MR. JUSTICE HARDING
FATAL TERMINATION OF ILLNESS
ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE
A WORTHY, UPRIGHT JUDGE
TRIBUTE BY SIR CHARLES LILLEY
It is with deep regret we have to record the death of his Honour Mr. Justice Harding. The suddenness and the severity of the illness from which he suffered came as a shock to the com- munity. It was only on Wednesday that his Honour experienced his first attack. Some weeks before he had been seriously unwell, but it was thought that he had completely recovered. Early in the week he seemed scarcely in his usual health, but he persevered with the business of the Civil Sittings of the Supreme Court. He was stricken in the midst of his work, and he fell lite- rally with his harness on his back. Too dangerously ill to be removed to his pri- vate house, he was made as comfortable as possible in his Chambers. He was under the constant and unremitting care of Drs. Taylor, Hill, Little, and Jackson. Up to Thursday night his condition was hopeful, though critical. It was antici- pated that he would be able to rest, but unfortunately he was unable to do so. He passed the night in great suffering, and when a consultation of the doctors was held at 10 o'clock in the morning it was decided to administer opiates to him. As the morning wore on his condi- tion varied a good deal, and at lunch time he was reported to be easier. At about 2.15, however, he had a very severe attack, and it was thought that the end had arrived. Speedy medical aid was, however, at hand, and under the treat- ment of the doctors his Honour rallied again. Very little hope, however, was held out of his ultimate recovery, and it was definitely stated that he was sink- ing rapidly. His Honour lingered on, at times rallylng a little, but throughout suffering greatly, and unconscious to all except pain, until 3 a.m. on Saturday, when he passed away in the presence of the members of his family. His Honour suffered from gout in complication with
other internal disorders.
His untimely death has deprived the Queensland Bench of a lawyer who was universally respected ; and the com- munity of an eminent citizen. Some
of the incidents of his career at the Eng- lish Bar have been given in the articles headed " Reminiscences of a Judge." His life and work in Queensland are matters
of more common knowledge, and many survive who witnessed his elevation to the Bench. The late Judge was essen- tially a lawyer. He was devoted to his profession, and public life in the ordinary sense of the word had no charm for him. He was keenly sensitive, and was not at all inclined toward the rough and tumble events of political life. His appointment to the Bench was purely non-political, and it was referred to in these terms in a contemporaneous print : "It is not a political appointment in any sense; and that is one fact which entitles it to public approval. Mr. Harding's legal qualifications rank high, and socially his standing is unimpeachable. That his duties as Judge will be faith- fully and thoroughly performed we have the best guarantee in the industry, pains- taking, and thoroughness which he has exhibited in doing the work of his
clients." Mr. Justice Harding's life work has been a living verification of the wisdom of his appointment. He was offered a puisne Judgeship early in July, 1879, when by the sterling qualities which stood him in such stead on the Bench he had acquired and had been in the enjoyment of for several years a very large and profitable practice. He was sworn in and took his seat on the Sup- reme Court Bench on the 15th July, 1879, on the same day that the ex-Chief Justice, Sir Charles Lilley, succeeded to the Chief Justiceship vacated by the late Sir James Cockle. The then Attorney-General, Hon. R. Pring, subsequently one of his Honour's colleagues, in congratulating Mr. Justice Harding on his elevation to the Bench, said : " He thought he might safely say that the ability his Honour had displayed during his thirteen years here showed his fitness for his present high position. He had earned that position by his own merits, and there was no one at the Bar - certainly not himself - who grudged him his ap- pointment." It was Mr. Justice Harding's lot to offer his con-
gratulations to Mr. Pring when in his turn he succeeded to the Bench and to survive him and his immediate successor, the late Mr. Justice Mein. The late Judge was only 41 years of age when he ascended the Bench. He was born near Taunton, Somersetshire, Eng- land, in December, 1838, and was there- fore only 57 years of age when he died. He was educated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, and in June, 1858, entered as a student at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the Bar in the Easter term of 1861. He studied with some of the most emi- nent equity lawyers of his time, and before he was called to the Bar made a reputatlon for himself by a book on Ecclesiastical Law, which quickly ran through two editions, and his Honour was preparing a third when he left Eng- land. As his Honour naively put it In his reminiscences, " the pleasure of ink slinging," early indulged in, increased by constant indulgence. In the midst of a judicial career, in which the student and
