Illuminated address presented to Sir Samuel Walker Griffith.

Born at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales in 1845, Griffith came to Queensland with his parents in 1853 when his father was appointed Congregational Minister at Ipswich. Griffith excelled in his studies in Queensland and New South Wales, and after gaining a Master’s degree from the University of Sydney he returned to Queensland and became an articled law clerk at Ipswich. Rapidly making his presence felt in legal circles, Griffith also displayed an early interest in politics. Admitted to the Bar in 1867, he took silk in 1876, by which time he was already active in politics. In 1872 Griffith won the seat of East Moreton and served as Queensland Attorney-General from 1874 to 1878. After replacing John Douglas as leader of the Liberals, Griffith became Premier in 1883. During the five years he remained in power Griffith pushed through many important legislative reforms, some of it reflecting his broad humanitarian concerns. Although he lost the elections in 1888, he regained the premiership less than two years later. In 1891 Griffith played a prominent role in drafting the Australian Constitution and continued to be closely involved in discussions on Federation despite leaving politics in 1893 to become Chief Justice of Queensland. Following the creation of the High Court in 1903, Griffith was appointed Australia’s first Chief Justice, a position he retained until 1919 when he retired to Brisbane. He died the following year.


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