Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW, 6/8/1827 - 15/4/1836.
Acting Chief Justice, Supreme Court of NSW, 16/4/1836 - 29/8/1837.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, 30/8/1837 - 27/9/1844.
James Dowling was born in London on 25 November 1787, son of a London’s bookseller and press associate. He was educated at St Paul’s School in London prior to preparation . While studying the Bar he was a Parliamentary reporter. (1) He was admitted to the Middle Temple until he was called to the Bar on 5 May 1815 but continued to make his living substantially from legal writing. Between and 1822- 1831, in collaboration with Archer Ryland, he edited King’s Bench Reports in nine volumes and Magistrates’ Cases in four volumes between 1822 and 1827. (2)
In June 1827 he applied to the Colonial Office for an appointment and was offered the position of Chief Justice of Dominica which he declined but requested consideration for the new judicial seat being created in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. (3)
On 4 August 1827 He was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He arrived in Sydney on 24 February and commenced duty in March 1828. (4) During the absence of Sir Francis Forbes in 1836 Dowling became Acting Chief Justice, and after Forbes resignation, in July 1837, he was appointed as the Chief Justice. The Colonial Office confirmed Chief Justice Dowling’s to this position on 30 August 1837. (5)
Dowling was also a member of the Legislative Council (6) He was knighted in 1838 .(7) Seriously ill since 1840, he collapsed at the bench in June 1844 and died on 27 September 1844.(8)
(1) The Australian Encyclopaedia, Angus & Robertson Sydney, 1958 Vol. 3 p. 277
(2) Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1788-1850 Vol. 1 A-H, Melbourne University Press, 1966, p 317
(4) Historical Records of Australia, The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament 1920, Vol. 13, p. 490
(5) Web Site, www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/history/lah.nsf/pages/dowling
(6) Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1788-1850 Vol. 1 A-H Melbourne University Press, 1966, p 319
(7) The Australian Encyclopaedia, Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1958, Vol. 3 p. 277
(8) Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1788-1850 Vol. 1 A-H, Melbourne University Press, 1966, p 320