Sir James Cockle FRS FRAS FCPS was an English lawyer and mathematician. Cockle was born on 14 January 1819, he was the second son of a surgeon, of Great Oakley, Essex. Educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered the Middle Temple in 1838, practising as a special pleader in 1845 and being called in 1846. Joining the midland circuit, he acquired a good practice, on the recommendation of Chief Justice Sir William Erle he was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland in Queensland, Australia on 21 February 1863. Cockle was made a Fellow of the Royal Society on 1 June 1865, he received the honour of knighthood on 29 July 1869. He returned to England in 1878. Sir James married Adelaide, who became Lady Cockle when he was knighted in 1869, his residence Oakwal in Windsor, Brisbane is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. It is believed they derived the name Oakwal from Cockle's birthplace at Great Oakley in Essex and his wife's birthplace of Walton in Suffolk.
Cockle is remembered for his mathematical and scientific investigations. For instance he invented the number systems of tessarines and coquaternions, worked with Arthur Cayley on the theory of linear algebra. Like many young mathematicians he attacked the problem of solving the quintic equation, notwithstanding Abel–Ruffini theorem that a solution by radicals was impossible. In this field Cockle achieved some notable results, amongst, his reproduction of Sir William R. Hamilton's modification of Abel's theorem. Algebraic forms were a favourite object of his studies, he made contributions to the theory of differential equations, in particular the development of the theory of differential invariants or criticoids. He displayed a keen interest in scientific societies. From 1863 to 1879 he was president of the Queensland Philosophical Society, he died in London on 27 January 1895. An obituary notice by the Revd. Robert Harley was published in 1895 in Proc. Roy. Soc. vol. 59. A volume containing his scientific and mathematical researches made during the years 1864–1877 was presented to the British Museum in 1897 by his widow.
Like his father, Sir James became wealthy during his lifetime, leaving an estate of £32,169, £2.7 million if adjusted for inflation as of 2008. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Edward Irving. "Cockle, James". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cockle, Sir James". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge University Press. P. 627. John J. O'Connor & Edmund F. Robertson MacTutor Biography found on the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. Bright Sparcs biography from Technology Heritage Centre. Robert de Boer Mathematical Biography of James Cockle from WebCite. J. M. Bennett Sir James Cockle, First Chief Justice of Queensland, Federation Press, ISBN 1-86287-485-9. Judiciary of Australia List of judges of the Supreme Court of Queensland
Hugh Denis Macrossan
Hugh Denis Macrossan was a politician and judge in Queensland, a State of Australia. He was elected as a member of the Queensland Parliament, was to become a judge and the Chief Justice of Queensland, he was the son of a prominent Queensland politician, he was elected as a member of parliament. He served as a judge from 1926, until his appointment as chief justice in 1940 and his death that year, he is unique in Queensland history as the shortest serving chief justice, serving only one month, one of only two chief justice to have a brother and nephew served as chief justice. Macrossan was born at Lutwyche, now a suburb of Brisbane, his parents, John Murtagh Macrossan and Bridget Macrossan, were both Irish émigrés to Australia who had married in Australia. Macrossan's father was a prominent member of the Queensland Parliament. Macrossan was educated at St. Joseph's Nudgee College in Brisbane, he attended the University of Sydney and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1902. Before embarking on his career in politics and the law, he worked as a teacher in Nudgee for three years.
Macrossan obtained a taste for the law when he worked as an associate for Mr Justice Patrick Real of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1904. He was practiced as a barrister thereafter, his first foray into politics occurred in 1910. He stood as a Liberal candidate for the Senate in the Australian Parliament in that year, he was not successful and he returned to practice in the law. On 12 June 1912, he married Lydia Cremin Hall Woodhouse at St Patrick's Church in Sydney, he tried again to enter into politics. He was nominated to stand as a Ministerial candidate for the seat of Windsor in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, the lower house of the Queensland Parliament. At that time, the parliament was bicameral; this time he was elected. During his time in politics, he became disillusioned with the parliamentary party system and he urged politicians not to vote along party lines, he had little success in doing this. In the 1915 election he refused to be nominated for his former party. Instead, he ran as an Independent Liberal candidate.
