George Higinbotham: Third Chief Justice of Victoria
Dr. J.M. Bennett
Publication Date :
1 Jan 2007
George Higinbotham's extreme and uncompromising radical views and mesmerizing oratory have made him an iconic figure in Victorias colonial history of the darling of the liberals and the left. John Bennett has written a major re-assessment of this giant who was a dominating figure from the 1850s until his death in 1892. Higinbotham was successively a gold digger who found no gold; a barrister who found few briefs; a crusading editor of Melbournes Argus; an independent member of Parliament who opposed political parties and ferociously attacked the squatter dominated Legislative Council and the Colonial Office; an overtly democratic Attorney-General who advocated government without supply; and Chief Justice of Victoria when his political dreams all foundered. Yet he drew others to him as a Pied Piper. He was a mass of contradictions. Extraordinarily charitable to beggars, he treated his family miserably. A failure in achievement, he retained an enormous popularity which has endured for over a century.