty Electric Light Company in order to engage in war work. Going to England, he entered the Imperial arsenal at Woolwich, and was then transferred to the Ministry of Munitions, which was at that time assisting private firms who made high explosives. His duties took him to Rainham munition works, just outside London, on a tour of inspection, when the works blew up. Many of the staff were killed and wounded, but although badly shaken, Mr. Barton was able to resume duty after a spell at Torquay, in Devonshire. While there he received a message from France stating that his son had been killed. He had been badly wounded, but happily, recovered. The Admiralty next claimed Mr. Barton's services at the height of the submarine menace, and, as assistant to Professor J. A. Fleming, he carried out experiments in regard to the use of electrical apparatus for tracing sound through the water. He then took ser-vice with the Admiralty, and was carrying out a speclal mission on the Continent, when the Armistice was signed.[1]

Brief obituary in the Courier Mail for Barton

MR. E. G. C. BARTON DEAD AT 84. Mr. Edward G. C. Barton, 84, "father" of electricity in Australia, died in London on Thursday. The business that he started in Brisbane with the late Mr. White, which developed into the Brisbane Electric Supply Company, and later into the City Electric Light Company, was the first supplier of electric power in any British Dominion. Mr. Barton was born in Victoria, but was educated in New Zealand and Germany. In 1908 he was elected to Parliament as member for Brisbane, but he refused to contest the next election. Some years ago he went to England, and became prominently associated with scientific societies. For 20 years he was president of the British Decimal Association. When he was in Brisbane Mr. Barton was closely associated with Mr. W. M. L'Estrange and the late Mr. E. J. Holmes. One of his early cadets was Mr. W. Arundell, the present chief engineer of the transport department of the Brisbane City Council. He designed and manufactured the equipment for lighting Thargomindah by electricity from an artesian bore. It was the first inland town in Australia lit by electricity.[2]

Brief obituary in the Telegraph for Barton

MR. E. G. C. BARTON DIES IN ENGLAND. Father of electricity in the British Empire, Mr Edward G. C. Barton, died at his home in England on Thursday at the age of 84. His former associates in Brisbane received a cable yesterday. Educated on the continent and in England where he was born, Mr Barton established here the first electric light supply business in the British Empire. In association with the late Mr Cedric White, he established the business in the lane between Queen and Elizabeth Sts., off Creek St. That business developed into the City Electric Light Co. Ltd. Although the late Mr Barton was elected to the Queensland Parliament in 1908 as member for Brisbane, he refused to contest the following election. His bent was more towards scientific matters. He gained a science degree overseas. He lived for a time in Germany and returning to England advocated the adoption of the decimal coinage system. For years he was president of the British Decimal Association. When in Brisbane, the late Mr Barton was associated with Mr W. M. L'Estrange, and one of his early staff members was Mr. W. Arundell, now chief engineer of the City Council's transport department.[3]



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Marriage of Barton's parents

Notices of Births, Marriages, and Deaths must be duly authenticated; and it is particularly necessary that the names of persons and places should be written in a very legible hand. . . . MARRIED. On the 8th inst., by license, by the Rev. Dr. Cairns, at the residence of Townsend McDermott, Esq., George Elliott Barton, late of Dublin, Barrister-at-law, to Jane Crichton, eldest daughter of the Rev. Dr. Campbell, of London.[4]

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Barton's father appointed a director of the Universal Emigration Society

New Advertisements. UNIVERSAL EMIGRATION SOCIETY.— Australian Board of Management. Patrons: Godfrey Howitt, Esq., M.D., F.R.E.B.S. T. M. Tarleton, Esq., U. S. Consul. Trustees: The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Melbourne, John Thomas Smith, Esq., M.L.C.; William Hammill, Esq.; John Hodgson, Esq., M.L.C.; Directors: George Elliott Barton, Esq. David Blair, Esq.; The Rev. Adam Cairns, Esq., D. D.,Treasurer. Otto Theodore Fallenstein, Esq. James Guthrie, Esq.; Adolphus A. F. Haller, Esq. C. Livingston, Esq., M.D. John Macgregor, Esq. Wm. P. Muir, Esq.; B. A. Noltenius, Esq.; John Singleton, Esq., M.D. R. Syme, Esq. John Thomson, Esq. With power to add to their number. Bankers in the Colony of Victoria: Oriental Bank Corporation. Bankers in London: Oriental Bank Corporation. Bankers in Dublin: Bank of Ireland. Bankers in Edinburgh: National Bank of Scotland. There are many persons desirous of bringing out their families, who cannot spare at any one time a sum sufllcient for the purpose, or who are deterred from sending home their money because they cannot ensure its application to the desired purpose. The principal object of this society is to enable the Australian colonists to bring out at first cost, payable by easy weekly or monthly instalments, their friends and families from Europe and America, with superior accommodation and comfort, protected during their passage, and on their arrival, from incivility and extortion. This Society, from the extent of its transactions and enlarged credit, being able to charter its own ships, will secure objects unattainable by private individuals. And as the owners of the ships chartered will be paid in part in England and the remainder on the arrival of the vessels at their destination, the Society can exercise a powerful influence over the comfort and treatment of their passengers. The Society will apply the co-operative principle as follows:— There will be two classes of Passenger Tickets issued to the Shareholders — a First-class and Second class, the members paying for the same by easy weekly or monthly instalments. Any member who can secure to the Society the payment of his instalment, or who shall have paid up two thirds of the entire amount, shall receive his ticket entitling the person named therein (or if on blank, entitling any holder thereof), to a passage to the port in the ticket named, and to be landed with his luggage free of expense. These tickets will be transmitted to England, in duplicate — one copy to the Society's Manager, and the other to the intended passenger, and will entitle the holder to a passage in the priority of the issue of his ticket; the holder having the power to postpone his departure upon certain terms. The Manager in England, on receipt of tickets, shall at once communicate with the passengers, so as to give them timely notice, and shall also furnish printed directions for their assistance in obtaining outfit and such other matters as they shall require. When the passengers are ready for embarkation, the Society will charter a vessel of the first class, having superior accommodation and ventilation, and will bind the owners and captain by strict contract and in heavy penalties to practice civility and gentlemanly demeanor to their passengers. And it shall be the especial care of the Society to prosecute for any breach of the Passengers Act, or other improper conduct on the part of the officers of their ships, The Society shall be managed by a directory of the highest respectability here and in England. The public shall be protected by the enrolment of the Society as a Friendly Society in both places, and the proper application of the funds shall be amply provided for by the Rules, which can be had on application to ADOLPHUS A. F. HALLER, at the Offlces of the Australian Freehold Association, New Buildings, Mechanics' Institution, opposite the office of this paper, where every information will be given. Agents will be appointed throughout the principal Cities of Australia and abroad. Chief Manager for the Australian Colonies, ADOLPHUS A. F. HALLER. 275[5]

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Barton's father's application to be admitted as barrister held over, possiblt related to a proposed cahnge of court rules

SUPREME COURT. OLD COURT. LAST DAY OF TERM. Wednesday, 4th April, 1855. (Before the Full Court.) On their Honors taking their seats at ten o'clock, the list of Crown fines for non-attendance as jurymen was called over, and several were remitted on application. Sundry fines against Mr. Edward Wilson were remitted on a special direction of exemption. GARDENER V. SAWELL. The Court intimated that it would deliver a written judgment in this case. ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS. The following gentlemen were admitted to practise as attorneys and proctors of this honorable Court:— John Joseph McCormick, Alexander Frazer, William Wilfred Wilson, John Bateman Paynter, Stewart Tournay, Charles Rippon, John Stephen Nicholson, William Whimpey King, John McGregor, Allen Frazer, John David Symes, John Millet, Patrick Benjamin Savage, Stanislaus James Barley, John Dean Wells, Edward Rixon, John Marsh Minter, Henry Ellis Campbell. Re admitted: James Wigg Hickling. The following applications were postponed to enable the applicants to comply with the rules of the Court:— Thomas Poole, Robert Vincent, Nathaniel Narcissus Cookman, and William Gibb. ADMISSION OF BARRISTERS. On the motion of Mr. Michie, Mr. Alfred Wyatt, who had been conditionally admitted, was absolutely admitted as a barrister of this honorable Court. The application of Mr. George Elliott Barton was postponed until the first day of next term. RULES OF COURT. Mr. Michie presented to the Court a petition from the managing clerks of attorneys, praying for the relaxation of certain rules of Court respecting the admission of attorneys to practise. The following is a copy of the petition:— "To their Honors, the Judges of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria. "The humble Petition of the undersigned, articled and law clerks of Melbourne and elsewhere, in the colony of Victoria, "Showeth,— That the majority of your petitioners were induced to leave Great Britain under the belief that persons of good character and reputation were enabled to obtain admission as attorneys, solicitors, and proctors of this honorable Court without the necessity of serving articles of clerkship, and merely upon undergoing an examination before examiners appointed for that purpose; together, also, with producing certain certificates of good character, and being resident in the colony for some short period pursuant to the rules hereafter mentioned. "2. That on the 17th September, 1852, certain rules and regulations 'for admission to practise as barristers and as attorneys, solicitors, and proctors of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, of persons not previously admitted as barristers or advocates, or as attorneys, solicitors, or writers to the signet in the Superior Courts of Westminster, Dublin, and Edinburgh,' were laid upon the Legislative Council table by the then Colonial Secretary, and the same afterwards, as your petitioners are informed, became part of the rules of this honorable Court. "3. That such rules do not refer to any other rules of this honorable Court, and require that every person applying to be admitted to practise as a barrister, or as an attorney, solicitor, or proctor in the said Court, not previously admitted as a barrister or advocate, or as an attorney or solicitor, or writer to the signet in any of the Superior Courts of Westminster, Dublin, or Edinburgh, must be a natural born or naturalised British subject, of the full age of twenty one years, of good fame and character; and such person shall, one calendar month before the time when he proposes to submit to be examined, cause to be left with the Secretary of the Board of Examiners for Barristers satisfactory proof thereof, together with a certificate, in the form hereunto annexed; and shall, if required, attend the said board for the purpose of giving further explanation touching the same, and that the certificate referred to by such rule is as follows:— " 'We, the undersigned, hereby certify that we have been acquainted with for (at least twelve months,) and believe him to be a fitting person to apply to be admitted to practise at the bar (or as an attorney, solicitor, and proctor) of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria; we believe that he is a natural born (or naturalised) British subject, of the full age of twentyone years, that he is a person of good fame and character, and not engaged in any trade. Signed Dated, this day of A.D. 1855.' "4. That by the rules now in force it is required that every person not previously admitted to practise as an attorney of any of the Superior Courts of Westminister, Dublin, or writer of the signet of Scotland, shall, before being entitled to apply for admission as an attorney, solicitor, or proctor of this honorable Court, serve under articles of clerkship for the full term of five years. "5. That the majority of your petitioners have been in the profession in Great Britain and elsewhere for a number of years, and are well acquainted with the general practice of the profession, and that the business which is now transacted before your Honors is chiefly transacted by your petitioners, who are managing clerks, and not by the attorneys on record. "6. That under the peculiar condition of the colony, it is a matter of great hardship upon your petitioners, as well as the public at large, that such restrictions as at present exist to the admission of attorneys should remain, or that so long a period of servitude should be required. "7. That the period of five years, as required in this colony, is equivalent to a much longer period of time in other parts of the world. "8. That the rules now in force have been the means of deterring many respectable persons from joining the profession, and operate greatly against persons seeking admission as attorneys, solicitors, or proctors of this honorable Court, in the first instance. " 9. That by the rules now in force it is only required of gentlemen applying for admission to practise as barristers that they shall be resident in the colony during the three years preceding the date of their submission for examination; and your petitioners submit that such period is not in proportion to the time required for service under articles for admission to practise as attorneys. "10. Your petitioners, with great respect to your Honors, submit that any person, upon serving under articles of clerkship for a shorter period than that now required, and producing such certificates of character as your Honors may deem reasonable for the due protection of the Court, would have the same effect as that contemplated by the present rules, and at the same time would tend greatly to benefit the profession and public generally. "Your petitioners therefore humbly pray, that your Honors will be pleased to amend so much and such part of the present rules of this honorable Court as relate to the admission of attorneys, solicitors, and proctors, not previously admitted in any of the Superior Courts of England, Ireland, or Scotland, to lessen the period of service required for admission under articles of clerkship, or to make such further or other order as to your Honors may seem meet, and the circumstances of the case may require." Mr. Vaughan, solicitor, reminded Mr. Michie that he (Mr. Michie) had a general retainer from the Law Society as their standing counsel, and that the society would oppose this application. The petition was ordered to lie on the table. . . .[6]

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Barton's father publishes Manual of County Court Practice in Victoria

Literature. . . . READY for Press, Price £1 1s., Manual of County Court Practice in Victoria, with Forms, by George Elliott Barton, barrister-at-law, formerly reporter to the Privy Council in Ireland and sub-editor of the Irish Jurist. The number of copies will be regulated by the subscription-list. Subscribers will please apply before the 14th inst. to the publishers, Messrs. J. J. BLUNDELL and CO., Melbourne. 114 tu wed oct 10[7]

It emerges that Barton's father was duped into becoming a director of the Universal Emigration Society (a fraudulent entity from inception

