BELL, Sir Joshua Peter (1827-1881)

BELL, Sir Joshua Peter (1827-1881)
was born in Ireland, on 19 January 1827 and came to New South Wales with his parents in 1831 (Aust. Ency.). He was educated at Sydney College, and The King's School, Parramatta. With his father and brothers he acquired an interest in Jimbour station near Dalby, Queensland, in 1863 became a member of the legislative assembly for Dalby, and held the seat until he transferred to the legislative council in 1879. He was colonial treasurer in the first Queensland ministry under R. G. Herbert (q.v.) from December 1864 to February 1866 when A. Macalister (q.v.) became premier, and Bell was given the same position. Shortly afterwards there was a financial crisis owing to the failure of two banks, and Bell as treasurer stated that he intended to issue "inconvertible government notes". The governor, Sir George Bowen (q.v.), considered this would be an infringement of the prerogatives of the crown and Macalister thereupon resigned on 20 July 1866. He formed another ministry in August with Bell as minister for lands who resigned with his colleagues a year later. In March 1871 he became treasurer again in the A. H. Palmer (q.v.) ministry and held this office until January 1874. In March 1879 he entered the legislative council, was elected president, and administered the government of Queensland during the absence of the governor from March to November 1880. He died suddenly on 20 December 1881. He was created K.C.M.G. shortly before his death. He was a man of education, with a fine appearance, a typical squatter, and a strong conservative, eminently suited for his position as president of the council. He married Margaret Miller, daughter of Dr D'Orsey, who survived him with children. A son Joshua Thomas Bell is noticed separately.
J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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