Adolphus Taylor

Adolphus George Taylor (14 June 1857 – 18 January 1900) was an Australian journalist and politician, elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

Early life

Taylor was born in Mudgee, New South Wales and was educated at the local Church of England School and became a teacher in Mudgee by 1875. He joined the New South Wales Permanent Artillery as a private, but was court-martialled for "insubordination" in 1878. He then joined or returned to the Mudgee Independent as a journalist.[1]

Political career

Taylor represented Mudgee from 1882 until 1887.[2] He became an expert in parliamentary procedure and constitutional law and showed that George Reid's appointment as a Minister for Public Instruction in 1883, made him ineligible to hold his seat, forcing to stand for a by-election, which he lost. In 1885, Taylor married Rosetta Nicholls. His emotional and often drunken harangues of the House led to frequent expulsions and as a result of being suspended twice in a row for a week by the Speaker, Edmund Barton, he successfully sued Barton for £1,000.[1] In 1886, he travelled to London to fight Barton's appeal to the Privy Council, having raised his fare by lecturing on "The Iron Hand in Politics" and selling his stamp collection. He took "his wife, his mother, a cockatoo, a parrot and a magpie" to England and won his own case, although he then refused to accept the damages on the basis that they would come out of the taxpayers pockets rather than Barton's.[3]

In April 1887, Taylor resigned from Parliament so that he could be appointed examiner of patents. He was re-elected to parliament as the member for West Sydney in 1890 but was defeated in the 1891 election, following widespread criticism of his delayed report of the rape of his 12-year-old maid servant by clerical imposter, James Joseph Crouch.[4] He ran unsuccessfully for Sydney-King in 1894.[1]

Later life

Taylor became the first editor of the Truth in 1890 and 1891 and he returned to edit it in 1894. He also edited the Spectator in 1892 and he also worked as a journalist in 1897. In 1898, he was admitted to the Hospital for the Insane in the Sydney suburb of Callan Park, where he died, survived by his wife, Rosetta. He was buried at Rookwood Anglican Cemetery on 20 January 1900.[5]


  1. Rutledge, Martha. "Taylor, Adolphus George (1857 - 1900)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. "Mr Adolphus George Taylor (1857-1900)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. Pearl 1958, pp. 42–43
  4. Pearl 1958, p. 61
  5. Rookwood Anglican Cemetery. Anglican Section 4, Row 20, Grave 4777


  • Pearl, Cyril (1958). Wild Men of Sydney. London: W.H. Allen. ISBN 0-207-13539-8.
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