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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Rounsevell, Hon. William Benjamin

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Rounsevell, Hon. William Benjamin, M.P., late Treasurer of South Australia, is the second son of the late William Rounsevell, coach proprietor, and received his education at St. Peter's College, Adelaide. On the death of his father he, in common with his brother, Mr. J. Rounsevell, inherited a large fortune; and he has since been engaged in pastoral and commercial pursuits. He was elected member for the Burra in 1875, which district he represented continuously till the general election in 1890, when he sought the suffrages of the electors of Port Adelaide, and was returned at the head of the poll. In Dec. 1881 he was elected mayor of Glenelg. When Mr. G. S. Fowler resigned his position in Parliament through ill-health, Mr. Rounsevell received the portfolio of Treasurer in the Morgan Ministry on May 10th, 1881; but he only filled the office for a few weeks in consequence of the resignation of the Government on June 24th following. When the Hon. J. Colton formed his last Ministry in June 1884, Mr. Rounsevell was his Treasurer, and he retained that office until the downfall of the administration in June 1885. He was one of the two candidates for the Speakership at the opening of the Parliament elected in 1890, and received the support of the Cockburn Ministry; but he retired when it was found that there was a majority in favour of the Hon. Jenkin Coles. Mr. Rounsevell became Commissioner of Public Works on Mr. Playford's return to power in August 1890. In Jan. 1892, he became Treasurer, retiring with his colleagues in June.