James Drake

James George Drake (26 April 1850 – 1 August 1941) was an Australian politician. After a number of years in Queensland colonial politics, he was elected to the Senate at the first federal election in 1901. He subsequently held ministerial office under prime ministers Edmund Barton, Alfred Deakin, and George Reid, serving as Postmaster-General (1901–1903), Minister for Defence (1903), Attorney-General (1903–1904), and Vice-President of the Executive Council (1904–1905).

Early life, education, and early career

Drake was born in London and educated at King's College School, and migrated to Australia in 1873, working as a storekeeper and journalist in Queensland. He became a shorthand reporter for the Parliament of Queensland in 1876 until he was admitted as a barrister in 1882.

Military service

Drake was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Queeensland Defence Force in 1886, and promoted to captain in 1888 and major in 1900.[1][2][3]

Political career

A Protectionist, he was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland for the Electoral district of Enoggera from 12 May 1888 to 7 December 1899. Following his period as an elected representative, he was appointed a life Member of the Legislative Council of Queensland on 7 December 1899, during which he was Postmaster-General and Secretary for Public Instruction in Queensland. Although membership of the Legislative Council was a life appointment, he resigned on 13 May 1901 in order to pursue a career in newly established federal parliament.[4][5]

Drake was an early and energetic supporter of Australia. He was elected to the Australian Senate in 1901 as a Senator for Queensland. He was Postmaster-General 1901–03 in the ministry of Edmund Barton. He was Minister for Defence 1903, Attorney General 1903–04 and Vice-President of the Executive Council 1904–05. He was left out of Alfred Deakin's second ministry and retired from parliament in 1906. He stood for the Queensland state seat of North Brisbane in 1907, but only gained 137 votes.[4]

Legal career

Drake was state crown prosecutor from 1910 to 1920 and in 1912 was appointed Acting Deputy Judge of the District Court of Queensland.[6]

Death

He died in Brisbane Hospital and was buried in Toowong Cemetery.[7] He was the last surviving member of the Barton, Reid and the first Deakin Cabinet. Drake was survived by four children from his marriage to Mary Street in 1897.[4]

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James Robert Dickson & Robert Bulcock
(dual member constituency)
Legislative Assembly of Queensland
Electoral district of Enoggera

12 May 1888 – 7 December 1899
Succeeded by
Matthew Reid
Preceded by
Legislative Council of Queensland
7 December 1899 – 13 May 1901
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Forrest
Postmaster-General
1901–03
Succeeded by
Philip Fysh
Preceded by
Alfred Deakin
Attorney General
1903–04
Succeeded by
H.B. Higgins
Preceded by
John Forrest
Minister for Defence
1901–03
Succeeded by
Austin Chapman
Preceded by
Gregor McGregor
Vice-President of the Executive Council
1904–05
Succeeded by
Thomas Ewing