Intelligence, ambition and self-belief took Martin, the son of the Governorâ€™s Irish groom, to the pinnacles of colonial law and politics. He is the only man to have been both been Premier and Chief Justice of New South Wales.
He made his name as a fierce and partisan contributor to the vitriolic political debates of the 1840s. A brilliant young lawyer, he was in Parliament in 1848, before the age of 30. He stayed there, in and out of government, until 1873 when he made an honourable exit to the highest judicial office in the colony. Knighthood and civil honours followed.
Self-made, rich, arrogant and married to the wealthy daughter of a former convict, Martin attracted enemies so that, as Premier, he could not always guarantee the passage of his legislation, and at times lost his parliamentary seat. Through all this, he conducted a huge Bar practice and was appointed Chief Justice.
Remembered as a man â€śspringing from the people and educated amongst themâ€ť, he showed â€śevery quality which is necessary to a great and good Judgeâ€ť in a career of rare accomplishment.
A NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government publication.
This book presents an engrossing account of a remarkable career whose achievements are so far without parallel in New South Wales, and of the social and political background against which Martinâ€™s unique life must be considered. - From the Foreword by, the Honourable Gordon J Samuels
Table of Contents
Foreword by the Honourable Gordon J Samuels
Preface by Mr Rodney Cavalier
List of Illustrations
Ministries After Responsible Government
Governor Brisbaneâ€™s Legacy
â€śThe Supreme Court Would Soon Teach Them Better Mannersâ€ť
â€śWe Lay the Foundation of a Nationâ€ť
â€śThe Conservative Element Was as Powerful as It Ever Wasâ€ť
â€śDe Facto Attorney-Generalâ€ť
â€śOffice Has No Attractions For Meâ€ť
â€śThe First Protectionist Government in the Colonyâ€ť
â€śThis Ministry Was One of the Strongest and Bestâ€ť
â€śThe Present Unfortunate State of Public Businessâ€ť
â€śHe Was Not Called Upon to Neglect His Private Practiceâ€ť
â€śThe First Australian Chief Justiceâ€ť
â€śYour Ablest Man is Gone From Youâ€ť