Amy Horton (c.1865 -1956) married King O’Malley in 1910. She was the daughter of King O’Malley’s landlady. In keeping with his beliefs in the rights of women, O’Malley immediately made provisions for his wife’s financial independence by assigning many of his properties to her. Amy was O’Malley’s second wife – a marriage that lasted over 45 years.

Amy O'Malley

In all that has been written about King O’Malley, Amy is mentioned only occasionally. Undoubtedly though, she was portrayed as a strong, businesslike, intelligent and quick-minded woman, who supported the belief that a strong family life could not be achieved without effective management of the home.

Amy O’Malley, year unknown,

Both privately and publicly, Amy was viewed as having a measured and calm personality and was often silent in the presence of King who was an extrovert. However, she did, on many occasions, speak her mind. One well known and documented instance was in 1936 when she spoke out in the press vehemently criticising the site of the Provisional Parliament House (old Parliament House), which she said had been built ‘down a hollow’ and should instead have been built at Capital Hill.

King and Amy O’Malley with guests in the O’Malley’s living room, c.1940s, National Library of Australia