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

James Chester Manifold

James Chester Manifold (1867-1918)

Member for Corangamite (Victoria) 1901-1903, 1913-1918

Chester Manifold was born on his family’s Victorian Western District property, ‘Purrumbete’, and educated in Geelong and Melbourne, Victoria. He inherited a portion of the property, “Talindert”, much of which he let to dairy farmers, who later bought the land on generous terms. Manifold was twice president of the Hampden Shire Council and was a director and chairman of the Camperdown Cheese and Butter Factory.

In 1901 Manifold was elected as a Protectionist to represent Corangamite in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. Ill health forced his retirement in 1903, however he regained the seat in 1913, defeating James Scullin at the May election. Manifold visited England during World War I and volunteered to travel to Canada and the United States of America to investigate rehabilitation schemes, and to report on the conditions in military hospitals and camps. He had made land available to returned soldiers in the Richmond River district, New South Wales.

In October 1918 when at sea only one day out of San Francisco, he died unexpectedly and was buried at sea.

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