the Judge were never allowed to sepa- rate, Mr. Justice Harding found time to enrich law literature with several most valuable works. His Honour has re- lated the story of his early struggles at the Bar in the articles referred to. In one of those now in print, the deceased Judge explains how it was that he aban- doned the fair prospects he had at the English Bar to start afresh in a new country. He says he had long desired to join a new community, and ultimately the passion to emigrate became irre- sistible, and he sailed for Queensland. He landed here in October, 1866, and was immediately admitted to the Queensland Bar. His intimate acquaintance with equity law and procedure soon secured for him a large and exclusive practice. It is said that when he accepted a judicial appointment his income from his practice was twice that of the salary attached to the office which he accepted. " In April, 1876, he was appointed a commis- sioner under the Civil Procedure Reform Act of 1872, in which office he did in- valuable work. During the absence of Sir Charles Lilly on leave in 1889, he acted as Chief Justice, and in the follow- ing year himself was granted leave of absence. This was the first and almost only holiday he allowed himself. Va- cations came and went, but Mr. Justice Harding did not turn them into holidays. He spent those periods, chiefly among his books. It would no doubt have been better had he allowed himself more relaxation of a physical nature, but he preferred the quiet and repose of his home to the ex- citement of travel and change. In the discharge of his judicial duties he was known to bo extremely punctilious, and he was sometimes thought to carry the decent ordering of things to an excess. Yet he was always acknowledged to be a sound lawyer ; and in equity and ecclesiastical law the depth and breadth of his knowledge was universally recog- nised. He was a downright hard worker, and his contributions to our law literature are respected as of standard value. Possessed of a strong personal character, it was natural that he should at times be found to have a few rough
edges, but these were reserved for those who encountered him in his judicial capacity. In his home he was a model of kindly hospitality, and his beautiful residence, St. John's Wood, on the Waterworks-road, was always a popular place with the younger folk in the ordi- nary rounds of social entertainment. Above all in the late Judge's career was his sterling honesty, his intense con- scientiousness. It is doubtful whether a Judge has ever occu- pied a seat on the Australian Bench who has been more completely trusted. As far as enlightened judgment, fearless integrity, and genuine kindliness of heart are concerned; it may be said that in the ranks of the upright, just Judges he who has just passed away always held and always deserved a place with the
The closing days of Mr. Justice Hard- ing were full of evidence of his strength of character and of his indomitable pluck. When taken ill on Wednesday last he was summing up in what is known as the Roma timber case. He had been speaking for about twenty-five minutes after luncheon, but was com- pelled to give way and retire to seek medical aid. Four medical men at- tended him, and he was unable to leave his Chambers, but on the following morn- ing, rather than delay the course of justice, and keep the parties, the counsel, and the Jury waiting in the case, he concluded his summing up in Chambers, though under intense suffering.
During the trying period of his illness he had the consolation of being attended by all who were dearest to him, and public sympathy was manifested by numerous and anxious inquiries.
The late Judge was married first to Miss Morris, sister of Mrs. E. I. C Browne, and secondly to Miss Graham, a sister of Mrs. E. R. Drury. He leaves a large family, four of his daughters being married, one to the Hon. W. H. Wilson, M.L.C., ano- ther to a son of Mr. J. F. M'Dougall, of Rosalie, formerly M.L.C., a third to Mr. W. F. Wilson, barrister, and a fourth to Mr Frank Riley, formerly of the Bris- bane office of the Australian Joint Stock
" GOVERNMENT GAZETTE."
In the course of the day a " Govern- ment Gazette" extraordinary was issued,
signed by the Hon. the Premier, as fol-
Chief Secretary's Office,
Brisbane, 31st August, 1895.
