State Records Office of WA SROWA

Government of Western Australia, Department for Culture and the Arts.

AU WA A103 - COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Legal Status Text

Department

Authorized form of name

COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE

Other form(s) of name

Description identifier

AU WA A103

Description area

Dates of existence

1828-12-30 - 1924-04-16

History

The Colonial Secretary's Office can be said to have originated with the appointment of Peter Broun as Colonial Secretary on 30 December 1828. However, Broun's letter of appointment of that date from the Colonial Office provides no reference to the duties connected with the office - it was simply intimated to him that he would receive half salary from the date of embarkation and full salary on arrival in the Colony.

The earliest records of the office are copies of letters written by the Colonial Secretary during the voyage, mainly instructions for other members of the Civil Establishment issued under the Lieutenant-Governor's signature, included among them being "Regulations for the Colonial Secretary's Office" dated 16 May 1829. These related chiefly to the internal organisation of the office and the keeping of records. The functions of the Colonial Secretary as the chief administrative office were indicated in the instructions to other officials who were informed "All Applications or Reports to the Governor to be invariably made through the Colonial Secretary's Office".

After Governor Stirling's return from England in 1834, new instructions were issued for the conduct of the official business of the Government. In connection with the Colonial Secretary's Office, it was stated "The main object contemplated in the Establishment of the Colonial Secretary's Office is to conduct the Correspondence of the Governor with the several Departments of the Public Service, and also with Colonists, collectively or individually". Instructions then follow about the regular daily attendance of the Colonial Secretary on the Governor to dispose of business and detailed rules are given for the keeping of records.

How little the Colonial Secretary's Office altered during the years can be seen by comparison of the remarks quoted above with regulations issued forty years later: "In the Colonial Secretary's Office shall be conducted subject to the previous rules, the general correspondence of the Governor with the departments of Government and the public. Subject to the previous rules, the Colonial Secretary shall be the official channel of communication to and from the Governor and the Governor's orders shall be conveyed 'by direction' under his hand".

In addition to the work of his own office, the Colonial Secretary was for two years after the foundation of the Colony required to act as Treasurer, but he was relieved of this responsibility when an Assistant Commissary General was appointed in 1832. From 1834-1839 he was Clerk to the Councils and he acted as Registrar of Deeds until 1846. Also, prior to 1846 when a Colonial Auditor was appointed, a board of three members with the Colonial Secretary as Chairman was responsible for Audit. When other officials took over these various posts, the records directly relating to them were transferred by the Colonial Secretary to the new offices.

The Colonial Secretary was, from the beginning of 1832, a member of both Executive and Legislative Councils. Until the middle 1870's, the Commandant of the Military Forces took precedence over other Council members and presided at Council meetings in the Governor's absence, but after 1873 the Colonial Secretary occupied this position and also, when the Legislative Council became partly elected in 1870, was the leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

Western Australia ceased to be a Crown Colony in 1890 and on 29 December of that year, the first Ministry under Responsible Government took office, one of the Ministers being the Colonial Secretary. The administrative head of the office from that date was the Under Secretary.

It was not until 1924 that the Minister in charge of this office became known as the Chief Secretary instead of Colonial Secretary, and the title of the office was changed accordingly.

During the years 1890-1900 the Premier, Sir John Forrest, was also at times Colonial Secretary and at these periods the Colonial Secretary's Office files include communications signed by him as Premier.

After Western Australia was granted responsible government the Colonial Secretary was still at the head of an organisation controlling widely diversified affairs such as Customs, Post Offices, Defence, Police, Shipping, Immigration, Education, Aboriginal affairs, Fisheries and many others. These however had the status of sub-departments and kept their own records. Some functions passed to Federal control at later stages, others became departments under their own Ministerial heads. During 1890-1900, work within the Colonial Secretary's Office itself was confined to matters affecting the lives and welfare of the people. It was in fact what might be called the "Home" Department, dealing with hospitals and health, charitable organisations, child welfare, Aboriginal protection, control of newspapers, public holidays, consular matters, etc.