He lost his seat in that election to the candidate for the Australian Labor Party. He became a leading member of it, he appeared in a number of leading Australian cases, including the constitutional case of Mooraberrie Cattle case At the swearing in of Thomas William McCawley as a judge of the Supreme Court, Macrossan was one of the few judges to argue that McCawley's commission as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland was valid. That issue went to the High Court of Australia and to the Privy Council which determined that the appointment of McCawley was valid, it was during his time at the bar that his first wife Lydia died in 1922. Macrossan was sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 23 July 1926, he became senior puisne judge on 1 December 1926. The following day, he married Gladys Mildred Trenfield at Fortitude Valley, they separated 10 years later. In 1929, Pope Pius XI appointed Macrossan a Knight of St Gregory the Great. Macrossan had a "tongue of steel" and was noted for his hard work and speedy judgments.
His wit was not always appreciated. In hearing a divorce suit between two unmarried people who were living together as a married couple, Macrossan remarked "I suppose they will go and get married and spoil it all". For Macrossan, two ministers heard his remark and wrote a letter of complaint to the local paper protesting at the judge's comments about the institution of marriage. Macrossan took the letter as being a contempt of court by the ministers as well as the newspaper, he duly convicted each of them. An appeal to the Full Court of the Supreme Court overturned the convictions for contempt. Macrossan was appointed as Chief Justice of Queensland on 17 May 1940, he was unable to make any great changes. He was buried in Nudgee Cemetery, his younger brother Neal William Macrossan became chief justice in 1946 and his nephew John Murtagh Macrossan became chief justice in 1989. W. Ross Johnston, Hugh Denis, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, Melbourne University Press, 1986, pp 363–364.
Serle, Macrossan, Hugh Denis, Dictionary of Australian Biography" "Impartiality in the Judiciary" Lee, Stephen J. 14 U. Queensland L. J. 136 Harrison Bryan, John Murtagh, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, Melbourne University Press, 1974, pp 198–199 History page – Supreme Court of Queensland
A Queen's Counsel, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer, appointed by the monarch to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is recognised as an honorific. The position exists in some Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, but other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the bar of court; as members wear silk gowns of a particular design, appointment as Queen's Counsel is known informally as taking silk, hence QCs are colloquially called silks. Appointments are made from within the legal profession on the basis of merit rather than a particular level of experience. However, successful applicants tend to be barristers, or advocates with 15 years of experience or more; the Attorney General, Solicitor-General and King's Serjeants were King's Counsel in Ordinary in the Kingdom of England.
The first Queen's Counsel Extraordinary was Sir Francis Bacon, given a patent giving him precedence at the Bar in 1597, formally styled King's Counsel in 1603. The new rank of King's Counsel contributed to the gradual obsolescence of the more senior serjeant-at-law by superseding it; the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General had succeeded the King's Serjeants as leaders of the Bar in Tudor times, though not technically senior until 1623 and 1813, respectively. But the King's Counsel emerged into eminence only in the early 1830s, prior to when they were few in number, it became the standard means to recognise a barrister as a senior member of the profession, the numbers multiplied accordingly. It became of greater professional importance to become a KC, the serjeants declined; the KCs inherited the prestige of their priority before the courts. The earliest English law list, published in 1775, lists 165 members of the Bar, of whom 14 were King's Counsel, a proportion of about 8.5%. As of 2010 the same proportion existed, though the number of barristers had increased to about 12,250 in independent practice.
In 1839 the number of Queen's Counsel was seventy. In 1882, the number of Queen's Counsel was 187; the list of Queen's Counsel in the Law List of 1897 gave the names of 238, of whom hardly one third appeared to be in actual practice. In 1959, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 181. In each of the five years up to 1970, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 208, 209, 221, 236 and 262, respectively. In each of the years 1973 to 1978, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 329, 345, 370, 372, 384 and 404, respectively. In 1989, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 601. In each of the years 1991 to 2000, the number of practising Queen's Counsel was 736, 760, 797, 845, 891, 925, 974, 1006, 1043, 1072, respectively; the title traditionally depends on the sex of the sovereign. The current Queen, Elizabeth II has had a long reign, few if any people appointed as King's Counsel survive, it can be assumed that, should the Queen die and the reign pass to a descendant, holders of the title will again become KC, as the next three in line to the throne are male heirs.
