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Connell, Henry Daniel (1828–1895)

from Kiama Independent (NSW)

Though the mortal remains of the late Henry Connell were on Sunday afternoon last laid in the silent tomb in the presence of very many mourning friends the many excellent traits of character as shown by him during a long residence in the district will remain green while their memory lasts. The funeral rites of the English Church, to which he belonged, was conducted by the Rev J. Chaffers-Welsh, and in the most impressive manner they teach the lesson that all must die, yet the many acts of kindness and disinterested help by the deceased to those in trouble during a long active public life will be remembered with gratitude by the recipients and be a source of comfort to his family and relatives who survive him. He was essentially the poor man's friend, and though on the Bench he administered the law with unflinching integrity his justice was ever tempered with mercy. He was a hater of shams and always showed a disposition to arbitrate between contentious neighbours rather than encourage appeals to the law, which so often end in continued alienation of erstwhile friends; indeed, the motto of his long public life was to do good whenever opportunity served, and never to do or countenance wrongdoing in others. He was a sound lawyer, as many who are capable of forming a correct opinion know from his own administration as a police magistrate, and also in his capacity as Registrar of the District Court. As a further proof of this statement it may be mentioned that he was the author of the "New South Wales Magisterial Digest," a law book of nearly 900 pages demy octavo published by himself in the year 1866. As a practical guide for magistrates, clerks of petty sessions, attornies, and constables, it had the approval and recommendation of judges and the legal profession, and every Bench in the colony was supplied with a copy by the Government. The edition of 2000 met with a ready sale at two guineas a copy, and when the number was exhausted, or nearly so, five guineas a copy was freely offered. He was the son of Henry Connell, Assistant Commissary General, and his grandfather, Anthony Connell, occupied the position of Recorder of Cork and Kinsale, Ireland. He, the deceased, was born in Macquarie street, Sydney, in 1828, and was educated at the Sydney College. When his father received orders to proceed to England in 1844, with his regiment, he entered the public service in the Colonial Secretary's Department, from which he was in 1860 promoted to the Central Police Office as Clerk of Petty Sessions, and after three year's service in that position he succeeded the late W. D. Meares as C.P.S. in Kiama. Subsequently on the 1st August, 1874, he was appointed Police Magistrate of Kiama, which position he held until his retirement in December, 1888, having first been granted three month's leave of absence on full pay after a service of nearly 43 years. In addition to the office of Police Magistrate and Clerk of Petty Sessions, he performed the duties of Land Agent, Collector of Customs, Registrar of the District and Small Debts, Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Coroner, District Registrar in Bankruptcy, Guardian of Minors and Chairman of the Licensing Court. On his retirement from the public service, he was entertained at a public banquet and was presented with a handsome address by his brother magistrates and the legal profession. He continued to perform the duties of Chairman of the Licensing Court up to the time of his death, which took place at 6.30 p.m, on Thursday, 4th April, 1895, at Blackheath, on the Blue Mountains, where he, having suffered from asthma for many years, purchased a property on which to reside for the benefit of lighter and cooler air during the summer months, and when the wire, sent to his old and esteemed friend, Mr. C. Leggatt, arrived, announcing the sad event it not only took every body by surprise but threw the pall of gloom over the whole district. He first complained of feeling unwell on Sunday morning, the 31st ultimo, prior to which he had enjoyed excellent health since his arrival at Blackheath at the beginning of the year, and although he was able to move about the next day his family deemed it wise to call the services of Dr. Spark, of Katoomba, who attended twice daily. On Tuesday he was obliged to return to his bed after breakfast, and as he continued to get weaker, Dr. Scott S. Kirving was summoned to a consultation, but despite every attention, medical or otherwise, he passed quietly away as before mentioned, the immediate cause of death being heart disease accompanied by hemorrhage. He was married to Elizabeth, oldest daughter of the late Dr. Day, of Windsor, and leaves her a widow with nine children, 6 daughters and 4 sons, to mourn their loss of a good husband and kind father.

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'Connell, Henry Daniel (1828–1895)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/connell-henry-daniel-28628/text36137, accessed 14 November 2019.

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