The Young and Murray Families

Obituary: Rusell Young


The funeral of the late Mr Russell Young, solicitor, took place yesterday, the interment taking place in the same vault as his brother at Cornelian Bay cemetery. The funeral was a very large one, being attended by a great number of members of the legal profession and prominent citizens, among whom were Sir Elliott Lewis, M.H.A., Hon. Tetley Gant (President of the Legislative Council), Hon. W. B. Propsting, M.L.C., Hon. C. E. Davies, M.L.C., Mr E. D. Dobbie, I.S.O. (Solicitor-General) and officers of the Law Department, Mr P. S. Seager, I.S.O. (Registrar of the Supreme Court), Mr Warren Dodds (representing their Honors the judges), Hon. Henry Dobson, the Mayor (Alderman Crisp), aldermen and Town Clerk, Mr J. K. Reid (clerk of the House of Assembly), Dr Wolfhagen, representative of the Royal Society in which the deceased long took a deep interest; Mr Charles Harbottle, and other representatives of the Gas Company; Mr Charles Walch, Mr T. W. H. Clarke, Dr Atkins, Dr Payne, and many others. The chief mourners were Mr Russell Young, jun., Mr Edward Young (sons), and Mr Vivian L Butler (son-in- law and partner). The coffin was a casket of Huon pine, with silver mountings. Rev Handel Jones officiated, and delivered an eloquent address at the grave side. Messrs Clark Bros had charge of the funeral arrangements.

The death of Mr Russell Young leaves the community poorer in the loss of a man of ability and versatile talents, and of a very warm and kindly disposition. He was essentially a Hobart man, born here, one of the first pupils at that old landmark of education the High School, and passed the whole of his professional career in the city. It may be noted that, taking his father's career and his own together their active professional lives extended over the long period of 89 years, Mr Thomas Young having been admitted in 1824 (just after the Supreme Court was constituted) and practising until 1866, and Mr Russell Young having been admitted in 1862, and practising until within a short time of his death. From the time of his father's death Mr Young carried on the business, and was recognised as a capable lawyer, with a firm grasp of principles, who spared no pains to keep abreast of the times in his legal knowledge. One of his many interests was the thorough equipment of his law library, and he always set before himself a high standard of professional conduct. With the late Hon. W. W. Perkins, he got through Parliament the Law Society's Act, and they became the founders of that useful institution, the Southern Law Society, of which he was the first vice-president and afterwards became president, and helped largely in the formation of its excellent library. He was also for very many years a member of the Board of Examiners entrusted with the conduct of examinations of students for admission to the legal profession, and a large number of those now practising were examined by him in some legal subject. As a professional man he succeeded his father as the adviser of important institutions in the city, including the Hobart Corporation, the Gas Company and the Bank of Australasia.But, outside of his profession, his activities were almost too many to enumerate. His work as an energetic member of the Royal Society of Tasmania over a long period of years will be remembered by the many firm friends that were associated with him on the council of that institution. The interest he took in the Museum and Art Gallery, the latter of which he was largely responsible for founding and also in the Queen's Domain and Botanical Gardens is well known. He was also an active member of the Council of Education for many years, and when the University of Tasmania was established, was a member of its first council.

In his youth he was an active oarsman, and one of the leading spirits in the hunting field in the time of the late T. B. Clarke, John and James Lord, and others, and knew the country about Melton as well as anybody. Later he became a keen politician, and was a member of the House of Assembly between 1872 and 1877, as member for the Huon.

In other matters for the advancement of the industrial community he took a considerable part, and for some years was a prominent member of the committee of the Southern Tasmanian Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and a fruit grower at Bismarck and took an active part in promoting the very first direct shipment of apples to England. He was an excellent amateur photographer, no kind of outdoor photography came amiss to him, and in all his work he showed that he had the eye of the true artist. All social and philanthropic movements appealed to him strongly, and he was for many years a leading member of the Tasmanian Temperance Alliance.

In 1863 he married Sarah, a daughter of the late John Walker, of Barrack street, who survives him, with three sons and one daughter. His son-in-law and one of his sons have for a number of years been his partners in the firm of Russell Young and Butler, and another son is with Messrs. Roberts and Co Ltd.

Mr. Charles E. Walch, of Hobart, writes us -"I have just returned from the funeral of one of my oldest and most intimate friends, Mr Russell Young, and, as I know him as few did, permit me to bear my testimony to his work as a man. The more I knew of Mr. Russell Young, and the clearer the insight of his character that I obtained from close intercourse, the more I admired him. He was indeed one of those few men - would to God there were more of them who made his conscience his king, and this made him fearless to do the right, as those who have followed his legal career know full well. I ever found Mr Russell Young a true and helpful friend, and a wise counsellor, while, on his part, he was ready to take advice and act upon it. Of course, we looked at things in differing lights, but that only deepened and strengthened our friendship. Mr. Russell Young was a man of deep convictions - that is much more than mere opinion - and he would express those convictions in vigorous language. If ever there was a man who believed, and therefore spoke Russell Young was that man, and they were bedrock beliefs which he had worked out for himself, and not another's. It is one of the draw- backs to a lengthened life to find as year succeeds year one's old friends pass over to the majority, and you are left all the poorer. I have felt this increasingly of late, and in no case more acutely than in the death of my old friend, Russell Young."