Known as “Father of the Australian Constitution” he was born in Merthyr Tydfil and emigrated to Australia in 1853, graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours . Admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1867 and entered the Queensland Parliament in 1872 where he served as Attorney-General and Premier on two occasions.
When the High Court of Australia was established in 1903 he became its first justice.
Initiated in Brisbane on 22 August, 1865, in Victoria Lodge no. 1186 E.C. (now No. 10 Queensland) and installed as Master in 1871.
He was also a member of Lodge Hiram No. 286 I.C. (now no. 9, Queensland). Appointed District Grand Registrar, D.G.L Queensland, English Constitution in 1871, and District Senior Grand Warden the following year
In 1893 he was installed as Provincial Grand Master for Queensland of the Irish Constitution.