COCKLE, Sir James (1819-1895)


COCKLE, Sir James (1819-1895)
first chief justice of Queensland
was the second son of James Cockle of Great Oakley, Essex, England, and was born On 14 January 1819. He was educated at the Charterhouse and by private tuition. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in October 1837, and graduated B.A. in 1812 and M.A. in 1845. He was called to the bar in 1846 and joined the Midland circuit in 1848. In 1863 on the recommendation of Sir William Erle, then chief justice of the court of common pleas, he was appointed first chief justice of Queensland. The position was somewhat delicate when he arrived in Brisbane, because Mr justice Lutwyche who had been sole judge from the foundation of the colony, had expected the position. Cockle, however, by tact and kindliness won over Lutwyche and they became fast friends. In 1866 he was appointed senior member of a royal commission to revise the statute law of Queensland. This was completed in 1867 and (Sir) Charles Lilley (q.v.), another member of the commission who was eventually to succeed Cockle as chief justice, stated that the major part of the work had been done by Cockle. Though his office made him a busy man Cockle found time to do much work in mathematics and to contribute able papers to the Philosophical Magazine, and the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics in England, and to the Proceedings of the Royal Societies of New South Wales and Victoria. He was president of the Queensland Philosophical Society and published some of his presidential addresses delivered before it. He visited England in 1878, and in 1879 resigned his position as chief justice. He had been elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1854 and of the Royal Society, London, in 1865, and after his retirement took much interest in them and continued his mathematical writings. He was a commissioner for Queensland at the Colonial and Indian exhibition in 1886. He died at London on 27 January 1895. He married in 1855 Adelaide Catherine daughter of Henry Wilkin, who survived him with eight children. He was knighted in 1869.
Socially Cockle gave the impression in Brisbane of being somewhat shy and austere. It was a small community, and he probably felt that it was wise that the chief justice should be above the battle and remote from the jealousies and ambitions of men in pioneer settlements. In his last years he became a regular and popular member of the Garrick, Savile, and Savage clubs, London, and was treasurer of the last from 1884 to 1889. As a scientist he was much interested in the motion of fluids, and the action of magnetism on light, but he was best known as a mathematician who did much research in algebra, especially in connexion with the theory of differential equations. He worked for many years on the problem of expressing a root of the fifth degree by a finite combination of radicals and rational functions, but failed as others had done before him. His labour, however, was not wasted and his methods and results had much influence on later work on the subject. As a judge he showed himself to be a good lawyer, courteous and kindly to the profession, accurate and impartial in his thinking, wasting no time with unnecessary words, and earning the respect and confidence of the whole community.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. LIX; C. A. Bernays, Queensland Politics During Sixty Years; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • James Cockle — Sir James Cockle FRS FRAS FCPS FMS (14 January 1819 ndash; 27 January 1895) was an English lawyer and mathematician.Cockle was born on the 14th of January 1819. He was the second son of James Cockle, a surgeon, of Great Oakley, Essex. Educated at …   Wikipedia

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  • Cockell — This name has two possible derivations, the first from the early Medieval English or Olde French cokille which means a shell or cockle . This surname may have been applied to pilgrims to the Shrine of St. James of Compostella who sewed shells on… …   Surnames reference

  • Cowgill — This name has two possible derivations, the first from the early Medieval English or Olde French cokille which means a shell or cockle . This surname may have been applied to pilgrims to the Shrine of St. James of Compostella who sewed shells on… …   Surnames reference

  • Cheston — Recorded as Cockle, Cockell, Cockhill, Cockill, and possibly others, this is usually an English surname. It has two possible origins. The most romantic is from the pre 9th century Olde French word cokille , meaning a shell or cockle. As such the… …   Surnames reference

  • Cockhill — Recorded as Cockle, Cockell, Cockhill, Cockill, and possibly others, this is usually an English surname. It has two possible origins. The most romantic is from the pre 9th century Olde French word cokille , meaning a shell or cockle. As such the… …   Surnames reference

  • Cockill — Recorded as Cockle, Cockell, Cockhill, Cockill, and possibly others, this is usually an English surname. It has two possible origins. The most romantic is from the pre 9th century Olde French word cokille , meaning a shell or cockle. As such the… …   Surnames reference


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