Charles Cameron Kingston
Charles Cameron Kingston, youngest son of George Strickland Kingston, was born on 22 October 1850 in Adelaide. He received his early education at John Lorenzo Young's Adelaide Educational Institute on North terrace. In March 1868 he was articled to Samuel Way and at the age of twenty-three admitted to practice law at the South Australian Bar. That same year on 25 June 1873 he married Lucy May McCarthy. Despite numerous scandals in his personal life their marriage lasted. C.C. Kingston had a passion for Australian Rules Football; he helped formulating its code and was President of the South Australian Football Club.
Charles followed his father Sir George Strickland Kingston, into politics in 1881 and held the seat of West Adelaide until 1900. While attending to the law and politics, he still had time to keep an eye on the mining industry as well. In 1882 he invested a substantial amount of money in the Aclare Silver Mining Company. On 16 June 1884 he became Attorney General, and for the next twelve months amply fulfilled the expectations formed of him. His legal skill, and capacity for hard work were soon recognised. During 1889 Kingston took part in the Federal Council held in Hobart and represented South Australia at the national Australian Convention held in Sydney in 1891. In 1892 he challenged Legislative Councillor Richard Baker to a duel, was arrested in Victoria Square and in 1893 became Premier of South Australia holding that office from 16 June 1893 until 1 December 1899, longer than any previous Premier.
C.C. Kingston was a great social reformer and introduced much legislation towards improving conditions for both males and females. Among some of his most important legislation were those concerning with factory regulations, conciliation and arbitration, protection of wages for set hours, married women property act, female suffrage, and the right for women to stand for parliament. He also was very involved with the drafting of Chinese Immigration Restriction Bill. He declared himself 'staunchly inimical to coloured immigration and determined to fight tooth and nail to keep Australia for the white man'.
While Premier, Kingston introduced the Mining Bill into the House of Assembly on 12 September 1893 to encourage legitimate mining and prevent speculative enterprises and shepherding of leases. The bill also provided for facilities to assist miners and prospectors and the establishment of a Department of Mines. He also was instrumental in introducing the first referendum ever held in Australia. It was concerned with whether State aid should be given to church schools and if the Bible should be read in State schools. Both were defeated.
Kingston's greatest cause was the achievement of Federation. From 1896 onward he worked towards the federation of the Australian colonies and also assisted with the drafting of the Australian Constitution. In 1901 he was elected to the first Federal Parliament and served as Minister of Trade and Customs.
Kingston died in 1908. His wife Lucy died in 1919 and is buried at St Judes Cemetery Brighton.
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