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Ralph Mayerick Hague (1907-1997)
Papers 1888-1996

MSS 0057

Biographical Note

Ralph Meyrick Hague was a law graduate of the University of Adelaide (LL.B 1932), an outstanding student who won the Stow Prize for three consecutive years of his studies and was awarded the Stow Medal as Stow Scholar in his final year. After graduation he was initially articled to his father, Percy Hague, and joined the firm of Kelly, Hague and Travers as a partner in 1938.  In 1946, after war service, he joined the Crown Solicitor’s Office, ultimately becoming Crown Solicitor in 1969.

In 1938 he was appointed Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University and held this position until 1949, with leave of absence for war service ( his former fellow student John Bray being appointed during his leave and again from 1950).  For some 40 years (1947-1987) Hague was editor of the State Reports and also editor for 20 years (1971-1991) of the Law Society Judgement Scheme.  His contributions to the profession and to legal scholarship were recognised by the award of the CBE in 1971.

Hague researched and published a number of works on South Australian legal history, one on the Court of Appeals, a general history of the law in South Australia, and four biographies of early SA judges - Sir John Jeffcott, Henry Jickling, George Crawford and Benjamin Boothby.  He was a lifelong collector of books and at his death had amassed a personal library of some 30,000 volumes, which he bequeathed to the Library of the University of Adelaide.  These papers were received as part of that bequest.


Contents Listing

1. Correspondence. 1948-1996. 3 cm.
[Includes letters from Gerald Fischer 1958-1996 regarding publications of the Pump Press and the journal Notes and Queries, correspondence with Melbourne University  Press re publication of the Boothby biography 1962-1964, correspondence with  Lucy Wintour 1956-1967 and other researchers collecting information in the UK on Jickling and Jeffcott, letters of congratulation on award of the C.B.E. 1971, and other occasional letters from writers, including J.A. Ferguson and Marcie Muir, and a letter from Bertram Cox 1971 enclosing a paper on Paris Nesbit.]
See also Series 15 for correspondence re his biography of Sir John Jeffcott

2. Photographs/portraits. 1888, 1898 and undated. 6 originals.
[include father P. Hague in group photograph of Form VI, Prince Alfred  College, 1888 and  Adelaide Cycling Club trio, 1898; and undated photographs of ?Ralph Hague, or possibly his father or brother, as a child and a young man; also oil portrait of Hague by ?Crawford, stored on E shelves]

3. Medals and commissions. 1932-1971. 6 items.
[Stow medal, 1932; commission as Lieutenant in Military Forces, 1941; war  service medals, WWII; Commander of the British Empire 1971]

4. Lecture notes as a student, English I, II and III and British History. undated. 2 cm.

5. Lecture notes on Law of Property, Roman Private Law and Jurisprudence. undated, incomplete. 3 cm.

6. Typescript draft of a History of Law in South Australia [to 1867] and Hague’s biographies of Benjamin Boothby, John Jeffcott and Henry Jickling. all undated. 25 cm
note  that typescript versions (some later revised) of the biographies and the history of the law are held in the printed collections of the Library and that the Jeffcott biography was also published.

7. Notes, draft text, extracts from sources collected for a proposed biography of  R.D. Hanson. undated. 10 cm.
[with letter 1983 from Sir Charles Bright, who appears to have also contemplated writing Hanson’s biography or a work on his judgements]

8. Misc. articles, printed papers, extracts and notes relating to research by Hague.
[on Smuggling; extracts from South Australian Company Colonial letter-book 1839-1941; (copy of) diary of John Brown, SA emigration agent; notes on and from the letterbooks of Sir Samuel Way; copies of Parliamentary Papers relating to Real Property and Registration of Deeds (1861-1964) and to Justice Boothby (1862-1969).]; also notes and drafts re history, law, George John Crawford, Jickling, and Jeffcott.
Note Series 8 Boxes 2-4 transferred from wooden cabinets and are largely unsorted.
See also Series 6

9. Notes on law procedure (made for personal reference, indexed). undated. 1 v.

10. Newspaper cuttings. 1908-1914, c1913-1945, c1929-1936 (most undated). 3v.
[cover range of topics, including literature, gardening, sport, law in v.1; law and  legal profession in v.2; discovery and settlement of Australia and South  Australia, Federation, law and literature in v.3] Copy of 'The News' held in MAP CABINET
See also Series 16

11. Record of books purchased, 24/8/90-4/9/96. 2 v.
Daily record of orders, arranged by supplier, with titles marked when received (or not received) and date payment was made.

12. St. Peter’s College School lists December 1925
(Hague’s name on the General and Special Honours lists) and World War II Honour Roll.  2 items.

13 Catalogue of library. Slips, A-Z and a single volume, L-Z only, compiled late 1960s with manuscript additions to c1971.

14. Hague’s personal notes on/extracts from readings. 30v

15. Reviews of Hague’s biography Sir John Jeffcott and related correspondence, 1963-1964 and 1994.

16. Cuttings from newspapers and magazines, Selected cuttings on law, Australiana and bibliography. (Majority of cuttings from Times Literary Supplement, The Listener. John O’London’s Weekly, etc mostly book reviews & articles on literary, political and historic figures and topics were August 2006)

17. Catalogue of Gerald Neale Ltd., October 1951 showing item purchased by H.B. Muir on behalf of R.M. Hague.
Presented by Marcie Muir 25/5/99

18. Manuscript letters of Lord Byron to John Murray
(Venice. 8 January 1818 re publication of fourth canto of Childe Harold) and of Robert Peel to Admiral Sir W.S. Smith (Whitehall 19 February 1829 re petition of the Misses Yeo). 2 items, with some notes added in the course of documentation.

See also papers of John Tregenza Series 9



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