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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Webb, His Honour George Henry Frederick

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Webb, His Honour George Henry Frederick, late Puisne Judge, Victoria, was the son of a naval officer who took part in the battle of Trafalgar, and was born about 1827. As a youth he entered the office of Mr. Gurney, the famous parliamentary shorthand writer, and soon became proficient in stenography. Mr. Webb emigrated to Melbourne, Victoria, in 1852, and was for some time a reporter on the Argus. In 1855 he was appointed shorthand writer to the Government of Victoria. Having decided to embrace the legal profession, he attended the lectures on law given at the University of Melbourne by Mr. H. S. Chapman and Mr. Wilberforce Stephen and subsequently read in the latter's chambers. In 1860 Mr. Webb was called to the Victorian Bar and appointed a lecturer on law at the University of Melbourne. The latter appointment he quickly resigned, as also the position of Government shorthand writer in 1866. Having for a long period been recognised as the leader of the Equity Bar in Victoria, he was in 1874 offered the puisne judgeship rendered vacant by the death of Mr. Justice Williams, father of the present judge of that name. He was, however, indisposed to make the pecuniary sacrifice which acceptance would have necessitated. Having become Q.C. and continued to practise with unrivalled success, he was elevated to the Bench in May 1886 in place of the late Sir Robert Molesworth, and fulfilled his judicial functions down to the time of his death. Though on several occasions a candidate, he never succeeded in securing his return to the Legislative Assembly, and was also defeated when he contested a seat in the Legislative Council. The late judge, who was a member of the Congregational body, died at his residence, Caulfield, near Melbourne, on Sept. 26th, 1891, at the age of sixty-four.