The Colonial Secretaries for Western Australia were:


  • Peter Broun (Brown): 30 December 1828 - 1846


  • George F. Moore: 1846 - 1847


  • Hon. R.R. Madden: 1847 - 1849


  • Hon. C.A.J. Piesse: October 1850 - March 1851


  • T.N. Yule: March 1851 - 1852 (Acting)


  • Fred P. Barlee: July 1855 - July 1875


  • Sir Roger T. Goldsworthy: August 1877 - 1880


  • Rt. Hon. Baron Gifford, V.C.: September 1880 - 1883


  • Sir Malcom Fraser: 1883 - 1890


  • Sir George Shenton: December 1890 - October 1892


  • Hon. S.H. Parker: October 1892 - December 1894


  • Rt. Hon. Sir John Forrest: December 1894 - April 1898


  • Hon. George Randell: 28 April 1898 - 27 May 1901


  • Frederick Illingworth: 27 May 1901 - 21 November 1901


  • Matthew Lewis Moss: 21 November 1901 - 23 December 1901


  • Frederick Illingworth: 23 December 1901 - 1 July 1902


  • Walter Kingsmill: 1 July 1902 - 10 August 1904


  • George Taylor: August 1904 - June 1905 (Acting)


  • John Michael Drew: 7 June 1905 - 25 August 1905


  • Walter Kingsmill: 25 August 1905 - 7 May 1906


  • James Daniel Connolly: 7 May 1906 - 7 October 1907


  • John Michael Drew: 7 October 1911 - 27 July 1916


  • Hal Pateshall Colebatch: 27 July 1916 - 17 April 1919


  • Charles Arthur Hudson: 17 April 1919 - 17 May 1919


  • John Scadden: 17 May 1919 - 25 June 1919


  • Frank Tyndall Brown: 25 June 1919 - 22 August 1922


  • Richard Stanley Sampson: 22 August 1922 - 15 April 1924

Places

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

AU WA A240 - CHIEF SECRETARY'S DEPARTMENT (1924-04-16 - 1983-03-23)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A240

Category of the relationship

Succeeding

Dates of the relationship

1924-04-16 - 1983-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1219 - CAVES BOARD (1902-11-07 - 1910-09-02)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1219

Category of the relationship

Preceding

Dates of the relationship

-

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A65 - FISHERIES DEPARTMENT [2] (1920-01-01 - 1964-09-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A65

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1920-01-01 - 1924-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A280 - REGISTRAR GENERAL'S AND GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN'S DEPARTMENT (1901-01-01 - 1957-06-30)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A280

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1901-01-01 - 1924-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A254 - ALBANY PRISON (1879-01-01 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A254

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1898-01-01 - 1917-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1005 - PERTH OBSERVATORY (1896-01-01 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1005

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1896-01-01 - 1924-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A214 - GAOLS DEPARTMENT (1890-01-01 - 1947-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A214

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1890-01-01 - 1924-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A278 - REGISTRY DEPARTMENT (1881-01-01 - 1896-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A278

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1881-01-01 - 1895-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A219 - ROTTNEST GAOL (1838-08-01 - 1932-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A219

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1867-01-01 - 1917-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A371 - GERALDTON PRISON (1864-12-27 - 1984-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A371

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1864-01-01 - 1917-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1598 - RESIDENT MAGISTRATE - YORK (1859-01-01 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1598

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1859-01-01 -

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A220 - FREMANTLE PRISON (1855-01-01 - 1991-10-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A220

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1855-01-01 - 1917-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A775 - NEWCASTLE GAOL (1852-01-01 - 1911-12-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A775

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1852-01-01 - 1911-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A708 - AUDIT OFFICE (1845-01-01 - 1885-12-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A708

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1845-01-01 - 1885-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A273 - REGISTRY OFFICE (1841-01-01 - 1881-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A273

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1841-01-01 - 1880-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1578 - RESIDENT MAGISTRATE - TOODYAY (1838-08-01 - 1902-08-30)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1578

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1838-08-01 - 1880-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A407 - GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (1836-02-01 - 1986-09-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A407

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1836-01-01 - 1901-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A683 - COMMISSARIAT OFFICE, PERTH (1832-01-01 - 1872-12-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A683

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1832-01-01 - 1872-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A750 - RESIDENT MAGISTRATE - BUSSELTON (1849-03-13 - 1910-12-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A750

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1830-08-01 - 1881-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A375 - PERTH GAOL (1830-01-01 - 1888-01-01)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A375

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1830-01-01 - 1888-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A384 - BUSSELTON CLERK OF COURTS (1841-01-01 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A384

