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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/McFarland, His Honour Alfred

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McFarland, His Honour Alfred, ex-judge of the Southern District Courts, New South Wales, was born on April 24th, 1824, in county Londonderry, in Ireland. His father was a member of one of the earliest firms of linen-bleachers in that part of the North. He himself was educated at Foyle College and Belfast College, and became a student of law at King's Inn, Dublin, in 1843. In 1845 he studied temporarily at Lincoln's Inn, London, and was called to the Irish Bar in Easter term, 1847. He then joined the North-east Circuit, and practised in the superior courts at Dublin. Meantime he published a book upon "Principles and Practice of Pleading in Equity," which in 1857 procured his first judicial appointment as judge of the principal civil and criminal courts of Western Australia, a post which he filled till March 1861, when he resigned and went to New South Wales, where on May 30th he was appointed an acting district court judge. He was made Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates in July of the same year, and in 1865 became one of the Metropolitan District Court judges and Chairman of Quarter Sessions, a position which he exchanged in Nov. 1868 for his late office of sole judge of the Southern District Courts and Courts of Quarter Sessions. He retired in 1892. In the meantime he did much good work in consolidating the Insolvency, District Court, and Mining Statutes. He was also the author of a successful little work descriptive of the climate, soil, early history, products, capabilities, sports, and pastimes of the districts of Illawarra and Manaro, in New South Wales.