Andrew Inglis Clark

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Andrew Inglis Clark (24 February 1848 – 14 November 1907) was an Australian politician.[1]

Clark was born in Hobart, Tasmania, five years before the end of convict transportation to Tasmania. Clark was the youngest son of Alexander Russell Clark, a successful engineer, building contractor and ironfounder, and his wife Ann, née Inglis.[1] Clark attended Hobart High School, then became a mechanical engineer. He later studied law, being admitted to the Tasmanian Bar in January 1877. In 1878 he married Grace Paterson, daughter of John Ross, a Hobart shipbuilder.

In July 1878 Clark was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly for Norfolk Plains,carrying the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1880.[1] Clark lost the 1882 election; he also failing to be elected in the 1884 (for East Hobart) and 1886 (for South Hobart) elections, losing to John Stokell Dodds on both ccasions. Clark was returned for South Hobart in 1887 and became Attorney General 1887.[1] It was after a visit to the United States in 1890 that Andrew Inglis Clark became a committed 'republican' which subsequently led to his passionate involvement in the process of the federation of Australia. At the constitutional convention of 1891, Clark was the leading authority on constitutional development in the United States.

In 1896, after several failed attempts Clark was able to get a system of proportional representation adopted by the Tasmanian Parliament:- see Single Transferable Vote. The Tasmanian system of STV (now copied by the Australian Capital Territory) has become known as "Hare-Clark" in his honour (and in honour of Thomas Hare.) Clark published Studies in Australian Constitutional Law (Melbourne) in 1901.[1]

Clark, never in robust health, in fact described as "small, spare and nervous" by Alfred Deakin, died in 1907. He is buried in the old Queenborough Cemetery at Sandy Bay.


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