The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Allen, Hon. Sir George Wigram

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Allen, Hon. Sir George Wigram, K.C.M.G., son of the late Hon. George Allen, M.L.C. (q.v.), was born in Sydney on May 16th, 1824. He was educated at Cape's school and at Sydney College where he distinguished himself in classics and mathematics. He was articled to his father, and admitted an attorney and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1846. He married, in July 1851, Marian, eldest daughter of the late Rev. William Billington Boyce, first President of the Australian Wesleyan Conference, who survived him. He was a Commissioner of National Education from 1853 to 1866, and became a member of the Council of Education in 1873. In 1859 he was made a magistrate, and chosen first Mayor of The Glebe, an office to which he was many times consecutively re-elected. He was appointed a member of the Legislative Council in 1860, but resigned his seat; and was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly for The Glebe in 1869. He was chosen President of the Law Institute in 1870; and on Dec. 9th, 1873, he accepted office in the Parkes Ministry, becoming the first Minister of Justice and Public Instruction appointed after the creation of the office. He retired with his colleagues on Feb. 8th, 1875, and was chosen Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on March 23rd, 1875, being re-elected on Nov. 27th, 1877 (in which year he was knighted), and Dec. 15th, 1880. In the next parliament he was displaced by Mr. Barton (Jan. 3rd, 1883). In 1878 Sir George was elected to the Senate of Sydney University, to fill the vacancy created by the death of his father. Sir George was one of the vice-presidents of the Royal Commission for the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879, and also of the New South Wales Commission for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880. In 1884 Sir George was created K.C.M.G., and died on July 23rd, 1885.