Queen's Counsel and serjeants were prohibited, at least from the mid-nineteenth century onward, from drafting pleadings alone. They were not permitted to appear in court without a junior barrister, they had to have chambers in London. From the beginning, they were not allowed to appear against the Crown without a special licence, but this was given as a formality; this stipulation was important in criminal cases, which are brought in the name of the Crown. The result was that, until 1920 in England and Wales, King's and Queen's Counsel had to have a licence to appear in criminal cases for the defence; these restrictions had a number of consequences: they made the taking of "silk" something of a professional risk, because the appointment abolished at a stroke some of the staple work of the junior barrister. By the end of the twentieth century, all of these rules had been abolished one by one. Appointment as QC is now a matter of prestige only, with no formal disadvantages. Queen's Counsel were traditionally selected from barristers, rather than from lawyers in general, because they were counsel appointed to conduct court work on behalf of the Crown.
Although the limitations on private instruction were relaxed, QCs continued to be selected from barristers, who had the sole right of audience in the higher courts. The first woman appointed King's Counsel was Helen Kinnear in Canada in 1934; the first women to be appointed as King's Counsel in the United Kingdom were Helena Normanton and Rose Heilbron in 1949. In 1994 solicitors of England and Wales became entitled to gain rights of audience in the higher courts, some 275 were so entitled in 1995. In 1995, these solicitors alone became entitled to apply for appointment as Queen's Counsel, the first two solicitors were appointed on 27 March 1997, out of 68 new QCs; these were Arthur Marriott, partner of the London office of the American law firm of Wilmer Cutler and Pickering based in Washington, D. C. and Law
Supreme Court of Queensland
The Supreme Court of Queensland is the highest court in the Australian State of Queensland. The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its trial division to hear civil matters involving claims of more than A$750,000. A jury is used to decide whether the defendant is not guilty; the division hears all civil matters involving amounts of more than A$750,000. A jury may be used to decide these disputes; the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its Court of Appeal to hear cases on appeal from the District Court, the trial division of the Supreme Court, a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. Decisions made by the Supreme Court may be heard on appeal to the High Court of Australia in Canberra; the Supreme Court of Queensland was founded on 7 August 1861, with the assent of the Supreme Court Constitution Amendment Act 1861. Two subsequent pieces of legislation, including the Additional Judge Act 1862 and the Supreme Court Act 1863, were necessary to establish the court's operating system.
Prior to separation of Queensland from New South Wales, the former naval officer, Captain John Clements Wickham, tried minor crimes in the Moreton Bay District. More serious cases were tried at the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Sydney. Two years before separation from New South Wales, the Moreton Bay Supreme Court Act 1857 established the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District and Samuel Milford served as Judge. Milford resigned in February 1859, was replaced by Alfred Lutwyche; the Brisbane Supreme Court served as the Supreme Court for all of Queensland. As the colony's population grew, two other courts were constructed; the first sittings of the Northern Supreme Court were held at Bowen in 1874 and the Bowen Court House was built in 1880 in classical revival style. The Central Supreme Court was opened at Rockhampton in 1896. After the opening of the Central Supreme Court at Rockhampton, the Northern Supreme Court moved from Bowen to Townsville.
Justice Virgil Power, who served as the first Judge of the Central Supreme Court, was the first Queensland-born Supreme Court Judge. As the population of Queensland has grown, additional courts have been built at locations such as Bundaberg, Cairns, Maryborough and Townsville. Although the Brisbane Supreme Court served the needs of the entire colony of Queensland, it did not occupy a purpose-built building until 1879; until the Brisbane Court sat at the Old Convict Barracks in Queen Street. These barracks were in disrepair and a number of improvements, including new sets of windows, had to be constructed to allow the continued sitting of the Court. Furthermore, on Sundays, the area of the barracks used by the Court was used as a church. Although the Court's surroundings were not elaborate, Parliament did provide an annual grant towards the establishment of a Supreme Court Library from 1861 to 1879. By 1870, despite minor building modifications to the convict barracks, it had become clear that a new building was required to house the Brisbane Supreme Court.
