Sir Charles Lilley

Sir Charles Lilley

Premier 1868-1870 and Second Chief Justice 1879-1893 of Queensland

By Dr J M Bennett AM


J M Bennett’s new biography shows the mercurial figure of Lilley to be one of the giants of colonial Australia, a politician who took on the squatter class and forced democratic reform, earning the enduring, virulent hatred of his opponents; a Chief Justice of brilliant calibre until his one disastrous mistake.

“Sir Charles Lilley has proven a polarising figure, often subject to caricature and ridicule. As Dr Bennett observes, the record of Lilley’s formidable achievements has been distorted by adversaries, particularly the mostly hostile press of the time, or overshadowed by some infamous errors of judgment. All of this has to date inhibited a balanced appraisal of his life. Dr Bennett’s biography goes a long way towards redressing the imbalance.

The author’s narrative reveals a man of accomplishment: newspaper editor, a “founding father” of the legal profession, the first Queen’s Counsel in Queensland, reformist politician, Attorney-General, Premier and Chief Justice.”

The Hon Paul de Jersey, AC, Chief Justice of Queensland (from the Foreword)

The Queensland State Set of Lives of Australian Chief Justices, which includes, Sir James Cockle and Sir Charles Lilley is available for $90.00 - to order the Queensland State Set, click here.


Published 23 June 2014
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862879546
Australian RRP $64.95
International Price $60.00