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Sir James Dowling (1787–1844)

James Dowling, by Henry Sadd, n.d.

James Dowling, by Henry Sadd, n.d.

National Library of Australia, 9484577

With the deepest concern, in common, we are quite sure, with all our fellow-citizens and fellow-colonists, we have to announce the demise of Sir James Dowling, which occurred at his residence, Brougham-place, Woolloomooloo, on Friday evening last.

His remains were attended to their last resting place on Monday, by his Excellency the Governor, Sir Maurice O'Connell, Commander in Chief, the great public officers, heads of departments, and a vast assemblage of gentlemen of the Church, the Bar, the medical profession, and others, forming on the whole a vast cortege, consisting of more than one hundred carriages, besides pedestrians. The funeral service was read by the Lord Bishop of Australia. Sir Maurice O'Connell, E. D. Thompson, C. D. Riddell, James Norton, Esqrs., and Drs. Bland and Dawson, were pall bearers.

Sir James had suffered under a severe asthmatic complaint for the last 3 months: he had obtained leave of absence in order to try the effects of his native air, and had got rather better, but he suffered a relapse, and sunk under it at last in his 57th year.

He sat on the Judicial Bench in Sydney for 17 years past, during which he has earned for himself an enduring name for unbending uprightness, clear perception, luminous argument, singular folicity of expression, in which the grave was happily mingled with the elegant, and when the occasion permitted it, relieved by the classic and the facetious. His pure and sterling integrity never was arraigned, never doubted; his knowledge of law was profound, and his application of its principles to individual cases correct and judicious. Even suitors who lost their causes before him, gave him the meed of the highest honour and singleness of purpose.

In court he knew no man by his country, his creed, or his complexion. Out of court he was a liberal politician, a delightful companion, and a kind friend; and those who knew him best, will hardly call it hyperbole to say of him 

He was a man, take him for all in all,
We shall not look upon his like again.

Original publication

Citation details

'Dowling, Sir James (1787–1844)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

James Dowling, by Henry Sadd, n.d.

James Dowling, by Henry Sadd, n.d.

National Library of Australia, 9484577

Life Summary [details]


25 November, 1787
London, Middlesex, England


27 September, 1844 (aged 56)
Woolloomooloo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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