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sons, our reply is, that, except as regards entails, we question the truth of the assertion, and further, that Mr. Torrens thinks,' and we see no reason for doubting, that “it is quite feasible to provide for the creation of entails, under the system of registration of titles, without complication or difficulty. For this purpose, nothing more is needed than to provide that the tenant for life shall receive certificate of title, as such, upon which the memoranda of his dealings with his limited estate, as also dealings of reversioners with their interest, may be recorded in the same manner as is prescribed for the case of dealing with the fee-simple. Every devolution of the property would be authenticated to the Registrar, and a fresh certificate of title issued to the new tenant for life, as prescribed in the case of transmission of the fee by will or intestacy.” Mr. Torrens does not think that this proceeding would confuse the register, and he states that he has worked out a number of the most complicated cases, to test the soundness of his views in this respect; but that he abstained from pressing these views on his fellow-colonists, on account of the disfavour with which any measure, tending to encourage the practice of entailing property, is regarded in the colony.
Those to whom the preparation of a measure for the reform of our own conveyancing system may be entrusted, would, we believe, derive much benefit from the careful study of the South Australian Real Property Act. In many respects, indeed, it might be usefully followed ; for, though defective in a few minor points, and occasionally obscure in its language, it is, taken as a whole, far more accurate and complete than any measure of a similar kind hitherto proposed by the lawyers of England.
ART. XV.THE LATE WILLIAM JOHN BRODERIP.
"HE name of Broderip is equally familiar to the general
public, the naturalist, and the lawyer. The reports of the court of Common Pleas, which Mr. Broderip, in conjunction with Mr. Bingham, edited from 1820 to 1822, attest the fact that he prosecuted his legal pursuits in earnest. In truth, though he was diverted from seeking the higher honours of his profession, by accepting early in his career the responsible office of a magistrate in the metropolis, there is no reason for supposing that, had he preferred to hold on his course at the bar, he would not have achieved the distinction which some of his immediate contempo- raries and friends obtained. He preferred, however, such an occupation as would more readily allow of his employing considerable leisure in scientific investigations and literary enjoyments, and who shall say he erred in so making his choice? His pleasure as a lad, and his chosen studies from his youth upwards, consisted in natural history and the cultivation of science; and he was to our mind not only a fortunate man to have the opportunity of squaring his life with his predilections, but a wise man in not allowing ambition to attract him to follow the phantoms of professional or political fame, while the instincts of his nature and early education inclined him to other paths.
Mr. Broderip was born in 1789. His father, who practised medicine at Bristol, had formed a collection of shells and corals, in which his son took a lively interest, who thus was early initiated in zoological studies. He matriculated at Oriel college, Oxford, and it is interesting to find the following mention of him in a letter written in 1809, by Dr. Buckland, who was then fellow and tutor of Corpus Christi College. “In my earlier years of residence at Oxford, I took my first lesson on field geology in a walk to Shotover Hill with Mr. William John
1 We are indebted to a notice in the proceedings of the Linnæan Society for this extract, as well as for other points which we have thought would prove interesting to our readers.
Broderip, of Oriel, whose early knowledge of conchology enabled him to speak scientifically on the fossil shells in the Oxford oolite formation, and of the fossils, shells, and sponges of the green sand of the vale of Pusey near Devizes, as to which he had been instructed by the rector of Pusey, Mr. Townsend, the friend and fellow-labourer of Mr. Wm. Smith, the father of English geology. The fruits of my first walk with Broderip formed the nucleus of my collection for my own cabinet." From this first lesson, which Dr. Buckland then received at young Broderip's hands, may date the commencement of those studies, which eventually led the late professor of geology in the University of Oxford to prosecute those pursuits which not only have established his own fame, but also have enlarged the knowledge of this science, by his profound investigations, and his skill in elevating its position in the University, and popularizing its general study.
