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The Six Hungry Families

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Septimus Burt
Septimus Burt
Hogan's opponent in the 1888 election.

In the 1880's, a fiery Irish Lawyer, John Horgan, condemned Governor Broome and called for self-government.

In a stormy campaign against Septimus Burt for a Legislative Council seat in Perth, Horgan dubbed a group of wealthy colonists, the ``six hungry families", because of their appetite for power and for the influence they had in the Colony.

Horgan was popular with Perth workers and others who felt they had little voice in the existing system of government.
He won the election by just three votes, but within a year he had lost his seat at another poll.



Town Hall and Legislative Council Chambers Town Hall and Legislative Council Chambers, by Julian Ashton 1887.
The Perth Town Hall was the site where Hogan delivered his fiery rhetoric against the ``six hungry families". The legislative council is shown to the fore.

WA Bulletin, 19 May 1888WA Bulletin, 19 May 1888.
Horgan's campign was billed as a contest between the working man and the capitalist.

WA Bulletin, 19 May 1888WA Bulletin, 19 May 1888
The radical WA Bulletin supported John Horgan in the election against Septimus Burt. Both claim Burt was representative of the ``six hungry families". 


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.