The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Peacock, Hon. Alexander James
Peacock, Hon. Alexander James, M.L.A., son of James Henry and Mary Jane Peacock, was born at Creswick, Vict., in 1861. After passing the Civil Service examination when thirteen years old, he was for five years an assistant teacher at the Creswick Grammar School, and then gave up teaching owing to failing health. He is now the legal manager of the far-famed Madame Berry and Berry Consols Gold Mining Companies, the former being the richest deep alluvial mine in Australia. It was, however, in connection with the Australian Natives Association that he first became prominent in a political sense. In 1883 he was appointed one of the Board of Directors, Vice-President in 1884, and President in 1885 and 1886. At the general election in 1889 he was returned to the Assembly for Clunes and Allendale, defeating Mr. T. Cooper, the veteran chairman of committees; and in Nov. 1890, when the Munro Ministry was formed, Mr. Peacock accepted a seat in the Government without portfolio, and was sworn of the Executive Council. When the Ministry was reconstructed under Mr. Shiels, Mr. Peacock retained his seat in the Cabinet, with the office of Minister of Public Instruction.