LEGAL NEWS. COUNTY COURT OF BOURKE. £200 Jurisdiction. DEFENDED CAUSES. Friday, October 12th, 1855. (Before R. W. Pohlman, Esq., Judge, and Assessors.) . . . DOBSON V. BARTON AND ANOTHER. Mr Dawson for the plaintiff; Dr. Mackay for the defendants. This was an action in which the plaintiff claimed three months' salary, at the rate of £25 a month, for his services as clerk and bookkeeper to the "Universal Emigration Society," of which the defendants, Mr G. E. Barton and Dr Singleton, were directors. The defence was, that the society was merely inchoate, and therefore the defendants were not liable. It appeared that in the month of February one Mister Haller, who has since become a stranger in these parts, was a flourishing specimen of the genus projector, a class that have often swindled and afterwards baffled the dupes of the colony. Amongst the other universally philanthropic and amiable projects which this adventurer proposed for his own profit, was the Universal Emigration Society, of which the defendants permitted themselves to be announced as directors, as they believed it to be benevolent in its objects, and that it would be useful in its results to the public. The plaintiff's case was chiefly supported by his own evidence, and this person, a very puppyish sort of youth, ornamented with an eyeglass, and who "my dear sir'd" the learned counsel for the defendants with exquisite self-possession, proved the handwriting of Mr Haller to a paper appointing him (plaintiff) clerk and bookkeeper to the Universal Emigrationists, at a salary of £300 per annum, for one year certain. He also produced the minute-book of the Society, from which it appeared that on the 14th March the directors of the inchoate company had held a meeting. In the minutes of this meeting was an interpolated line running thus, "The manager reported that there were about £100 of preliminary expenses incurred." The defendant, Dr. Singleton, was the chairman of the meeting of the 26th April, which was the next following that of the 11th March. As chairman, Dr Singleton had signed the minutes of the preceding meeting; and it was sought thereby to connect Dr. Singleton with the payment of the preliminary expenses. It appeared also that the Doctor was present at a meeting of the incipient company when Mr Haller was appointed manager; and it was contended for the plaintiff that it was within the scope of the duties of the manager to appoint the clerk and bookkeeper. The plaintiff admitted that the interpolated line was inserted some days after the minutes were entered, but swore that it was written there before Dr Singleton signed the minutes. In cross-examination the plaintiff admitted that he was employed in another of Mr Haller's precious schemes from ten o'clock to four of each day, but considered he earned the £300 a-year claimed in the present plaint by his exertions in the uncanonical hours which precede 10 a.m., and follow 4 p.m. The plaintiff's evidence was given in a very unsatisfactory manner. Dr Mackay addressed the assessors in an energetic speech for the defendants, and contended that it was an impudent claim, based only on the fraudulent interlineation of something about "preliminary expenses" in the minutes, upon which ragged shred of evidence the plaintiff sought to fix a liability on the defendants. He would call Dr Singleton, who would give his explanation of the case. Dr Singleton proved that he became a provisional director of this society at the request of Mr Haller, and with the understanding that he was not to incur any responsibility unless the society was actually formed. It never did come into existence as a society. Mr Haller was appointed manager, and in that capacity witness only looked upon him as an executive officer to carry out the orders of the directors. Never authorised Haller to employ a clerk, and Haller never mentioned that he had employed one. Never heard of the plaintiff until witness received the summons in this present action. Until the society was properly inaugurated, no officers were to be engaged. Mr Dawson made an animated reply, and the learned Judge summed up to the Assessors. The Assessors being asked as to certain issues, gave answers which could only have led to a verdict for the defendants; but nevertheless they found a verdict for the plaintiff, damages £50. They found Haller had no authority to engage the plaintiff for twelve months; that the company was an inchoate company; that Dr Singleton signed the minute; and they estimated their verdict at two months' salary. Two nonsuit points were reserved to the defendants, as well as leave to move for a new trial, on the ground that the verdict was against evidence. BROOKFIELD AND ANOTHER V. CAMPBELL AND OTHERS, Mr Dawson for plaintiffs; Mr Cope for defendants An action brought by Messrs Brookfield and Hanbury, the solicitors, against Dr Campbell and two other gentlemen, directors of the Freehold Home Society, for services rendered as solicitors appointed to the said society. This was another of Mr Haller's enterprising schemes for the benevolent purpose of appointing himself a manager at a large salary, and had ended in loss and confusion to all other parties except the subordinates in the salary line. The defendants resisted the claim, which was for £103 16s. 10d., on the grounds that the defendants were liable only for such of the charges made in the plaintiffs' bill as arose out of their appointment as solicitors to the company. They therefore objected to the charges for attending public meetings which the Manager had called for the purpose of stimulating the public to fresh efforts of gullibility. For the defence, Mr Grant, solicitor, was called, who proved that the charges made for attendances in getting up the company ought not to be charged, unless the plaintiffs attended for the purpose of giving legal advice. It was the custom with solicitors to expect that the future business of the society would remunerate them. Cross-examined by Mr Dawson: I do not claim to be more philanthropic than my neighbors. Yes, I defended the Ballarat rioters. I got nothing for that, nor did you Mr Dawson; you appeared for some of them. I lost money and time both about that. I admit I attended public meetings, and addressed them too, upon that subject, but I did that as a private citizen, I did not charge for my attendance. I have no occasion to do anything of that kind to secure me a connexion. I am well known here almost ever since the colony has been founded. Verdict for the plaintiff, £30 above the sum paid into Court, and costs.[8]

Barton's father finally admitted as a barrister in the Colony of Victoria

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. . . . New Barrister.— At the Supreme Court sittings on Friday last, Mr George Elliott Barton, member of the Irish bar, was admitted to the bar of this colony.[9]

Barton's father auctions his South Yarra property due to imminent removal to Ballarat

Sales by Auction. SATURDAY, 3rd NOVEMBER. Sale of House and Land in Murphy's Paddock, South Yarra. To those in search of a Residence in a Fashionable Locality. A. BLISS and CO. have been favored with instructions from G. E. Barton, Esq. to sell by public auction, on the premises, situate in Murphy's Paddock, opposite the property of Wm. Hammill, Esq., on Saturday, 3rd November, at one o'clock, Without reserve, All that piece or parcel of land being allotment No. 76 on the plan of subdivision of portions 3 and 4 in the parish of Prahran, South Yarra, having a frontage of 50 feet to a road 52 feet 8 inches wide, with a depth of 149 feet 6 inches, having erected thereon an extremely neat and well-built Cottage, containing a lofty sitting-room, 20 feet x 14, with elegant French windows, two bedrooms, together with kitchen detached, fowl-house, and a prettily laid-out garden, well stocked with shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. This property being on an eminence commands a magnificent view, that cannot be built out, of the well-known beautiful scenery for which Murphy's paddock is so much appreciated; in addition to which it affords the facility of reaching town in a quarter of an hour, either by omnibus or steam. On the same day will be sold, A handsome cottage piano, by an eminent London maker, in excellent tone and condition, with piano stool, &c.; an iron bedstead (double), with hangings and mosquito curtains complete; a quantity of splendid oriental china, and other ornaments. Books, basket and other chairs. Wheelbarrow and garden tools. Excellent box of joiners' tools. 50 pieces of deal quartering and flooring boards. Together with a goat within three weeks of kidding. And a quantity of fowls of choice breeds. The whole to be sold Without the least Reserve, on account of Mr. Barton's immediate removal.[10]

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Barton's father's book on County Court practice reviewed favourably

REVIEW. A Manual of the Practice of the County Courts, by George Elliott Barton, Esq., A.B., Barrister-At-Law, inscribed by permission to Roeert Williams Pohlman, Esq., Judge, &c. Blundell and Co., Collins-street west. The author of this little work seems to have spared no pains to make it valuable to the members of the legal profession, and to the merchants and traders of the colony. It will tend to give a certainty and uniformity to the proceedings of these Courts throughout the country; for, coming out as it does, with the sanction of our respected Metropolitan County Court Judge, this book is likely, we apprehend, to become an authority. If the uncertainty of the law hitherto more "glorious" here than perhaps in any other quarter of the British Empire, be thus diminished, much indeed is the public indebted to the author. Were some enterprising gentleman to perform for the Supreme Court the like office as has been performed by Mr. Barton for the County Courts, the public and the profession would be indebted to him. Meantime we recommend Mr. Barton's book to the attention of the lawyers and merchants, and give our best wishes for the success of a production which affords an additional evidence of the progress of the colony.[11]

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Birth of Barton's brother

BIRTH. On the 13th instant, at Park street, South Yarra, Mrs George Elliott Barton of a son.[12]

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Barton's father expounds on the Melville capital case

MELVILLE'S CASE. TO THE EDITOR OF THE AGE. SIR,— Before the points raised in the above case are argued, I wish to state more fully the point I made on Friday, and which I fear was misconceived. The verdict of the jury was — "Guilty: but we are not agreed as to who struck the blow." To warrant a verdict of Guilty, the jury must unanimously agree that sufficient facts have been proved. If Melville's jury could not agree as to what facts had been proved, to what can the "Guilty" refer? To constitute murder in this case, the jury had to find one of two things — either, that Melville killed Owens with his own hand, or that Melville was present in the boat when some other of the escaping convicts murdered him. Had the jury agreed on the one or the other alternative the inference of guilt would be warrantable; for it matters not which be the fact, provided one be the fact; but the twelve jurymen did not find either to be the fact. Now mark this — it is not possible that these two alternatives can coexist. Melville could not both kill Owens, and be present while another person killed him. He either killed Owens or he did not; the jury are divided upon the point: how then can it be said that the twelve men have found either to be the fact? And yet unless the jury come to a unanimous conclusion that the necessary fact is proved, their verdict of "Guilty" is a stultification. The Judge and the profession have I respectfully submit, thrown wide of the point I raise. I admit the prisoner would be equally guilty whether he were principal or accessory; but he cannot be both, and the jury is not unanimous in finding him either. Though either would amount to murder, and is equally punishable with death, the crimes are distinct. Had the punishment assigned by law for the one been different from that assigned for the other, what sentence could the judge have passed? Sir, it is not for the sake of a legal quibble that I troubled the Court or now address the public. If I deemed Melville guilty of this murder, I would leave the matter where it is; but I feel convinced that the act was committed in a moment of frenzy, and followed by the suicide of the murderer; that neither Melville nor any other was privy to it, and that Melville was at the moment tending a wounded comrade. The Crown witnesses were Crown officers, not cool spectators, but excited actors in the scene many of them hundreds of yards away, in the heat of pursuit amid the din and smoke of firearms, and the raging of a storm, and some in the water swimming for their lives. Under such circumstances, what could all these men prove, and yet SOME OF THEM ARE KEPT OUT OF THE WAY LEST THEY SHOULD PROVE TOO MUCH. Is not such evidence at least doubtful? And ought a dubious verdict upon such dubious evidence to stand if it can be legally overset? Society would have no ground of complaint: the acquitted does not go free; he returns to his prison to live out, if he can, his three and thirty years. Will any grudge him so poor a boon? or will the nation bear the blood of a man whom many believe innocent, and whom none have proved guilty? GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. Temple Court.[13]

1856 12Edit

Barton's father attends public meeting concerning treatment of convicts, moves a motion and is appointed to a committe to gather evidence and report further

THE WILLIAMSTOWN CONVICTS. Last evening a public meeting (convened by the Right Worshipful the Mayor), in compliance with a requisition signed by upwards of fifty citizens) was held at the Mechanics' Institution. The large room was densely crowded, and many persons were unable to obtain admittance. The objects of the meeting were to express a belief that — The majesty of the law, the ends of justice, the interests of humanity, and the honour of the British name are perilled by the contemplated execution of the prisoner Melville, and that the disclosures made during the course of the trial of the treatment of our prisoners in the several penal establishments demand an immediate and searching investigation. The Right Worshipful the Mayor occupied the chair. The following resolutions were carried unanimously:— Moved by the Rev. Dr. Cairns, and seconded by the Rev. L. Sheil. That the disclosures made during the recent trials in connection with other information of a similar character, call for an immediate and thorough investigation as to the treatment of prisoners and working of our several penal departments. Moved by Sir G. Stephen, seconded by H. Jennings, Esq., and supported by Dr. Singleton,— That this meeting, while repudiating any wish to embarrass the Executive or interfere with the ordinary administration of justice, believes it to be the duty of a paternal Government, in justice to the convict and the community to which he is to be restored to carry out the sentences passed on prisoners, for the protection of life and property, with a view to their reformation. Moved by G. E. BARTON, Esq., seconded D. BLAIR, Esq. M.L.A. — That this meeting feels gratified at the speedy action taken in this matter by the Legislature, in forming a committee to investigate it. Moved by Mr. LITTLE, and seconded by Lieut. AMSINCK, R.N. — That a committee of the citizens be formed for the purposes of receiving reliable information — preparing statistics and evidence on the subject, and assisting the Legislative committee in the prosecution of their labours. Moved by Mr. BURT, and seconded by C. BEAD, Esq., M.L.A. — That the following gentlemen form the committee, with power to add to their number, and adopt measures to convene this meeting (to report progress when they think necessary), which now stands adjourned sine die:— Sir George Stephen; George Elliott Barton, Esq.; Rev. A. Ramsay; William Little, Esq.; Doctor Singleton; Rev. Dr. Shiel; J. Goulson Burt, Esq.; Henry Jennings, Esq.; George Mackay, Esq., L.L.D.; Adam Anderson, Esq.; and Dr. Cairns. Several of the speakers addressed the meeting at some length, and inveighed with great bitterness against the discipline employed in the hulks, and, we are compelled in candour to add, with more earnestness than was warranted by the very slender and unreliable character of the information on which they were proceeding. Dr. SINGLETON, who was the originator of the meeting, quoted from his own statement, furnished to the Argus in the month of September last, relative to the case of Michael Ryan, who had given the following account of himself to the worthy Doctor. "I am a blacksmith by trade. I never robbed or defrauded any man. I arrived in Melbourne three years ago with about £600. I intended to go home to Ireland, but got drunk, and was fined. I did so again and was sentenced at the City Court to six months' imprisonment, and was sent from Melbourne Goal to work with the prisoners at Williamstown. I refused to work — refused to take off my hat when ordered, and used disrespectful language to those in power. For these acts I was sent to the President, hulk, to solitary confinement for two years' additional sentence and loaded with irons of the heaviest kind — fifty pounds weight — where I never saw the sun rise or set for twentynine months. For nine months I wore these irons, when they were exchanged for lighter ones. I was discharged on Thursday, and met in Melbourne some acquaintances with whom I again had drink, and have again brought myself to prison; and now wish to give up drinking altogether, and take the pledge as I once did from Father Mathew." (Groans and sensation.) Dr. SINGLETON stated that he had been in the habit of visiting Pentridge Stockade for the purpose of instructing the prisoners, and the men had got exceedingly fond of him. But after going there for two years he was suddenly stopped by John Price. (Groans.) He had, however, entered into a correspondence with Government about it, and complained of a sneer of the Chief Secretary at his (Dr. Singleton's) sympathy for criminals, which, said Mr. Haines, was indulged at the expense of the good of the rest of the community. This he (Dr. Singleton) had denied and did deny. He believed it would be seen that Melville had not told one tenth of the barbarities practised in the hulks and penal establishments. (Groans and cheers.) The Rev. Mr. SHIEL stated that he had known two prisoners under sentence of death who had said that they would rather go to the gallows than be sent back to their punishment at Norfolk Island. (Allusion had been made to Mr. Price's long experience as a Governor of penal establishments.) Mr.BLAIR made an eloquent speech on the question of sympathy with convicts, and contended that the great evils which had arisen in this department, as in some others, had their origin chiefly in the criminal neglect of public affairs by the citizens. He was much gratified, but not surprised, to see this meeting of the citizens called to express a disapproval of the present system of penal discipline. But they were all more or less to blame individually for not having thought upon the subject before it had forced itself upon them. The free citizens had recently been busy in arranging their political affairs under their new and noble constitution, and had wholly forgotten that the great machine of human life had been going on around them, and that pain and solitude and tyranny had ground these men's hearts to desperation. All had been indifferent except the objects and sufferers by the system. He had foreseen that an outburst would occur, and it had occurred. His attention had been first called to the condition of the men on board the hulks by a Wesleyan minister, who had told such tales of horror of the sufferings endured there that he had never forgotten it. He next noticed the duty of the legislators in regard to this question, and he was happy to see that the Legislature had acted promptly; and he trusted that right and justice and mercy would prevail. Since his attention had been called to the subject, he had found facts on all sides, which presented such a mass of horrors, as convinced him that nothing would be a complete remedy but a total annihilation of the old system, and its absolute reconstruction. In a free country like this it was not to be tolerated that cruelty should be practised on any of God's creatures. It was quite practicable to obtain the most perfect security for life and property, and peace and order, without the practice of cruelty upon criminals. But the parrot cry of "morbid sympathy" with criminals had been raised. Nothing was so easy as to use a parrot cry. It was the refuge of the thoughtless, the bigoted, and the malicious, and the use of it gave him a low estimate of its employer's head and heart. The public had been shocked by the revelations of Melville. He (Mr. Blair) should have been ashamed if the public had not been shocked by what they had read and heard, it was not morbid sympathy which had moved the public mind; but the inborn, eternal, indestructible principle of justice which had animated them, the love of justice, the finest, noblest, grandest instinct of our nature. The outburst of these criminals was natural, and was to have been expected. Wherever despotism exists, there is sure to be an outburst sooner or later, an outburst was the only remedy. Mr. Price had been made absolute in the penal establishments on the strength of his long experience of convict life. But Mr. Price's experience had been gained in two places, where of all others he should never have selected heads of departments in Victoria; he meant Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land. Some people, however who were high in office would wish to treat this as if it were a convict colony. John Price acted upon two maxims — first, that "every prisoner is irreclaimable," and secondly, "the only way to keep them was by excessive severity." (Sensation and cries of "Shame".) He (Mr. Blair) was glad they cried shame on the system of Mr. Price; and he know the public would not tolerate it much longer. (Cheers.) He dwelt feelingly on the condition of men shut out from the light and warmth of the sun in the hulks for many months in the year, and compared man's moral nature with the flowers which required the sun's influence and presence to keep them in beauty and vigour. The public must take care that John Price was called to a rigid account for his conduct. (Hear, Hear.) Lieut. AMSINCK said that three years and a half ago, on an occasion when he visited the hulks, he saw a clergyman on board, and he asked him whether he had any hopes of the reformation of any of the prisoners. The clergyman said only of one. (Sensation) He Lieut. Amsinck immediately said, "You had better tow the ship out into deep water, and sink her." The extreme severity of our punishments was much to be deprecated, such as twelve or fourteen years in the hulks for stealing a horse. But our judicatures were dreadfully severe, from the Supreme Court downwards. Had he been a prisoner there, he should have tried for his liberty, even though he had taken other people's lives away. (Oh, oh.) He did not mean to justify any criminal in doing so, but he knew what he should do himself. He had noticed the appearance of the men on board the hulks, they appeared to be the most stolid, inanimate beings he ever saw in his life. Mr. Birt said that out of the nine Williamstown convicts who were charged with the murder of Owen Owens; seven were under their first conviction. (Sensation.) One was almost a child. (A voice, nineteen years old) He was little more than fourteen years old when he was first sentenced as a vagrant. They were not now to be told this was a penal colony. John Price had himself said he would rather be executed than go for twelve months to the hulks, (Sensation and groans.) So that this John Price actually inflicted upon some men in six years a punishment worse, according to our own reckoning, than six deaths. (Groans.) Dr. SINGLETON related a circumstance which came under his own observation eighteen months ago. He asked a prisoner on the lower deck of one of the hulks how he read his Bible there. The prisoner said that he used to reverse his tub, and by standing on it and holding the book up at the end of his reach he could just get sufficient light upon it. (Murmurs.) Mr. Price said he never yet knew a prisoner to be reformed, and if ever they appeared to be so, it was for a purpose, and was all gammon. He (Dr. Singleton) trusted the public would waken to the performance of their duty in this matter, and condemn the system or the man, whichever was in fault. (Cheers) The meeting was congratulated by the MAYOR on its orderly conduct, and his Worship vacated the chair. A collection was made at the doors to defray expenses.[14]

