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Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Chartres, George

by K. G. Allars

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966

George Chartres (flourished 1810-1817), lawyer, was the son of George Chartres, physician, of Dublin, and his wife Letitia, née Booker. He was admitted as an attorney in the Irish courts about 1799 and practised in Dublin. There he was convicted for fraud on 14 July 1810 and sentenced to be transported for seven years. He arrived at Sydney in the Providence in July 1811. He was given a ticket-of-leave on his arrival and soon afterwards was appointed clerk to D'Arcy Wentworth, superintendent of police, at a salary of £30, a position he held throughout his stay in the colony. Next year he was acting as a land agent and as agent for Robert Campbell junior; when Campbell replaced him with George Crossley in September, Chartres advertised that he would transact all manner of conveyancing and was ready to render professional assistance 'as might appear requisite for the Prosecution or Defence of Suits' in the courts. He won several actions for payment for his services as scrivener and won damages in a case against Samuel Marsden. On 27 February 1813 he was sentenced to the Coal River (Newcastle) for misconduct, but received another ticket-of-leave in December, returned to Sydney and on 13 June 1814 was conditionally pardoned. Five days later he announced his intention of resuming his legal activities, now at 68 George Street, though he accompanied his practice by mercantile dealings and keeping a public house. On 4 July, like George Crossley, he was admitted as an 'agent' to act in the civil court and continued to do so until it was replaced by the Supreme Court created by the 1814 Charter of Justice. In May 1815 he joined with Crossley and Edward Eagar in seeking from Mr Justice J. H. Bent the right to practise in it, but like the others he was not admitted.

On 1 January 1816 Lachlan Macquarie granted him a free pardon, and for a time he continued to appear in the Judge-Advocate's Court, which during the illness and after the death of Ellis Bent was temporarily presided over by Frederick Garling, but in October arrived Earl Bathurst's dispatch to Macquarie which forbade any former convicts to practise in the courts unless there were no available free attorneys. As this condition no longer prevailed, Chartres decided to return home. He sold his stock, his house and other assets and departed with his wife in the Harriet on 22 December 1817. Though J. H. Bent wrote in 1819 that he had become bankrupt, nothing more of him is certainly known.

Select Bibliography

  • newspaper indexes under Chartres (State Library of New South Wales)
  • Wentworth papers (State Library of New South Wales)
  • Supreme Court records (State Records New South Wales).

Citation details

K. G. Allars, 'Chartres, George ', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 20 October 2020.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966

View the front pages for Volume 1

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