John Earle (Australian politician)

John Earle (Australian politician)

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = John Earle
honorific-suffix =

imagesize =

caption =
order = 22nd
office = Premier of Tasmania
term_start = October 20, 1909
term_end = October 27, 1909
deputy =
predecessor = Elliott Lewis
successor = Elliott Lewis
constituency =
majority =
term_start1 = April 6, 1914
term_end1 = April 15, 1916
deputy1 =
predecessor1 = Albert Solomon
successor1 = Walter Lee
constituency1 =
majority1 =
birth_date = birth date|1865|11|15
birth_place = Bridgewater, Tasmania
death_date = death date and age|1932|2|6|1865|11|15
death_place = Kettering, Tasmania, Australia
nationality =
party =
otherparty =
spouse =
partner =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession =
net worth =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

John Earle (November 15 1865 - February 6, 1932) was an Australian politician and the first Labor Premier of Tasmania.

Born in Bridgewater, Tasmania to a farmer and his wife, Earle left his father's farm at 17 and obtained employment at Kennedy's foundry, Hobart, attended a night school and obtained some knowledge of mechanical engineering. Earle first worked as a blacksmith’s apprentice and then as a tin-miner and prospector. He went to Zeehan in 1891, and stayed for several years until attracted by the Corinna gold-rush. Returning to Zeehan about 1898 he was elected president of the Amalgamated Miners' Association of Victoria and Tasmania, and represented this association at several annual conferences. He was also a member of the local council and chairman of the hospital board. In 1903 he stood for Waratah in an election for the Tasmanian House of Assembly, but was defeated by three votes.

After an active career as an organiser for the union, Earle helped found the Tasmanian Workers’ Political League (forerunner to the Australian Labor Party) in 1903, becoming the organisation’s first president. Earle entered the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1906 and led the first Tasmanian Labor government into office in 1909; a minority government which lasted a week. He returned to office as Premier and Attorney-General in 1914, serving until his defeat at the polls in 1916. While leader of the opposition Earle addressed meetings in favour of conscription and was expelled from the Labor Party.

In March 1917 Earle was elected by the Parliament of Tasmania to fill a vacancy in the Australian Senate, and at the 1917 election he successfully retained his seat as a Nationalist Party of Australia candidate. He became Vice-President of the Executive Council in the Hughes ministry from December 1921 to February 1923. He was defeated at the senate election held in December 1922, and again in 1925, as a Nationalist candidate. In 1928 he stood for the house of assembly as an independent candidate at his old constituency, but was again unsuccessful. He died at Kettering, Tasmania, on 6 February 1932. He left a widow but there were no children.

Earle's cousin Alicia O'Shea Petersen was a prominent suffragist in Tasmania.


*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=John|Last=Earle|Link=
* [ Parliamentary Library profile]

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