Barton's father involved in land reform proposals for Victoria

VICTORIAN LAND LEAGUE. At a preliminary meeting, held last evening at Keeley's Hotel, corner of Spring and Lonsdale streets, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:— Moved by Mr J. J. Walsh, and seconded by Mr Thos. Loader:— That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable to form a Victorian Land League; and that a preliminary committee be formed, with power to add to their number, for the purpose of preparing resolutions to be submitted to a public meeting. Moved by Mr Hayden, and seconded by Mr Barton:— That the following gentlemen do form a committee, with power to add to their number:— Dr Mackay, G. E. Burton, J. J. Walsh, W. Gray, T. Loader, W. Keeley, McEwan, Finlay, R. Heales, J. Bonsey, Dodd, Robinson, Page, David Lumsden, and Macminn. Moved by Mr Barton, and seconded by Mr Loader:— That the committee just formed be empowered to Collect information on the land question; and be instructed to communicate with persons who may desirous of giving suggestions with reference to the land question. The following subscriptions were made in the room:— Mr Mackay, £5 5s; Mr Keeley, £3 3s; Mr G. E. Barton, £1 1s; Mr Thos. Loader, £1 1s; Mr Dodds, £1 1s; Mr Chas. Myles, 10s 6d; Mr Daley, 5s. On the motion of Mr Walsh, seconded by Mr Chas. Myles, it was resolved — That Mr Keeley, of the Australasian and Commercial Family Hotel, do act as treasurer. It was announced at the meeting that the Surveyor-General's motions respecting the land question will be brought forward on Thursday week (New Year's Day). The Chairman expressed a hope that the Press throughout the country might be made acquainted with this movement. Mr Loader being called to the chair, the usual vote of thanks was carried in favor of Dr Mackay, and the meeting terminated about ten o'clock, with the understanding that, the present business being merely of a preliminary character, the Press be invited to suppress the speeches which were delivered on this occasion. It was arranged that the committee assemble at Mr Keeley's Hotel tomorrow (this) evening about halfpast seven o'clock.[15]


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Barton continues his involvement with the Victoria Land League

VICTORIA LAND LEAGUE. (To the Editor of the WILLIAMSTOWN CHRONICLE.) SIR,— We are instructed by the Provisional Committee of the Victoria Land League, apointed at a public meeting, held in this city on the 22nd of December, to submit for public consideration the accompanying resolutions, and to invite the people of your district to co-operate in obtaining the Settlement of the Lands of Victoria, under such liberal, comprehensive, and equitable laws, as will enable this country to successively compete with the great Land Market of the United States of America and Canada. We shall be happy to place before the Provisional Committee any suggestions that may be offered from your district upon the Land Question, and shall furnish you with reports of our further proceedings. We have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servants, J. J. WALSH, } Hon. Secs. THOS. LOADER, } Australasian Hotel, Melbourne, 24th December, 1856. LAND LEAGUE.-- An adjourned Meeting of those favorable to the formation of a Land League, to urge on the Legislature the necessity of passing a liberal and comprehensive law for the disposal of the Public Lands of this colony, will be held in the Long Room of Keeley's Hotel, Spring-street, on Monday, 22nd instant, at half-past Seven o'clock p.m. Australasian Hotel, Melbourne, 22nd December,1856. In compliance with the above advertisement, a meeting was held, Geo. Mackay, Esq., L.L.D., in the chair. Moved by Mr. J. J. Walsh, seconded by Mr. Thomas Loader, and carried: 1. "That in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable to form a 'Victorian Land League;' and that a preliminary committee be formed, with power to add to their number, for the purpose of preparing resolutions to be submitted to a public meeting." Moved by H. T. Hayden, seconded by Mr. Barton and carried: 2. "That the following gentlemen do form a committee, with power to add to their number:— COMMITTEE: Dr. Mackay G. E. Barton J. J. Walsh Wilson Gray Michael Heeley, C.C., Thomas Loader, W. Finlay, James McEwan, Richard Heales, H. T. Hayden, R. H. Dodds, J. Bonsey, — Page, W. Robinson Pye, J. T. Macminn, David Lumsden. Moved by Mr. Hayden, seconded by Mr. Myles, and carried: 3. "That. three of the committee form a quorum, and that the committee be reinstructed to meet on tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, at Keeley's Hotel for the dispatch of business." Moved by Mr. Barton, seconded by Mr. Loader, and carried: 4. "That the committee now formed be empowered to receive subscriptions, and be instructed to communicate with persons who may be desirous of giving suggestions with reference to the land question. Moved by Mr. Keeley, seconded by Mr. Barton, and carried: 5. "That Messrs. J. J. Walsh and Thomas Loader do act as Honorary Secretaries." Moved by Mr. Walsh, seconded by B. H. Dodds, and carried: 6. "That Mr. Michael Keeley do act as Treasurer." Moved by Mr. B. H. Dodds, seconded by Mr. Dailey, and carried by acclamation: 7. "That the thanks of the meeting be given to Dr. Mackay, for his conduct in the chair." After three hearty cheers for the Victoria Land League, the meeting was adjourned. Subscriptions were received in the room amounting to £26 5s. At a committee meeting, held on the evening of the 23rd instant, the following resolution, upon the motion of Mr. Loader, seconded by Mr. Barton, was unanimously adopted:— "That the Surveyor-General be requested to defer the consideration of the motion relating to the Land, standing in his name in in the Legislative Assembly, until the people at large have an opportunity of expressing an opinion thereon." The provisional committee and a number of other gentlemen interested in the formation of a victorian Land League met on Saturday in the Australasian Hotel, to discuss the resolutions prepared by subcommittees in pursuance of orders from the provisional committee, and intended for submittal to a public meeting of the inhabitants of Melbourne. Almost all the provisional committee were present, as were also many others, amongst whom was a considerable number of working men and several members of the learned professions. In consequence of an advertisement which named half-past past five o'clock as the hour of meeting, some persons were present at that hour; but as it appeared that the general expectation was that the meeting was to take place at seven o'clock, the gentlemen present adjourned to that hour. At seven o'clock there was a full attendance. In the absence of Dr. Mackay, Mr. McMinn was called to the chair. The different subcommittes brought up the resolutions they had prepared, and after several hours anxious and animated discussion, the following were adopted by a large majority of those present as the resolutions which will be submitted to a public meeting of the inhabitants of the city. "That this meeting, viewing with dissatisfaction the resolutions submitted to the Legislative Assembly as the basis of a bill to consolidate the laws at present in force relating to the public lands of this colony, resolves to form a Victorian Land League, with the object of obtaining by constitutional means a code of land laws at once equitable, comprehensive, and liberal, under which the rights of the people will be secured, and this colony be enabled to compete with the great land markets of the world. "That it is the opinion of this meeting that every citizen of Victoria wishing to become an actual occupier of land should be permitted, without being harassed by forms or delay, to enter at once upon a limited quantity of the public lands (say, not to exceed 160 acres), with perfect freedom of choice over all the unalienated lands of the colony, and that he should obtain this land at the fixed upset price, without auction,whenever the district in which he has settled is brought to public sale; that whenever the district is so brought to public sale and the lands situate in it are thus offered to purchasers for money merely, without conditions of settlement, they should be submitted to public auction; and that all lands not sold at the auction should thenceforth be open for selection at the upset price. "That this meeting disapproves of the proposal to lease the public lands of this colony to the present occupiers of pastoral runs, or to any other persons, considering the waste lands to be the commonage of the people, and that all colonists have equal rights to make use of them for grazing until taken up for agricultural purposes by bona fide settlers. "That the people in the mining districts be requested to forward to this committee their views upon the land question generally, especially as relating to auriferous lands. "That a Melbourne committee of the Victorian Land League be now appointed, with power to add to their number. "That the committee be authorised to correspond with and invite the co-operation of the people in the country and mining districts, and to take evidence and suggestions upon the land question from gentlemen willing to give their information for the benefit of the League, and also to prepare a report showing the best plan of opening the public lands of Victoria, and to submit the same to this meeting upon an early date. "That the Surveyor-General be respectfully requested to defer the consideration of the resolutions relating to the land standing in his name in the Legislative Assembly, until the people at large have an opportunity of expressing an opinion thereon. "That the committee be instructed to prepare petitions for signature by the people, embodying the principles of the foregoing resolutions and to immediately present the same to both Houses of Parliament. "That the committee be empowered to inaugurate and carry our the business of the League, and to receive subscriptions. The sum on one shilling or more to constitute membership." It was further resolved, on the motion of one of the committee, that the resolutions adopted by the provisional committee and others be handed to the reporters for publication, in order that the public be made fully aware of the line of policy that the Victorian Land League has decided upon laying before the people of Melbourne. The meeting was then, in consequence of the lateness of the hour — half-past eleven o'clock — adjourned until seven o'clock on Wednesday evening, at the same place, until which time the honorary secretaries, Messrs. J. J. Walsh and Thomas Loader, were requested to receive any communications addressed to the League.[16]

Barton's father, part of a successful request to Mayor of Melbourne to convene a public meeting re Victoria Land League

VICTORIA LAND LEAGUE. PUBLIC MEETING. To the Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Melbourne. Sir,— We, the undersigned, request that you will call a meeting of the citizens of Melbourne, upon an early day, for the purpose of considering the resolutions of the Government for the leasing of the public lands of Victoria to the present occupants, and of deciding upon the propriety of forming at once a Land League, for the purpose of obtaining a Land Law,— liberal, comprehensive and equitable:— W. Westgarth, J. S. O'Grady, Thomas S. Martin, A. G. McCombe, Otto Neuhauss and Co., James McEwan, James Fowler, John Cosgrave, alderman, John Orr, W. A. De Beake, Wilson Gray, Jas G. Francis, F. Craig Tullett and Watts, Grey street, St. Kilda, W. H. Barlow, Elizabeth street, Thomas Loader, do., J. J. Walsh, do., Crothers and Hackett, Brunswick street, J. J. Bennett, Bourke street, W. M. Scotchmer, Kyte's Buildings, C. R. Swyer, St. Kilda, Samuel Lowe, Collins street, E. O. Marsh, Market street, A. Binhoff, V.C. for Swiss Corporation, P. Graham, J. Down, St. Kilda, Samuel Thorpe, Collins street, H. J. Langdon, St. Kilda, E. W. Doran, Emerald Hill, Arthur Gibson, St. Kilda, Michael Keeley, C.C., James C. Grassie, John Crate, John Hastie, A. Trembath, George Elliott Barton, Henry Hayden, Prahran, A. T. Porter, Collingwood. In compliance with the foregoing requisition, I convene a Public Meeting of the Citizens of Melbourne, at Astley's Amphitheatre, on Wednesday next, the 7th instant, at half-past seven o'clock, for the purpose declared in the said requisition. P. DAVIS, Mayor. Melbourne, 2nd January, 1857. The Right Worshipful the Mayor in the Chair.[17]

