Henry Spencer Berkeley

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Sir
Henry Spencer Berkeley
Henry Spencer Berkeley.png
Sir Henry Berkeley KC, Chief Justice of Fiji and Attorney General of Hong Kong
Acting Attorney General of the Leeward Islands
In office
1877–1878
Monarch Victoria
Governor George Berkeley
7th Attorney General of Fiji
In office
1886–1889
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir John Thurston
(acting)
Sir Charles Mitchell
Sir John Thurston
Preceded by Sir Fielding Clarke
Succeeded by John Symonds Udal
4th Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
1889–1902
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Chief Judicial Commissioner2 Sir John Thurston
Sir George T. M. O'Brien
Sir William Allardyce
(acting)
Preceded by Sir Fielding Clarke
Succeeded by Sir Charles Major
6th Chief Justice of Fiji
In office
1889–1902
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Governor Sir John Thurston
Sir George T. M. O'Brien
Sir William Allardyce
(acting)
Preceded by Sir Fielding Clarke
Succeeded by Sir Charles Major
10th Attorney General of Hong Kong
In office
1902–1906
Monarch Edward VII
Governor Sir Henry Blake
Preceded by Sir W. Meigh Goodman
Succeeded by Sir William Rees Davies
Personal details
Born 6 September 1851
St Kitts
Died 30 September 1918(1918-09-30) (aged 67)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Katherine Cassin
m. 1878
Children 2 daughters, 1 son
Profession Lawyer

Sir Henry Spencer Hardtman Berkeley (6 September 1851[1] – 30 September 1918[2][3]), was a barrister, Attorney General and Chief Justice of Fiji and Attorney-General of Hong Kong.

Early life[edit]

Berkeley was the third son of Thomas Berkeley Hardtman Berkeley and Alice Hart Rawlins, of St. Kitts.[4]

He was educated for the legal profession and called to the bar at the Inner Temple in June 1873.

In 1878, Berkeley married Katherine Cassin, daughter of F.S. Cassin of Antigua in the West Indies.[4] They had three children: Katharine Margaret, Marjorie, and Maurice Anthony.[5]

Leeward Islands[edit]

Berkeley was admitted to the bar of the Leeward Islands in July 1874. He filled various legal and official posts in the Leeward Islands. After acting as Attorney General in an interim capacity (1877-1878), he became Solicitor General from 1878 to 1883, when he became Acting Colonial Secretary.[4]

Fiji[edit]

In 1885, he was appointed Attorney General of Fiji in succession to Fielding Clarke who was appointed Chief Justice of Fiji and Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific. As Attorney-General he acted as Chief Justice when Clarke was on leave. In 1889, he succeeded Clarke in both roles.[1] He acted for a brief time as Governor of Fiji.

Berkeley was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 20 May 1896.[6]

Hong Kong[edit]

In what was seen as a slightly strange move from the bench back to the bar, in 1902, Berkeley accepted the position of Attorney-General for Hong Kong.[7] In 1904, he was considered for the position of Chief Justice of Hong Kong on the retirement of W. Meigh Goodman. Francis Piggott was appointed instead.[8] Berkeley acted as Chief Justice of Hong Kong on two occasions.[9]

He was appointed a King's Counsel in Hong Kong in 1906.[10] He resigned as Attorney General in 1906 to enter full-time private practice. William Rees-Davies took over the role in 1907. Berkeley continued to practice in Hong Kong until 1912.[11] After retirement as attorney general, he continued to serve on the Hong Kong Legislative Council which he had been a member of as Attorney General.[12] He also acted as Attorney General in 1909.[13]

Berkeley also served as Chairman of the Hong Kong Volunteer Reserve Association, which consisted of men over 35 years of age. The VRA's principal aim was the encouragement of rifle shooting.[14]

Later life[edit]

After returning to England, he was a member of the West Sussex County Council from 1913.[2]

Berkeley died on 30 September 1918 in England.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Berkeley, Hon. Henry Spencer Hardtman". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource 
  2. ^ a b "Henry Spencer Hardtman Berkeley". Holmes à Court Family History. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Who was Capt.? J.H.H.BERKELEY of 83rd Regiment". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "HON. SIR HENRY S. BERKELEY (FIJI).". Debretts_House_of_Commons. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Who was Capt. J.H.H.BERKELEY of 83rd Regiment". Rootschat. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Special Cables". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 21 May 1896. p. 5. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Nottingham Evening Post, 4 June 1902
  8. ^ The private life of old Hong Kong: western women in the British Colony, 1841-1941, p202
  9. ^ Twentieth Impressions of Hong Kong and Shanghai, profile of Berkeley
  10. ^ London Gazette, 10 July 1906, p4720
  11. ^ The Straits Times of 20 July 1911, Page 6 reported him returning home from Hong Kong for a short holiday
  12. ^ Legislative Council Minutes, 24 July 1908
  13. ^ Legislative Council Minutes, 20 May 1909
  14. ^ Twentieth Impressions of Hong Kong and Shanghai, p277
  15. ^ London Gazette, 12 November 1918, p13350
Legal offices
Preceded by
Attorney General of the Leeward Islands
Acting

1877 — 1878
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Fielding Clarke
Attorney General of Fiji
1886 — 1889
Succeeded by
John Symonds Udal
Preceded by
Sir Fielding Clarke
Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
1889–1902
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Henry Major
Chief Justice of Fiji
1889–1902
Preceded by
Sir W. Meigh Goodman
Attorney General of Hong Kong
1902-1906
Succeeded by
Sir William Rees Davies
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Keswick
Unofficial Member
Legislative Council of Hong Kong

1908
Succeeded by
Henry Keswick