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THE LATE MR. M. D. HILL.

Our obituary column records fhe death, on Jnne 7, of Mr. Matthew Davenport Hill, Q.C., at his residence, near Bristol. Mr. Hill was amona the first of those who

recognised the soundness ot tne principles of free colonization propounded by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, and he wa3 actively associated with the Committee of gentle men who in 1834 were labouring to pro practical effect to these principles by the foundation of this colony. He jsUongly supported the scheme both at the various public meetings that were held to popularize it and also in his place in Parlia ment, of which he was at that time a mem ber. He was not in the House when the Bill was passed in 1835; but he had not ceased to exert himself in its favour, and when on the second reading its fate was trembling in the balance he was active as an amateur whip, and by his personal influence with individual members, coupled with the assis tance of other frienda of the measure bath inside and outside the House, a majority was secured to sanction what was then very generally regarded as a wild and chimerical experiment. Mr. Hill wa3 also connected with South Australia as a preliminary land order-holder, the village of Hilton having been laid out upon one of hia sections, and to the last he took a lively interest in the progress of the colony. He was the eldest brother of Mrs. Francis Clark, of Hazelwood, near Burnside. We quote from the London Times of Monday, June 10, the following biographical sketch :β€” ' 'We briefly mentioned on Saturday the death of Mr. Mathew Davenport Hill, Q.C., Commissioner of the Bristol District Court m Bankruptcy, and formerly Recorder of Birmingham. Mr. Hill died on Friday morning of a painful illness at his residence, Heath House, Stapleton, Gloucestershire, at the age of fourscore years. He was the eldest of a family of which several members have identified themselves with the great moral and material improvements of our age and time. To use the words of a writer in the 'EngliBh Cyclopaedia:1β€”' Their father,, Mr. Thomas Wright Hill, who died in 1851 at the age of 89, was a native of Kidder minster, but he subsequently settled in the neighbourhood of Birmingham as the head of a school which, in later years, became celebrated for the original views of education which were there carried into practice as ' The Hazelwood System.' Mr. Thomas Hill's merits have been set forth in a ' Brief Memoir,' published in the annual report of the Council of the Eoyal Astronomical Society in 1852. His love of scientific pursuits continued from his earliest to his latest years, and even within a month or two of his death he was occupied in framing a system of nomenclature for the stars. He was equally distinguished for bis adherence to the principles of civil and religious freedom from his earliest manhood. In the riots of Birmingham, in 1791, he strove against a furious mob to defend the bouses of Dr. Priestley and of Baskerville, the printer, and the same spirit led his betrothed wife at this perilous time to refuse to utter the party cry of 'Church and King,' when the carriage in which she was riding was surrounded by a desperate mob. It was a priori probable that the sons of such a father would seek and obtain distinction in the world ; at all events, they could scarcely {ail to imbibe from him a wish to merit such distinction, and to do good ser vice to their fellow-men. Tae sub ject of these remarks was born in the year 1792; and after assisting his father in his school, first at Hazelwood, and subse quently at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, we nnd him called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, in Michmformq Term, 1819. The first im portant trial with which his name was publicly associated was that of Major Cart wright, whose defence he undertook against an indictment for political conspiracy; and the talents which he displayed on that occa sion introduced him to the friendship of Jeremy Bentham, and also of such legal celebrities as Brougham, Wilde, and Denman. With the first - named of this trio he was associated some five* and-forty years ago in the establishment of the newly-founded Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge ; and for several years he took an active part in its proceedings and publications. In the first Reformed Parliament he was returned as one of the members for Hull, and he had not long been in possession of a seat in the House before he took up vigorously the question of Municipal Reform, upon which subject it is said that he had the honour of presenting the very first petition which was addressed to the Legislature. The Freemen of Hull, however, appear to have failed to appreciate his labours, as at the next general election they returned another candidate in his stead. In the two years during which he was a member of Parliament. Mr. Hill distinguished himself by supporting the Bill for allowing persons charged with felony to employ counsel in their defence, and by pro posing other amendments in our criminal law. He also took an active part in obtain ing the Bill under which the now flourishing colony of South Australia was founded. Upon the erection of Birmingham into a Municipal Corporation the Recordership of that town was conferred upon Mr. Hill, who, in the Charges which he delivered from time to time to the Grand Jury, continued to give public expression to comprehensive and philosophical views not only on the subject of juvenile crime, but also on the proper treatment of adult offenders, and on the general principles and practice of criminal lawβ€” views which were at that time in advance of the age, but have since had their soundness very largely verified and tested by experience, and have come to be generally accepted as true. In 1843, in conjunction with Lord Brougham and other like-minded friends, Mr. Hill took part in forming and establishing the Society for the Amendment of the Law. In 1S51 he was nominated Commissioner in Bankruptcy for the Bristol District. Upon obtaining this appointment he necessarily gave up his private practice as a barrister, and resolved thenceforth to devote such spare time as he could command to hi3 favourite subject β€” the general amendment of the law as regards the treatment of juvenile criminals. It is not too much to say that it is in a great degree owing to his unwearied perseverance in the cause, and by various able and well- timed publications in this and other kindred subjects, that the reformatory question has come to occupy the attention of statesmen aad legislators, and that the amendment and ?reclamation of our young street 'Arab3' from vice and crime has been raised from the position of a benevolent theory into a 'reat 'practical principle demanding the coopera tion of all parties in order to carry it into ? foil effect.' 1$ should be mentioned that at his decease the name of Mr. Commis sioner Hill stood at the head of the long roll of Q.G.'s in the 'Law List,' and that he obtained the honour of a silk gown with a Patent of Precedence aa far back as the year 18J1 Besides his ' charges' delivered as Recorder of Birmingham, Mr. Hill pub liahsii a volume of biographie3 of men who have proved themselves benefactors of their country. He was also the author of several pamphlets and assays, among which we ought to mention bis Letters to Lord Brougham and to Mr.

(now Sir Charles) Adderley on 'The Re presaionof Crime,' and * Practical Sugges tions to the Founders of Reformatories,' Sir. Commissioner Hill, in enforcing his views upon the reformation of crime, was largely amed by the labours and publications of his brother. Mr. Frederic HilL'

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