Following on from previous

VICTORIA LAND LEAGUE. MEETING AT ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE. The committee of the Victoria Land League having convened a second public meeting of the citizens of Melbourne, about 800 persons assembled together last evening in Astley's Amphitheatre, for the purpose of considering the petition to Parliament drawn up under the direction of the committee, and of examining the land system lately laid before the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce by Mr. Westgarth. Previous to the commencement of the proceedings a handsome silk banner was hoisted on the stage, its appearance being greeted with considerable applause by those present in the body of the theatre. The banner has been designed for the League by one of the committeemen, and is the handiwork of a lady. The following description of it, which we borrow from the columns of a contemporary, is sufficiently accurate:— "The banner is surmounted by a cornice of burnished gold. The ground is pure white, inlaid with golden foliage. In the centre is a blue shield, on which is depicted the Southern Cross constellation, and which is also traversed diagonally, from northeast to southwest, by a streak of lightning, represented by a strip of crimson satin, having the words vox populi emblazoned in the centre. Above the shield is the crest — the sun rising from the sea, with the anchor of Hope embroidered in the centre. Over the crest are the words 'Victoria Land League;' and beneath the shield, in pure gold, the colonial motto,"Advance Australia." The base is ornamented with a rich fringe of gold bullion." Mr. THOMAS FULTON was called to the chair at ten minutes to eight o'clock. He began by regretting that the Government of the colony should have rendered such a meeting necessary in the year 1857. The land system appeared to him to be just where it was. He came there professing himself the stern advocate of taxation upon all unoccupied lands. He was thankful to say that there were many acres yet not lost to the colony; and if the Government would open such lands fairly to the people, the latter might be disposed to bear with them yet. They (the Government) had not had too much work upon their hands, and they were much to blame in leaving the question where it was. He could not endorse the plan of the Surveyor-General, which he further believed was unacceptable to the people at large. He was there to learn and to hear what the League had to say. The members, he believed, did not come there with stereotyped opinions, and were therefore prepared to listen temperately whether to resolutions or amendments. (Hear, hear.) He then called upon Mr. Haydon to read the report. Mr. HAYDON first read a letter from Mrs. Chisholm, sympathising generally with the principles of the League. Another letter was read from Sir George Stephen, also generally concurring in the language of the petition drawn up by the committee, and stating that in some points the writer was prepared to go even beyond it. A third letter was read from Dr. Singleton, approving of the movement as a whole, but expressing an opinion that certain of the details might be improved, upon a careful examination. Mr. Haydon then read a report of the progress made by the committee since the first public meeting. The report announced the circulation of the resolutions and the advocacy of the views of the League by the provincial press generally. Several branch committees were about to be formed in the country districts, and the committee recommended them to the support of the public. The league had received communications from several prominent persons, giving in their adhesion, either in whole or in part, to the views of the resolutions. Mr. Haydon then read the petition to the Legislative Assembly, which was to the following effect: To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the colony of Victoria, in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of the undersigned, inhabitants of Victoria. Respectfully showeth to your honourable House that they view with alarm the series of resolutions introduced into your House by the honourable the Surveyor-General, proposing to lease away to the present occupiers of pastoral runs, and to other persons, all the unalienated public lands of the colony. That your petitioners hoped that, when the public lands were ceded by the Crown, and placed at the disposai of the Legislature, they would be so managed as to give the inhabitants of this colony the full advantage of that abundant choice of soil and situation which constitutes the great benefit and attraction of new country; thus enabling the colony to compete in it's inducements to emigrants with the other great land marts of the world. That the effect of the proposed leases, giving to a few private individuals the right of exclusive occupation over nineteentwentieths of the surface of the colony, and excluding therefrom all the other inhabitants of the country, would be artificially to inflict upon the colony the worst disadvantage of old and overpeopled countries — scarcity of fertile land. . . . Mr. BARTON moved the third resolution, as follows:— 3. That the following gentlemen be appointed a deputation to wait upon his Excellency Sir H. Barkly to present him with a copy of the resolutions, and explain to him the objects of the League,— David Blair Thomas Fulton, Councillor Bowden, Thomas Loader, Wilson Gray, Thomas Spencer Cope, Councillor Keeley, William Schultz, Geo. Elliott Barton, Doctor Mackay, J. J. Walsh, Goulson Burtt, J. A Aldwell, Doctor Milton, Henry Haydon, Wm. J. O'Shea, John O'Grady, — Murphy. Mr. WALSH seconded the resolution, which was carried nom. con. Mr. DODDS moved the adoption of the banner as that of the League. Mr. HAYDON seconded the resolution, which was carried by acclamation. Mr. Councillor KEELEY proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which being appropriately acknowledged, the meeting separated at a late hour.[18]

Barton's father sponsors a farewell to a singer / actress

THEATRE ROYAL. MRS C. YOUNG'S FAREWELL BENEFIT, Monday, January 26th, 1857. Under the distinguished patronage of the Bench and Bar of Melbourne. We, the undersigned, being desirous of testifying our appreciation of the talents of Mrs Charles Young, upon the occasion of her farewell benefit prior to her departure from the colony, do hereby give our support and patronage to her, and to the performance to take place at the Theatre Royal:— The Hon. Sir Wm. A'Beckett, Knight, Chief Justice The Hon. Edw. Eyre Williams, Esq., Puisne Judge Mr Justice Molesworth Archibald Michie, Esq., M.L.A. George Mackay, Esq.; L.L.D. R. D. Ireland, Esq. George Elliott Barton, Esq. H. M. Wright, Esq. Captain Sturt, Esq., J.P. S. T. Freeman, Esq., J.P. The gentlemen of the Bar and members of the Legal Profession. The Entertainment will commence with a beautiful Comedy, in two acts, entitled TIME TRIES ALL! Mr Leeson Mr G. Coppin Matthew Bates Mr R. Younge Hon. A. Collander Yawn Mr Hoskins Mr Clinton Mr Webster Tom Tact Mr C. Young Laura Leeson Mrs C. Young Fanny Fact Miss C. Nelson The Interlude will consist of Dancing by Mde. Strebinger and her Talented Pupil. To be followed by the Laughable Sketch of SCENES IN THE LIFE OF AN UNPROTECTED FEMALE. Polly Crisp Mrs C. Young The whole to conclude with (by desire) A LADIES CLUB! Mrs C. Young in the chair.[19]

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Birth of Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton

BIRTH. On the 11th December, at South Yarra, Mrs. George Elliott Barton of a son.[20]


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Barton's father appointed a provisional director of the Melbourne Permanent Free Old Land and Building Society

THE MELBOURNE PERMANENT FREE OLD LAND and BUILDING SOCIETY. Provisionally Registered. Entrance-Fee, 5s. per Share. Subscription, £1 per Share per Month. Provisional Trustees: Wm. Baker, Esq., Swanston-street. Edward Eades, Esq., M.D., Collins-street. Provisional Directors: Messrs. W. Bates, Bourke-street. " J. Browning, Elizabeth-street. " W. H. Jackson, St. Kilda. " J. Macgregor, Swanston-street. " W. A. Douglas, M.A., South Yarra. " W. H. Bird, St. Kilda. " Benjamin Cowderoy, St. Kilda. " E. England, Curzon-street, North Melbourne. " I. H. Kelson, St. Kilda. " W. Atchison, Swanston-street. " W. A. Brahe, Swanston-street. " Wm. Schultz, Colllns-street. " James W. D. Roche, St. Kilda. " Robertson and Hale, Elizabeth-street. " W. Crellin, Lonsdale-street. " — McGeorge, Queen-street. " J. A. Goode, Collins-street. " Wm. Shaw, (Shaw and Harnett,) Bourke-street. " D. Ross, architect, Elizabeth-street. " Hugh George, Collins-street. " G. E. Barton, Templecourt. " Wm. Crooke, M.D., Brunswick-street. " J. Moody, Town-Clerk, Colllngwood. The objects of this society are — 1. The purchase of land wholesale, to be divided and allotted to members at cost price. 2. The purchase of freehold house property for members. 3. The loaning of money to members at a reasonable interest, repayable by monthly instalments extending over from one to seven years. 4. The profitable investment of monthly savings. Advantages Offered by the Society. 1. You acquire a freehold by small monthly instalments. 2. You invest your monthly savings profitably. 3. You are enabled in time to become your own landlord. 4. You can borrow money on your property for any period from one to seven years. 5. You can redeem your property at any time. 6. You can join the Society at any time without any additional entrance-fee. Public meetings will shortly be held in Melbourne and suburbs, to explain the rules and enrol members. The share-lists are now open, and intending members can enrol their names at the office of the Secretary pro. tem., 81 Collins-street east.[21]

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Barton's father involved in a minor way in an important matter in SA Supreme Court (refer transcription 6 October 1859)

IN the SUPREME COURT of SOUTH AUSTRALIA. — Between GEORGE RICHARDS, Plaintiff, and CHARLES FARQUHAR MACKINNON, Defendant. — Take notice that we, George Elliott Barton and Edward Klingender, the COMMISSIONERS appointed by the Commission issued out of the Supreme Court of South Australia, bearing date the eleventh day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fiftynine, will ATTEND on Thursday, the second day of June next, at the chambers of the said George Elliott Barton, No. 8 Temple-court, in the city of Melbourne, at three o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of TAKING the EXAMINATIONS on interrogatories of William E. Stainbridge and Charles Thomas, two of the witnesses on behalf of the defendant in this cause, pursuant to the said Commission. Dated the 30th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1859. GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. E. KLINGENDER. To the above-named defendant, and James Montgomery, of Melbourne, his agent; and to the above-named plaintiff, and his attorney or agent, and all others concerned.[22]

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Barton's father accepts a petition to run for Parliament for North Melbourne

TO GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Sir,— We the undersigned electors of North Melbourne having watched your long, able, and consistent advocacy of reform in general, but more especially of the principles on which a good land law should be based; feeling also that we can place the most implicit reliance on your honesty and personal worth; beg respectfully to request that you will allow yourself to be placed in NOMINATION as a CANDIDATE to represent our district in the forthcoming reformed PARLIAMENT. And in the event of your compliance, we will feel much pleasure in using our best endeavours to secure your return. JOHN EVERARD, J.P. ROBERT HAYES. JAMES PARKER. F. D. MAHONY. JOHN CHARLES THOMPSON. FREDERICK McGILL. MANUEL D. OLIVERA. And 117 other electors. Gentlemen,— I am grateful to you for the flattering requisition you have sent to me, and shall with pleasure become a candidate for the representation of your district upon the following principles:— First,— With respect to the lands. I unhesitatingly condemn the Ministerial Land Bill, as propounded by Mr. Harker. The opening of two millions of acres as the sole field of selection, while the residue of the colony (upwards of fifty millions) is to continuo under the present infamous system, the patrimony of squatters and land-jobbers — is a scheme which I hope the country will not suffer to ho palmed upon themia of the liberal land law for which they have been kept walting upwards of two years. I am in favour of free selection without auction, for the actual cultivator, over the whole unsold lands, surveyed and unsurveyed, to the extent of 160 acres at a uniform price, not exceeding £1 per acre, with the exception of water frontages and such town and suburban lands as have already obtained an exceptional value. l am in favour of the total abolition of the present pastoral occupancy, and of throwing open the waste lands to any settler who has stock to graze them. Whether stock so departured should be subject to assessment is, I think, an independent question, not touching any principle of a good Land Bill — a question of revenue, to be determined one way or the other upon revenue considerations solely. I am in favour of deferred payments for the actual cultivator. The man who seeks to enter upon the land to raise food ought not to meet with greater obstacles than he who enters to raise gold. The lands are closed to the working-man if opened only on a condition of prompt payment, impossible to be performed but by persons of considerable means. I think that all purchased lands should be taxed, and all purchased lands kept waste should be specially taxed. The Eight-Hours Movement has my warmest sympathy. Labour to exhaustion drives the workman to the use of stimulants; and also, by denying him leisure for mental improvement, tends to make him a mere implement of toil, of less account with those who use him than a horse or a steam-engine. I would abolish the Master and Servant Act. A breach of contract by the employed should not be dealt with as a criminal affair while the breach of contract by the employer is treated only as a civil one. I would undertake to introduce a Lien Bill, giving the operative security for his wages upon the produce of his labour. I find that such a law exists in California, and I believe throughout the whole United States, and is there found to be highly beneficial both to the workman and to the honest contractor. I am in favour of payment of members of Parliament. I believe that the people will be deprived in the coming Parliament of the services of some of their most earnest and able advocates because they are still obliged to select their members from the wealthy, whose sympathies and information are only in rare instances identical with those of the class who are compelled to take them for representatives. I am in favour of a national unsectarian system of education. I am against all State-aid to religion. I have long thought that our legal system needs extensive amendment, and will especially use my exertions to lessen the cost and increase the certainty of legal proceedings, and to cheapen the transfer of real property. I think the tariff ought to be revised. The necessaries of the poorer classes are all heavily taxed, while the superfluities of the rich come in duty free. These, gentlemen, are my principles upon the leading topics of the day. If you approve them, I shall be glad to represent your district in Parliament. I am, Gentlemen, Your obedient servant, GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. 8 Temple-court, August 12, 1859. To John Everard, Esq., and the other gentlemen signing the requisition.[23]

Barton's father speaks to a public meeting for the elections

NORTH MELBOURNE ELECTION. Mr Barton will address the electors of North Melbourne, at the George Hotel, Victoria-street, This Evening, (Wednesday) at 8 o'clock.[24]

Barton's father listed as a nominee for North Melbourne

THE ELECTIONS. The following is a table of Electoral Districts, number of representatives, dates of nomination and polling, with the names of candidates, actual or probable, the latter being distinguished by a mark of interrogation. The table will be corrected from time to time as the candidates declare themselves:— District and No. of Members, Days of Nomination and Polling, Candidates. West Melbourne (2), N. Aug. 20, P, Aug 26, Edward Cohen, R. Caldwell; East Melbourne (2), N. Aug. 20, P, Aug 26, Dr Hunter, P. O. C. O'Farrell, J. T. Smith, J. McCulloch, Sir G. Stephen; North Melbourne (2), N. Aug. 20, P, Aug 26, Patrick Costello, John Sinclair, T. Dickson, John Davies, G. E. Barton . . .[25]

Barton's father speaks to a public meeting for the elections and his committee commences regular meetings

NORTH MELBOURNE ELECTION. Mr Barton will address the electors of North Mel-bourne, at the Parkside Hotel, Flemington road, on This Evening (Friday), at 8 o'clock. NORTH MELBOURNE ELECTION Mr Barton's Committee will meet at seven o'clock daily, as under — For Hotharn and the Royal Park divisions, at George Hotel, Victoria street. For Carlton and the University, at the Canada Hotel, Madeline street.[26]

Barton's father speaks to a public meeting for the elections and his committee commences regular meetings

NORTH MELBOURNE ELECTION Mr Barton will address the electors of North Mel-bourne, at the New Constitution, Lothian street, This Evening (Saturday), at 8 o'clock. NORTH MELBOURNE ELECTION Mr Barton's Committee meet daily, as under — For Hotham and the Royal Park divisions, at George Hotel, Victoria street. For Carlton and the University, at the Canada Hotel, Madeline street.[27]

Barton's father formally nominated for seat of North Melbourne

Mr. Barton addressed a large meeting of the electors of North Melbourne on Saturday evening, at the Constitution Hotel, Lothian-street. He was well received, and a vote of confidence unanimously carried. It is currently reported that a coalition is being effected between Messrs. Davies and Costello, two other candidates for the representation of this constituency. . . . At the nomination for the district of North Melbourne, which took place on Saturday, oppsite the Parkside Hotel, five candidates were duly proposed and seconded; their names being Mr. George Elliott Barton, Mr. Thomas Dickson, Mr. John Sinclair, Mr. John Davies, and Mr. Patrick Costello. The usual preliminaries having been gone through, and each of the aspirants to legislative honours having given a fair exposition of his political principles and intentions, the Returning-Officer (the Mayor) called for a show of hands, which, after some difficulty, was pronounced to be in favour of Mr. Costello and Mr. Sinclair, who were accordingly declared duly elected. A poll, demanded by Mr. Dickson, was accorded, and fixed to take place on Friday next. The proceedings throughout were of the most good-humoured and orderly character, and each of the respective candidates were listened to with patience and approval by the large number of persons who were assembled.[28]

Barton's father gives two speeches in his election campaign

Mr. G. E. Barton addressed his constituents yesterday evening at the North Melbourne Hotel, in Howard-street. The meeting, after having heard a recapitulation of the political views of the candidate, accorded him a unanimous vote of confidence. Mr. Barton then proceeded to the Cavan Hotel, in Queensberry-street, where a large body of the electors were assembled. The meeting was well attended, and a vote in favour of the candidate carried.[29]

A public meeting intended to identify Barton's father as the preferred candidate for the working class dissolves in clamour

Mr Barton addressed a meeting of the electors of North Melbourne yesterday evening, at the Leicester Hotel. Mr Cecil occupied the chair. The candidate, who was warmly received, reviewed once more his political creed, and, after he had answered various questions, the usual resolution was carried. A meeting of the working classes was held in the Lincoln Inn, yesterday evening, at eight o'clock, for the purpose of considering the propriety of selecting a candidate for North Melbourne, capable of advocating their interests in the assembly. Mr Miller occupied the chair. After discussing the merits of the various candidates at some length, Mr G. E. Barton was proposed as the proper person to represent the interests of the working classes. To this an amendment was put, when such a scene of confusion arose that it was almost impossible to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion, the partizans of each of the candidates being apparently desirous of preventing any expression of opinion in favor of any one candidate to the exclusion of the rest. A Mr Gold-smith tried to address the meeting, but the clamor was so great that the chairman was obliged to vacate the chair, and dissolve the meeting.[30]

