The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Therry, Sir Roger

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Therry, Sir Roger, Knt., was born in Ireland on April 22nd, 1800, and was admitted to the Irish bar in 1824. He was appointed Commissioner of the Court of Requests for New South Wales in Nov. 1829; a magistrate in April 1830, and Attorney-General of the colony in May 1841 as locum tenens during the absence of Mr. Plunkett. In 1843, after a sharp contest with Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles Cowper, he was returned for Camden to the old Legislative Council. He subsequently acted as Crown Prosecutor. In Jan. 1845 he succeeded the late Judge Jeffcott as Resident Judge at Port Phillip. In Feb. 1846 he was in turn succeeded by Mr. (afterwards Sir) William à Becket, and was gazetted a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and primary Judge in Equity. In 1859 he retired from the Bench, and went to live in England, where he died on May 17th, 1874, Lady Therry dying on the 27th of the same month. Whilst resident in England, after quitting Australia, Sir Roger published "Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales," which, containing as it did much curious data regarding private families and persons, created considerable stir, and ultimately the first edition was withdrawn from circulation and an expurgated version issued (1863). Sir Roger Therry was a Roman Catholic, and in his early career in New South Wales warmly vindicated the claims of his co-religionists to the freedom of conscience and liberty of worship which was for a long time denied them. In 1833 he defended six assigned servants, who were charged with insubordination on the estate of Major Mudie of the Hunter river. The men were convicted and executed, but an official inquiry instigated by Mr. Therry resulted in Major Mudie's name being removed from the commission of the peace. Two years later Mr. Therry was a candidate for the office of Chairman of Quarter Sessions, and was defeated by Mr. Riddell as the result of the animus which he had aroused amongst the magistrates by his action in the Castle-Forbes affair, as it was called. Before he left Ireland for Australia, Sir Roger was associated with O'Connell's Catholic emancipation agitation. He was also acquainted with the great statesman George Canning, and after the latter's death he edited the volumes of his speeches, which were published in London in 1828. Two years prior to this he had published "A Letter to the Right Hon. George Canning on the Present State of the Catholic Question." Sir Roger was one of the first members of the Senate of Sydney University.