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Joseph Cook

Joseph Cook

Sir Joseph Cook was born on 7 December 1860 in Silverdale, Staffordshire, England. He was an Australian politician and 6th Prime Minister. He worked in coal mines of Staffordshire in his early life. During 1880s he settled in Lithgow, New South Wales.

Early Years

He was born to William and Margaret Cooke in Silverdale, Staffordshire, England. At age of nine he worked in coal mines and not completed his education. In his teen age to support   Primitive Methodism and pronounced his surname by dropping the “e” letter. In 1885, he married to Mary Turner at Wolstanton and they had five sons and three daughters. Then they settled in New South Wales and worked in the coal mines.

In 1887, he appointed as General-Secretary of the Western Miners Association. In 1888, he participated in protest against Chinese immigration.  In 1891, he was active member in the Single Tax League political party and founding member of the Australian Labor Party.

Political Career

In 1891, he was elected as member for Hartley of New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Later he shifted to Free Trade Party and was a minister in the cabinet of Premier George Reid from 1894 to 1899. From 1894 to 1898, he worked as Postmaster-General. In 1901, the first Australian federal election he was elected as federal seat of Parramatta.  He worked for Reid as deputy minister and then Alfred Deakin party established the Commonwealth Liberal Party by help of Cook's and Deakin's parties.

In 1913 election, he became Australia's sixth prime minister as leader of liberal party with  just one seat majority in the lower house and one seat in upper house due to this he repeatedly needed to hold a double result. The outbreak of World War I just before the September 1914 election led to a Labor victory. In 1916, he joined William Morris Hughes' Nationalist Party of Australia due to break up in the Labor party. In 1917, following the Nationalist victory, he performs duties as minister for the navy and then as finance minister under Hughes. In 1921, he resigned from the federal parliament and to turn into Australian High Commissioner. He then passes the Royal Commission in South Australia as affected by Federation from 1928 – 29.


At the age of 86, he died in Sydney


  • In 1914, Cook was appointed to the Privy Council
  • In 1918, he was knighted as Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
  • In 1972, in his honor an Australia Post released a postage stamp bearing his portrait.

He is the only Australian prime minister until and William McMahon does not hold a federal electorate named after them. However, in the respect of him there is a chair called Cook which was named not after the Prime Minister but after Captain James Cook.

6th Prime Minister of Australia
In office 24 June 1913 – 17 September 1914
Monarch George V
Governor General Lord Denman Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson
Preceded by Andrew Fisher
Succeeded by Andrew Fisher
Member of the Australian Parliament for Parramatta
In office 30 March 1901 to 10 December 1921
Preceded by Seat Created
Succeeded by Herbert Pratten
Personal details
Born 7 December 1860 Silverdale, Staffordshire, England
Died 30 July 1947 (aged 86) Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality British
Political party Labor, Free Trade/Anti-Socialist, Fusion
Spouse(s) Mary Turner
Relations Richard Cecil Cook (son)
Children 8
Religion Methodism

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

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