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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Patterson, Hon. James Brown

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Patterson, Hon. James Brown, M.L.A., J.P., was born at Alnwick, Northumberland, on Nov. 18th, 1833, and is the youngest son of the late James Patterson, district road inspector. He emigrated to Victoria in 1852, and went to the Forest Creek goldfields. In 1856 he was engaged in farming at Glenlyon, near Daylesford, and during his residence there married Miss Walton. Mr. Patterson was mayor of Chewton for four years, and in 1871 entered Parliament for Castlemaine, a district which he has represented in the Assembly ever since. He first took office in Mr. (now Sir) Graham Berry's Ministry, in August 1875, and held the position of Commissioner of Public Works and Vice-President of the Board of Land and Works in that Government till its defeat in October of the same year. To these offices he was reappointed on Mr. Berry's return to power in May 1877, and retained them till the Ministry, in which Mr. Patterson also held the additional position of Postmaster-General from July 1878 to March 1880, was ejected from office. In the third Berry Ministry Mr. Patterson discharged with marked ability the duties of Minister of Railways from August 1880 to July 1881. Mr. Patterson revisited England in 1884-5, and did not return to office till Feb. 1889, when he succeeded Mr. Walker as Minister of Customs in the Gillies Administration, in which he was also Minister of Public Works from June to Sept. 1890, and Postmaster-General from that date until the government resigned, in November of the same year. During the great Australian strike of 1890, Mr. Patterson took the most prominent part in preserving the public peace in Melbourne. After the defeat of the Gillies-Deakin Government, Mr. Patterson visited England, and delivered important addresses on Australia in Newcastle-on-Tyne and Alnwick.