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Unreported Judicial Decisions of the Privy Council, on Appeal from the Australian Colonies before 1850


Blaxcell, Garnham Merchant and trader, arrived in Sydney in 1802. Took active part in coup against Governor Bligh. Insolvent during the 1810s.

Campbell, John Thomas Secretary to Governor Macquarie. One of the founders of the Bank of New South Wales.

Campbell, Robert Merchant in Sydney and father to several sons who were in partnership as merchants.

Campbell, William Mariner who raided ships off the South American coast in 1803 on the pertence that England and Spain were at war. Governor King ordered that the Harrington should be detained. The ship was released, but the prizes were confiscated. Campbell became sole owner of the Harrington, but it was seized by convicts in 1808 and destroyed by the British navy.

Cox, William Paymaster to New South Wales Corps, who fell into debt after mixing his own funds with those of the public. Supervised the construction of the first road across the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Crossley, George Emancipated convict who had been transported to New South Wales for perjury. Skilful lawyer, though his honesty was often doubted. The permanent Supreme Court would not allow him to practice before it, although he did practice before the initial civil court, the Court of Civil Jurisdiction. Often deeply in debt.

Eagar, Edward Emancipated convict and ex-lawyer. Played a major role in the campaign for trial by jury in New South Wales. A merchant in later life, in partnership with F.E. Forbes. The litigation against Henry caused him substantial losses.

Kable, Henry Illiterate ex-convict who became a leading merchant for some time in early Sydney. In partnership with Simeon Lord.

Larra, James Emancipist and merchant.

Lord, Simeon The most successful of the emancipist merchants. Owned a large house at Sydney Cove. Immensely litigious, his affairs took up a large percentage of the early appeals to the Privy Council. The records of the Council indicate that his opponents may have had good grounds for arguing that he used the Council as a means of warding off his creditors rather than in a genuine attempt to test the legality of judgments against him.

Macarthur, John Military officer and pastoralist. Leader of the exclusive faction who opposed the emancipists. Took a leading part in the coup against Bligh. Paranoid in later life, he thought Chief Justice Forbes plotted against him.

Montagu, Algernon Judge of the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land. Financial difficulty and bad temper led to his amoval (dismissal) from office in 1847. Later held legal offices in the Falklands and Sierra Leone.

Palmer, John Commissary of New South Wales, arriving there on first fleet in 1788. As commissary, was in charge of the government stores. Opposed to those who plotted against Bligh. The Woolloomooloo estate was mortgaged for over £13,000 but was sold for only £2290.

Stephen, Sidney Son of the first puisne judge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales (John), brother of Alfred (Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1844), and cousin of the influential James Stephen junior (legal adviser to the Colonial Office in London). Sidney deserves recognition for the quality of his argument in R v Murrell, 1836, where he argued for the autonomy of indigenous people.

Willis, John Walpole Distinguished by being amoved from judicial office twice, once in Upper Canada and later again in New South Wales. In the meantime had held judicial office in British Guiana.

Much of this material is taken from the first two volumes of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University