Therry, Roger (DNB00)

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THERRY, Sir ROGER (1800–1874), judge in New South Wales, born in Ireland on 22 April 1800, was third son of John Therry of Dublin, barrister-at-law. He was admitted student at Gray's Inn on 25 Nov. 1822 (Foster, Reg. p. 426), was called to the Irish bar in 1824, and to the English bar in 1827. He found his chief employment in politics, actively connecting himself with the agitation for Roman catholic emancipation. At this time he made the acquaintance of George Canning, whose speeches he edited.

Through Canning's influence Therry was appointed commissioner of the court of requests of New South Wales, and went out to the colony in July 1829, arriving in November. In April 1830 he became a magistrate; but his path was not smooth, partly because of his active intervention in matters affecting the Roman catholic church (New South Wales Magazine, 1833, p. 300). In 1831 he was violently attacked in regard to his part in a deposition made by the wife of the attorney-general of the colony against her husband, and it was alleged that he had used undue influence to bring the children into the Roman catholic church. In 1833 by his action respecting the treatment of servants by one of the unpaid magistrates (Mudie) he brought upon himself a storm of opposition, and was violently attacked in print along with the governor, Sir Richard Bourke [q. v.], whose champion he was asserted to have made himself (Mudie, Felonry of New South Wales, pp. 104 sqq.) At the close of 1835 the post of chairman of quarter sessions was added to his other appointments. In May 1841 he was promoted to be attorney-general. In 1843 he was elected to the legislative council for Camden amid some indignation due to his close connection with the governor's projects (Lang). In January 1845 he became resident judge at Port Phillip; in February 1846 a puisne judge of the supreme court and primary judge in equity.

On 22 Feb. 1859 Therry retired on a pension and returned to England. In 1863 he published ‘Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales,’ the first edition of which was suppressed because of its personalities. Towards the close of his life he was much out of health, and resided chiefly at Bath, where he died on 17 May 1874.

Therry was married and left children, one of whom was in the army. Besides the ‘Speeches of George Canning, with a memoir,’ London, 1828, 6 vols., and a pamphlet entitled ‘Comparison of the Oratory of the House of Commons thirty years ago and at the present time’ (Sydney, 1856, 8vo), several of his public letters to ministers and others are extant.

[Mennell's Dict. of Austral. Biogr.; Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July 1874; his own pamphlets and book above cited; Lang's History of New South Wales, i. 257 sqq., Rusden's History of Australia, ii. 147–9; Allibone's Dict. of Lit.; Official Blue-book returns.]

C. A. H.