Richard Baker (Australian politician)

Richard Baker (Australian Politician)

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Richard Baker (Australian politician)

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Sir Richard Chaffey Baker KCMG (22 June 1842 – 18 March 1911) was an Australian politician. A barrister by trade, he embarked on a successful career in South Australian colonial politics, serving as state attorney-general and President of the Legislative Council before switching to federal politics after federation. He served as the inaugural President of the Senate from 1901 to 1906. A noted federalist, he was the son of one-time Premier of South Australia John Baker.

Baker was born in Adelaide, but returned to his family home of England to study at Eton College and Cambridge University. He graduated with a B.A. in 1864 and an M.A. in 1870. He was called to the bar in June 1864, and returned to Adelaide in the same year. Baker began developing a successful career as a barrister, but in 1868, at the age of 26, decided to stand for the state lower house of parliament, the House of Assembly, in the seat of Barossa. The campaign was successful, as he topped the poll, and thus took one of the two Barossa seats in the House of Assembly.

Baker was appointed as Attorney-General in the third ministry of John Hart in May 1870, but returned to the backbenches in July 1871 in order to manage the affairs of his ill father, and did not recontest his seat at the election late that year. Two years later, Baker visited England, and on his return in early 1875, he declined an offer to serve in the cabinet of Sir Arthur Blyth. He nevertheless recontested his old seat of Barossa, but...
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