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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Purves, James Liddell

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Purves, James Liddell, Q.C., the eminent Victorian advocate, is the eldest son of the late James Purves, one of the pioneers of the colony of Victoria, and was born in Swanston Street, Melbourne, on August 23rd, 1843. He was educated in the first instance at Mr. Budd's school and at the Melbourne Diocesan Grammar School, but went to Europe in 1855 with his father, and passed through a course of instruction at various English and foreign schools. He also studied at King's College, London, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, to which he went up in 1859. He entered at Lincoln's Inn in April 1861, and was called to the English Bar in June 1865. Shortly afterwards he returned to Victoria, where he was admitted to the local Bar, and commenced the career as an advocate which has given him the foremost position, not only in Melbourne, but throughout Australia. Of recent years no Victorian cause célèbre has been complete without his retention on one side or the other. In March 1872 Mr. Purves entered Parliament as a Constitutionalist and Free-trader for the constituency of Mornington, in the representation of which he succeeded Sir James MᶜCulloch, and sat till 1880. In the interim he refused offers of office from the first Berry and the last MᶜCulloch Administration. Mr. Purves, though mainly devoted to his profession, has taken a prominent part in the proceedings of the Victorian Natives Association, and holds national Australian views nearly as advanced as those of Sir Charles Lilley, the Chief Justice of Queensland.