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Sir William Lyne KCMG (1844–1913) was thirteenth Premier of New South Wales and a minister in the first Australian parliament. Lyne left his native Tasmania at the age of twenty to take up a sheep station on the Gulf of Carpentaria. After a period back in Tasmania during which he became involved in politics, he leased a property near Albury. Here, in 1880, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. A protectionist and supporter of water conservation and land law reform, in the late 1880s and early 1890s he was secretary for public works. Although he believed Federation would disadvantage New South Wales, he was a delegate to the 1897–98 Federal Convention. He replaced George Reid as premier in September 1899. About fifteen months later, Lyne was invited by Lord Hopetoun to form the first Commonwealth government, but he failed to secure enough supporters to do so. Elected as member for the Federal seat of Hume, Lyne became minister for home affairs in Barton’s government, later serving as minister for trade and then treasurer under Deakin. A bearded giant, said to have campaigned with a buggy full of booze for his constituents, Lyne ended his career as an independent.

Courtesy of the Gifts Collection, Parliament House Art Collection, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra, A.C.T.
Accession number: LOAN2008.22.7