His Excellency the Governor, with feelings of the deepest regret, announces to the public the decease, at 3 o'clock this morning, of the Honourable George Rogers Harding, a Justice of the Su- preme Court of Queensland. The funeral of the late lamented Judge will take place to-morrow, the 1st of September, at 3 o'clock p.m. precisely. The funeral procession will be formed at the Su- preme Court-house in William-street, and proceed to the General Cemetery at Too-
The news of the fatal termination of His Honour's illness spread rapidly, and was everywhere received with mingled feelings of sorrow and regret. On the public offices, and on many private buildings, flags hung at half-mast, while many of the shops put shutters up in token of mourning.
LYING IN STATE.
The body of the late Judge lay in state In the room in which he died the room which he had occupied so many years. His face wore a singularly peace- ful look. The severe sufferings through which he had passed left no trace. His life at the last had flickered out, and though it was apparent before he died that he understood what was said to him, consciousness in a full sense never returned to him. His placid face bore witness to the peacefulness of his end. It was the privilege of many to see him as he lay upon the small iron bedstead which had been erected In his chambers when he became seriously ill. About noon, however, the body was placed in a coffin, a massive casket of English oak polished and mounted in silver and gold. Hundreds of people visited the chamber during; the day, and took a last look at the dead. Many went there during the evening up till nearly half past 11 o'clock. Yesterday morning numerous calls were made, and beautiful wreaths were sent to be laid on the coffin. Mrs. Harding and the children of the deceased Judge took a farewell view at about half-past 1 o'clock. The coffin was afterwards screwed down. Upon the plate was en- graved the simple inscription : " George Rogers Harding. Died 31st August, 1895,
aged 56 years."
The wreath sent were very numerous and extreme'y beautiful. The Judge's room was simply strewn with those floral tributes of sympathy and respect. They were sent by the following :-His Excellency the Governor, his Honour the Chief Justice and Lady Griffith, and his Honour Mr. Justice Real, the members
of the Ministry, the Attorney-General and the Misses Byrnes, the members of the
Bar of Queensland, the solicitors of Queensland, Sir Charles and Lady Lilley, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Mrs. Cowley, the Hon. A. J. Thynne, Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Morehead, Mr. Thomas Finney, Colonel and Mrs. Drury, Dr. and Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Virgil Power, the District Court Judges, Mrs. Graham, the Hon. W. Horatio Wil- son, Mrs. Hunt and son, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Unmack, Mr. and Mrs. Hy. Prit- chard, Mr. Geo. Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Feez, Mr. John Stevenson and friends at Fernberg, the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Macdonald-Paterson, Mr. and Mrs. Bunton, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Feez, Messrs. Rees R. and Sydney Jones, the officers of the Supreme Court, Mr. and Miss Mayne, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Lilley, the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. P. Macpherson, Mrs. Harding, and one each from his Honour's children, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Wilson, the officers of
the Department of Justice, Messrs. Buck-,
land and, Taylor.
Pursuant to the "Gazette" notice, the
funeral, started from the Supreme Court , building at 3 o'clock yesterday after- noon. Some time before that the North Quay was thronged with people, who
lined, both sides of the thoroughfare from the Longreach Hotel to the end of the Supreme Court grounds. A respect- ful and deeply sympathetic interest was
manifested in the solemn occasion. The funeral was of course a public one, and so far as the Government were con- cerned nothing was left undone to show in a fitting manner the last mournful honours to the dead. The order of pro- cession appointed was as follows :-The hearse, the mourning coaches, the car- riages of his Honour Mr. Justice Hard- ing and of the Hon. W. Horatio Wilson, with the members of the late Judge's family, the medical attendants, his Ex- cellency the Governor, the Chief Justice, the Judges, members of the Ministry, members of Parliament, officers of the department of Justice, members of the Bar, solicitors, civil servants, and then
the general public.
