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Members’ biographical register

James Henry English Thomas

Date: 2 March 1826
Place: London (off Oxford St), England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
Arrived WA 1875
Son of William
Marriage and Family
Marriage unknown
Date: 16 July 1884
Place: Perth, Western Australia
Educated University College School, London 1835–1839
University College, London
Member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (MICE), 1879
Employment History
Articled to Evans and Sons, mechanical engineers, for two years superintendent of gun machinery for the arsenal at Trubia in Spain
Served for several years as engineer to Imperial Gas Co, Vauxhall, London
Resident engineer Fitzroy dry dock, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, NSW 1853–1857
1857 became inspector in Government Railways NSW, subsequently director in charge of arrangements for visit of Duke of Edinburgh 1868
Assistant Engineer Roads and Bridges, NSW
Director of Public Works 1876-1884, also Government Engineer and Commissioner of Railways

Commissioner for WA for Paris Exhibition 1878
Date Elected
10 July 1883
Inaugural Speech
No inaugural speech given
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by James Thomas
Valedictory Speech
No valedictory speech given
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • Official Nominated MLC 10 July 1883–16 July 1884

  • Official Nominated MLC in capacity as Director of Public Works and Commissioner of Railways 10 July 1883–16 July 1884
To NSW 1852
Visited England 1872–1873
Travelled to England for his health
Death occurred after he collapsed while in Legislative Council
Author of
A Trip to England
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2001, p. 23.
R Erickson, The bicentennial dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888, Volume IV.
University College School Register 1831–1898.