Search the collections
William Mountford Kinsey Vale, Politican (1833-1895)
Image: Photograph - Guests at Centenary of Laying Foundation Stone Commemorative Function, Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1979
Source: Museum Victoria
William Mountford Kinsey Vale was a politician and bookseller. He was born in London on 10 August 1853, son of a bookseller, and migrated to Australia with his brother and parents at the age of 19. The family settled at Castlemaine, where they established a bookselling and newsagency business. William moved to Ballarat, established a business, then returned to London, where he married Rachel Lennox. They returned to Australia, where Vale established his political career by representing Ballarat West in the Legislative Assembly, serving two terms: November 1864 to August 1865 and September 1865 to April 1869. During this period he also became vice-president of the Board of Land and Works, and commissioner of trade and customs. In May 1869 he lost his seat in a by-election but in October 1869 he won the seat of Collingwood. The following year he became a member of the royal commission on the civil service, and then commissioner of trade and customs in the Duffy ministery. About 1872 he sold his Ballarat business to his younger brother. Perhaps it was the pressure of his other responsibilities: in the same year he became a Trustee of the Public Library, Museums and National Gallery, a position he held for the rest of his life. He was also a foundation member of the Young Men's Christian Association, an active Congregationist and a member of the Independent Order of Good Templars.
In Parliament, Vale was an enthusiastic advocate of protection as a basis for social progress. He supported the use of tariffs to further workers' technical training.
Two years later, Vale's term in Parliament ended, and he decided not to stand again. Instead he travelled to England, where he became a member of the Board of Advice to the agent-general and took up studies. He qualified as a barrister in 1878, and returned to Melbourne the following year, where he was admitted to the Victorian Supreme Court. He shared a room with Alfred Deakin. Vale served as a member of the Victorian commission for the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition (1880 catalogue p.xxxvii), and Treasurer to the Commission for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition and chairman of its manufacturers' committee, for which he was awarded a gold medal for services to the Exhibition [NU 20225]. In May the same year he won the seat of Fitzroy, and subsequently served as Attorney-general and Minister of Justice in the Berry ministry. He took the opportunity to reform the Titles Office.
Vale was a keen land speculator, and in 1883 his defeat for the seat of Emerald Hill was attributed to his attendance at a land sale on the same day. He was defeated again in 1889 for the seat of Collingwood. In the same decade Vale founded the Working Men's College (now RMIT University), and in 1887 he was appointed commissioner of the Centennial International Exhibition, but was forced to resign through ill health. He visited England, then returned to Australia and died at Collingwood on 23 October 1895. He was survived by five of his six daughters and three of his five sons.
Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition, http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060346b.htm
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 10) 92 items
Copper Halfpenny Proof Token, minted by J. Moore, London, in 1857. Issued to promote Professor Holloway's pills and ointments. Proof tokens, such as this one, were manufactured for coll ...From: London, United Kingdom Images: 2
Copper One Penny Token, minted by Heaton & Son, Birmingham, England, circa 1858. Issued by James Campbell, General Stores, Morpeth, New South Wales. James Campbell arranged for a large ...From: Morpeth, Australia Images: 2
Leather-bound presentation album containing sixty-one monochrome gold-toned photographs by Ludovico Hart of exterior and interior views of the Melbourne International Exhibition, held a ...Images: 1
Copper One Penny Token, minted by W.J.Taylor, London. Issued by Alfred Toogood, Rainbow Tavern, Sydney, 1855. Alfred Toogood was listed as the publican at the Rainbow Tavern between 185 ...
Copper One Penny Token, minted by W.J.Taylor, London. Issued by Flavelle Bros, Opticians & Jewellers, Sydney, circa 1856. Henry Flavelle joined George Brush in an optician and jeweller' ...
Black & white photograph of the descendants of Hon William Mountford Kinsey Vale at a function to commemorate the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone for the Exhibition Buil ...Images: 2
Bronze One Penny Token, probably minted by Heaton and Sons, Birmingham. Issued by J. MacGreggor, Sultan's Steam Coffee Works & City Tea Warehouse, Sydney, circa 1868. James MacGregor's ...
Bronze Halfpenny Token, probably minted by Heaton and Sons, Birmingham. Issued by J. MacGreggor, Sultan's Steam Coffee Works & City Tea Warehouse, Sydney, circa 1868. James MacGregor's ...
Bronze One Penny Token, minted by Stokes & Martin in Melbourne in 1872. It features a Maori Head and was designed by Julius Hogarth, a Jeweller & Medal Maker, who worked for Stokes and ...From: Melbourne, Australia Images: 2
Australia Victoria Melbourne Medal - Melbourne International Exhibition Gold 1880 (AD) Mint: Melbourne Awarded to: Vale, W. M. K. Treasurer of the Exhibition for services Other Details ...From: Melbourne, Australia Images: 2