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Barton and Deakin
, c.1910

by G H. Davey

pen and ink on paper (mount: 50.7 cm x 40.5 cm, sheet: 34.5 cm x 26.5 cm)

Sir Edmund Barton GCMG KC PC (1849–1920), prime minister, studied law in his native Sydney and was admitted to the Bar in late 1871. Barton entered the NSW Parliament in 1879, and became Speaker at the early age of thirty-four. For several years in the early 1890s he was attorney-general. However, for the remainder of that decade his focus was Federation, for which he was the leading campaigner, presenting and explaining the constitution bill to the British Parliament in 1900. In 1901 he became Australia’s first prime minister. He resigned in 1903, to spend the rest of his life as a judge of the High Court. Alfred Deakin (1856–1919), Australia’s second, fifth and seventh prime minister, was central to the Federation movement. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and entered politics when he was elected to the Victorian Legislative assembly in 1879. After 1890, he devoted his energies to Federation and was a key negotiator at the Federal Conventions, drafting much of what would become the Australian constitution. In 1900, Deakin travelled with Edmund Barton to London to oversee the passage of the Federation Bill through the British parliament. Elected to the first Australian parliament in 1901 as the member for Ballarat, he took over from Barton as prime minister when the latter retired to take up the position of High Court judge. Spurning the title Right Honourable, he was to serve two more terms as prime minister in the first ten years of the Federated nation. Deakin left Parliament in 1913 and retired from public life, having rejected honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge and membership of the Privy Council; he received no other honours.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2012
Accession number: 2012.189