The officers of the Traffic Board regu- lated the traffic in connection with the movement of the procession, while mounted police patrolled the street to keep the way clear. At the appointed time the coffin was borne from the building. It was followed immediately by the Chief Justice. Mr. Justice Real, the Sheriff of Queensland, and Mr. A. D. Graham (associate to the Chief Justice), the Premier, the Attorney-General (Hon. T. J. Byrnes), the Postmaster-General (Hon. A. J. Thynne), the Colonial Sec- retary (Hon. H. Tozer) and the Hon. W. Wilson, Drs. Taylor, Hill, and Little ; Mr. George Harding and Master Frank Harding, Mr. F. W. Wilson and Mr. Cecil Wright (the deceased Judge's asso- ciate). They stood at the main gates while the coffin was placed in the hearse. The procession immediately started. It consisted of 129 carriages, exclusive of the hearse and mourning coach. The latter was occupied by the nurse of the deceased. Immediately behind it came the late Judge's carriage, containing his two sons, his son-in-law, and his associate. Then came the Bishop of Brisbane in his carriage, Mr. Justice Hardings tipstaff (Mr. W. John- son), the Hon. Horatio Wilson and the Chief Justice's carriage, with Sir S. W. Griffith, the Sheriff (Captain Townley), and his Honour's associate. Driving in their own carriages or cabs came Sir Charles Lilley and Mr. Woolnough, Mr. Justice Real, Mr. Cowley and Judge Paul, Mr. Annear, M.L.A., the Premier
and the Attorney-General, the Colonial Secretary and the Postmaster-General, Mr. A. V. Drury (clerk to the Executive Council), and Lieutenant-Colonel Blax- land, Hon. F. T. Brentnall, Hon. P. Macpherson, Mr. T. Bunton and Hon. Macdonald-Paterson, Mr. W. A. D. Shand and Hon. F. H. Hart, Drs. Hill and Taylor, Dr. Connolly, Dr. Wray, Dr. Jackson and Mr. de J. Grut, Major Lewis, Mr. J. H. Flower and Mr. Victor Drury ; Mr. J. F. G. Foxton, M.L.A., Mr. J. J. Kingsbury, M.L.A., the Under Secretary for Jus- tice (Mr. Cahill), the Under Sheriff (Mr. J. Gallwey), the Registrar (Mr. W. Bell), and the officers of the Supreme Court ; the officers of the Department of Jus- tice, the Crown Solicitor and the officers of his department, Mr. F. G. Hamilton, the Mayor of Brisbane (Alderman R. Fraser) and Aldermen M'Master, Proe, Watson, Clark, Thurlow, Raymond, Thorne, Hipwood, and the town clerk (Mr. W. H. G. Marshall); Mr. Chat- away, M.L.A., and Mr. Callan, M.L.A.; Mr. B. D. Morehead and Mr. D. T. Sey- mour ; Alderman D. Sinclair, Mr. Rendle and the officers of the Friendly Societies' Department ; the Registrar of Titles (Mr. J. O. Bourne) and his staff, the Master of Titles (Mr. Gore Jones), Messrs. Woolcock, Scott, Bannatyne, and M'Donnell ; Judge Noel, Mr. E. Mans- field, and Mr. Fred Dickson ; Mr. R. J. Leeper, Mr. A. Rutledge, Mr. Adolph Feez and Mr. Crisp Poole, Mr. Edwin Lilley, the Commissioner of Police (Mr. W. E. Parry-Okeden), Inspector Lewis and Dr. Little, Acting Naval Comman- dant Drake and Paymaster Pollock, the Commissioner for Railways (Mr. John Mathieson), the Chief Engineer for Rail- ways, (Mr. Stanley), the General Traffic Manager (Mr. Thallon), and the secre- tary to the Commissioner (Mr. A. Prewett) ; Messrs. E. H. Macartney, W. H. Osborne, and C. B. Fox ; Dr. Boone, Mr. Charles Lilley, Mr. W. L. G. Drew, Hon. J. C. Heussler, officers of the Legis- lative Council, Messrs. Thomas Finney, R. D. Neilson, Harold Lilley, A. W. Chambers, A. M'Nab, H. B. Hemming, P. A. O'Sullivan, L. E. Groom, G. L. Lukin, J. O. Drake, M.L.A., Isaac Mayne, G. V. Hellicar, J. Stodart, J. Devoy, Hon. G. W. Gray, M.L.C., Hon. J. Cowli- shaw, Mr. T. O. Cowlishaw, the