Crown Prosecutor, Western District Quarter Sessions, 01/12/1891 - 31/03/1895
Crown Prosecutor, Central Criminal Court, 01/04/1895 - 1902
Acting Judge, District Courts, 14/11/1896 - 1902
Acting Chairman of Quarter Sessions, 14/11/1896 - 1902
Commissioner, Court of investigation on the Dudley Colliery Explosion, 01/06/1898-19/09/1898
Commissioner, Inquiry into the working of Newcastle Colliery Company's 'A' Pit, 16/06/1899 - 21/07/1899
Commissioner, Royal Commission into the fatal accident which took place at the Broken Hill South Mine, Broken Hill, on the 24th May, 1901, 21/06/1901 - 19/07/1901
Member of the Legislative Assembly, 09/09/1903 - 21/02/1917
Attorney General, 29/08/1904 - 20/10/1909
Minister for Justice, 29/08/1904 - 20/12/1909
Premier, 02/10/1907 - 20/10/1910
Agent-General for New South Wales in London, 04/05/1917 - 31/01/1920
Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW, 15/03/1920 - 26/09/1922
Commissioner, Royal Commission into the 'standard price' of gas (Australian Gaslight Company and North Shore Gas Company Ltd), 07/10/1920 - 31/12/1920
Commissioner, Royal Commission into the 'standard price' of gas (City of Newcastle Gas and Coke Company Ltd), 10/09/1921 - 31/10/1921
Commissioner, Royal Commission into the price of electricity of certain suppliers (the Municipal Council of Sydney and the (Balmain) Electric Light and Power Supply Corporation Ltd), 01/03/1921 - 23/06/1921
Trustee, National Gallery of NSW, 1908 - 1918
Governor, King's School, Parramatta, 1901 - 1922
Charles Gregory Wade was born on 26 January 1863 at Singleton, the son of William Burton Wade, a civil engineer, and his wife Annie McBean nee Duguid. He was educated at All Saints College, Bathurst (1874-1877) and the King's School, Parramatta (1877-1880). He won the Broughton and Forrest Exhibition award in 1880, given to old boys of King's School who qualify to attend Oxford or Cambridge University. He graduated from Merton College, University of Oxford, with a BA Honours in Classics in 1885. While at Oxford he represented the University in rugby and was a member of the English International Rugby XV from 1883 to 1886. (1)
On 19 May 1886 he was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple and on 1 September 1886 was called to the New South Wales Bar. (2) On 1 December 1891 he was appointed Crown Prosecutor to the Western District Quarter Sessions. On 1 April 1895 he became permanent Crown Prosecutor at the Central Criminal Court and Crown Prosecutor at all Courts of General and Quarter Sessions within the Colony of New South Wales. From 14 November 1896 till his resignation as a Crown Prosecutor in 1902, he acted temporarily as a Judge of the District Courts and Chairman of Quarter Sessions on a number of occasions, for the Northern, Western, Hunter, and South-western Districts, at Windsor and Penrith, and in the Metropolitan, Suburban and Hunter Districts. From June to September 1898 he conducted the Court of investigation on the Dudley Colliery Explosion, in June and July 1899 the inquiry into the working of the 'A' Pit of the Newcastle Coal Mining Company, and in June and July 1901 the Royal Commission into the fatal accident at the Broken Hill South Mine of 24 May 1901. Following his resignation as a Crown Prosecutor in 1902, he practised in the new Industrial Arbitration Court on behalf of employers, primarily representing mining interests. He was a foundation member of the Council of the New South Wales Bar from 1902/03 to1904/05. (3)
On 9 September 1903 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the Member for Willoughby. On 6 August 1904, after a redistribution, he became the Member for Gordon, a seat he occupied until 21 February 1917. He was Attorney General and Minister for Justice from 29 August 1904 until 20 December 1909, and Attorney General from 21 December 1909 to 20 October 1910. After the resignation of Joseph Carruthers, Wade was Premier of New South Wales from 2 October 1907 to 20 October 1910. From 21 October 1910, he became the leader of the Opposition following his party's defeat in the election. While Attorney General, he was made a King's Counsel on 10 March 1905. He was President of the Liberal and Reform Association from 1908. Whilst in Parliament he was involved in five Special Commissions and inquiries. (4) He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George on 5 June 1920 for his service as Attorney-General of New South Wales. (5)
