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Brennan, Frank Tenison (1884–1949)

from Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld)

Mr Justice Frank Tenison Brennan, who for 23 years resided in Rockhampton as Central Judge of the Supreme Court, died in the Brisbane Mater Private Hospital on Saturday afternoon. He had been an inmate of the hospital for several weeks, suffering from heart trouble. He was 64 years of age.

While in Rockhampton Mr Justice Brennan and Mrs Brennan took a prominent part in social welfare and sporting activities.

Mr Justice Brennan was born in Maryborough and educated at the Christian Brothers' College there. He practised as a solicitor at Toowoomba from 1913 to 1918, when he was elected Member of Parliament for Toowoomba.

In 1923, Mr Justice Brennan was appointed Minister in Charge of Health and Local Authorities, and the following year. Education Minister.

The same year he was admitted to the Bar, and in 1925 he was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench on the retirement of Mr Justice Shand, receiving a commission as Central Judge. With his consent he was transferred to Brisbane in September, 1947.

The death of Mr Justice Brennan recalls the famous "bribery case" of 1922, one of the most sensational incidents in Queensland's political history.

On August 14, 1922, two men, Sleeman and Connolly, were arrested for having attempted to bribe Mr Brennan.

It was established at their trial that the object was to induce Mr Brennan to cross the House to bring down the Government. It was stated that he was offered £3500.

The men were trapped at Mr Brennan's house, where holes had been bored in the walls to allow detectives and short-hand writers to obtain a complete record of their conversations.

They were sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and fined £500 each.

Mr Justice Brennan leaves a wife, one son (Gerard, law student), and two daughters. Misses Anne (his associate) and Mary.

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Citation details

'Brennan, Frank Tenison (1884–1949)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 September 2020.

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