Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/433

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Higinbotham
Hill
421

again elected for the same place. In June 1863 he became attorney-general in Sir James McCulloch's ministry, and a leading figure in the struggle between the two houses over the question of finance bills and the Darling grant, which lasted from 1865 till 1868 [see under McCulloch, Sir James]. His attitude in this controversy gave him for a time a strong hold on popular sympathy; but ultimately he overdid his opposition to imperial interference, and was even denounced on one occasion in the assembly as a traitor. In the election of 1866 he almost lost his seat. On 4 Sept. 1866 he was appointed chairman of the education commission. When, in July 1868, the McCulloch government was reconstituted, he declined the post of attorney-general because he considered that the governor had shown too openly the intention of not being guided entirely by his ministers. He did, however, remain in the cabinet as vice-president of the board of works without a salary. On 1 Feb. 1869 he left the ministry altogether.

In the election of 1871 Higinbotham, whose views of his duty had alienated his constituents, lost his seat to a local candidate, and for the next three years he devoted himself to his practice, which was large and absorbing. In 1874, however, he was again returned to the assembly as member for the East Bourke borough, and not long afterwards, on 24 Jan. 1876, finding himself unable to support Sir Graham Berry's ministry, which was engaged in a struggle with the legislative council on the questions of land tax and payment of members, he resigned his seat; he sympathised with the spirit which animated Berry, but disapproved his methods as subversive of parliamentary government.

Higinbotham now remained aloof from active politics, and in July 1880 was appointed a puisne judge of the supreme court of Victoria. In September 1886, on the retirement of Sir William Stawell [q. v.], he became chief justice of the colony. His independence and his peculiar view of the position of a colonial government are shown by his refusal to accept knighthood on the score that rewards for local services should emanate from a local source, and by his intimation to the imperial government that if he were appointed to administer the government during the absence of the governor he would cease to refer any matters of local concern to the secretary of state. He had been for several years a vice-president of the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum and president of the Australian Health Society. In 1887 he was appointed president of the executive committee of the Melbourne centennial exhibition, and as such went to Adelaide for the jubilee exhibition and to Sydney for the centenary celebrations in January 1888. In this same year he began his second consolidation of the laws of Victoria, and a remarkably successful work resulted, for which he was publicly thanked in parliament on 16 Dec. 1890. During this latter year he had created much indignation by subscribing to the funds of the strikers in the great general strike. He died at his residence in South Yarra, Melbourne, on 31 Dec. 1892.

The violence of Higinbotham's political utterances contrasted strangely with the charm and amiability of his private life; those who condemned his political views were strongly attached to him personally. His oratorical power was of a high order, and his intellectual attainments placed him in the forefront of his contemporaries in Victoria. He was independent, and radical in his political views, broad-minded and unconventional in private life. He was small in stature but strong and athletic, fond of rowing, and a good rider.

Higinbotham married, on 30 Sept. 1854, Margaret Foreman, of a Kentish family. Besides sons he left a daughter, Edith, the wife of Professor Edward Ellis Morris, his biographer.

[Morris's Memoir of George Higinbotham, 1895; Mennell's Dict. of Australian Biography; Yearbook of Australia, 1893; Duffy's My Life in two Hemispheres, vol. ii. esp. p. 286; Rusden's Hist. of Australia, vol. iii.]

C. A. H.

HILL, JOSEPH SIDNEY (1851–1894), missionary bishop, was born at Barnack, near Stamford, Northamptonshire, on 1 Dec. 180l. His father, Henry Hill, died young, and Hill was sent to the Orphan Working School at Haverstock Hill, London. At fourteen he was apprenticed to a trade; but, resolving to be a missionary, he was received into the Church Missionary Society's preparatory institution at Reading in 1872, and into its college at Islington two years later. In 1876 he was ordained deacon by the bishop of London, married, and sailed for the Church Missionary Society's mission at Lagos, West Africa. In the following year he was invalided home, and in 1878 was appointed to the society's New Zealand mission. In 1879 he was admitted to priest's orders by the bishop of Waiapu, New Zealand. He resigned his connection with the Church Missionary Society in 1882, took up evangelistic work in the colony, and was for some time chaplain of the prison at Auckland, New Zealand.

Hill returned to England in 1890, and again volunteered to go out to West Africa