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

1828-01-01 - 1881-01-01

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1743 - GUARDIAN OF JUVENILE EMIGRANTS (1842-08-20 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1743

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

-

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A660 - FREMANTLE ASYLUM (1865-07-01 - 1909-12-31)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A660

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

- 1909-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A709 - AUDIT DEPARTMENT (1885-12-31 - 1986-06-27)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A709

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

- 1900-12-31

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1759 - BUNBURY CLERK OF COURTS (1838-03-14 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1759

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

-

Description of relationship

Related entity

AU WA A1758 - RESIDENT MAGISTRATE - BUNBURY (1838-03-14 -)

Identifier of the related entity

AU WA A1758

Category of the relationship

Superior

Dates of the relationship

-

Description of relationship

Related function

Related unit of description

Series S1412 - LETTERBOOK (OUTWARDS CORRESPONDENCE) - DEFENCE MATTERS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

- 1900-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S669 - REGISTERS - VACCINATIONS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1829-01-01 - 1910-01-01

Related unit of description

Related unit of description

Series S675 - CORRESPONDENCE FILES

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1883-10-01 - 1924-04-16

Related unit of description

Series S3753 - INDEX CARDS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1924-01-01 - 1924-04-16

Related unit of description

Series S4787 - PASSAGE GUARANTEE FORMS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S949 - FILES - UNREGISTERED

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1871-09-30 - 1924-04-15

Related unit of description

Series S4794 - CORRESPONDENCE - ASSISTED IMMIGRANTS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S4795 - SHEEP INSPECTION RETURNS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S2755 - LETTERBOOKS (OUTWARDS CORRESPONDENCE) [MAIN SERIES]

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1829-06-08 - 1900-02-16

Related unit of description

Series S2758 - CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED (CONVICT FINANCE BOARD)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1851-05-05 - 1872-04-02

Related unit of description

Series S1219 - WARRANTS OF COMMITMENT

Role

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1899-12-30 - 1917-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S969 - STATISTICAL RETURNS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1876-01-01 -

Related unit of description

Series S2520 - MAGISTRATES REPORTS

Role

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1855-11-03 - 1859-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S1243 - RECORDS - VARIOUS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1899-12-30 - 1924-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S735 - REGISTER - MARRIAGE DECLARATIONS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1843-01-01 - 1854-01-01

Related unit of description

Series S1512 - FILES - GENERAL (Draft)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

- 1924-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S1528 - SHIPPING REGISTERS - DERBY

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1906-01-01 - 1924-04-16

Related unit of description

Series S1547 - REGISTERS - NATURALIZATION

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1841-04-15 - 1903-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S33 - MAPS - GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1848-01-01 - 1848-08-31

Related unit of description

Series S4394 - CORRESPONDENCE FILES - CONFIDENTIAL

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S4144 - METEOROLOGICAL JOURNALS (PERTH)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1830-04-16 - 1875-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S3633 - FILES - REGISTERED (Draft)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S4148 - BLUE BOOKS (STATISTICAL RETURNS FOR THE SWAN RIVER COLONY)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1834-01-01 - 1889-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S2097 - 1891 CENSUS RETURNS [YORK CENSUS RETURNS]

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1891-04-05 - 1891-04-05

Related unit of description

Series S4149 - METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS (BREAKSEA ISLAND)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1895-01-01 - 1896-09-28

Related unit of description

Series S4150 - METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS (ALBANY)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1880-01-01 -

Related unit of description

Series S3643 - FILES - REGISTERED (Draft)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Related unit of description

Series S4162 - 1859 CENSUS RETURNS [YORK CENSUS RETURNS]

Role

Custody

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1859-12-31 -

Related unit of description

Series S1618 - RECORDS - VARIOUS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1851-01-01 - 1879-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S1373 - CORRESPONDENCE - ELIZA JANE SMITH

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1899-12-30 - 1890-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S4457 - LETTERBOOK (OUTWARDS CORRESPONDENCE) - COMMISSARIAT (Draft)

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1853-01-03 - 1876-12-31

Related unit of description

Series S2941 - CORRESPONDENCE - INWARDS

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1828-12-30 -

Related unit of description

Series S4868 - RECORDS OF PERMITS TO LAND IN SOUTH AFRICA

Role

Creation

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

Control area

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Final

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Sources

Archivist's notes

AN Cross Reference = 24, 376