No. 19.—MR. G. W. F. ADDISON, S.M.
There is no more prominent figure in any British community than the police magis- trate. The same fierce light which beats upon a throne beats upon the police court bench. If it be true that the life of an
obscure policeman "is not a happy one," we are almost forced to the conclusion thal the existence of a stipendiary magistrate must be one of misery. Certainly, the office of police magistrate in a large city like Sydney is one of great anxiety and difficulty. A judge is fre- quently relieved from responsibility by the verdicts of juries, but a magistrate is obliged to combine the functions of both judge and jury, and to discover the right path amidst many avenues of conflicting interests. Perhaps none of the magis- trates who officiate in the metropoli- tan district has better earned the approval of the Government and the con- fidence of the public than Mr. Addison. His career upon the bench has been char- acterised by a uniform consistency and a good common sense which, after all, are better qualities in a magistrate than an extensive knowledge of law which he is not often called upon to exercise. An in- stinctive justice and constitutional good sense, when allowed free exercise, are pretty sure to lead one who is entrusted with the responsible duties of magistrate to right and sound conclusions.
Mr. Glentworth W. F. Addison is the son of a soldier, and was born in barracks. He is a Manchester man, having been born in the Hulme Cavalry Barracks in the year 1831. His father—of whom he was the eldest son—was the late Captain H. E. Addison, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, or Queen's Bays, and Lieutenant-Colonel in the South American service. Captain Addison, after leaving the army, devoted himself chiefly to literary pursuits, and was a constant contributor to "Bentley's Maga- zine," "Chambers's Journal," "The Dublin University Magazine" (of which Charles Lever, the celebrated novelist, was, for many years, the editor), and other leading periodicals of the day. He was the author of "Belgium, Historical and Picturesque," "Hours in Hindostan," "Paris Social," and other works. Captain Addison also wrote several successful operettas and farces, and a number of well-known ballads, including "Friends of My Youth," "Where is the Rover," "The Lancashire Lad," and "There's a Path by the River." This accomplished gentleman's father was Mr. John Addison, an eminent judge in the Bengal Presidency, and heir-at-law of the celebrated Right Hon. Joseph Addison, statesman, essayist, and dramatist.
On the maternal side Mr. G. W. F. Addi- son is the eldest grandson of the late Mr. T. P. Vokes, who was for more than 30 years police magistrate of Limerick, Ire- land, and whose memoirs have been pub- lished under the title of "Recollec- tions of an Irish Police Magis- trate," a most popular work, which is often found side by side with another widely-known book, written by Mr. Frank Thorpe Porter, who, for two or three generations, was police magistrate at the Head Police Office, Dublin. Mr. Addison
has also an Irish connection on his father's side, his great-grandfather (Captain Addi- son) having married the daughter of Dr. A. Smyth, Archbishop of Dublin. This Captain Addison fell, on the British side, at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, near Boston, on June 17, 1775. Bunker's Hill was one of the earliest engagements in the War of Independence in America.
The subject of this portrait received his earlier education in Limerick, a city famous for a great seige in 1691, when it was in- vested by the English and Dutch supporters of William III., and defended by Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, and the adherents of James IL The beseiged surrendered under a celebrated Treaty. From Limerick young Addison went to Brussels, in Belgium, where he completed his education. Near the field of Waterloo he had among his schoolfellows Lieutenant-Colonel E. R. Drury, C.M.G., who is now the general manager of the Queensland National
Mr. Addison arrived in New South Wales in 1857, when he waa a young man of 26. Soon after he entered the public service, where, in various capacities, he has re- mained eyer since--a period of about 35 years. His first appointment was to the
Mr. G W. F. Addison, S.M.
Crown Lands Department. Two years later he was sent as sub-commissioner to
the Upper Clarence gold fields, and in 1863 he was appointed assistant commissioner.
In 1866 the whole staff of commissioners was abolished, with the exception of three, namely, Mr. G. O'Malley Clarke, Mr. Whit- tingdale Johnson, and Mr. G. W. F. Ad- dison, who were appointed chief commis- sioners of the southern, western, and northern gold districts respectively. Three years later, however, these offices were also done away with, the duties being trans- ferred to the magistracy. The commis- sioners were made police magistrates, and are such at the present day.
Mr. Addison was appointed police magis- trate at Tenterfield (with Glen Innes and Inverell). He remained in that part of the country six years, and in 1875 was pro- moted to the position of police magistrate at Maitland. When the Metropolitan Magistrates Act came into force in January, 1882, Mr. Addison was appointed one of the six stipendiary magistrates allotted to Sydney, and he has held that appointment up to the present. On the occasions of his leaving Tenterfield and Maitland Mr. Addison was presented with highly com- plimentary addresses from the benches at both places.
Mr. Addison has been twice married, first to a daughter of the late Dr. Francis Campbell, superintendent of Tarban
(Gladesville) Asylum for the Insane, and secondly, to the eldest daughter of the late Mr. G. H. Walsh, solicitor, of Goulburn, and
formerly member of the Legislative As- sembly for Argyle. He has a family of eight sons and one daughter. His eldest step-brother is Mr. John Addison, Q.C., member of the House of Com- mons for Ashton-under-Lyne, who was for many years Recorder of Preston, and is at present chairman of quarter sessions for the Hundred of Salford. Two other brothers are residents of this colony—one who is in
the Railway Department, and the other manager of the Bank of New South Wales
at Manning River.
Mr. Addison takes much interest in
church matters. He is a member of the synod of the Church of England and of the Standing and Church Society Committees.
He is a devoted lover of outdoor sports. One of his favorite diversions from work is attendance at a good football contest or a big cricket match. He is also a great reader of current literature ; and, coming as he does from a literary family, it would be no wonder if some day or other he himself wrote a book. His official career in the colony would certainly furnish ample material for an interesting an amusing volume. He has witnessed some ludicrous
scenes in the police court, which, being, original and not "acted," but real, would be far more amusing than the inventions of the stage. The newspaper reporters remember some funny farces taking place from time to time in Mr. Addison's court—such, for example, as when an aboriginal woman was sued by her dressmaker for the cost of an alleged misfit, when the dusky "fair" one put on the dress in court in order to expose its defects ; and on another occa- sion, when a Chinese was summoned by his dentist for the price of a set of false teeth—another misfit—which the Asiatic allowed to be placed in his mouth in the witness-box, and affecting to writhe with pain, he spat out across the court !
Mr. Addison, in the difficult and delicate position of a stipendiary magistrate in Sydney, has discharged his duties in a singularly successful way. He has been heard sometimes to say that he has four P's to endeavor to please—the police, the public, the profession, and the press. Two more P's may be suggested —the parties in a civil case, and the prisoner in a criminal one ; to say nothing whatever of the "Push." The prisoner is often the most difficult to satisfy. The legal profession also contains in its ranks many grumblers at magisterial decisions ; but sometimes the practice of these learned gentlemen is amongst a class of clients whom it is
impossible to "whitewash," and so the advocates are repeatedly unsuccessful in court. Then there is the press, par- ticularly the outside correspondents of the papers, "Lover of Justice" (who got six months last year from the magistrate assailed), and "Audi Alteram Partem," whose arguments are so often decidly one-
But when the innumerable difficulties sur- rounding the functions of a metropolitan magistrate are taken into account, it can be truthfully said that Mr. Addison, during his long career upon the bench, has dis- charged his duties in a fearless and up- right way.