A site on George Street was selected and the prominent colonial architect, Francis Drummond Greville Stanley, submitted plans for an elaborate neoclassical building, two storeys tall. These original plans featured other sophisticated detail, they were modified for financial reasons and in 1875 John Petrie tendered to construct the building. On 6 March 1879, the new Supreme Court opened; the entrance on the North Quay frontage had been designed as the main entrance but this was soon superseded by the George Street entrance. In 1880, iron gates were added to the building. In 1931, the Queensland Public Works Department provided funds for the renovation of the interior of the Brisbane Supreme Court. On the night of 2 September 1968, the building that housed the Brisbane Supreme Court was damaged by arson, it was subsequently demolished, in 1976, it was replaced with a building designed by Bligh Jessup Bretnall and was opened by Queensland Governor Sir James Ramsay on 3 September 1981. In 1989, Justice Angelo Vasta was removed from the court by Queensland Governor on the request of the Parliament.
This was the first time since federation that any state had used that method to remove a sitting judge from a Supreme Court. Vasta was found to be not "a fit and proper person to continue in office" after giving false evidence to an investigation related to the Fitzgerald Inquiry. In 2008, a A$600 million building program began to create a new Brisbane Supreme Court and District Court building, designed by Architectus Brisbane, led by Prof John Hockings; the building is known as the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law and was opened on Friday 3 August 2012 by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley incorporating a public plaza and links to the existing Brisbane Magistrates Court building. The precinct occupies an entire city block between George and Turbot streets. In 1991 the Queensland Supreme Court was restructured into two divisions, the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal; the Court is headed by the Chief Justice of Queensland who sits in both the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal comprises the President and four Judges of Appeal, who sit only in the Court of Appeal.
Proceedings in the Court of Appeal are heard by three judges. The Trial Division comprises a number of trial judges, is headed by the Senior Judge Administrator. Proceedings in the
Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, was an Australian judge and politician who served as the inaugural Chief Justice of Australia, in office from 1903 to 1919. He served a term as Chief Justice of Queensland and two terms as Premier of Queensland, played a key role in the drafting of the Australian constitution. Griffith was born in Wales, he attended the University of Sydney, after further legal training was called to the bar in 1867. Griffith was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1872, he served as Attorney-General from 1874 to 1878, subsequently became the leader of the parliament's liberal faction. Griffith's terms as premier ran from 1883 to 1888 and from 1890 to 1893, he led the Australian delegation to the 1887 Colonial Conference, took a keen interest in external affairs, giving financial and administrative support to the newly annexed Territory of Papua and establishing the Queensland Maritime Defence Force. Domestically, he had a reputation as a radical and was seen as an ally of the labour movement.
In 1893, Griffith retired from politics to head the Supreme Court of Queensland. He was asked to assist in drafting legislation, the Queensland criminal code – the first in Australia – was his creation. Griffith was an ardent federationist, with Andrew Inglis Clark wrote the draft constitution, presented to the 1891 constitutional convention. Many of his contributions were preserved in the final constitution enacted in 1900. Griffith was involved in the drafting of the federal Judiciary Act 1903, which established the High Court of Australia, was subsequently nominated by Alfred Deakin to become the inaugural Chief Justice, he presided over a number of constitutional cases, though some of his interpretations were rejected by courts. He was called on to advise governors-general during political instability. Griffith University is named in his honour. Griffith was born in Merthyr Tydfil, the younger son of the Rev. Edward Griffith, a Congregational minister and his wife, second daughter of Peter Walker.
