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Sir Henry Parkes

Sir Henry Parkes


Sir Henry Parkes was born to tenant farmer, Thomas Parkes and wife Martha Parkes on 27th May, 1815 in Warwickshire, England. He was the seven child of the family, being youngest among all. In his early years, he helped his family financially by working as a road laborer and later turning into an ivory turner. Parkes had an interest in politics and soon turned into a leader-writer. Later in 1849, he started his first ever newspaper Empire to incorporate his belief of assaulting abuses whilst being trustworthy to the Crown.


The world lost Sir Henry Parkes in 1896, April 27. During his life, he served as a leading political stature of Australia during mid of 19th century. He was referred to as the Father of Australian Federation.


Sir Henry Parkes was honored as “Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George” in the year 1877; and titled as the Grand Cross in 1888. His picture is carved on Australian one-dollar coin of year 1996, in addition to the Centenary of Federation $5 Australian note of 2001.


Parkes first married Clarinda Varney in 1836 in Birmingham. The couple had 12 children. After the death of his first wife in 1888, he remarried Eleanor Dixon in 1889 in Sydney. Parkes was widowed in 1895 in New South Wales until they had five children. Soon after her death, Sir Henry Parkes married his former cook and housekeeper named Julia Lynch in 1895. The couple had no children together.


Sir Henry Parkes had attended Stoneleigh Parish School and later joined Birmingham Mechanics Institute.


From first wife, Parkes had

  • Thomas Campbell Parkes
  • Clarinda Martha Parkes
  • Clarinda Sarah Parkes
  • Robert Sydney Parkes
  • Mary Parkes
  • Mary Edith Parkes
  • Milton Parkes
  • Lily Maria Parkes
  • Annie Thomasine Parkes
  • Gertrude Amelia Parkes
  • Varney Parkes
  • Lily Faulconbridge Parkes

From his second wife, he had

  • Sydney Parkes
  • Kenilworth Parkes
  • Aurora Parkes
  • Henry Parkes
  • Cobden Parkes


Parkes was an Australian citizen since he politically served the Commonwealth of Australia.

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