The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Cope, His Honour Thomas Spencer
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Cope, His Honour Thomas Spencer
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Cope, His Honour Thomas Spencer, LL.B., third son of the late Thomas Cope, of West End, Hampstead, was born on April 19th, 1821, and in 1841 took the degree of LL.B. at the London University. He entered at the Middle Temple in April 1842, and studied law in the chambers of Mr. Thomas Chitty, being called to the bar in Nov. 1845. He practised in the Courts at Westminster, and was for some time reporter for the Law Times in the Court of Exchequer, and at Nisi Prius for the Times and Daily News. He emigrated to Natal in 1851, but, attracted by the gold discoveries, proceeded to Victoria, where he arrived in April 1853, and was admitted to the local bar. In 1854 Mr. Cope was appointed Deputy Judge and Chairman of General Sessions for the Ballarat district, in place of the late Mr. Wrixon, and in 1858 was appointed Judge of the Court of Mines and of the County Court, and Chairman of General Sessions for the district of Beechworth, where he remained for ten years, when he became County Court Judge of Melbourne. Mr. Cope, who acted as a Judge of the Supreme Court for nearly a year in 1885 to 1886, during the absence of the late Chief Justice Stawell, resigned his seat on the bench in April 1888, and retired on a pension. He was one of the counsel for the Ballarat rioters in 1855, and was an advanced Liberal in politics, holding that the State should resume all sold lands and administer the same for the public benefit. He died on Nov. 11th, 1891.