Robert Stout was born in the Shetland Islands on 28 September 1844 and died in Wellington, New Zealand on 19 July 1930. He qualified as a surveyor before emigrating to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1864. There he edited a freethought newspaper, The Echo, taught mathematics at a grammar school, studied law and began practising as a barrister in 1871. In 1872 he was elected to the Otago Provincial Council, and in 1875 to the House of Representatives. Due to financial necessity, he intermitted his political career periodically to resume his legal practice. Stout held office as Attorney-General in Sir George Grey's government from 1878 to 1879, was Premier in a ministry with Julius Vogel from 1884 to 1887, and a Member of the House again from 1893–1899. Having failed to wrestle the leadership of the Liberal Party from Richard Seddon, he retired from politics and served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Zealand from 1899 to 1926, and Chancellor of the University of New Zealand from 1903–23.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.