Two "S-type" (pelitic) granite suites from the New England Batholith, N.S.W., have Upper Carboniferous ages, indicating that they predate by 40 m.y. the intrusion of hornblende biotite granites, and are the oldest plutons of the batholith. Mineralogically and geochemically both suites have "pelitic" characteristics, one suite containing an Al-rich biotite, muscovite and cordierite, the other an Al-rich biotite and rare pyrope-almandine garnet. Low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.706 for both suites probably reflect the volcanoclastic nature and young age of the sedimentary source of these granites at the time of melting. The age of the suites coincides with the last stages of (Andean type?) volcanism along an andesite/dacite volcanic chain to the west, suggesting an origin for the "S-type" granitic magma by partial melting of deformed sediments marginal to a continental region.