As previous, greater detail

The "working men" of North Melbourne were convened last evening to a meeting at the Lincoln Inn, Cardigan-street, to decide who, in the absence of a "working candidate," was the best man to represent them in the Assembly. The chair was taken by Mr. R. Miller, the originator of the meeting, who explained that he had had no intention of favouring any candidate in particular. Mr. Baldwin was the first speaker, and he began by enumerating the qualities of each of the gentlemen nominated. In the course of his remarks he was much interrupted by the friends of the various candidates whom he considered as unfit to represent the working-man. He concluded by expressing his conviction that Mr. George Elliott Barton was the only man "to represent labour in its integrity," and moved a resolution to that effect. Mr. Creighton seconded, amid loud groans, and declarations from different individuals in the crowd that the meeting was called "all on one hook." Mr. W. Ivors moved an amendment to the effect that Mr. Barton was not the only gentleman fit to represent the working-men. He thought that however strong Mr. Barton's views in favour of the Eight-hours question might be, other candidates were more sound on the general political questions of the day. Mr. Spray seconded the amendment, and endeavoured to make some remarks, which the meeting declined to hear. Mr. Goldsmith next essayed to move a further amendment, but the meeting refused to hear him or anyone else till the Chairman put the question. The amendment was then carried by a considerable majority; after which Mr. Goldsmith again attempted to state his objection to Mr. Barton's being singled out as the only working-man's friend, but before he could proceed to any length a large majority of those present made so great a noise by hooting and yelling that he was compelled to desist. The Chairman asked the meeting if they would hear anyone; but loud cries of "Adjourn" were the only response, whereupon he declared the meeting dissolved. About 150 persons were present. Mr. Barton met about 100 of the North Melbourne electors at the Leicester Hotel, Leicester street, last evening. He was exceedingly well received, and, Mr. Cecil having been called to the chair, gave a statement of his political views similar to those enunciated by him at previous meetings. On this occasion, however, he added that, in his opinion, squatters in the settled and intermediate districts should be called upon to surrender their rights, while those in the unsettled districts might remain in possession till 1861. In answer to questions, Mr. Barton said he would move for an investigation into the facts revealed in the case of Cummins and others v. Cragg and others, lately tried in the Supreme Court, and also into the whole of the truck system. He would prevent the importation of articles manufactured in American and English prisons, by imposing a tax, and advocate reform in the Upper House by electing its members from the Assembly. Other questions were answered to the satisfaction of the meeting, who, on the motion of Messrs. Bird and Baldwin, decided that Mr. Barton was fit to represent their interests in the Assembly.[31]

Barton's father elected to seat of North Melbourne

THE ELECTIONS. The following is a table of Electoral Districts, number of representatives, dates of nomination and polling, with the names of candidates and members elected, the latter being printed in italic. Those who had the show of hands in their favor are marked with an (*) asterisk. District and No. of Members. Days of Nomination and Polling. Candidates and Members elected. West Melbourne, R. Caldwell, T. Loader; East Melbourne, J. McCulloch, Dr. Hunter; North Melbourne, John Sinclair, G. E. Barton; Emerald Hill, R. S. Anderson; Sandridge, W. Nicholson; Williamstown, George Verdon; Collingwood, — Don, Dr. Embling, G. M. Stephen; . . .[32]

Barton elected in an election which did not favour the incumbents

[BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.] MELBOURNE. [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.] Saturday afternoon. Mr. O'SHANASSY was returned for Kilmore by a majority of upwards of 160 over Maxfield. This makes two only of the members of the Cabinet re-turned — O'Shanassy and G. S. W. Horne, Commis-sioner of Public Works, for Warrnambool. Friday's elections, so far as known, have resulted in 11 for Ministers. 17 against Ministers. 5 doubtful. There are some returns not yet in. North Melbourne (2), J. Sinclair, G. E. Barton . . .[33]

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Summary of SA Supreme Court matter in which Barton's father was involved Richards v. Mackinnon (refer 31 May 1859 transcription)

LAND AND CRIMINAL COURTS. SUPREME COURT.— IN BANCO. Tuesday, October 4. Richards v. Mackinnon. The Attorney-General moved for a rule nisi to show cause why the verdict for the plaintiff should not be set aside and a new trial had, on the grounds that the verdict was against the weight of evidence, and against the direction of the learned Judge who tried the cause, and that the damages were excessive. The learned Attorney referred to the declaration and pleas, and explained to their Honors the facts of the case, which were, that upwards of 15 years ago the plaintiff and his wife entered into the service of the defendant, a sheep and cattle holder, and while so engaged the plaintiff became possessed of some cattle, and his wife had given to her nine ewe lambs, which were allowed to run, as well as the cattle, with the defendant's cattle and sheep. He repeated the whole evidence disclosed at the trial, that on the part of the plaintiff being, that the lambs and their increase were to be taken care of by the defendant for their wool. That the cattle were to be allowed to run, and the plaintiff to have the increase; and that none of the cattle had been sold by the plaintiff to the defendant, and that the plaintiff was entitled to an amount for wages due to his wife. The learned Attorney also repeated the pleas of the defendant: that no agreement was made respecting the lambs; that the cattle had been bought from the defendant and paid for, and that the wages had been paid up. He also spoke upon some other counts and pleas respecting five horses belonging to the plaintiff, two of which had been lost. The learned Attorney said that the Jury had found a verdict for the plaintiff for £893 4s. 6d. damages. With regard to the sheep being the property of the plaintiff, the evidence was that although 15 years had elapsed since the alleged agreement, there was no recognition by the defendant of the sheep be-longing to the plaintiff, and no claim by him was set up till the commencement of the action. On the trial, the plaintiff gave evidence that the increase of the lambs might have amounted to 1,500, and the Jury actually found that they amounted to 896. With regard to that, he said the plaintiff ought to be nonsuited on that issue, because the action should have been not in trover but on an account, and that there was no evidence to justify the Jury in believing that there were any such number of sheep, the property of the plaintiff, in the defendant's possession at the time. The Chief Justice remarked that it was altogether matter of calculation with the Jury. The Attorney-General said that might apply as a rule in certain instances, but he submitted it would be unjust in the circumstances of this colony. Indeed, if such a rate of increase was the general rule, the sheep in this colony by this time would amount to something like eight or nine millions; but upon that view he would say that there should have been evidence of a demand, and to make a demand the plaintiff should be prepared with an account of the exact number he demanded. With regard to the horses he contended that the evidence did not show any motive why the defendant should have taken the horses away, against the consent of the plaintiff, but only to take care of them for the plaintiff; and it would be unjust to make him accountable for their loss. The next claim was in respect of 60 head of cattle. The evidence he contended proved that they had been bought from the plaintiff for 1/-, but the Jury found for the plaintiff for 180/., being 3/. per head. The learned Attorney alluded to the finding of the Jury for the wages claimed, notwithstanding they were told by the plaintiff's counsel that he did not seek for a verdict on that count, as the statute barred his claim, and also by the learned Judge, yet they gave a verdict for the plaintiff. The wages were proved to have been settled up to March, 1852, by the production of a book, and he took it to be a settled rule or law that an entry in a book after such a lapse of time, like the production of a receipt for rent, would be an answer to the claim, unless there was some irresistable proof of fraud or mistake to rebut the inference that the money was paid. With regard to the Jury's finding for the plaintiff upon such evidence, it showed they had a strong animus, and were guided entirely by their feelings in favor of the plaintiff; and he would say that persons who gave such a verdict in that respect, and gave their decision upon other points, the Court would not but look upon their decision in general with very grave suspicion. The learned Attorney-General took several other objections to the verdict. Rule granted.[34]

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Barton's father involved in a legal dispute over expenses for election rooms

DISTRICT COURT. Monday, November 14. (Before Mr. C. P Hackett, the Police Magistrate.) ELECTION EXPENSES. George Davidson v. George Elliott Barton, M.L.A.— In this case the plaintiff, who is the landlord of the George Hotel, Victoria-street west, North Melbourne, sued the defendant, one of the successful candidates at the recent election for North Melbourne, for £6 2s, for the use and occupation of his apartments during the election. Plaintiff stated that he demanded £2 2s for the use of a large room in which a meeting of the defendant's supporters was held one night, and £4 for the use of another room occupied by Mr. Barton's Committee during eight days, at the rate of 10s. per day. The plaintiff deposed that Mr Barton, accompanied by Mr Everard, the member for Rodney, called and engaged the large room for one night, at £2 2s.; but could not say which of the two agreed to pay for the use of the room. A meeting was held in it, and defendant's Committee occupied a smaller room for eight days, at the rate of 10s per day. The defendant deposed that he called with Mr. Everard, but distinctly denied that he agreed to pay anything foi the use of the room, that the only time he called at the George Hotel to meet his Committee they were sitting in the public room, "drinking ale or something of that sort;" and that if, as sworn by the plaintiff, Mr. Everard agreed to pay anything, the promise must have been made in a whisper, as he (the defendant) did not hear him make or attempt to make any such agreement, although standing beside him all the time he was there. He, however, admitted that he became aware on Saturday last, from what Mr. Everard had told him, that he ( Mr. Everard) had agreed to pay £2 2s. for the use of the long room for the night on which the meeting took place, and now stated that, although Mr. Everard was not an agent of his, yet, having made himself responsible, as it were, for him, he was willing to pay that amount. Mr. Hackett awarded the plaintiff £2 2s.[35]

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Humorous piece in Melbourne's Punch referring to Barton's father's group in Parliament

MINING REPORT. PARLlAMENTARY DIGGlNGS. G. E. BARTON — CHIEF MINING ENGINEER. Number One Division. The following is a tabulated statement of the number and pecuniary position of those actively engaged in this undertaking:— Affluent Fairly Off Hard up Very Hard Up. Town Members 0 0 1 3; Country do. 0 0 1 11; Mining, do. 0 0 0 14; The approximate value of the whole of the assets of thirty members is £140, or nearly £5 per head. The extent of available credit they possess in Melbourne it is difficult to arrive at, but as it is inappreciable, the omission of it is of the less importance. The existence of auriferous strata in the neighborhood of the claim known as "The Corner," has been found to be a demonstration. The diggers hear daily and hourly of large sums being raised in the shape of duties and otherwise, but they have been unable hitherto to reap any benefits from this propinquity. The supply of water (filtered Yan Yean) with ice, has been plentiful, but as it is impossible to get brandy for corrective purposes, without ready money, the claim holders have been unable to avail themselves, to any great extent, of this blessing. Operations were commenced by sinking a wide shaft in "The Corner" from whence a "drive" was attempted towards the Treasury Banks, but an oblong piece of ground shepherded by an individual of § Mr de la Pluce probably rneans tot ou tard, tout se sgait; and Maintenon, not Moliere. —M. P.— the name of Lalor, intervenes, and it has been found impossible to get permission to cross his claim, the miners have therefore for the present to abandon the attempt. (Mr. Barton forwards a plan of "The Corner" and a section of the shaft and tunnel, but as the public have little or no interest in his proceedings or those of his confreres, we will not publish them.)[36]

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Visit to Ballarat by Barton's father passes almost unnoticed

News and Notes. . . . George Elliott Barton, Esq., M.L.A., arrived in Ballarat on Wednesday afternoon, but no triumphal arches met his view, no sound of music greeted his ears, neither did our Municipal Councils bid him welcome. No marshalled procession, with deafening huzzas hailed the approach of the illustrious stranger; and, like ordinary mortals, he came, he saw, dined with one of our barristers, and quietly took his departure — unhonored and unnoticed.[37]

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Barton's father advertises his activities in Ballarat


Barton's father criticised by the Argus for his work against the Land Bill

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 1860. Once more the Land Bill is made subject to the ordeal of the Council, and the amendments on the amendments are again to be amended. The Lower House has finally declared its mind, and the measure, which was quite perfect before, is, by an impossible excess, made still more perfect than ever. The gold has been gilded — the perfume added to the violet. The Corner has relaxed from something of its peremptoriness. It is the bill, but no longer the whole bill. Something but the bill has been accepted; and, beginning with a firm determination to abate nothing to the demands of the Upper House, the Assembly has actually consented to see some fault in its previous work. The concessions, however, are so slight, that it will be strange if the compromise be accepted as it stands. It is a compromise, indeed, where the one side gives gold, and the other brass — a bargain in which the Council is asked to play GLAUCUS to the DIOMED of the popular party. For the only material changes in the bill since its last appearance before the Lords, are, that the farmers' free grass has been limited to five miles from their purchased lands, and the unbought subdivisions are made usable for pastoral purposes only. Practically, these are the only concessions made to the Upper House; so that the compromise, like Sir BOYLE ROCHE'S reciprocity, is all on one side. The Lower House still adheres, at Mr. HADLEY'S bidding, to the patriarchal lot instead of the speculatorial auction. It insists upon spending three millions of acres of the public landed property every year. It will not have its faith disturbed in the sham of deferred payments. And it still clings, with a touching devotion, to the penal clauses, and to those truly paternal provisions which are to make men bona fide settlers and industrious agriculturists by act of Parliament. Whether the Upper House will accept these concessions in a proper spirit of meekness, or whether it is resolved to raise any further impediment to the easy passage of the bill, we shall know by the tone of the discussion this evening. If, on this second occasion, the Council choose to be as obstinately practical as on the first, then there are more rocks and shoals ahead for our little bill, and for all connected with it. Nor is there any way out of the maze, but by adopting that very commonplace expedient suggested in His Excellency's late letter to Mr. NICHOLSON. The best of possible bills must wait until, by effluxion of time, some four or five members of the Council may give place to others more pliable on the land question. And so all our labour of the session must be robbed of its fruit. The stump must be raised again in the Eastern Market. The inevitable Mr. GRAY must renew his thankless task, and Mr. BARTON be allowed to commence his revolution. Still, even under these penalties, the public are beginning to regard with complacency the prospect of no land bill this session. It is not that their interest has lessened in the question, but that they are disgusted with the spirit and manner in which that question has been treated, by one of the two Houses at least. They have come to look for no great or decisive good result from any settlement of the land question under our present political conditions. They have never had the smallest confidence in the wisdom or the honesty of those who pretend to be their special representatives, and they have every reason for regarding with suspicion a measure which owes so much to a factious inspiration. The reaction in popular feeling has tended to excite a fairer spirit of inquiry into existing systems; and the discovery made by Mr. O'Shanassy, that the bill, as amended by the Upper House, was, after all, but a reproduction of our present land scheme, was generally received as the best praise which the amendments of the Council could deserve. What, after all, do we want to make our present system a good one, but a quicker survey, and a larger selection of lands, with deflnite rights of commonage to agriculturists and local administration? These improvements, which would make our land system as nearly as possible identical with the one so successful in South Australia, would, we believe, satisfy all reasonable parties, and meet every requirement of the country.[39]

