The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Way, His Honour the Hon. Samuel James

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1459791The Dictionary of Australasian Biography — Way, His Honour the Hon. Samuel JamesPhilip Mennell

Way, His Honour the Hon. Samuel James, Chief Justice and Lieut.-Governor of South Australia, is the son of the late Rev. James Way, a Bible Christian minister, who emigrated to South Australia in 1850, and became general superintendent of the Bible Christian societies of Australia. The Chief Justice was born at Portsmouth in April 1836, and, after a private education at Shebbear and Maidstone, joined his father in South Australia in March 1853. He was admitted to the Colonial Bar in March 1861, and quickly took up a leading position in his profession, being made Q.C. in Sept. 1871. Mr. Way was elected a member of the Board of Education in Feb. 1874, and in November of the same year a member of the council of the University of Adelaide. Vice-Chancellor in succession to Bishop Short in 1876, and Chancellor in 1883. It was not till 1875 that Mr. Way participated actively in politics, and in February of that year he was returned to the Legislative Assembly for the Sturt district. In June 1875 he occupied the post of Attorney-General in the Boucaut Ministry, but resigned it in March 1871 on being appointed to succeed the late Sir R. D. Hanson as Chief Justice of South Australia. Mr. Way has, it is understood, on no less than three occasions declined the honour of knighthood and has discharged the duties of administrator of the government in the temporary absence of governors, and in the interregna between the departure of one governor and the arrival of his successor, nearly a dozen times; and it was therefore only a fitting compliment which was conferred on him in 1890, when he was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of the colony.