Edmund Barton rowed in the 2 seat of the 1870 Intervarsity Four. The crew finshed second to Melbourne in this first "official" intervarsity rowing contest. Although unofficial races had been held spasmodically from around 1860 - 1869 the 1870 was the first official race. There is no record of the coach but one wonders how he would have contained and guided a man who was to have such an important role in federating Australia.

Barton was Prime Minister from 1st Jan 1901 till Sept 1903. Exhausted from a twenty year campaign to unite Australia and his service as PM Barton resigned to be appointed a judge of the first High Court charged with interpreting the Constitution which he had had a major role in drafting.