Edmund Barton

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Sir Edmund Barton
Sir Edmund (Toby) Barton (1849-1920) is a well-known man in the history of Australia. This is because he was the first prime minister of Australia. As I am proud of attending Fort Street High School, I discovered that he has studied at my school for two years. The first Prime Minister (Australia) and judge, was born on the eighteenth of January 1849 at Glebe, Sydney. William Barton and his wife Mary Louisa, née Whydah; his eldest brother was George Burnett Barton. William Barton had arrived in Sydney from London in 1827. After a small affray with Sir William Parry, his career as a financial agent chequered. He had nine children to be cared for his wife, who was exceptionally well educated, ran a girls' school in the 1860s. Edmund Barton was educated at Fort Street High School for two years and in 1859-64 at Sydney Grammar School, where he began a lifelong friendship with Richard O'Connor, and was school captain in 1863 and 1864. In 1865 Barton registered at the University of Sydney. Next year he won a prize for classics. In 1867 he studied under Professor Charles Badham, who gave him a lasting love of Greek and Latin, and won the (Sir Daniel) Cooper scholarship. He graduated B.A. in 1868 and M.A. (by examination) in 1870. He learned to debate at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts. From May 1868 he had worked for a solicitor Henry Bradley and from June 1870 with a barrister G. C. Davies. On 21 December 1871 he was admitted to the Bar. Although slow to get briefs, in May 1872 he was junior counsel for the defence of the notorious murderer Alfred Lester. As a boy Toby had loved fishing and cricket; a fair batsman, but an atrocious fieldsman, he played for the university in 1870 and 1871. Later he organized several anticolonial matches and umpired in some major games including New South Wales v. Lord Harris's English XI which was interrupted by a riot. In 1870, when visiting Newcastle with a team, he confided to his diary that 'Jeannie Ross is...
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