The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Griffith, Charles James

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Griffith, Charles James, M.A., was the fifth son of Richard Griffith, of Millicent, Kildare, Ireland (sometime member for the borough of Askeaton in the Irish Parliament), by his second wife, Mary, daughter of Right Hon. Walter Hussey Burgh, Lord Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer; and was half-brother of Sir Richard John Griffith, Bart., the author of the famous "valuation" of Ireland. He was educated at Dublin University, and was called to the Irish bar. He emigrated to Victoria in 1840, and was appointed, by Governor Latrobe, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Sewers and Water Supply, and in this capacity took a prominent part in the construction of the works for bringing the water supply of the City of Melbourne from Yan Yean, a distance of nineteen miles. Mr. Griffith also took an active part in the erection and establishment of the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School, the foundation-stone of which was laid in 1856. He was also a prominent member of the Church Synod. He married Miss Jane Magee. Mr. Griffith was engaged in pastoral pursuits, and was appointed a nominee non-official member of the first Legislative Council of Victoria on Nov. 3rd, 1851. After the concession of responsible government he was returned to the first Legislative Assembly for the district of Dundas and Follett. At the meeting of parliament he was a candidate for the Speakership, but was beaten by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Francis Murphy. Mr. Griffith was the author of a work published in Dublin in 1845, entitled "Position and Prospects of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales." He died in Melbourne in 1863.