Remembered as one of Australia's Founding Fathers, Parkes served as the seventh Premiere of New South Wales.
A native of Warwickshire, England, he relocated to Australia in 1839. During his early adulthood years, he educated himself in the literary arts; over the course of his life, he penned several volumes of poetry.
Throughout his life, he struggled to manage his finances, and he ultimately died in poverty.
Following the deaths of his first two wives, Clarinda Varney and Eleanor Dixon, he married Julia Lynch, who was his wife for the last year of his life. His first two marriages produced a total of seventeen children.
During the 19th Century, he and fellow English-born Australian politician James Francis (James Goodall Francis) both held the office of Premiere (of New South Wales and Victoria, respectively).