Barton's father uses parliament to assist legal cases

PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS. (THIS DAY.) . . . LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. . . . GENERAL BUSINESS. NOTICES OF MOTION. . . . 7. Mr. Barton : To move — For copies of the correspondence between the department of the curator of intestate estates and the representatives, in England or elsewhere, of Catherine Hinson, deceased, respecting the intestate estate of the said Catherine Hinson; also, for a return of the moneys received and paid by the said curator on account of Catherine Hinson, specifying from whom, on what account, and at what date each item was received, and to whom, on what account, and at what date each item was paid; also specifying the rebate (if any) allowed in each case of payment by the curator to each creditor, and whether such rebate has been placed to the credit of the estate. Also, for a return of the amount of rent received by the curator of intestate estates from the real property of Samuel Robert Kelly, late of Collingwood, deceased, specifying the amount received, the names of the tenants from whom received, and the date when due, the manner in which such rents have been applied, and specifying whether such tenants, or any other tenants, held, or still hold, under leases or agreements with the deceased, with the curator of intestate estates, or otherwise, specifying with whom and for what rent; also, the amount of funeral expenses of the deceased Kelly, to whom and to what extent paid.[40]

Barton's father not long in the Victoria Legislative Assembly when rumours commence that he is relocating to Ballarat and will not continue as MLA

Mr. Barton, M.L.A.— This gentleman has, we understand, determined to become a resident of this town, where he will practise his profes-sion. It has been stated, but we cannot say with what truth, that the chamber of the Assembly will not echo to Mr. Barton's voice after this session.— Ballarat Times, July 16.[41]

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Barton's father, in letter to the editor of the Age, makes clear there is no love lost between him and The Argus

MR. BARTON AND THE ARGUS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE AGE. Sir,— May I ask the favor of a small space in your columns to defend myself from the latest and not the least misrepresentation of my public conduct by the Argus. That journal, when unable to quote my language, saps my reputatation by unjustly fixing upon me characteristics not in accordance with my public statements or conduct. In an article about a week ago it distantly insinuated that my opinions were revolutionary. On Thursday, the 26th instant, it begins another article thus — "another such a ministerial triumph as that of last night, and welcome Mr. Barton's revolution;" and again in the same article:— "The conduct of Ministers in this business is calculated to inspire a suspicion that we are, after all, quite wrong in the direction whence our revolution is expected." "The policy of Mr. Service is a clear trespass on the domain of Barton." On Friday, the 27th inst., the leading article again states — "What is there for Mr. Barton to do when he is Prime Minister if Mr. Nicholson himself turns revolutionist?" &c. From these statements, any reader would naturally suppose that Barton was in the habit of preaching an extensive use of fire and sword, as a political engine, in this free country. Sir, I have never on any occasion, public or private, either expressed or implied a desire to settle the land question or any other question, by an appeal to arms. The whole people of this country are possessed of the franchise. If they neglect to use their votes, to secure the desired changes lawfully, they will not use their weapons to force the same changes unlawfully. What men will not vote for, they will scarcely fight and shed their blood for. No sane politician, in a country with manhood suffrage, would for a moment advocate revolution — at least, I am not one to do so. I have no desire to make the democratic cause ridiculous, and force the wheel of political fortune to revolve away from it. The above are not the only instances in the Argus of systematic calumny and misrepresentation of my public acts and private character. Some time ago, in a leading article, that journal, in the most covert manner, after a series of hour-hand movements so gradual that none could be recognized as an advance on its predecessor, insinuated that I was one of the convivial members of the House. Now, the fact is that I am almost as much a water-drinker as Mr. Heales himself. I conscientiously believe that I consume less fermented and spirituous liquors in a year than one of the editors of the Argus does in a month — I had almost said a week, and I could almost say it with truth. Again, in its articles on "payment of members" the Argus has over and over again insinuated that I and the Corner members were guilty of obscenity in that debate. Sir, thanks to the honesty of your paper, which refused to suppress the report of what actually took place upon that now famous discussion, the obscenity is known to have proceeded from another quarter — from parties opposing "payment of members." The public will believe me when I say, that, had I or others of the democratic party really used obscene language, the Argus report would either have continued it (for they never omit anything injurious to us), or the sentence uttered would have been given, leaving stars to indicate the word that was too gross to print. If all the eyes of ancient Argus had been metamorphosed into lies, then indeed would that Melbourne journal aptly represent the visionary powers of the creature whose name it bears. While its motto might, without libelling its character, be rewritten — "I am in the place where squatters, bankers, and land sharks demand of me to calumniate, and calumniate I must, impugn it whoso list." I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. Ballaarat, 28th July, 1860.[42]

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Barton dispels rumours of his intention to resign his parliamentary seat

MR. BARTON AND NORTH MELBOURNE. TO THE EDITOR OF THE AGE. Sir,— A rumour is current in the press that it is my intention to resign my seat in the Legislature. I beg to say that I have no such intention, and that I will be found in my place at the opening of Parliament to do the work that I have undertaken to do. I mean to take the earliest opportunity of moving "Payment of Members," a Lien Bill, and a measure that lies at the root of all law reform, namely, a Bill to Amalgamate the Two Branches of the Legal Profession. When these measures shall have become law — which I have every reason to believe will be in the coming session — I shall feel that my especial work has been done. Until then, I hope to remain the representative of the constituency that has done me the honor of electing me. I am, Sir, Yours, &c., GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. Hermitage, South Yarra, December 12th, 1860.[43]

Barton foreshadows a new bill to parliament to integrate lawyers and barristers

THE AMALGAMATION OF THE PROFESSIONS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE AGE. Sir,— Will you favor me with a small space in your journal for the publication of this letter, and of the enclosed draft bill, prepared with the assistance of some legal friends, and intended to be introduced into Parliament as soon as it reassembles. Upon a matter of such consequence to those who live by the law it is desirable to invite an expression of their opinion, not so much upon the principle of the bill, which is a matter of public concern, but upon the details, many of which are important to lawyers, though indifferent to the laity. It is intended to select the members of the first Board of Advocates from amongst the leading practitioners in both degrees of the profession, in equal numbers. I am aware that some of these gentlemen are hostile to the principle of the bill, but I am sure that should it become law, and should they undertake the duties imposed upon them, the dignity of the profession and the interests of the public will be so maintained that the Bar will again display that patriotism and glory which it had before it dissevered itself from the people. Of this, at all events, we may be assured, that if the leaders of the profession ever become practically responsible for the successful result of their advice they will make it their study to simplify instead of complicate the administration of the law, and we shall soon cease to hear of failures of justice by reason of informalities, scarcely more important than the crossing of a T or the dotting of an I. I am, Sir, &c., GEORGE ELLIOTT BARTON. December 27th, 1860.[44]


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Marriage of Barton's brother Elliott L'Estrange Barton

Marriages. . . . BARTON — BROWN.— On January 24, at St. John's Church, Featherston, N.Z. Elliott L'Estrange Barton, solicitor, Patea, to Rachel Mary, second daughter of the late John Brown, Bothwell.[45]

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Barton and another of Alfred Shaw and Co. successfully trial electric lights for the Qld houses of parliament

Electric Lighting of the Houses of Parliament. A very successful trial of the apparatus which has been fitted up throughout the Parliamentary Buildings for the purpose of lighting them by electricity was made last night in the presence of the Premier, the Minister for Works, the Hon. F. T. Brentnall, M.L.C., Mr. R. B. Sheridan, M.L.A., Mr. L. A. Bernays, the Hon. Holmes A'Court, and some other gentlemen. The Legislative Council has been fitted up with two large sunlights, each holding 30 incandescent lights of 16-candle power, and 16 lights, each of the same power at present, but to be increased to 32-candle power, suspended underneath the galleries, above the President's chair, and at the opposite extremity of the chamber, and a precisely similar arrangement will be carried out in the Legislative Assembly chamber. By the means described a beautifully clear, soft, penetrative, and well-distributed light is obtained, and it is a matter of no difficulty in any part of the chamber, however removed, to read even small type, while the atmosphere is kept at an even coolness of temperature, and many discomforts generally attendant upon the employment of gas are completely avoided. The work of fixing the apparatus in the House and superintending the experiments last night, was conducted by Messrs. Russell and Barton, of Alfred Shaw and Co., as local representatives of the Edison Electric Lighting Company. At the Government Printing Office a large new engine-house has been erected for the purposes of this lighting apparatus, and here are contained two large 40-horsepower engines, with hand expansion gear, made and fitted to the order of the Government by Robey, and two fire dynamos of 400 lights each by Edison. One of each of these only was in use last night, and these sufficed to give a brilliant effect to the 250 odd lights in use on that occasion throughout the Parliamentary Buildings. The electricity having been generated, it is conveyed underground along William street, a distance of some 476 yards, or a little over a quarter of a mile, to Parliament House. The two copper wires are imbedded in bitumen, and the whole then enclosed in a 2 inch iron pipe. It will be understood that by this necessary arrangement a considerably larger amount of force and engine power is imperative to convey the electricity than would otherwise be the case. Mr. J. Dorsett, the engineer at the Government Printing Office, has the management of the machinery, and under his control all last night worked smoothly and effectively, and secured the approval of those who witnessed the successful trial. Some matters of detail in connection with the arrangement of the lower lights in both chambers have yet to be arranged, but there is every reason to expect that during the month now remaining before the opening of Parliament all these will be satisfactorily adjusted, and the light will be available for use whenever required.[46]

1886 07Edit
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A minor electrical fire at Parliament house leads to a considerable rise in the stocks of Barton

FIRE IN PARLIAMENT HOUSE. DEFECTIVE ELECTRIC WIRES. THE business was interrupted and a startling sensation was caused in the Legislative Assembly Chamber at about half past 7 o'clock last evening by an alarm of fire, which it was feared had broken out under the flooring on the Opposition side of the House. From behind the Opposition benches a considerable volume of smoke had suddenly sprung up and Mr. Hume Black at once raised the alarm. The House was in committee considering the Opium Bill, and Mr. Hamilton had just commenced an address on the second clause, when Mr. Black called attention to the smoke issuing from behind his seat. A general stampede at once took place. The messenger immediately snatched a water bottle from the table and emptied its contents on to the spot which was thought to be burning. Mr. Dickson followed suit with another bottle from the table, probably as Treasurer thinking of Supplementary Estimates, and some of the members rushed away for buckets of water, while others commenced moving the benches, and raising the carpets from the floor. A brief inspection disclosed the fact that the smoke was coming from a couple of the electric wires, which had at one time been connected to a pair of jets on the wall, but which had been cut off and soldered together beneath the flooring. The smoke was subdued, and all danger appeared to have passed, and preparations were commenced to resume business, when it was found that the smoke continued to rise, and another rush was made to the scene, as it was feared that the covering of the wires might be ignited for some distance. The more energetic of the members at once formed themselves into an amateur fire brigade, and headed by Mr. J. Annear, who had divested himself of his coat, and who set to work in a most workmanlike and praiseworthy manner, commenced under the directions of the Chief Secretary to tear up the flooring and remove the benches. Others again rushed away for water, while a few ran excitedly hither and thither anxious to do something, yet not knowing how to be of use. In the meantime. Mr. McMaster telephoned to the Government electrician (Mr. Thomason), and word was passed through the telephone to the Central Fire Brigade station, where the alarm was rung out. A few minutes later several members of the brigade arrived with hose and reel, and headed by Mr. E. MacDonnell (chairman of the Brigade Board), and Assistant-superintendent Chapman, a thorough inspection of the wires under the floor was made. A hose was put in through the window, though not attached to the plug but ready if necessary to bring a large volume of water into play. It was at one time expected that this might be required, as it was not known at first how far the fire had extended under the flooring. The smoke gradually disappeared with the raising of the boards under which it had collected. The messenger (Mr. Woosely) had, in fact, subdued it with his first impromptu remedy, and it was found that all cause for alarm had disappeared, and the fire brigade returned to the station, leaving one man to stay on watch in case their services might be found necessary later on. Sir S. W. Griffith saw by this time that it would be little use attempting to go on with business so far as that evening was concerned, and order being restored for a few minutes the House was, on his motion, adjourned till next day. An investigation of the cause of the outbreak was then instituted. It had been noticed dining the earlier part of the evening that the electric light was working very badly, and from the statements made by the electrician it appears that this was due to the defective wires, which had been the cause of the alarm and confusion. These wires, it appears, had been connected to two jets, one on either side of a window above the back Opposition bench as an experiment, but it being found undesirable to have the lights in that position they were cut off, and the wires soldered together on a line with the floor. By some means the solder had given way, and as soon as the machinery was set in motion heat was generated at the point of fracture, and the binding around the wire ignited and commenced to smoke, the stench being like the burning of a tallow chandler's shop. It was seen by the peculiar working of the machinery that something had gone amiss, and directly the alarm was given at the Government engine-rooms the machinery was, of course, stopped. The only damage done was to the flooring, a few of the boards being broken in the hurry to raise them when the excitement was at its highest several of the members and also a number of persons who had been in the gallery thought it safest to get outside the building, and made their exit accordingly, but finding that all danger of an outbreak of fire had passed, they returned very bravely to the scene. It was exceedingly fortunate, however, that the defect in the electric wires was in such an open and prominent position, for had the break occurred in a more secluded spot, and remained unnoticed even for a short time, the fire might have taken hold of the woodwork and a conflagration ensued which might have resulted in the destruction of the principal portion of the Parliament buildings. So far, luckily, little damage has been done, but the warning is one that should be regarded by the authorities as a serious one, and a thorough investigation should be made into the state of the whole of the electrical apparatus inside the building — active and passive — before the machinery is again set in motion.[47]

As previous, another report, brief but with some additional details

Fire at Parliament House. Warm for the Opposition. A great commotion was caused in the Legislative Assembly Chamber at half-past 7 o'clock last evening, when it became known that a fire had broken out in the building. The House was in committee discussing the Opium Bill, and Mr. Hamilton had just risen to make a few remarks thereon, when Mr. Hume Black, who was sitting on the rear Opposition bench near a window, rose from his sea!, and glanced suspiciously about him, remarking at the same time that there was a strong smell of fire. Simultaneously the Assembly messenger raised the window near Mr. Black's seat, and a volume of smoke was seen rising between the floor and the wall on the outer side. The messenger at once seized a water monkey from the table the contents of which he poured on the spot whence the smoke issued. The fire then appeared to have been extinguished in that spot at any rate, and preparations were made to resume the business of the committee, which had in the meantime been suspended. Business, however, had no sooner been commenced than smoke was seen to issue from under the Opposition front and back benches and the Acting Chairman of Committees (Mr. Aland) vacated the chair and intimated that he would resume it in a quarter of an hour. Members then set to work with a will to tear up the floorcloth and the flooring boards to extinguish the fire. The room by this time was one dense volume of strangely smelling smoke, and the scene was one of considerable excitement. Several members had divested themselves of their coats, and were rushing about rendering all possible assistance. Mr. Campbell managed in some mysterious manner to unearth a tomahawk and a cold chisel, and he and Mr. Annear soon prized up one of the boards. This was then used as a lever to force others open. Buckets of water brought in by willing members were thrown into the aperture, and the smoke was materially subdued. The electric works were communicated with by telephone, and the Government electrician at once shut off the electric supply from the House. The alarm was then given to the fire brigade station, and a number of firemen, with Mr. K. MacDonnell, chairman of the Fire Brigade Board, arrived on the scene, accompanied by the Government electrician. It was found, however after the flooring boards had been raised that all immediate, cause of danger had been removed, and an examination of the cause of the fire was then made. It was ascertained that an electric wire had been soldered together under the floor in the vicinity of the Opposition benches, and the solder had given way when the wires were charged with the electric current. The result was that a quantity of molten metal was given off, causing the casing round the wire to ignite, and give forth a dense volume of foul-smelling smoke. It was noticed during the afternoon that the machinery was working amiss, as only the inner circle of jets forming the "sun" in the chamber gave forth any light; the outer jets were merely tinged with a reddish hue. The only damage caused was to the flooring boards in their removal, and these can be replaced with little cost. The Chief Secretary, seeing that it would be impossible to proceed wiih further benefit, moved the adjournment of the House at 7.45 p.m., and the motion was carried. Members then gradually left the chamber, and a police officer and a fireman were left to watch until all danger was past, In the meantime a large concourse of people had assembled outside the Parliamentary building, kept back, however, by a posse of police; and for half an hour after the alarm was given a vast crowd surged from Queen street down George street to witness what was observed. Without however, no trace was to be seen, and large numbers after watching for a considerable time and having failed to notice any indications of fire, retraced their steps in the belief that the whole matter was merely a hoax. These were soon followed by the remainder of the crowd, and an hour after-wards the place had resumed its wonted state of quiet, and nothing was to be seen within the building save a few lights from the gas jets in use in the galleries of the "Hansard" reporters.[48]

