Sir Henry Wrenfordsley: second Chief Justice of Western Australia, 1880-1883 (and Acting Chief Justice, 1890-1891)

J. M. Bennett

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Abstract

Of all Chief Justices in Australia in the 19th century, none so demeaned the office as did Sir Henry Wrenfordsley, second Chief Justice of Western Australia. Moving from an indifferent practice as a Dublin solicitor to a very insecure career as an English barrister, Wrenfordsley won notice for his interest in Conservative politics. An able public speaker and a companionable guest at gentlemen's clubs, he obtained a colonial judicial appointment through patronage. He served in Mauritius before being appointed Chief Justice of Western Australia and then Chief Justice of Fiji. He acted as a judge in Tasmania and Victoria and finally was Chief Justice of the Leeward Islands. In every office, he collided with colonial administrators and fellow lawyers. A weak lawyer, he turned the court into a theatre. His public career was marked by every bad judicial quality--incompetence, duplicity, interference in politics, laziness, uncontrollable temper, chronic insolvency.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
PublisherFederation Press
ISBN (Print)1862875286
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Publication series

NameLives of the Australian Chief Justices
PublisherFederation Press

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