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The online digital research archive of expedition records
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See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Victoria

The Port Phillip District was declared in 1836 and governed by the New South Wales government in Sydney. In 1850 a Government Act was passed in London which formed the colonies of South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

Victoria officially became a separate colony on 1 July 1851 and on 13 November 1851 the first Legislative Council of Victoria met at St Patrick's Hall in Bourke Street, now the site now of the Law Institute of Victoria. The first ministry was appointed in November 1855 by Governor Hotham. This ministry was led by William Haines and the first elections were held in 1856. Colonial parliamentarians were usually identified as following one of three political value systems: conservative; liberal; radical/democrat. These beliefs were not strongly held or discussed. Rather they were broad descriptions. Within these broad belief systems, members would group together into factions to achieve specific political goals.

Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety
Vestibule Inscription, Parliament House, Melbourne

Governors of Victoria
  Captain Sir Charles Hotham 1855
  Sir Henry Barkly 1855 - 1863
  Sir Charles Henry Darling 1863 - 1866  

Victorian Ministries
William Clark Haines 30 November 1855 - 1 March 1857
John O'Shanassy 11 March 1857 - 29 April 1857
William Clark Haines 29 April 1857 - 10 March 1858
John O'Shanassy 10 March 1858 - 27 October 1859
William Nicholson 27 October 1859 - 26 November 1860
Richard Heales 26 November 1860 - 14 November 1861
John O'Shanassy 14 November 1861 - 27 June 1863
James McCulloch 27 June 1863 - 6 May 1868
Sir Charles Sladen 6 May 1868 - 11 July 1868
Sir James McCulloch 11 July 1868 - 20 September 1869
John Alexander MacPherson 20 September 1869 - 9 April 1870
Sir James McCulloch 9 April 1870 - 19 June 1871
Charles Gavan Duffy 19 June 1871 - 10 June 1872
James Francis 10 June 1872 - 31 July 1874
George Kerferd 31 July 1874 - 7 August 1875

Elections in Victoria
Elections for the Legislative Council
5 August 1856
31 August - 2 October 1858
31 August - 2 October 1860
1 September - 2 October 1862
2 September - 3 October 1864
31 August - 2 October 1866
 
Elections for the Legislative Assembly
23 September - 24 October 1856
26 August - 26 September 1859
2-19 August 1861
21 October - 3 November 1864
30 December 1865, 15 & 29 January 1866

Government Officials in 1860.

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