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Judge Lutwyche and Kedron Lodge

Judge Lutwyche a Legal Pioneer


Alfred James Peter Lutwyche (1810-1880) born in London son of a leather merchant, died Brisbane, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In England he studied law and was called to the Bar in 1838, wrote Law Reports for the Times and published a book criticizing certain aspects of the law along with the way members of the Judiciary conducted Court proceedings. He became a staunch Liberal advocate in political matters which was not to the liking of the establishment.

In 1853 his health broke down and he decided to migrate to the Colonies, arriving in Sydney in December 1853 after a stormy passage and shipwreck in which he lost all his possessions. He came as correspondent to the English paper, the Morning Chronicle but on admission to the NSW Bar he relinquished that post. He married a widow, Mary Morris, in June 1855

He served as Solicitor-General in the NSW Legislative Council in 1856 and when the Government fell served on the Opposition benches where he showed his ability as a vigorous and combative liberal. He stirred up much antagonism among the elite of the establishment but found support in the common people of NSW. In 1859 he became Attorney-General and in February he was appointed a Supreme Court Judge at Moreton Bay. When Queensland became a separate colony in December he became the first Supreme Court Judge of the new colony. He was not the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but he did act as such temporarily later.

Again he was involved in disputes about his authority when he was accused of being a 'political appointee' and an attempt was made to reduce his salary from 2,000 Pounds to 1,200 Pounds but this failed. Further attempts were made to circumvent his authority but his judicial conduct was beyond reproach no matter how much he annoyed the vested interests in the colony.

A fuller account is to be found in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Kedron Lodge, a Manorial Estate

In 1859 he bought land along Kedron Brook and then began building Kedron Lodge further back from the creek as his home.

Kedron Lodge is a large two-storeyed Gothic style dwelling of some 20 rooms, built of sandstone quarried from Petrie's quarry at Albion. The foundation stone for the building was laid in 1860. The builders were Christopher Potter and John Petrie.

When Lutwyche built the Lodge there were probably no roads other than the main one, called today Lutwyche Road, only bush tracks. Because Nelson Street makes a sharp curve around the Lodge indicates that the house was in place before the street was built.

Andrew Hamilton of Chermside worked as a joiner on the building fitting our the inside and using the finest timbers. Andrew was paid forteen shillings a day which was about twice the tradesman's pay at the time; he was a highly skilled workman.

Kedron Lodge built by Judge Lutwyche in 1860
Kedron Lodge, built in c1860, was probably the most prominent building in the area. Even when the nearby St Andrew's Church was built it was still prominent. The large Bunya Pine standing tall beside it seems to act like a sentinel guarding the house. The photo shows the eastern side of the building from the present Nelson Street. Photo taken in c1937 courtesy John Oxley Library.

The Judge and His Horses

Judge Lutwyche liked horse racing and won some races but was not very prominent in the sport. It is interesting that the Kedron Park Racecourse was established near his home and land. But it may have had nothing to do with him as he died in 1880.

Judge Lutwyche and Step-Grandson
The judge is inspecting a horse on Kedron Lodge land. The boy holding the horse is Thomas Claybourn, a Grandson of the judge's wife Mary from a former marriage. Photo taken in c1871 courtesy John Oxley Library.

St Andrew's Church of England 1888

Both Alfred and Mary attended the Church of England and, in 1864, bought the site for the nearby St Andrew's (Lutwyche) Church. They were deeply involved in the building of the church and associated buildings. The Judge was involved in forming the Diocesan Synod and was a member of same. Both Alfred and Mary Ann are buried in the same grave surrounded by a rose garden.

St Andrew's Lutwyche wooden building 1888
The first St Andrew's, Lutwyche was a wooden building with a shingle roof and was built about 1865. This photo, taken in 1888, is by courtesy of John Oxley Library.