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William Clark Haines, Premier of Victoria (Plate 12 of Sun Pictures of Victoria by Antoine Fauchery and Richard Daintree)
, 1857-58

by Antoine Fauchery and Richard Daintree

albumen silver photograph on laid on cardboard (support: 38.0 cm x 29.8 cm, image: 24.3 cm x 18.4 cm)

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William Clark Haines (1810–1866), first premier of Victoria, had practised as a surgeon in England before coming to Victoria in 1842. One of the first to settle in the Geelong district, he spent the 1840s engaged in managing his numerous landholdings and earning himself the nickname ‘Farmer Haines’. In 1851 he was a government nominee in the first Legislative Council, but he resigned in 1852, protesting against the issue of leases to squatters. A member again from 1853 to 1855, he helped to draft the Victorian Constitution and served as colonial secretary, overseeing reforms in goldfields administration. In the first parliament under the new constitution in November 1856 he was member for South Grant in the Legislative Assembly and led the first ministry. In March 1857, his ministry was defeated; Sir John O’Shannassy took office, but by the end of April Haines had been reinstated. Later the member for Portland, he was treasurer under O’Shannassy from 1861 to 1863. During this period he became a trustee of the Melbourne Cricket Ground; he was also grand master of the Scottish Freemasons and a prominent Anglican. He died, aged just 55, in early 1866 – his friends blaming his death on a carbuncle caused by the stress of certain parliamentary debates.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2014
Accession number: 2014.52