Lewis Adolphus Bernays

Lewis Adolphus Bernays

Lewis Adolphus Bernays CMG, (3 May 183122 August 1908) was a public servant and agricultural writer in Queensland, Australia.

Early life

Bernays was the son of Dr Adolphus Bernays, a professor of German language and literature at King's College London, and his wife Matilda, née Arrowsmith, and was born in London. He was educated at King's College, and at the age of nineteen, emigrated to New Zealand, where he engaged in sheep farming for two years.


Bernays went to Sydney in 1852 obtained a position on the staff of the parliament of New South Wales. In 1859 Sir George Ferguson Bowen, the governor of Queensland had requested a clerk for the new Queensland Legislative Assembly. Bernays was appointed and came to Brisbane in 1860, and was present at the opening of the first parliament. He organized the inner working of parliament, became an authority on procedure, and was the guide and friend of successive generations of members of parliament, until his death at Brisbane on 22 August 1908.

Bernays had other activities and was for a time secretary to the Brisbane Board of Water Works and later a member of the board. He was one of the founders of the Queensland Acclimatisation Society, and for a time its president. He was interested in economic botany, published "The Olive and its Products" (1872), and "Cultural Industries for Queensland; Papers on the Cultivation of Useful Plants Suited to the Climate of Queensland" (1883). He married Mary, daughter of William Borton, and was survived by four sons and four daughters. He was created C.M.G. in 1892.

Bernays was a very competent public servant, who played a prominent part in the Queensland parliament. He knew thoroughly its law and practice, and in times of difficulties party leaders naturally turned to him. He was a man of culture and remained a student all his life. One of his sons, Charles Arrowsmith Bernays, born in 1862, was the author of "Queensland Politics During Sixty Years", and of "Queensland—Our Seventh Political Decade".


*Clem Lack, ' [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030141b.htm Bernays, Lewis Adolphus (1831 - 1908)] ', "Australian Dictionary of Biography", Volume 3, MUP, 1969, p. 149.

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  • BERNAYS, Lewis Adolphus (1831-1908) — public servant son of Dr A. Bernays, professor of German language and literature at King s College, London, was born on 3 May 1831. He was educated at King s College, and at the age of nineteen, emigrated to New Zealand, where he engaged in sheep …   Dictionary of Australian Biography

  • Bernays — /ˈbɜneɪz/ (say bernayz) noun Lewis Adolphus, 1831–1908, Australian public servant, born in England …  

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