Under Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. T. M. King), Mr. T. Connah, Hon. W. G. Power, Mr. G. W. Power, Mr. R. S. Hurd, Hon. A. Raff, Messrs. R. L. Armour, A. Stewart, W. Hart, P. Hart, A. G. C. Hawthorn, W. H. Atthow, E. Goertz, J. Petrie, R. Edwards, T. T. Stewart, W. J. Trouton, Ferguson (Wat- son, Ferguson, and Co.), Daniels, Steed- man, the Under Secretary for Public Works (Hon. R. Robertson). Mr. Petty, Captain Owen, Messrs. J. T. Bell, M.L A., W. Bell, A. Feez. E. R. Trude, O'Shea and O'Shea, R. J. Leeper, W. T. Blakeney, T. Milne, H. Blake, W. L. G. Drew, O'Malley, C. J. Pound, the Auditor-Gene- ral (Mr. Deshon), the Under Colonial Secretary (Mr. W. H. Ryder), Mr. John Fenwick, Mr. H. L. E. Ruthning, Captain Fison, Mr. P. Pinnock, P.M., Mr. Murray, P.M., the Police Court Staff ; Major Byron, Captain O'Brien, Mr. H. Wake- field, Mr. W. H. Day, the Principal Under Secretary (Mr. R. J. Gray), Mr. C. Bald- win, the Jewish Rabbi, Messrs. Fegeltaub, Berliner, and Seligson, W. H. Chapman. J. Hicks, G. H. Pritchard, Eddington (manager Bank of New South Wales), A. Clark. The procession moved slowly to the Toowong Cemetery. There it was joined by his Excellency the Governor, who was attended by Captain Pyne, A.D.C., the Hon. R. Philp, Colonel E. R. Drury, V. Little, P. Paul, and Rev. J. Stone-Wigg (Sub-dean). In ad- dition to those who had at- tended the funeral, there was a numerous gathering of the public. The coffin having been removed, the way to the grave led by Mr. Stone-Wigg and the Bishop of Brisbane, the former read- ing the burial service of the Church of England as he walked. At the grave the last solemn rites were performed by him in conjunction with the Bishop, who read the lessons. The scene was most impressive, as every one stood with uncovered head around the open grave, and many were visibly touched. When the remains of the departed were finally committed to the earth, many paused to take a look on his last resting place. He was laid in a grave next to that of his first wife. He had three graves In the Church of England part of the cemetery, covered in with massive memorial stones. On the first was in- scribed the name of two young children whom he lost many years ago. Beside them reposed their mother. The third grave Mr. Justice Harding had reserved specially for himself. His instructions had been that he was to be buried in this tomb. His wishes were, of course, respected. Three massive stone slabs now cover the remains of himself, his first wife, and two of his children. The many beautiful wreaths which had been placed on his coffin were piled upon the grave, each bearing fragrant testimony to the wide respect and affection In which the departed was held.
The whole of the funeral arrange- ments were carried out with complete-
ness by Mr. John Hislop.
TRIBUTE BY SIR CHAS. LILLEY.
Probably no one knew Mr. Justice Harding or more highly appreciated his sterling qualities tliun Sir Chas. Lilley. They v>ere intimate personal friends ; tbey fought side by side at the Bar ; they sat as colleagues together on the Supreme Court I'.ciicli for upwards of fourteen years. To bira Mr. Justice Hardings death vas a pathetic tragedy ; It was the midden severance of years of closo friepdship. "1 miss bim'very much as a friend," said Sir Charles to
a representative of the " Courier." " He. was with me as. a junior at the Bar, and be was-a model junior. Ile alwajs placed in his leader's hands all tlie fruits ; of his industry, leaving to the leader j to slupe the course of the battle accord-
ing to lils own judgment. He never ( reserved anything for his own credit.
