Charles Lilley

Charles Lilley

Name: Charles Lilley

Epoch: Late 19th Century (the \'Long Nineteenth Century\')

Grouping Field: Applied Sociology, Politics and Reform

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°28\'32.2\"S 153°01\'37.9\"E

Years At Location: 1868-1870

One Historical Setting: Sir Charles Lilley, Premier, Queensland Parliament House, George Street, Brisbane City (1868)

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Charles Lilley was Queensland Premier from 1868 to 1870, and Member for Fortitude Valley in the Queensland Parliament. Lilley was also Queensland Chief Justice from 1879 to 1893. He is a pivotal figure in Queensland education system. He was a founder in the Brisbane School of Arts and the Brisbane Grammar School, chairman of the royal commission to investigate a free and secular education policy, and advocated for a Queensland university when in 1891 he chaired a royal commission on university establishment.

Impact On Brisbane Society

Charles Lilley had a strong commitment to adult education prior to arriving in Brisbane, and combined it with his love of law and radical politics. Lilley represented the progressivist and liberal force against the establishment mentality of Queensland pastoralists. Lilley was inspired by his earlier two years study at University College, London, and it had a bearing on his work in the Brisbane School of Arts and the Brisbane Grammar School.


H. J. Gibbney, ‘Lilley, Sir Charles (1827–1897)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 18 December 2017;

Bennett, J. M. (John Michael); De Jersey, Paul. Sir Charles Lilley: Premier 1868-1870 and second Chief Justice 1879-1893 of Queensland, The Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, 2014.

Evans, Raymond. A History of Queensland, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Vic, 2007.

Fitzgerald, Ross; Megarrity, Lyndon; Symons, David. Made in Queensland : a New History, Special Q150 commemorative edition, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2009.

Johnston, W. (William) Ross. The Call of the Land: a History of Queensland to the Present Day, Jacaranda Wiley, Brisbane, 1982.

Murphy, Denis Joseph;, Joyce, R. B. (Roger Bilbrough). (ed.) Queensland Political Portraits, 1859-1952, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld, 1978..

Serle, Percival (1949). “Lilley, Charles”. Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.(;

Unnamed. (ed.) Sir Charles Lilley: a Tribute, Conference Papers 1997, Supreme Court Library of Queensland, Brisbane Qld, 2004.

Watson, Tom; Logan, Greg. (ed.) Soldiers of the service: Some Early Queensland Educators and their Schools, History of Queensland Education Society, AEBIS Publishing, Brisbane Qld, 1992.

Image Citation

Charles Lilley. Photographer: Unknown []