Thomas Slattery

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Thomas Michael Slattery (17 December 1844 25 July 1920) was an Irish-born Australian solicitor and politician.

He was born in Greenane in County Tipperary to shoemaker Edward Slattery and Alice Walsh. His family arrived in Sydney in 1847 and he attended St Mary's Seminary School before becoming a junior clerk in 1864. First working for the Customs Department, he clerked for the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1872, becoming chief clerk in 1874. In 1875, he was admitted as a solicitor, practising first in the matrimonial courts and then from 1880 privately. On 10 January 1867 he married Annie Genevieve O'Connor, with whom he had four children. His wife died in 1885 and on 23 November 1886 he married her sister Agnes Melanie O'Connor. [1]

In 1880 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the member for Boorowa. He served in the Assembly until 1895, during which time he became associated with the Protectionist Party. He was twice Minister of Justice (1885, 1889), and also served as from 1891 to 1894. In 1900 he was appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council, where he remained until 1905. [2]

In April 1905 Slattery was convicted in the Supreme Court of stealing £6,958 that had been collected by him on behalf of Mrs Mary Scanlon. Justice Pring sentenced him to three and a half years in prison. His conviction was upheld by the Full Court, [3] and he was struck off the roll of solicitors. [4]

On 13 June 1905 his seat in the Legislative Council was declared vacant on account of being convicted of a felony. [5] Later that month the High Court heard his appeal and quashed the conviction on the technicality that while Slattery had fraudulently misappropriated the money he was not properly convicted of larceny. [6] The quashing of his conviction did not result in Slattery being restored to the Legislative Council. [2] [5]

Slattery and his wife went to the United States of America, returning in 1909. [1]

He died in Mosman in 1920 (aged 75). [2]

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  1. 1 2 Nairn, Bede. "Slattery, Thomas Michael (1844–1920)". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Melbourne University Press. ISSN   1833-7538 . Retrieved 24 November 2020 via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. 1 2 3 "Mr Thomas Michael Slattery (1844-1920)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales . Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  3. R v Slattery [1905] NSWStRp 40 , 5 SR (NSW) 294(22 May 1905), Supreme Court (Full Court).
  4. "The case of T M Slattery". The Sydney Morning Herald . 25 May 1905. p. 8. Retrieved 21 April 2021 via Trove.
  5. 1 2 Twomey, Anne (2004). The Constitution of New South Wales. Federation Press. pp.  430. ISBN   9781862875166 . Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  6. R v Slattery [1905] HCA 66 , 2 CLR 596 (28 June 1905), High Court.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New district Member for Boorowa
1880 1895
Succeeded by
James Mackay
Political offices
Preceded by
James Farnell
Minister of Justice
Nov Dec 1885
Succeeded by
Louis Heydon
Preceded by
William Clarke
Minister of Justice
Jan Mar 1889
Succeeded by
Albert Gould
Preceded by
Sydney Smith
Secretary for Mines and Agriculture
1891 1894
Succeeded by
Sydney Smith