If his leader had missed anything he placed what be had himself lu his hands ! for his use. lie was not a mau who kept
a case up his sleeve iu order to get credit with the attorney or the court at the expense of lils lender. In fact, I may say, he was thoroughly a model ¡IG a junior. His industry was nlmobt unexampled. In all my life I ha re, not seen a niau who laboured so diligently and thoroughly .in research and in the management of his'cases. He had a
wide acquaintance with the piimiples of EuRiish Equity Jurisprudence, and in the practice of the courts, especially of the Hnuily Courts, he was probably un- rivalled. 1 think I have not known a .1 lulim' who had so thoroughly at lils tin gi v«' ends all the practical work of the com ts. In fact the book lie pre pmcil hero-' The Rules and Orders' which book is a miracle of industry and accuracy, indicates lils wide acquaint- ance vith the statutes and rules of the court and with the principles of Equity practice. It is a mirari» of industry and also of disinterestedness, for Hard- ing undertook that labou- and carried it through without the least hope of gain, and has never gained anvtliing hy it, except the credit which is justly lils for having produced a work of such great usefulness and professional value, and the whole credit of the work, its conception, its execution, its careful correction, and the Watcjiinjr of^'it through the Press, are all due to him-unreservedly. I say, they are all due to him. In his profession he was certainly, without exception, a man thoroughly well equipped for his work, and be evinced a most anxious care of his cases, ne was a singular example of n junior In oue respect. I have not seen one like him in all niv experience, and I have had a very wide one iu my profession. To myself siuce .1 child it seems to me I have not been in anything else except tlie profession I feel as If I was horn in the law. Tlie . singularity In his character as a junior
WHS that lie liked to take n case from tlie beginning und carry it right through. He must hnve been n most Invaluable counsel for the solicitors-be left them little or nothing to do-he took so much trouble with his cases, so that he was an exceedingly valuable junior. Ile was of great assistance to the court also, because lie toole his cases in from end to end methodically before the court. Ho went from principle to principle, un- til be seemed sometimes to over-labour them. He did not nhvays give credit (o the Judges;Vor knowing matters which wore quite familial' to him. It was tlie hnbit of lils mind. He felt that be must go from stepping-stone to stepping-stone-to go through every- thing from the beginning to the end. That was the habit of lils mind as a lawyer and as a Judge. Ho argued everything out from first principles, ?went from one proposition to nnother until lie, had shaped to lils own satis- faction tlie results which were em- bodied ln#his judgments. The little ex- pressions, tho qimlnt expressions, and sometimes the quaint illustrations which he used were really intended on tho same principle to get to the mind of people who, he thought, would not he able to reach the legal principies with which he was, of course, familiar. These were not eccentricities, they were actual Illustrations, homely, some- times very powerful ; uot chosen merely as a play of humour, but really as instruction. Sometimes they wore homely, familiar, and at times esteemed by some of the public as childish, but there were minds that they really helped. I um quite conscious that sometimos before a jui'3' some of these hoinely ex- pressions were very helpful. ". He was for a time misjudged largely by the public, aud sometimes by the profession, because what - is familiar to the professional . man is not always familiar to the general public. They have not the technical tratnlug, fin.-/ have uot the habit of reasoning which is peculiar to some branches of the law, depending on pro- positions which are legal,'but that are not always esteemed as just, but still they are fixed, and having been fixed, lie felt he had to follow them, and he made his illustrations as far as possible so as to convey matters clearly to tlie mind of the public with which be was deal- ing. Ile was a just mau. There is no doubt lie wished to do what was just, but If it was law his nnud was at rest. The abstract justice of cudi case was not ¡i matter for him. He followed the law ; he did not presume to legislate. He was not adventurous ; he never struck out for new principles of law. If there was a precedent or a book that contained a principle of reasonable authority no was content to follow it, and as it appears lu the result with great success, because he was never reversed le.illy in the Privy Council, and durlug^our joint occupancy of the Bench we were never leversed by the Privy Council. We were seldom ap- pealed from, and whenever we were appealed from the judgment was up- held. Harding wah remarkably successful in that respect. 1 don't believe he was ever reversed in the Privy Council. Twice he failed as coun- sel, but I cannot say v* hat advice lie gave his clleuts, and Vihetbcr they did not appeal m opposition to his opinion. As a-Judge he was uniformly successful in the Privy Council It may be said that
during the time be was with us it was ! a strong court ; tiley stated so at home. I had a great respect for his assistance.