In after years, "Mr. Broderip was associated with Dr. Buckland on the closest terms of family friendship and intimacy; and rendered him the greatest assistance in his scientific labours, more especially in the revisal of the earlier editions of his Bridgewater treatise.” 1
Whilst at college, Mr. Broderip found time to attend the anatomical lectures of Sir Christopher Pegge, and the chemical and mineralogical lectures of Dr. Kidd. After completing his university studies, he entered at the Inner Temple, and commenced studying for the bar in the chambers of the well-known Godfrey Sykes, where he had as contemporaries Messrs. Patteson and Coleridge. He was called to the bar in 1817, and joined the western circuit; and shortly afterwards began, as we have mentioned, reporting in the Common Pleas. In 1822, however, a bare five years after he had begun practice, he was offered by Lord Sidmouth the appointment of magistrate to the Thames Police Office, which he accepted. Henceforward, the public were wont continually to meet his name associated with the functions of magistrate. That he performed these ably, zealously, and conscientiously, is well-known to those who had opportunities of
i Vide Dr. Buckland's Life.
judging; and it is said that he never had a single decision successfully appealed against, or in any way impugned. His administration of justice was characterised by strong sense, thorough knowledge of the law he had to maintain and apply, great resolution and practised skill in the discovery of truth—but with all this his kind-heartedness prevailed. The habit of contemplating vice, misery, brutality, and poverty, never rendered him callous. In him, justice and mercy, during his long judicial career, were ever united. To those who knew to what a hardening process familiarity with criminal law naturally tends, this quality of Broderip’s character will appear peculiarly estimable.
In 1824 he edited the fifth edition of Callis on Sewers. This work, which combined antiquarian with strict legal learning, was one exactly suited to the taste and talent of the editor, and he was eminently successful in this capacity. About the year 1856, whilst he was one of the magistrates of the Westminster Police Court, he was attacked with deafness, for which he could find no remedy, and he accordingly forthwith resigned his office, which he had held for thirty-four years. If he bad held it only for another year, he would have become entitled to his full pension ; but rather than retain for a few months longer his seat on the bench, when he felt that his infirmity was a hindrance to his perfect performance of its duties, he resigned in the full expectation that he thus was sacrificing half his income. The government, however, very properly considered that his resignation, under such circumstances, admitted of the full pension being paid him, and accordingly this was so arranged.
When Mr. Broderip found himself, on his first appointment at the Thames police court, placed in the very centre of the greatest port in the world, he seized the opportunities which he then found for collecting the rare and curious natural objects brought thither from all parts of the world. His conchological cabinet soon became the most famous in this country, and it has happily now found its way to the national collection. Besides collecting assiduously and successfully, he occupied his pen upon his favourite subjects with frequency and elegance. According to
the Bibliographia Zoologiæ et Geologice, his literary contributions to the departments of science in which he most delighted were very numerous. The published proceedings of the Zoological Society, and the scientific records of other learned societies, contain many and valuable papers from his hand. He moreover furnished to the "Penny Cyclopedia” its excellent zoological articles, and to the New Monthly and Fraser's Magazines very charming and interesting papers, afterwards collected in a volume, entitled “Zoological Recreations,” published in 1847. Another volume, entitled “Leaves from the Note-book of a Naturalist," appeared in 1852. He also wrote in the Quarterly Review several papers on natural history, which are distinguished their acute observation and graphic description. His genial style in all the productions of his pen is that of a perfect scholar. As an example, perhaps, we may cite his “ Account of the Manners of a Tame Beaver,” published in "The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society.” Mr. Broderip was a frequent guest of Professor Owen, at his lodge in Richmond Park, where both of these eminent men delighted to observe the doings of the wild inhabitants of the woods and fields.
He was a fellow of the Linnæan, Geological, and Royal Societies, and with Sir Stamford Raffles, Sir Humphry Davy, Sabine, Vigors, and others, assisted in the foundation of the Zoological Society. He was joint secretary with Sir Roderick Murchison to the Geological Society, and, according to the testimony of the latter, was in fact “the naturalist” of that institution, - At a later period of his career he was elected bencher and treasurer of Gray's Inn; and he undertook the charge of their library. Thus, in the enjoyment of the pursuits and the society which he best loved, he passed his happy and useful life, counting amongst his friends the men most eminent in this country and on the continent for science and literature. He had the rare gift and privi. lege of rendering popular, among a large circle of readers, the results of his studies and observations.
His amiable and congenial manners endeared him to a large number of friends who, alas! now miss his kindly face and voice. To several artists, since famous
VOL. VIII. NO. XV.