Perth: Goverment Printer, 13th, March 1883. Robert Fairbairn, the prominent 19th century Western Australian magistrate, is the appointee to whom this "Minute" is aimed. He would soon be in charge of the Kimberley district, and Wrenfordsley was at the time of this writing the Acting Governor of Western Australia. Unusually, this is not recorded on either Trove or the State Library of Western Australia.
The "minute" advises Mr. Fairbairn on his duties, which will involve "...those of the Judge, the Collector of Customs, and the Registrar"... and he advises "the Magistrate to take his own notes of the evidence, and not to trust to his clerk." It is most interesting for the directions of caution in meting out punishment to the aboriginal community. "As the dispenser of justice to an uncivilised race, it is all important that he should appear to act with judicial calmness and deliberation." Settlers were to be discouraged from taking the law into their own hands. And the statues prohibiting the supply of liquor to natives were to be strictly enforced so that "in the remote and ... peaceful wilds of the Kimberley country, the white man's curse will long remain unknown." An early reader has commented at the top "This is good" and has also highlighted various sections of interest.
At the time of this writing Wrenfordsley was Acting Governor of Western Australia, however he had a long career in law as solicitor, Attorney General of Jamaica, Chief Justice of Western Australia and Chief Justice of Fiji.
Foolscap folio, 3pp, black text on cream paper. At the end of page, printed H.T. Wrenfordsley, Administrator. 13-3-83." A notation on verso in ink, "Notes of Wrenfordsley on Justice duties." Top edge ruffled, small puncture top right (pin mark?), two period folds, overall very good. Item #27755