His sister was the philanthropist Mary Harriett Griffith. Although of Welsh extraction, his forebears for at least three generations had lived in England; the family migrated to Queensland. He was educated at schools in Ipswich, Sydney and Brisbane, towns where his father was a minister at the University of Sydney, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1863, with first-class honours in classics and natural science. During his course he was awarded other prizes. In 1865, he gained the T. S. Mort Travelling Fellowship. Travelling to Europe, he spent some of his time in Italy, became much attached to the Italian people and their literature. Many years after, he was to become the first Australian translator of Dante. On his return to Brisbane, Griffith studied law and was articled to Arthur Macalister, in one of whose ministries Griffith afterwards had his first portfolio. Griffith was called to the bar in 1867. In 1870, Griffith returned to Sydney to complete a Master of Arts. In the same year, he married Julia Janet Thomson.
In 1872 Griffith was elected for East Moreton. Throughout his career he saw himself as a lawyer first and a politician second, continued to appear at the Bar when he was in office. Griffith took silk in 1876 as a Queen's Counsel. In Parliament he gained a reputation as a liberal reformer, he was Attorney-General, Minister for Education and Minister for Works, became leader of the liberal party in 1879. His great enemy was the conservative leader Sir Thomas McIlwraith. Griffith became Premier in November 1883 displacing McIlwraith. Griffith's election as Premier was assisted by auditor-general William Leworthy Goode Drew's report on the colony's loans having reached over £13 million. Griffith won the next election on his policy of preventing the importation of Kanaka labour from the islands, he passed an act for this purpose, but it was found that the danger of the destruction of the sugar industry was so great that the measure was never made operative. Recruiting was, placed under regulations and some of the worst abuses were swept away.
Griffith took a special interest in British New Guinea, was responsible for the sending of Sir William MacGregor there in 1888. Griffith held the office of premier until 1888, was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1886, before receiving an advancement to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1895. Griffith was regarded as a close ally of the labour movement, he introduced a bill to legalise trade unions, declared that "the great problem of this age is not how to accumulate wealth but how to secure its more equitable distribution". In 1888 his government was defeated. In opposition he wrote radical articles for William Lane's socialist newspaper, but in 1890 Griffith betrayed his radical friends and became Premier again at the head of an unlikely alliance with McIlwraith, the so-called "Griffilwraith". The following year his government used the military to break the great shearers' strike, he earned the nickname "Oily Sam". Griffith had had a distinguished career in Queensland politics.
Included in the legislation for which he was responsible were an offenders' probation act, an act which codified the law relating to the duties and powers of justices o
Sir Alan James Mansfield, was an Australian barrister and the 18th Governor of Queensland, serving from 1966 until 1972. Mansfield was born in Brisbane, he lived in the Mount Gravatt area for many years. Sir James Mansfield was his great-great-grandfather, he was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, before winning a scholarship to the Sydney Church of England Grammar School. He attended university at University of Sydney. Mansfield was appointed as a Puisne Judge on the Supreme Court of Queensland on 17 May 1940, he served with distinction in that capacity until he was made a Senior Puisne Judge on 20 March 1947. As a Senior Puisne Judge, he served until 8 February 1956 when he was promoted to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, he served as Chief Justice from 9 February 1956 until his retirement on 21 February 1966. During his time as Chief Judge, Mansfield was Lieutenant-Governor of Queensland on several occasions, he was appointed Governor of Queensland in 1966.
He served with distinction in this position until 1972. Mansfield was a freemason. During his term as Governor, he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Queensland; when Mansfield first became a lawyer, he went to represent Australia on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for the United Nations War Crimes Commission. In 1966, in addition to his other duties, Mansfield was appointed Chancellor of the University of Queensland. In 1958 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St George; the suburb of Mansfield in the city of Brisbane is named after him. Judiciary of Australia List of Judges of the Supreme Court of Queensland
James Blair (Australian judge)
Sir James William Blair was an Australian politician and judge. He was a successful politician, he held the office of Attorney-General of Queensland and was the Minister for Mines and introduced many successful law reforms measures in Queensland. In latter life, he took up an appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and went on to become the Chief Justice of that court. Blair took on many civic roles including that of Chancellor of the University of Queensland, his biographer states that Blair was thought of as a "dandy" because he wore a white gardenia in his coat buttonhole and a silk handkerchief protruding from his breast pocket. Blair was said to be witty, possess a delightful personality, a gift of speech, a love of humour, although author Frank Hardy is accused of referring to Blair as "venal" through veiled references in the book "Power Without Glory". Blair was born at Coalfalls, Queensland on 16 May 1870, he was the son of Julie Blair. He was first educated by his mother but he attended Ipswich West State School.
