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Sir William Henry Solomon

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 1 JULY

1 July 1881, Cape Education system applies to Griqualand West.
1 July 1887, Sir William Henry Solomon (pictured) appointed Judge of the High Court of Griqualand West.
1 July 1900, De Beers buy London and SA Exploration Company.
1 July 1914, De Beers acquires the Victoria Tramways Company.

DID YOU KNOW

William Henry Solomon was born in Bedford, Eastern Cape on 25 September 1852, the third son of Edward and Jessie (nee Matthews) Solomon. His siblings were Sir Edward Philip Solomon (1845-1914), Sir Richard Stuart Solomon (1850-1913) and Emilie Jane Solomon. His uncle was the liberal politician and founder of the Cape Argus newspaper, Saul Solomon. His father’s family originated from St Helena Island.

Like his two elder brothers he was educated at Lovedale Institute, then Cape Town and called to the bar at Cambridge University in England. He was a member of the Cape Bar and then Kimberley Bar from 1878 to 1883, and Circuit Crown Prosecutor from 1883 until 1887.

In 1887 he served as a Judge in the Griqualand West Supreme Court, and at the time (roughly 1888 to 1896) lived at The Bungalow, now known as Rudd House in Kimberley. He married Maud Elizabeth Christian (1859-1920) in Port Elizabeth on 31 March 1891. Maud was for some time the fiancée of Neville Pickering, friend of Cecil Rhodes, until Neville’s death in 1886. Despite her marriage to Sir William, Maud always wore Neville’s engagement ring.

From 1896 until 1902 he was Judge of the Eastern Districts court.

Towards the end of the Anglo-Boer War, in April 1902, Solomon was transferred to the Transvaal Colony Supreme Court as one of three puisne judges, and at the time of union in 1910 was then appointed to the first Appeal Court.

In 1927 until his death he was the Chief Justice of South Africa.

The University of Cape Town conferred upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Law in 1929.

He was appointed a Privy Councillor to the British Crown in 1928.

Knighted in 1907 he had conferred upon him the KCMG in 1913 and the KCSI in 1914.

Sir William died on 13 June 1930, in England, and is buried in the Brookwood cemetery near London.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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