Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
For Peace, Order and Good Government: The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Early proposals
Six colonies
Drafting a constitution
Declaration of the Commonwealth
Conducting the first Federal election
Who could vote?
The election campaign
9 May 1901
The royal visit
The first federal parliamentarians
Ministry of May, 1901
Edmund Barton
Political parties
Legislative program
Relationship between the houses

Members of the First Parliament

Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon

Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon (1829-1904)

Member for Tasmania 1901-1903, Wilmot (Tasmania) 1903-1904


Edward (Ned) Braddon was born at St Kew, Cornwall, England, and had a successful career as a civil servant in India from 1847 to 1878. He was involved in many aspects of colonial administration before migrating to Tasmania in 1878.

Braddon became involved in Tasmanian colonial politics in 1879, was Tasmanian Agent–General in London 1881-93, and served as Premier of Tasmania 1894-99. A supporter of federation, Braddon was a member of the Federal Council of Australasia in 1888, and 1895-99, and was President in 1895. He was elected as a delegate to the 1897-98 Australasian Federal Convention. He was responsible for the introduction of section 87 of the Constitution which enabled the return of revenue from customs and excise to the states, (known as “Braddon’s Blot” and “the Braddon Clause”).

Braddon, a Freetrader, was elected to the House of Representatives for Tasmania in 1901 at the first federal election, receiving an impressive 26% of the vote to top the poll. When Tasmania was divided into federal electoral divisions, he became the member for Wilmot. Braddon died in office in 1904.

At the age 71 years 9 months Braddon was the oldest member to be elected to the first House of Representatives. He was knighted in 1893.

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