He was of great assistance to me. ' He was tv loyal assistant Our relations as Judges were most cordial-we never
had a word of anger. We did , our best. Ile brouglit-r-Just as he did when he was with me a
junior-all the material he liad | gathered, and it wits placed there before me to help me to form my judg.uent. We formed our judgments Independently until we
came together, and then if we agreed, I
well mid good-if not we had to consult e further. We never had a serious difference. I think we only differed In
one judgment ; and wo rarely disagreed, i He was it ¿oofl, sound piactieul lawyer. His pilnciple was a very clear one-it is of no use going against tlie decisions at home, because if I do they will be cer- tain to be upheld, and 1 shall only be putting the parties to the expenso of going to the court at home, which in all proDivpility will uphold its own judgments. There is nothing lost in credit or monev if I follow the judgment of the Privy Council, because I am fol- lowing the iine of decision iu tlie court, and if the court chooses to ^reverse its former decision then Hie blame is not on me, butait!* those who erred in the first Instance*. That was throughout his principle; he tried to follow the line
of decision ->vnich had been maintained ¿
for years. 'That is what I mean by saying he was not au advcuturouiv. lawyer. If tile precedent was clear Harding followed it. I did not presume unless I thought it was ¡>o obviously ,wrong that it was well to send it to the higher court for rovfew 'will you adhere lo this' to disregard precedent, and then 1 expressed my own opinion. He was a line fellow. Of course our private relations were most friendly-twenty five years of friendship uninterrupted, not a cloud, with mutual confidence in each other's absolute honour, and a desire at least to do what was right,
and with a consciousness that we knew our profession that helped us 'to value our convictions. 1 think no niau could give a more convincing proof in the course of lils sixteen years of "judicial life of :iis desire and bis courage to do what was right, than be did. His example mid his life, his judicial life especially, I think, will commend them- selves to the respect and probably the admiration of the profession, and of the public for a very long time to come. As loiig as men think of going back to the work ol' the court for precedents, for the work ol' the profession I think that the public will feel that they had in him ii .lust Judge-, anxious to do right- tie was a nervous man, and sometimes in a moment of slight nerve excitement might use nu expression somewhat htronger than he meant it to be, though, nevertheless, true. Those who knew him best were able to estimate tlie value of hjs life nud of his judgment, and knew .that these tilings wore not really blemishes upon his judicial character. Ile had ali the instincts of an English gentle- man, and he lived as an English gentle- man. Ile cunio of a gentlemanly race, and there Is a notion that 'this is false pride. I do not agree with people who place uo value on the fact that a man lias come of a race of gentle- men. I think many of our working,men have como of a race of gentlemen, and some are natural-born gentlemen, but the man who fools that lie has behind him a race of men who have been dlb fiuguished in life, who have lived up to ihe very best traditions of huinun life, who have been what we call gentle- men, lias a feeliug naturally that he
should be something like lliose who have gone before bim, and that is of great value in keeping a mini's life true to those old traditions. The English work- ing class know how to value a mau of that kind. Everywhere the gentleman is known, whether he Is bom such, or one by habit or training, but to those who for generations have been sons of gentlemen, such a course of descent is of immense value, and .that is what 1 nipan» hy the instincts of au English gentleman. To do right, to be courteous, to be considerate, to be inflexibly just, and firm, these at e the qualities of an Eng- lish gentleman, aud these qualities should be on the Bench-with tho In- tellectual gifte, of course, and the In- dustry which are essential t6 the successful discharge of the duties ol'
such ai position. ' If you find such 'a,. man, the puhllq ' iuay have confidence
at all events that if he goes wrong It is not wilful misdoing, but to some failure to which human nature may for the momon,t be subject, and under our law tlier.ï is always a corrective by a sufficient nppeal to other men wlio have the snnie gifts and qualities.
George Harding was that class of man1