Australian Dictionary of Biography

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George Frederick Stone (1812–1875)

by Alfred H. Chate

This article was published:

George Frederick Stone (1812-1875), attorney-general, followed his older brother, Alfred Hawes Stone, solicitor, to the Swan River in 1831 and became his partner, though unqualified by examination. By dint of hard study and perseverance, the self-taught scholar became one of the soundest legal advisers in the colony. In July 1833 he was appointed notary public and next year acting sheriff, the appointment being confirmed in 1839. In 1841 he became registrar of births, marriages and deaths and took the first systematic census of the colony in 1848. His other appointments were chairman of the Board of Works in 1842, member of the Education Committee in 1846 and inspector of weights and measures in 1851. He was made acting crown solicitor in 1852 (confirmed 1853) and held the office till 1859 when he was appointed advocate-general. The Supreme Court Act of June 1861 having changed the title to attorney-general, his position was again confirmed and he held it until he was superannuated in 1870 through chronic ill health, worn out 'by frequent responsibility for vital courses of action'. He died at Rose Hill, Perth, on 18 August 1875.

He had been elected to the Agricultural Society in 1841 and was a director and temporary secretary of the Western Australian Bank established in June 1841.

On 6 September 1838 Stone married Charlotte Maria, daughter of Captain F. Whitfield, resident magistrate of Toodyay. Of their nine children, the second son Edward, born on 9 March 1844, later became chief justice.

Select Bibliography

  • Twentieth Century Impressions of Western Australia (Perth, 1901)
  • E. M. Russell, ‘Early Lawyers of Western Australia’, Journal and Proceedings (Western Australian Historical Society), vol 4, part 3, 1951, pp 32-53
  • P. U. Henn, genealogical notes (State Library of Western Australia).

Citation details

Alfred H. Chate, 'Stone, George Frederick (1812–1875)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 21 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

View the front pages for Volume 2

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