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Sir Saul Samuel
, c.1870

by Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co

carte de visite photograph (support: 10.2 cm x 6.2 cm)

The Hon Sir Saul Samuel Bart KCMG CB (1820-1900), merchant, politician, company director and landowner, was the first Jewish legislator in New South Wales and the first Jew to become a minister of the Crown. Born in London, he came to the colony as a twelve-year-old in 1832. By age 21, he had 190 000 acres of land on the Macquarie River; but in the 1850s, he left farming to became a company director in the booming Bathurst. He was elected to the first New South Wales Legislative Council in 1854, and went on to represent Wellington, Orange and briefly East Sydney in the Legislative Assembly between 1859 and 1872. A life member of the Legislative Council from 1872 to his retirement in 1880, Samuel served three stints as treasurer and one as postmaster-general. Meanwhile he maintained his business interests, which included coal, gold, copper and silver mining enterprises and the Sydney Exchange Co, of which he was chairman (1876-1880). He was active in Jewish affairs, laying the foundation stone for the Great Synagogue in Elizabeth Street and becoming its president, and was a member of the Royal Society and the New South Wales Academy of Art. From 1880 to 1897 he was the energetic agent-general for New South Wales in London. He was created a baronet in 1898.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2014
Accession number: 2014.1