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A County Court Judge "Sober as a Judge" [Judge Pohlman] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874

Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

lithograph (sheet: 34.5 cm x 21 cm)

Robert Williams Pohlman (1811–1877), judge, arrived in Melbourne in 1840 and with his brother acquired a sheep station, Darlington (later Glenhope), near Kyneton. Pohlman was admitted to the colonial Bar in 1841, when Port Phillip became a district of the NSW Supreme Court, making him one of Victoria’s first barristers. In addition to his private practice, Pohlman held a number of public positions such as chief commissioner for insolvent estates and chairman of the Court of Requests; in 1852, following separation from New South Wales, he became first judge of the County Court and chairman of Quarter Sessions for Victoria. Nominated for the Legislative Council in 1851and a member in 1855-56, Pohlman was very active on the issue of school education and in 1866 served alongside John Edward Bromby on the royal commission into the operation of the public education system. Pohlman returned to the County Court bench after leaving Parliament in 1856, and acted as a judge of the Supreme Court between 1859 and 1861. He was also a longstanding supporter of the church, community groups and other causes, contributing funds for the construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral, for example, and fulfilling official roles with the Early Closing Association, the Merri Creek Northcote Inebriates Home, and the Port Phillip Orphan Immigration Committee. He was a trustee of the Melbourne General Cemetery as well as a member of the Council of the University of Melbourne.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Accession number: 2016.10

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Robert W. Pohlman (age 63 in 1874)

Subject professions

Law and justice

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