He attended Ipswich Grammar School between 1882 and 1888. He read for the preliminary Queensland Bar examinations in Brisbane. Blair lived at Swanwick's in Norman Park at the time and was called to the Queensland Bar on 6 March 1894. Blair shared chambers with the Queensland Attorney General of Thomas Joseph Byrnes. Blair appeared as junior counsel in many significant cases. One of those was the appeal to the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Queensland by Patrick Kenniff and James Kenniff. Both had been convicted of murdering a property owner and a police constable after the homestead they were staying in was burnt to the ground; the appeal did not succeed and Patrick Kenniff was executed soon after and his brother went on to serve a gaol term. Blair's association with Byrnes led to his interest in politics. Blair contested the 1902 Queensland state election as an independent candidate for Ipswich, he was one of two elected to represent Ipswich in that election. Blair captured the hearts of the electorate by putting up heart shaped signs saying "Give Jimmy a vote" or "In the hearts of the people".
In the Queensland Legislative Assembly, he opposed Sunday trading for pubs and hotels, restricted hours for bars, prohibition of the sale of tobacco to children and the stringent enforcement against gambling. He sought the takeover of private schools by the Government and the provision of more scholarships after their takeover. In 1903, at the age of 33, Blair was invited to become Attorney-General of Queensland after Sir Arthur Morgan became Premier of Queensland after the Liberal-Labour coalition victory. One of Blair's first acts was to abolish the office of sheriff; this led to the sacking of Arthur Hoey David. This led to many vicious personal attacks on Blair in Steele Rudd's Magazine; the office of sheriff was restored when it was realized how much the sheriff did. In 1904, Blair additionally became the Minister for Mines. In 1905, Blair introduced the Worker's Compensation Act 1905, a major change to workplace safety laws in Queensland. Previous efforts at reform in this area had stalled and this legislation changed the focus from the regulation of safety to instead requiring employers to compensate employees for workplace accidents.
He introduced the Children's Court Act 1907 providing for the first specialized children's courts in Queensland. These courts were a great success; these specialized children's courts continue to exist in modern times. However, he was unable to gather support for changes to education; as joint editor, he published an annotated version of the Workers Compensation legislation in 1906. He jointed revised the "Queensland Police Code and Justices' Manual of the Criminal Law" written by Robert Archibald Ranking, he continued in his executive offices after William Kidston became Premier in 1906. He lost those offices in 1907 when Sir Robert Philp became Premier, but was re-appointed after Kidston regained the premiership in 1908. A constitutional impasse over the Queensland Legislative Council between the Queensland Governor, Lord Chelmsford, Kidston as Premier led to a general election. Blair introduced two pieces of legislation that became crucial in the abolition of the upper house; the first reduced the requirement for a two-thirds majority for a bill to become law in Queensland.
After this was passed, a further law change was made that allowed for referendum of the people to be held to make laws had been refused in two consecutive sessions of Parliament. Kidston offered Blair an appointment to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1908. However, he declined it because it was to be a Northern Queensland appointment and he preferred a Brisbane placement; when Kidston formed a coalition with the Opposition, he removed Blair from his ministerial roles to allow for coalition members to be appointed. Blair went on to lead what became known as the "Independent Opposition". In 1911 he became president of Tattersall's Club, he held this role until 1922. He married Christina Gibson on 29 February 1912 at St Andrew's Church of South Brisbane, they had no children. At the general election in that year, Blair stood as a Government candidate for Ipswich, he was elected and he returned to the ministry as Secretary for Public Instruction and held this office until 1915. In Parliament, he introduced law changes to raise the age of consent from 14 to 17 years of age.
He introduced changes to prevent wills excluding immediate family, as well as introducing rules that restricted corporate ownership of phar