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A New Law Dictionary and Institute of the Whole Law: For the Use of Students, the Legal . 1874

Archibald Brown

Published London 1874.
Leather spine with raised bands, cloth boards with leather corners.

A very tight and clean copy. Scarce 1st ed. 391 pages. double column format. 21x14cm.

This copy belonged to Walter Scott Reid, NZs 2nd solicitor gerneral, 1875, and is signed to title page.


The first President of the New Zealand Law Society, Reid was also the first non-political holder of the role of Solicitor-General which he held for 25 years – the longest tenure ever. He was highly respected as an expert law draftsman and constitutional lawyer.

Reid was born in Edinburgh in 1839. His father was an Army officer and was sent to Tasmania in 1852 with his family. After completing his schooling Walter worked for the Launceston law firm of Douglas & Dawes and qualified as a barrister and solicitor on 14 October 1862. While in Tasmania he married Mary Jane Hume. The couple had two sons and a daughter.

Reid moved to New Zealand from Tasmania in 1865. He initially practised as a lawyer in Wellington (in partnership with JA Buckley, later Justice Buckley). In early 1866 he moved to Invercargill on his appointment as Registrar of the Supreme Court, Southland. He then moved to Hokitika where he practised in partnership with CE Button (later Justice Button). While in Hokitika he was appointed Chair of the Board of Education for the County of Westland. In 1871 he was elected to the Westland County Council.

Reid began a career in the Crown Law Office as assistant law officer in 1872. When James Prendergast, who had been Attorney-General, was appointed Chief Justice, the Attorney-Generalship was left vacant for 18 months and the permanent non-political office of Solicitor-General was established. In 1875 Reid became the first non-political holder of that office and New Zealand's second Solicitor-General. The salary was £1,000 a year. He was to hold the office for a quarter of a century.
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