Thaddeus McCarthy and Adoption

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McCarthy's mother died when he was 10 and his father when he was 14. Relatives then sent him to boarding school.

Unable to go into farming because of the Great Depression, and impoverished when the Napier earthquake destroyed the remains of the family business, he turn to the law. He became a barrister in Wellington. During World War II he served in the NZ Army, where he was appointed a military judge, and in 1956 he became a civilian judge, presiding at the trial of the last man to be executed in New Zealand, Walter James Bolton. When he retired in 1976 he was president of the New Zealand Court of Appeal.

As a young man he was also a crime reporter for newspapers, and in 1978 became chairman of the New Zealand Press Council.

He was knighted twice and also received the Order of New Zealand.


"Gifted Jurist with Common Touch [obituary]," Weekend Herald [Auckland], 21-22 April 2001, p. A25