John Lewes Pedder (1793–1859) served as Chief Justice of Van Diemen’s Land from 1824 to 1854, and his long career provides a unique window into the colonial world – through crime, politics, and frontier collision with the island’s Aboriginal people. Where Pedder’s critics condemn a subservient official who hindered reform and sent hundreds to the gallows, contemporaries lauded an upright judge, courteous gentleman, liberal friend and accomplished scholar. This new biography offers a sensitive account of a complex and surprisingly sympathetic man, who played a significant role in Tasmanian history.
Shortlisted for the 2020 Green Family Award for Tasmanian History
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