Alexander Onslow

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Sir Alexander Campbell Onslow (17 July 1842 – 20 October 1908) was the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, which is the highest ranking court in the Australian State of Western Australia.

Onslow was the fourth son of Arthur Pooley Onslow, of Send Grove, Ripley, Surrey, by his wife, Rosa Roberta, daughter of Alexander Macleay, F.R.S., Speaker of the first New South Wales Legislative Council.[1] Onslow was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1864. He entered at the Inner Temple on 15 January 1862, was called to the bar on 17 November 1868, and went the Home Circuit. On 4 February 1878, he married Madeline Emma Loftus, daughter of Rev. Robert Loftus Tottenham, of Florence, and granddaughter of the Bishop of Clogher.[1]

Onslow was Attorney-General of British Honduras from 1878 to 1880, and Attorney-General of Western Australia from 1880 to 1883. In July of the latter year he was appointed Chief Justice, in which capacity he administered the government during the absence of Sir Frederick Broome in England in 1884-5. His relations with that Governor having subsequently become strained, the latter "interdicted" him from his functions as Chief Justice, for the alleged premature and improper publication of certain correspondence then pending between them and with the Colonial Office. The Executive Council unanimously confirmed the interdict, and placed Mr. Onslow on half-pay pending the decision of the Colonial Office. In the result, Lord Knutsford reinstated Mr. Onslow, but censured him.[1] Ultimately, in view of the attitude assumed by the Chief Justice in adjudicating on certain cases of newspaper libel, the Legislative Council passed a resolution requesting the Home Government, in the interests of tranquillity, to transfer him to some other location. He was accordingly given, a year's leave of absence; and this having been again extended, Sir Henry T. Wrensfordsley was sent out to the colony in 1890 as Acting Chief Justice. Mr. Onslow returned to Western Australia and resumed his occupancy of the office of Chief Justice in July 1891.[1]

Family[edit]

Father
  • Arthur Pooley Onslow - father
Mother
  • Rosa Roberta, née McLeay - mother
  • Alexander McLeay (1767–1848)[2] - Rosa Roberta's father
  • Rosa Roberta's siblings
    • William Sharp Macleay (1792–1865)[3] He never married and the heir to his estate was his brother, George W. J. Macleay
    • Sir George W. J. Macleay (1809–1891)[4]
    • James Robert (1811–1892) secretary of the commission for the suppression of the slave trade in Cape Colony.
    • Margaret (b. 1802) married Archibald Clunes Innes (1800–1857)[5] in 1829
    • Christiana Susan (b.1799) married Captain William Dumaresq (1793–1868)[6] in 1830
    • Barbara Isabella (b.1797) married Pieter Laurentz Campbell (1809–1948)[7] in 1834.
Siblings

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Onslow, Alexander Campbell". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource
  2. ^ 'McLeay, Alexander (1767–1848)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 177-180.
  3. ^ David S. Macmillan, 'Macleay, William Sharp (1792–1865)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 182-183.
  4. ^ David S. Macmillan, 'Macleay, Sir George (1809–1891)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 180-182.
  5. ^ E. Flowers, 'Innes, Archibald Clunes (1800–1857)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 3-4.
  6. ^ Nancy Gray, 'Dumaresq, William John (1793–1868)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 333-335.
  7. ^ Hazel King, 'Campbell, Pieter Laurentz (1809–1848)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 201-202.

Further reading[edit]

  • biographical details West Australian, 27/5/1895,

See also[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Chief Justice of Western Australia
1883 - 1901
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Stone