Sir Henry Parkes – C.I.B.
– The Formation Of The C. I. B. –
Sir Henry Parkes, 1879 Premier, Colonial Secretary and Minister for Police.
Sir Henry Parkes, 1879 Premier, Colonial Secretary and Minister for Police
The father of Federation was born at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in May, 1815, the son of a farming family.
As a boy he received only formal education and was put to work at the age of eight in the ivory turning trade.
In 1839 he and his wife arrived in Sydney as assisted immigrants, with a newly born infant. On his arrival he found employment as a farm labourer near Penrith, and in 1844 was appointed as a Customs Officer. Some while later he set himself up in business as an ivory and bone turner, in premises located near the corner of Phillip and Hunter Street, where the Old Police Headquarters stood.
An interest in Politics led him in 1848 to assist in an in an electoral campaign of a Robert Lowe and he took a leading part in the anti-transportation movement. In 1850 he established the Empire Newspaper, which he edited and managed and for which he wrote extensively.
The paper became an important democratic organ and lead an attack on certain clauses of the Constitution Bill of W. C. Wentworth.
In 1854 Parkes was elected to Parliament as member for Sydney, first in the Legislative Council and then in the Legislative Assembly. Sir Henry enjoyed many terms within the Government and was the Premier on five separate occasions.
As the Head of Government, he showed keen concern for law and order in the Colony, having close contact with the various Inspectors General of Police, during his tenure of office.
In 1879, Sir Henry Parkes agreed to a recommendation put forward by Inspector General Edmund Walcott Fosbery, that a Criminal Investigation Branch be formed and Inspector Henry John Wager, be the officer in charge.
This was assented to on the 19th November, 1879.
The grand old man of Parliament died at the age of 81, and was survived by his third wife and eleven children.