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Blog post from Wednesday, 7 January, 2015

On this day, 7th January 1920, Sir Edmund Barton, first Prime Minister of Australia, died at the age of 70.

Sir Edmund Barton was sworn in as the first Australian prime minister in 1901, having been a leading supporter of Federation for over 10 years. He had been a member of the New South Wales parliament for 20 years, and had served terms as Speaker of its Legislative Assembly, Attorney-General and Leader of the Opposition. The State Library of New South Wales holds relevant manuscript collections, including manuscripts relating to Barton and Federation and letters from his time in office.

Barton resigned as Prime Minister in 1903 to become a judge of the High Court of Australia, serving until his death in 1920.

These images are from the collections of the State Library of New South Wales.

Rt. Hon. Sir Edmund Barton, KC., K.C.M.G. Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia (Barton Ministry) P2 / 490

[First Commonwealth Ministry, 1901] DL Pe 282