Frederick Holder

Frederick Holder

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Frederick Holder

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Sir Frederick William Holder KCMG (12 May 185023 July 1909) was the 19th Premier of South Australia and a prominent member of the inaugural Australian commonwealth parliament, including the first Speaker of the House.


Born in Happy Valley, South Australia — the son of James Morecott Holder and his wife, Martha Breakspear Roby, Holder was educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide before first becoming a teacher, schoolmaster, and Methodist preacher, and later the editor and proprietor of the Burra Record; he also wrote for the Adelaide Register.

Holder married Julia Maria Stephens in 1877. His wife proved to be a great boon to his career, providing political advice and serving as South Australian President of the influential Women's Christian Temperance Union.

Political career

Holder was elected to the South Australian Legislative Assembly in 1887 as the member for Burra, and soon gained a sound reputation in parliament. As a result, he served as Treasurer from 1889-90 in the J. A. Cockburn ministry, and Leader of the Opposition from 1890-92. He sat on many royal commissions during his parliamentary career in South Australia, and his reasonableness and sincerity made him a very valuable committee man. In June 1891 he carried a vote of want of confidence in the Playford ministry, and took office as premier and treasurer. He had only a small majority and it was a time of great financial difficulties due to a severe drought and Holder was forced out as Premier after...
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