Parliament lighting not to be used pending a report by the Government Electrician

In tho Legislative Council yesterday, . . . The electric light was not used in the Parliament buildings yesterday, and it will not be resumed until there is an assurance of perfect safety by the electrician. A proposal which was made to use the sunlights alone was rejected until the true position is ascertained, and it is quite possible that the light will not be used again this session. In connection with this matter it may be stated that the books of the Parliamentary Library are insured for £15,000 in the New Zealand Company, and an assurance was given yesterday that the lighting of the building by electricity would not be regarded as a disadvantage so long as every proper precaution was taken against fire.[49]

1886 09Edit

Parliamentary lighting tests supervised by Barton, in response to a previous accident

Parliamentary Lighting Tests THE tests made during yesterday and last evening of the electric light in the Parliamentary buildings were sufficiently satisfactory to warrant the belief that this evening the gaslight may be dispensed with. Mr. Pentland's report on the subject of the late mishap with the lighting apparatus will, no doubt, be in the hands of the Government today or tomorrow. Meanwhile Mr. Barton has charge of the installation, and certain changes and experiments are being made by him. The future management of the electric plant will, it is believed, depend a good deal on the result of an inquiry now being held into the recent accident.[50]

Barton supervises electric lighting in the Qld Legislative Assembly

IN THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, yesterday, . . . THE electric light was again in use in the Assembly chamber last evening, and seemed to work well under the supervision of Mr. E. C. Barton, who is now placed in charge. The light is, however, anything but a pleasant one. The yellow glare is especially unpleasant in the galleries, where the gas, as a light, is decidedly preferable.[51]

1886 10Edit

Barton's role in the parliamentary lighting exercise detailed in parliament

PARLIAMENT. Wednesday, October 6. LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. The Presiding Chairman (Hon. J. F. McDougall) took the chair at 4 p.m. and read prayers. . . . Mr. Annear asked who had charge of the electric light at present. Mr. Moreton said that Mr. Barton was now in charge. When the accident occurred to the lights in the House recently an inquiry was instituted into its cause by Mr. Pentland, an expert, who came from Melbourne for the purpose. The proceedings went to show that the gentleman who was then in charge, Mr. Thomason, had not sufficient experience to carry on the working of the apparatus. Mr. Barton was then engaged to put things right, and he had succeeded in doing so. Mr. Thomason was still electrician, pending the decision on the reports by Mr. Pentland and Mr. Thomason's replies thereto; and the Government was still expecting a report from Mr. Pentland upon the general working of the installation, and to the manner in which the contractors had performed their work in the first instance. Mr. Pentland had told him verbally that the work was satisfactory. Mr. Annear said he was aware that the Colonial Secretary had devoted a great deal of attention to this matter, but he understood that Mr. Barton was in charge of the light at the commencement of the session, when, as they all knew, it worked very well. He was told that when the accident occurred Mr. Thomason, the officer then in charge, was called upon to resign, and he would like to know why the resignation had not been accepted. Mr. Barton was evidently well acquainted with his duties, and yet it was stated that he had been discharged from the Government service and Mr. Thomason, who was a lecturer on electricity but not a practical electrician, was put on in his place. As soon as the accident occurred they had to send for Mr. Barton again. The duties should be put in the hands of a competent person, such as he was. Mr. Moreton said that Mr. Barton was not in the employment of the Government at the commencement of the session. Mr. Thomason was in charge when the House was first lit. Mr. Matthewson was appointed as electrician, but as he did not run the machinery he was requested to resign, and did so. Mr. Thomason was appointed in his place from amongst other applicants, and he took charge from the commencement of the session. Mr. Thomason had been requested to send in his resignation, and in return he had written some letters to the office. The matter had not yet been dealt with finally. It was only fair to Mr. Thomason that the matter should be fully considered before it was decided. If the explanation given by Mr. Thomason was not satisfactory the resignation would be insisted on. Mr. Black thought that there was no hon. member in the house sufficiently conversant with the subject to express an opinion as to the competency or otherwise of an electrician, and so it was hardly fair that the matter should be investigated by them. Mr. Annear's reflections on Mr. Thomason were very harsh and uncalled for, while it had yet to be decided whether he was competent or not. He was glad to have the assurance of the Colonial Secretary that there was nothing intentional about the fire the other evening. (Loud laughter.) He would much like to know what was the cost of the light, as he found no reference to it in the schedules. Mr. Moreton said he found that Mr. Thomason started the engine, but that Mr. Barton ran it for two days at the commencement of the session. Mr. Bailey asked if during the recess an almost similar risk of the building catching fire had occurred through the amalgamation of the wires. Mr. Moreton said he did not know that any fire had occurred on the occasion referred to during the recess. He believed at that time the insulation was in the hands of the contractor, Mr. Mathewson, and he had been informed that after the completion of the job Mr. Barton did find in the roof a long length of wire where the insulation was fused as it had been in the chamber. The insulation was then still in the hands of the contractor. Mr. Annear denied that he was speaking of a subject of which he was totally ignorant. Before he said anything he felt his ground. He reiterated his remarks in regard to the failure of the light in the hands of Mr. Thomason, and the unjust treatment which Mr. Barton had received. Mr. White admitted knowing little in regard to the electric light, but said he had seen a much larger building than the House lighted effectively by means of stored electricity in a jar. Men had been working at the fixing of the light for the last two years — (An Hon. Member: "Under contract") — and now they had not a light equal to gas. Mr. Groom said that the original suggestions for the illumination of the building by electricity were very different to those which had been eventually adopted. A series of misfortunes had attended the lighting of that building. In the first instance Mr. Snow, a young man who had been sent out as representative of the Eddison company, from New York, to superintend the arrangements, had died shortly after arriving in the colony. Another clever young man was next sent out, but on the way from Sydney, where he had been superintending certain arrangements at the Sydney Arcade, he fell off the steamer and was never heard of again. They then had to trust to colonial experts. Then again, electricians always differed with each other in opinion. Those causes, he thought, had much to do with the unfortunate results attending the electric light. If Mr. Snow had lived the result would have been very different, even to the shape and arrangement of the lamps. Mr. Moreton said the total cost of the electric light so far had been £6982. That included the lighting of the Government Printing Office. Mr. Black thought that the expense was considerable, especially in these bad times. They now started with an expenditure of nearly £7000, and he hoped the Colonial Secretary would endeavour to get value for the money. He would like to know what the annual cost for gas had been as compared with the electric light. Mr. Moreton said he was not prepared to answer the cost of lighting that House with gas alone. Mr. Black wished to impress upon the Colonial Secretary that it cost as much to light the House as it did to pay the members. (Laughter.) Mr. Bailey asked whether the cost of gas had diminished, for it appeared necessary to have the gas to assist the electric light. Mr. Moreton replied that the expenditure for gas came to about £400 for the five months' session for both the printing office and the House. The new engine, however, would be able to light the new Government Printing Office as well, and would be equal to all requirements. Mr Hill asked what the cost of running the electric light for the session had been. Mr. Moreton replied that he did not know, but would place the information upon the table next day. Mr. Aland drew attention to Mr. Moreton pleading ignorance when he was asking at the same time for definite expenses in connection with the working of the light.[52]

Summary of previous

THE electric lighting apparatus at Parliament buildings came in for a good deal of discussion in the Assembly yesterday afternoon, with the result that it was shown to have been a chapter of accidents from its beginning to the present time. Two electricians, it was stated, were sent from New York by the Edison Lighting Company, but both gentlemen died soon after their arrival. Mr. Snow, the first arrival, died suddenly from an internal malady, and Mr. Hamilton, who succeeded him, was drowned during his voyage by steamer from Sydney. The Government had to fall back on local talent, and Mr. Thomason was appointed, the gentleman who was responsible for the late fire in the Assembly, and whose competence is now forming the subject of inquiry by the Colonial Secretary. Mr. Annear made a strong speech in favour of Mr. Barton, who is now in charge of the light, and reflecting on Mr. Thomason's capabilities; for which he was corrected by Mr. Moreton, and more sharply rapped over the knuckles by Mr. Black, for prejudging the case. Mr. Groom said the peculiarity of this department was that every electrician had a different scheme, and undid the work of his predecessor. Mr. Black retorted that the peculiarity seemed rather to be that all the competent electricians died young, while the incompetent ones were kept alive by Providence for some inscrutable reason or other. Mr. Moreton said the total cost of the electric lighting to the present time was nearly £7000 — engines included — while gas cost £400 per session, when it was used. Mr. Black drew attention to the fact that lighting of the buildings cost just the same as the services of hon. members.[53]

Barton appointed Government Electrician as a result of the fire in the Parliamentary buildings

IN the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL yesterday. . . . IT is understood that Mr. Barton, at present in charge of the electric lighting at Parliamentary Buildings, will be gazetted Government electrician in place of Mr. Tomlinson, whose services have been dispensed with.[54]

1886 11Edit

Barton's appointment as Government Electrician gazetted

Gazettals. THE following notifications were published in the Government Gazette of Saturday last:— A. C. Lawson, to be assistant registrar of births, marriages, and deaths at Burketown, in the room of P. Macarthur, transferred, to be a magistrate of the territory, and to be police magistrate and clerk of petty sessions at Burketown, in the room of P. Macarthur, transferred; H. A. B. Cooling, to be junior clerk in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, this appointment to take effect from the 1st instant; F. Goodfellow, to be a Commissioner of Crown Lands, under the Pastoral Leases Act of 1869, for the purpose of determining by arbitration the rent to be paid on runs proclaimed as goldfields (in the North Kennedy district); Sergeant P. Bowen to be acting registrar of births, marriages, and deaths at Springsure, during the absence on leave of the registrar; E. C. Barton, to be Government electrical engineer, in the room of T. Tomlinson; A. C. Cecil, to be a Government agent on the supernumerary staff to accompany vessels licensed to carry Pacific Islanders.[55]

Further discussion on the fire

PARLIAMENT. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. The SPEAKER (Mr. W. H. Groom) took the chair at half-past 3 o'clock, and read prayers. . . . THE ELECTRIC LIGHT. Mr. MORETON said he was not in the House on the previous evening when a statement was made to the effect that Mr. Tomlinson was dismissed in consequence of a fire having occurred through the electric lighting, and that a gentleman, Mr. Barton, was put on in his place who a short time previously had had a fire of his own. He wished to correct that statement. The fire referred to had not occurred while Mr. Barton had control of the light; it was another gentleman. Mr. HAMILTON, later in the evening, justified his statement by a portion of the correspondence on the subject, and said he had the personal testimony of the library messenger to the same effect. The Colonial Secretary should really have an inquiry made into the matter, and he would then find the statement was correct.[56]

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Barton elected member of the Royal Society of Qld

ROYAL SOCIETY. The usual monthly meeting of the above society was held in the Museum Library on Fri-day evening last, Mr. L. A. Bernays, F.L.S., in the chair. Mr. E. C. Barton was elected a member. A number of donations to the society's library having been announced, the following papers, communicated by Mr. H. Tryon, were then read:— First, "On the physiological action of Cryptocarya australis," by Dr. T. L. Bancroft. The plant, so named by the late Mr. Bentham, was, as the author pointed out, a member of the family Laurineae, and a small tree which grew plentifully about Brisbane. Its bark had a very persistently bitter taste, and was of poisonous nature, its toxic action being due to the presence of an alkaloid which could by chemical means, the nature of which were explained, be separated as a colourless crystalline body — the component crystals being acicular and arranging themselves from solution in stellate masses. This alkaloid was intensely bitter like the bark itself. Warm blooded animals to which it had been administered exhibited at first respiratory difficulty soon ending in asphyxial convulsions and death. It had also a poisonous action on animals of a lower order, such as reptilia. Other species of the same genus Daphnandra grew in the colony, and those which had been examined were found to be similarly poisonous. Moreover, it was interesting to note in any plant belonging to the natural order Laurineae, an active principle of such a nature as that which Daphnandra had been seen to contain. . . .[57]

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Barton resigns as Government Electrician

The Government Gazette of Saturday last contains an acceptance of the resignation of Edward C. Barton, lately Government electrician, and defines the boundaries of the Ridgelands Extended Goldfield.[58]

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Barton enters into business association with Cedric White

EPITOME OF NEWS. . . . From our advertising columns it will be seen that Mr. E. C. Barton, late Government Electrician has entered into partnership with Mr. C. F. White, and that they intend carrying on business as electrical engineers under the title of Barton, White and Co.[59]

As previous, advertisement makes clear that Barton has entered pre-existing business of Cedric White's


Barton & White provide electric lighting for skating rink in the Exhibition Building

BRISBANE ELITE SKATING RINK, EXHIBITION BUILDING.— K. A. Skinner & Co., Proprietors.— The Exhibition Building will be opened for the ladies, gentlemen, and children of Brisbane and suburbs as a first-class Place of Amusement and Healthy Exercise in the now popular and fashionable Pastime of Roller Skating. The Rink will be under the same management as the popular Columbia Rinks, of Sydney and Melbourne, which were patronised last season by Lord and Lady Carrington and Lord and Lady Loch and the elite. A Special Floor will be laid over the entire building, and will be used exclusively for Roller Skating. A Ladies' Drawing-room and Gentlemen's Smoking-room will be erected in the building, furnished with every convenience for comfort. The buildings will be beautifully decorated with Chinese Lanterns, Umbrellas, Flags, &c. Messrs. Barton, White & Co., Electrical Engineers, have contracted to light the building by Electric Light thus avoiding all heat occasioned by gas. A full corps of Skate Boys and Instructors in the art of Roller Skating will be in attendance to adjust the skates on ladies and gentlemen and to assist and instruct beginners. 1,500 Pairs of the Best Improved American STEEL ROLLER SKATES, all sizes, to fit any foot, will be supplied to skaters. Mr. R. J. AGINTON, the Champion Fancy and Artistic Roller Skater of the World, who has just completed a tour round the world, has been engaged at an enormous expense, and will give EXHIBITIONS for a few weeks every evening at 8.30 o'clock. Private opening (by invitation only), Saturday Evening, 31st March, at 7.30 o'clock. Open to the public, on and after MONDAY, 2nd April. Open every Morning (for Ladies only), from 10 to 12, Admission Free; Afternoon, from 2.30 to 5, Admission, Ladies, 6d., Gentlemen, 1s., Evening, from 7.30 to 10, Admission to all, 1s. Note — On Monday Evening, 2nd April, the opening night, the admission will be 2s. A Band of Music will be in attendance every Evening, Saturday Afternoons, and Public Holidays.[61]

