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Members’ biographical register

Alexander Forrest

Principal Honours
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1901)
Date: 22 September 1849
Place: Picton, Western Australia
Arrival in WA
William, miller, and Margaret Guthrie Hill
Marriage and Family
Brother of David Forrest, farmer and politician, and John Forrest , Premier 1890–1901 and surveyor
Married 15 January 1880, residence of bride’s father of Beverley to Amy Eliza Edward Barrett-Lennard (born 14 November 1854), daughter of Edward Henry and Eliza Anne Smith
Children: four sons and one daughter
Widowed 30 August 1897, London
Date: 20 June 1901
Place: Perth, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Cause of Death:
Church of England
Bishop Hale’s School 1863–1865
Surveyor and businessperson
Employment History
At father’s mill until 1868, training as surveyor 1869–1870
1870 second-in-command, John Forrest’s Adelaide expedition
1871 surveyor-in-charge Albany district for Survey Department, contract surveyor 1871–1880
Led expedition to Hampton Plains in 1871 and again 1876
1874 second-in-command John Forrest’s West–East expedition, Geraldton to overland telegraph line to Adelaide
Six month exploration in 1879 opened up Kimberley district
1880 land agent
1883–1886 agent to Anthony Hordern for land grant railway from Albany to Beverley
Assisted Midland Railway Company with negotiations with Government 1888–1891
1890 began exporting cattle from Kimberleys to Perth, 1894 in partnership with Emanuel Brothers
Shareholder in timber company, invested in gold mining, stock and shares, Albany Advertiser, metropolitan real estate
Partner or shareholder in several sheep stations and farm at Cubbine, near York
Chairman of directors
Morning Herald
Director Perth Building Society 1886-1901
Local Government Service
Mayor of Perth 1892–1895, 1897–1900
Date Elected
1 February 1887
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Alexander Forrest
Valedictory Speech
Year Retired/Resigned
West Kimberley
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC Kimberley 1 February 1887 (new division)–21 October 1890
  • MLA West Kimberley 27 November 1890–20 June 1901

  • Government Whip 1890–1901

  • Western Australian delegate to Australian Federal Convention 1891

Historical Notes
  • Three Forrest brothers served in the Parliament of Western Australia including Alexander Forrest and his brothers, Sir John and David.
Private Member's Bills
Chairman Karrakatta Cemetery Board of Trustees 1897–1900
Committee member of Western Australian Turf Club, responsible for establishment of Perth Cup 1887, owner of first winner
As Mayor of Perth established first tramways
George Leake responsible for subdivision of Peppermint Grove
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, 2010, p. 74.
Further Information
G. C. Bolton, 'Forrest, Alexander (1849–1901)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 21 December 2015.