The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Michie, Hon. Sir Archibald

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Michie, Hon. Sir Archibald, K.C.M.G., Q.C., sometime Agent-General, Victoria, is the son of the late Archibald Michie, of Maida Vale, a merchant in London, where he was born in 1818. He was educated at Westminster School, entered at the Middle Temple in Nov. 1834, and was called to the Bar in May 1838. In the following year Mr. Michie emigrated to Sydney, and practised his profession there with success. In the New South Wales capital he devoted much of his time to journalism, and acted as a law reporter, ultimately becoming associated with Mr. Robert Lowe (the late Lord Sherbrooke) in the conduct of the Atlas newspaper, started in 1844 to champion the then current phase of local Liberalism. After revisiting England, Mr. Michie returned to Australia in 1852, taking up his abode in Victoria, where the discovery of gold and the concession of separation from New South Wales served to open up the brightest prospects of prosperous activity. He was at once admitted to the Victorian Bar, and on Oct. 26th, 1852, was nominated by the Government a non-elective member of the Legislative Council, as the single House of Parliament was then called. At the close of his second session Mr. Michie resigned his seat and devoted himself to the practice of his profession and to journalistic pursuits. From 1854 to 1856 he was proprietor of the Melbourne Herald, a morning paper, which involved him in loss. When the Ballarat rioters were placed on their trial after the affair of the Eureka stockade, Mr. Michie volunteered his services for their defence without fee. In 1856 responsible government was inaugurated in Victoria under the imperial act passed in the previous year, and Mr. Michie was returned to the newly created Legislative Assembly as one of the members for Melbourne, having as colleagues Sir (then Mr.) John O'Shanassy, Sir (then Mr.) William Foster Stawell, and Messrs. David Moore and J. T. Smith. In April 1857 he accepted office in the second Haines Ministry as Attorney-General and retired with his colleagues in March 1858. In August 1859 Mr. Michie became M.L.A. for St. Kilda, and sat till the general election in 1861, when he was not a candidate. When that most remarkable of Victorian Ministries the first MᶜCulloch Government came into office in June 1863, with Mr. George Higinbotham as Attorney-General, Mr. Michie was offered the post of Minister of Justice, and joined them in July, being re-elected to the Assembly for Polwarth and Grenville. Mr. Michie resigned office in the MᶜCulloch Government in July 1866, and in the same year was returned for St. Kilda, and in 1868 for South Gippsland. In the third M'Culloch Ministry Mr. Michie was again Attorney-General from April 1870 to June 1871, when he was defeated for South Gippsland, but was subsequently returned to the Legislative Council. In 1872 Mr. Michie paid a second visit to Europe, and on his return to Victoria in 1873 he was appointed Agent-General of the colony in London by the Francis Ministry. In May 1878 he was created K.C.M.G., and retiring from the agent-generalship in the next year, returned to Melbourne. He married in 1840 Mary, daughter of Dr. John Richardson, Inspector-General of Hospitals. Sir Archibald Michie is a man of very considerable literary culture, and has acted as Victorian correspondent for the London Times for many years.