Following his retirement from Parliament, he took his family to America and England on an extended holiday and to recover his health. While in England he was appointed to the position of Agent-General for New South Wales in London in 4 May 1917 for a period of five years. He was knighted on 2 April 1918 for his service as Agent-General for New South Wales in London. However in December 1919 he was offered a seat on the New South Wales Supreme Court and he returned to Sydney, his last day of service as Agent-General being 31 January 1920. (6) On 15 March 1920 he was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court. (7)
Whilst in the Supreme Court he conducted three Royal Commissions. Two of these were under the Gas Act, 1912 (Act No.71, 1912), and amending acts. They concerned the 'standard price' of gas - whether the costs of production and distribution of gas had increased and gas companies could increase their prices to consumers. The first Royal Commission concerned the Australian Gaslight Company and North Shore Gas Company Ltd in October to November 1920 and the second concerned the City of Newcastle Gas and Coke Company Ltd in September to November 1921. The third Royal Commission was an inquiry into the price of electricity produced by the Municipal Council of Sydney and the (Balmain) Electric Light and Power Supply Corporation Ltd, conducted in March to June 1921, under the Municipal Council of Sydney Lighting (Amendment) Act, 1920 (Act No.22, 1920) and the Supply of Electricity (Variation of Agreements) Act, 1920 (Act No.30, 1920). (8)
Wade was active in the community. He was a Governor of King's School from 1901 to 1922, an executive of the Universal Service League in 1915, a director of the Prince Alfred Hospital from 1915 to 1917, and a Trustee of the National Gallery of NSW from 1908 to 1918. He was the author of 'A treatise upon the Employers' Liability Act of New South Wales, 50 Vic., No.8 (1886) ...' (Sydney, 1891), 'The Married women's property act, 1893 ....' (Sydney, 1894), and 'Australia: problem and prospects' (London, 1919, seven lectures he gave at University College, London). He died on 26 September 1922 at his Potts Point home, survived by his wife, Ella Louise nee Bell, and two sons and twin daughters. (9)
1. Fred Johns, Johns's Notable Australians and Who's Who in Australasia, Adelaide, the Author, 1906, p.179; Fred Johns, Johns's Notable Australians and Who's Who in Australasia, Adelaide, the Author, 1908, p.316; Fred Johns, Who's Who in the Commonwealth of Australia, Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1922, p.279; John M Ward, 'Wade, Sir Charles Gregory (1863-1922)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 1990, Vol.12, pp. 340-342; 'Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886', first published 1891, Google Book http://books.google.com/books?id=q-otAAAAIAAJ&pgis=1 (cited 31 March 2008).
2. NRS 13665, Barristers Admission Board, Roll of Barristers 15 June 1876 to 1 December 1926, p.3, Reel 2147.
3. Public Service Lists (Blue Books), 1891, p.117, Reel 3611; New South Wales Government Gazette No.267, 19 April 1895, pp.2589-90; No.932, 17 November 1896, p.8238; No.67, 27 January 1897, p.510; No.166, 26 February 1897, p.1437; No.123, 11 February 1898, p.1093; No.898, 14 October 1898, p.8202; No.73, 25 January 1900, p.650; No.229, 15 March 1901, p.2291; No.114, 7 February 1902, p.1018; D H Borchardt, Checklist of Royal Commissions Select Committees of Parliament and Boards of Inquiry, Bundoora, La Trobe University Library, 1975, pp. 197, 200, 211; ADB, op.cit., p.340; David Clune, 'Charles (later Sir Charles) Gregory Wade' in The Premiers of New South Wales 1856-2005, Sydney, The Federation Press, 2006, Vol.2, p.78; 'Bar Councillors, 1902-1910', New South Wales Bar Association Home Page http://www.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/history/bclist1902_1910.php (cited 24 December 1907).
4. 'Sir Charles Gregory Wade [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/members.nsf/V3ListFormerMembers (cited 17 March 2008); David Clune, op.cit., p.79; NSW Government Gazette No.136, 14 March 1905, p.1809; ADB, op.cit., p.340-342.
5. It's An Honour website, http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au (cited 14 December 2007).
6. NSW Government Gazette No.67, 4 May 1917, p.2335; No.70, 9 April 1920, p.2192; It's An Honour website, op.cit.
7. NSW Government Gazette No.59, 19 March 1920, p.1735.
8. NSW Government Gazette No.184, 15 October 1920, p.6068; No.198, 12 November 1920, p.6619-20; No.169, 18 November 1921, p.6564; Joint Volume of Papers presented to the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly and ordered to be printed (Parliamentary Papers), Vol.3, 1921, pp.1-2; Vol.4, 1921, p.999.
9. Fred Johns, op.cit., 1906, p.179; ADB, op.cit.; 'Sir Charles Gregory Wade [Former Member]' op.cit.