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Edward Nicholas Braddon

(1829—1904) politician in Australia


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(1829–1904) settled in north-western Tasmania in 1878 after a varied career in India. He turned his rundown property into a profitable concern and, in 1879, was asked to stand for the local seat, which he won. An extremely capable politician, he served as Tasmania's agent-general in London and helped float the Mount Lyell Mining Co. among other ventures. He returned to Tasmania in 1893 and became premier the following year, remaining in office for five years. His was a vigorous government which pursued an active program of public works, and he was renowned in the public service for his savage cuts, known as ‘Braddon's axe’. Braddon enabled George Adams to run the national Tattersalls lotteries from Tasmania, which provided revenue for the state. A committed federalist, Braddon was elected as a Tasmanian delegate to the 1897–98 Federal Convention. Recognising the need to win acceptance of the Constitution by the smaller states, he introduced section 87, called the ‘Braddon clause’, whereby three-quarters of the revenue from customs and excise would be returned to the states. The proposal was criticised as the ‘Braddon Blot’ and amended before Federation so that the arrangement would continue for only 10 years. During the 1951 Jubilee celebrations Braddon was honoured in Tasmania as a founding father.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.


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