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As previous

Entertainments. BRISBANE ELITE SKATING RINK, EXHIBITION BUILDING. K. A. Skinner & Co., Proprietors. The Fashionable Resort of Brisbane. The Largest Amusement Palace in Australia. Brilliantly Illuminated with ELECTRIC LIGHT by Messrs. BARTON, WHITE, & CO. The decorations admired by all. The floor pronounced perfect. The Ladies' Drawing room, Gentlemen's Dressing and Retiring rooms, and a first-class Refreshment Bar and other conveniences are now completed. Patronised morning, afternoon, and evening by hundreds of the Elite of Brisbane. Mr. R. J. AGINTON, the Champion Fancy and Artistic Roller Skater of the World, will give EXHIBITIONS of his wonderful Skill on the Rollers every evening for a few weeks at 8.30 o'clock. FREE TRAMS to the Rink. Admission Tickets sold on the tramcars. Open every Morning from 10 to 12 (for Ladies only), Admission Free; Afternoon, from 2.30 to 5, Admission, Gentlemen, 1s.; Ladies, 6d.; Evening, Admission to all, 1s. Music every Evening and Saturday Afternoon.[62]

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The seed of Barton's extensive series of lectures about electricity is sown

Brisbane School of Arts. The monthly meeting of the general committee of the School of Arts was held in the building on Wednesday. Present: Messrs. R. T. Hurd (chairman), J. M. Myers, R. Rendle, S. W. Brooks, J. F. Horsley, and J. Shirley. As there was not a quorum present, the minutes of the last meeting were not read. Messrs. Brooks and Rendle having been deputed to inquire into the advisability of making provision for the stabling of horses and buggies on the property, reported that it was considered undesirable at present to make the proposed additions owing to the close proximity of the railway works. The subcommittee of the Technical College presented the following report:— At a meeting of the Technical College sub-committee, held on May 3, a letter from Mr. W. E. Roth was read, enclosing a list of books on scientific subjects at Mr. Hurd's request, and offering to deliver a course of 12 lectures on physiology, suggesting that they would be made suitable as a preparation to a course of ambulance lectures. It was decided to refer this matter to the general committee, but the list of books was functioned. The question of forming a class for instruction in electricity was discussed and it was agreed that Mr. Barton, of the firm of Barton, White, and Co., should call on Mr. J. N. Sutton (sic?, J. W. Sutton) with a view of arranging the matter. The advisability of delivering a course of ambulance lectures in connection with the technical college was discussed, and it was decided, on the motion of Mr. Horsley, that arrangements should be made for the delivery of an introductory lecture by a medical man, and that Dr. Byrne should be asked to take charge of the class. Re Mr. Lindon's application for minerals for illustrating his lectures on mineralogy, a letter had been sent to the museum asking for the desired specimens, and a letter had been received in reply, stating that the trustees had decided to supply the Technical College with a complete set of duplicate class minerals. The report of the library subcommittee stated that at the last meeting a letter had been received from 12 gentlemen at Campbellville, Mooloolah, asking for what subscription per annum they could obtain a box of books biweekly. It was agreed that they should be supplied at the same subscription as the Sandgate School of Arts, viz., £5 for 25 books at a time. Thirtyeight volumes had been selected for purchase from parcels sent on approval by the local booksellers, and 7 volumes, specially ordered from the Bancroft Company, San Francisco, had been received; also 2 volumes of the proceedings of the Legislative Council were presented. It was decided to write the Colonial Secretary, asking that the usual subsidy should be placed on the estimates for the year, and also ask that the amount of subsidy granted prior to the year 1888 should be granted. Accounts to the amount of £132 16s. 2d. were passed for payment. This concluded the business, and the meeting terminated.[63]

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Barton delivers what appears to be the first of hi long series of lectures on the subject of electricity

ln connection with the Technical College course of lectures, Mr. E. C. Barton will deliver an address this evening on "Static Induction, the Winnshurst (sic, Wimshurst) Machine."[64]

Barton & White extend electric light to new Central Station

In connection with the opening of the new Central Railway Station some information concerning the lighting arrangements will, no doubt, be of interest. The Roma-street Railway Station has been successfully lit by electricity for the last five years, with ten brush lamps from sixteen light machines situated close to the Normanby tunnel. This plant is now utilised to run five arc lights in the new railway station, and for this purpose cables for the conveyance of the current had to be continued through the new tunnel and under the two bridges. The work has been successfully carried out by Messrs. Barton, White, and Co. In the tunnel and under the bridges the cables are carried on substantial brackets provided with shackle insulators, with iron guards to prevent accidents from breakage. For the remainder of the distance the cables are carried on hardwood poles 8in. square and 25ft. long. The cables are made of seven strands of No. 16 gauge copper wire, insulated first with a covering of cotton, then with prepared rubber, and finally covered with a stout braiding of tarred yarn. The length added to the electrical circuit is nearly a mile, and the electrical resistance is equal to one and a-half ohms, or about half that of an arc lamp. The lamps are all of the usual brush type and uniform with the original lamps in use at Roma-street station. The total number of lamps in connection with both stations is fourteen, so that the dynamo has to be run at an electrical pressure of 700 volts, instead of 500 volts as heretofore. In order to obtain this increased presure the pulleys on the countershaft have been altered so as to increase the speed of the dynamo.[65]

Detailed report on Barton's lecture to the Technical College

Mr. E. C. Barton continued his course of lectures on electricity at the School of Arts last night, the subject being, "Static Induction." After explaining that a charge of static electricity could induce another charge, just as one current could induce another current, the lecturer described at length the construction and principle of the Winnshurst [sic, Wimshurst] machine, in which this principle of induction is taken advantage of to produce a charge of electricity. This machine was used during the evening to perform several interesting experiments, including the illumination of the Geissler's tubes to show that static electricity is identical with current electricity. A simple apparatus called an "electrophorus," comprising a tin plate filled with resin and a brass disc with a glass handle, was also used to prove that one charge induces another. To show that the charge induced in the brass disc was really distinct from that in the resin, and that it did not diminish the latter, the disc was repeatedly charged from the resin and discharged, and the quantity of electricity in the resin was found to be just as great as at first. The lecture closed with an experiment, showing that a charge in a sheet of tinfoil was diminished in intensity but not in volume, as the tinfoil was unrolled from a rod of glass, and the area of the surface was increased. The attendance was very good, and the interest excited by the first lectures of the course appears likely to be maintained until the end.[66]

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Change in Legislative Assembly sitting days creates problems for Barton's lectures on electricity for the Technical College

The electricity lectures in connection with the Technical College have come to a sudden and unexpected end. When the announcement was made a few days ago that the Legislative Assembly would in future sit on Mondays it was rumoured that Mr. E. C. Barton, who has charge of the electric lighting arrangements at Parliament House, would be unable to continue the lectures, but until the students assembled at the School of Arts last night it was not definitely known that there would be no lecture, and no notice had been given through the Press. As the House now sits five days a week Saturday is the only night on which the lecture can be given, so that unless some arrangement be made to hold the class on that night or to obtain the services of another lecturer, which will be a difficult matter, this branch of the curriculum of the Technical College must fall through.[67]

Barton's arrangements to manage conflicts of parliamentary responsibilities and teaching resolved

Arrangements have been made for the resumption of the electricity class in connection with the school of Arts Technical College under the tuition of Mr. E. C. Barton, and the pupils will meet as usual on Monday evening next. The special requirements of young women are now being attended to by the management of the college, and on Thursday evening last a cookery class met for the first time; the charge has been made nominal, and it is hoped that before long this may become one of the most popular classes in the institution. A dress-cutting class will be begun on Monday next under efficient management. Attention may also be drawn to the examination on ambulance matters to be held in the Normal School this afternoon; between fifty and sixty pupils have sent in their names for this examination.[68]

Ad for a lecture by Barton at the Technical College on "Application of Electric Power."

Lectures. TECHNICAL COLLEGE. ELECTRICITY.— Mr. E. C. BARTON will Lecture on "Application of Electric Power." THIS (Monday) EVENING. Distribution — Electrical Tramways, &c. Tickets, 1s., can be obtained at the Library.[69]

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Death of Barton's father

NEW ZEALAND. WELLINGTON, Wednesday. News has been received of the death in Paris on Sunday last of Mr. George Elliott Barton, who was a prominent lawyer for many years in this colony, and in the early fifties took a leading part in politics in Victoria.[70]

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MR. ELLIOTT L'ESTRANGE BARTON, Crown Prosecutor at Hawera, is a son of Judge Barton, sometime of the Native Lands Court. He was born at South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia, in the year 1857, was partly educated in the South of France, and at the Otago High School, Dunedin, studied law under his father, in Wellington, and with Mr. F. M. Ollivier, of the same city, and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, by the late Mr. Justice Richmond, in 1881. He shortly afterwards commenced practice in Patea, and in 1885 removed to Hawera. Mr. Barton, who is an able lawyer, is solicitor for the Hawera Borough Council, Government Insurance Department, Public Trustee, Advances to Settlers Department, Bank of Australasia, and Bank of New South Wales. As a Freemason he is a member of Lodge Hawera, and has held high office. He is a member of St. Mary's vestry, and, when churchwarden at Patea, was instrumental in clearing off the debt of the parish, and set on foot a movement for building a new church. In 1878 Mr. Barton's father was a candidate for the Wellington seat in the House of Representatives. At that time, when arguing a case before the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Richmond, he refused to sit down when so ordered by the bench, and was sentenced to a month's imprisonnment for contempt of court. By many it was thought that this would be fatal to his chances of election, but his son, then only twenty-one years of age, promptly took his father's place on the platform, and with such success that the imprisoned candidate was returned at the head of the poll. Mr. Barton takes a lively interest in all movements for the advancement of the district. In 1878 he married a daughter of the late Mr. Brown, of Bothwell, Tasmania.[71]

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Brief bio of Barton's brother

MR. ELLIOTT L'ESTRANGE BARTON, MAYOR OF HAWERA. Mr. Elliott L'Estrange Barton, Mayor of Hawera, is a son of the late Mr. G. Elliott Barton, who was a well-known lawyer in the late 'seventies in Wellington. Mr. Barton was born in South Yarra, Melbourne, in 1857, and came to Now Zealand in 1862. He, however, received his education in the South of France, and, returning to Now Zealand, was admitted to the Bar in 1881. After residing in Patea for a few years, he moved to Hawera, in 1884, and has since made that place his home. Mr. Barton intends to contest the Patea seat at the next general election as an Independent Liberal. In connection with this matter it is interesting to record the fact that Mr. Barton's most strenuous political battle was fought long ago, on behalf of his father, in Wellington, when the son was only nineteen years of age. The story of that struggle is interesting. In the practice of his profession, Mr. G. Elliott Barton crossed swords in grim earnest with the Supreme Court Bench, and was committed to prison for contempt of Court. Public feeling, however, was roused over the matter, and the son conducted such an active campaign on his father's behalf that the people returned him in triumph to Parliament, while he was still a prisoner.[72]

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Detailed, if anecdotal, biography of Barton up to 1918

NOTABLE CITIZENS. MR. E. C. BARTON Born in Melbourne 66 years ago next December, Mr. Edward Campbell Barton has had a most interesting career in many countries. His mother was a Campbell, and hailed from Ayrshire. His father came to Australia from Dublin to try his hand at mining, but he gave it up, and, having been reared as a lawyer, he entered into partnership with a solicitor in Melbourne. Later he mlgrated to New Zealand. The subject of this sketch was educated at Otago University, where he studied chemistry under Dr. Black, who was a scholarly man. To follow engineering, Mr. Barton left Otago for England, and after spending a period there went across to Germany, entering Karlsruhe University for the purpose of further study. There he sat under such famous men as Sohneke for physics and Lothar Mayer, the chemist. Going on to Heidelberg, he heard the illustrious Bunsen, whose name is known to every lad who has used a Bunsen burner in the "lab." Mr. Barton says that none of the famous German professors lectured to a class of more than six students. Bunsen was in the habit of delivering such a difficult lecture at the opening of the term that all the students, except the selected six, were in despair, and relied for their future chemical knowledge on a popular edition of Bunsen given by his favourite pupil, Birnbaum. Kelvin practised the same method at Glasgow. He believed in driving the mediocrities into another class. In order that he might be able thoroughly to understand the lectures of the German professors, Mr. Barton decided upon arrival in Germany to learn the language by a drastic method. In answer to an advertisement written by the English Consul, Mr. Barton boarded with a family which understood neither English nor French, and he jocularly remarks, "Every meal for a week or two had to be taken with a dictionary in one hand, and a knife and fork in the other." After two months' residence he was able to attend and follow lectures. Upon leaving Germany, Mr. Barton, then a youth, decided to visit America, but land speculation caused him to return to England "stoney broke." As a matter of fact, he crossed the Atlantic as a steerage passenger. He bought over two square miles of Kansas country without knowing anything about the land tax, and, when the bill arrived, it ate up practically all his funds. When he got back to England he was but 22 years of age. Scotland attracted him, and he entered a works which manufactured papermaking and flourmilling machinery. He thence went to London, where he secured work in an electrical business at Woolwich, and it is on record that he was in charge of the first English municipal electrical installation. The town of Godalming decided to light itself electrically, and the power was obtained from the water wheel. The venture was accorded much publicity at the time, and everything worked smoothly until Christmas time when winter rains caused a flood, submerged the water wheel, and left Godalming in darkness. Other interesting experiences kept Mr. Barton a very much occupied man until he made up his mind to return to Australia. He worked in Melbourne, Tasmania, and Gympie, erecting electrical plants, and then went to New Zealand to install electric light in the Dominion Parliament at Wellington. Later he "illuminated" the Queensland Parliament. In 1887 he entered into partnership with a Mr. White and together they ran a 40 h.p. plant in Brisbane. Mr. Barton formed the business into a limited liability company in 1895, making the employees shareholders. The company was called the Brisbane Electric Supply Company. Subsequently the company's title was changed to that of the City Electric Light Company — the name it now.bears — and, in spite of difficulties and vicissitudes, became a very powerful concern. In 1907 politics attracted Mr. Barton, and he won the Brisbane seat for the Kidston party. Nobody was more astonished when the poll was declared. Politics did not seize him, however, and three years later he was in Europe representing Queensland at the Royal Geographical Congress at Geneva. Two years afterwards he arrived in Rome to attend the next congress, but the city was in the grip of cholera, and no congress was held. In 1915 he resigned the position of managing director of the Clty Electric Light Company in order to engage in war work. Going to England, he entered the Imperial arsenal at Woolwich, and was then transferred to the Ministry of Munitions, which was at that time assisting private firms who made high explosives. His duties took him to Rainham munition works, just outside London, on a tour of inspection, when the works blew up. Many of the staff were killed and wounded, but although badly shaken, Mr. Barton was able to resume duty after a spell at Torquay, in Devonshire. While there he received a message from France stating that his son had been killed. He had been badly wounded, but happily, recovered. The Admiralty next claimed Mr. Barton's services at the height of the submarine menace, and, as assistant to Professor J. A. Fleming, he carried out experiments in regard to the use of electrical apparatus for tracing sound through the water. He then took ser-vice with the Admiralty, and was carrying out a speclal mission on the Continent, when the Armistice was signed.[73]

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