Charles Lilley


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(1827–97), premier and chief justice of Qld, arrived in Australia in 1856. He quickly completed legal studies that he had begun in England, and became a journalist for, later editor of, the Moreton Bay Courier. Lilley supported the movement for separation of Qld from NSW and became member for Fortitude Valley in the first Legislative Assembly in 1859. He held the position of attorney-general in two ministries before becoming premier in 1868. In 1870 he introduced free education, making Qld the first colony to take that step. An impulsive, erratic politician, Lilley withdrew to the Supreme Court in 1874 and became its chief justice five years later. By the late 1880s he chafed at the restriction of the bench and aligned himself with both republicanism andsocialism. In 1893 he resigned his judicial post to contest the 1893 election on the Labor side, but was unsuccessful.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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