Sir Frederick Darley: Sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales 1886-1910, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sir Frederick Darley

Sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales 1886-1910, 1st Edition

By John Michael Bennett

Federation Press

344 pages

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The new biography of Sir Frederick Darley in J M Bennett's acclaimed Lives of the Australian Chief Justices series

Describes in fascinating detail one of the most extraordinary episodes in Australian judicial history.

Richly detailed chapters trace Darley’s progression from birth and education in Ireland to Bar practice there at a time when too many lawyers competed for too little work

The product of meticulous research, Sir Frederick Darley paints an illuminating portrait of the life and times of this important man, whose judicial accomplishments and dedication to duty and service won great acclaim and respect


“As with his earlier lives of Chief Justices, John Bennett has provided us with insights into life and customs as well as fascinating snippets of Darley the husband and paterfamilias. A proud Irishman, he is said to have ‘embodied the Victorian era and its values’.”

The Hon Keith Mason, AC, QC (from the foreword)

Table of Contents

Foreword by the Honourable Keith Mason, AC, QC


List of Illustrations

“Dramatis Personae”

1. An “Erratic and Wandering Race”

2. “The Largest Business of Any Man at the Bar”

3. “Active Politics Always Bored Him”

4. Some Lawyers’ Laws and Law Reforms

5. Defence – “The Dawn of Australia as a Nation”

6. Taking Silk: Taking Leave: and Taking Stock

7. (Sir) Julian Salomons: the Phantom Chief Justice

8. “A Great Public Duty”

9. “I Never Aspired to the Bench”

10. Industrial Law – or Politics?

11. Crown Land Legislation – "an unitelligible chaos"

12. Diametrical Opposites

13. Representing the Queen

14. “The Return of the Native”




Table of Cases

Schedule of Parliamentary Bills

Table of Statutes

About the Author

In the fifteenth and one of the most ambitious volumes in his series of judicial “lives", Sir Frederick Darley, Sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales 1886-1910, John Michael Bennett continues a project he began as a Senior Research Fellow in Law at the Australian National University 40 years ago.

His (19th century) Lives of the Australian Chief Justices has been described by Australian Historical Studies as a series that adds “an important missing dimension in the field of legal history in Australia [and makes] engaging reading”, it reflects Dr Bennett’s fastidious research coupled with his long experience in professional law practice and in various academic positions.

His extensive publications, chiefly in Legal History, but also as a law reporter and sometime Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Digest, have received much recognition and praise. He was twice awarded the C H Currey Memorial Fellowship by the State Library of New South Wales; was a Churchill Fellow in 2000; and received the New South Wales History Fellowship 2006 for his writing a biography of Sir Alfred Stephen, Third Chief Justice of New South Wales.

On examination of published works, he has received the rare degrees of Doctor of Laws (Sydney) and Doctor of Letters (ANU); and he is an Honorary Doctor of Letters (Sydney). A Life Member of The New South Wales Bar Association, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 for services to the law.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology