William Andrews

Daily Gleaner, February 5, 1898

With great regret we announce this morning the death of Mr. Wm. Andrews, Solicitor, late member for Portland and St. Thomas in the Legislative Council. Mr. Andrews had been suffering since October last from an internal complaint. Despite the greatest care and attention on the part of his medical adviser and friends; despite, too, his own brave efforts to rally, he gradually succumbed. It became necessary that he should undergo an operation and on Thursday evening this was successfully accomplished, but he was too weak to recover and he passed away at a quarter past 7 o'clock yesterday morning. He was 54 years and 9 months of age. [i.e. born c May 1843]

A very interesting personality has gone from our midst in Mr. Andrews. Born in Kingston he came of a very respected family. William Andrews, his father to whom he was devotedly and affectionately attached, was one of the most successful lawyers of the day, having first served in an accountant's office, thereby attaining an extensive knowledge of accounts and general commercial matters which proved of great value to him in after life and formed one of the secrets of his success in certain departments of legal work. His son was placed under the charge of the Rev. Jno. Radcliffe and thus became one of very many others who owed much to the teaching of the poet and scholar. By his fellow students Mr. Andrews is remembered as an industrious and studious lad yet always ready for a bit of fun. From Mr. Radcliffe's school he entered the law office of John McPherson McNeil, a prominent conveyancer who afterwards joined with Mr. Drummond. After the usual course of study there Mr. Andrews passed a brilliant examination and was admitted to practice as a solicitor on the 18th of October, 1867. Once established for himself, his natural ability, close application to work, earnestness in all he undertook, and strictness in his dealings with his clients, soon brought him abundance of professional business.

On the inauguration of the new Kingston City Council he was elected a member and at the same time attained a seat at the St. Andrew Parochial Board. But his public career really began in 1882. It was a time when the community was much stirred over the sale of the railway and other matters. Mr. Andrews thought the legislators had betrayed their trust and that Jamaicans were being badly treated by the Government. He issued a circular which caused a great stir and not a little nervous apprehension in the island. It called a meeting of Jamaicans to consider their rights. This was held on the upstair floor of a store in King Street, and Mr. Andrews gave a long and brilliant speech which was afterwards reprinted and distributed with an admirable preface couched, however, in a milder tone than the circular. He became at once the recognised champion of the people and it seemed that he had a great career before him.

In October of the same year he was nominated for the Legislative Council on, the death of Hon. W. B. Espeut on the invitation of the electors of Portland and St. Thomas. The seat was hotly contested by Mr. R. H. Jackson; but Mr. Andrews was returned an overwhelming majority. In February 1894, when the Council was dissolved, Mr. Andrews again sought the suffrages of his constituents. This time however he was freely opposed by Mr. W. B. Hannan. For two weeks prior to the elections Mr. Andrews "stumped" the parishes and addressed meetings at the principal points. His reception everywhere was enthusiastic and on the declaration of the poll he was declared elected by a large majority. Mr. Andrews showed himself worthy of the confidence placed in him by his constituents. He followed the work of the Council closely and took an active part in its proceedings. His actions furthermore, always were consistent with the promises he made during his election canvas. His manner of interrogating the Government - "if not why not" - fixed the attention of the entire country.

He was a manly, independent, convincing and logical speaker, both in Council and on public platforms.

When the revised constitution was brought about he contested Kingston with Mr. P. Stern, but the latter was in the zenith of his power, and Mr. Andrews was defeated. He afterwards tried issue with Mr. Stem at the City Council election but again failed. Since then he lived very quietly varying his professional work with a visit to England. He was connected with several city companies.

A sketch of this kind though necessarily brief, would be incomplete did it not contain some reference to Mr. Andrews' career as a Freemason. From his initiation in the Sussex Lodge in 1872 up to quite recently he was actively associated with the working of the Craft in Jamaica. Making Freemasonry a study and devoting himself to its success in the district, he achieved distinction among the foremost of his brethren in the colony. He was twice Master of the Royal Lodge, and became the Founder in succession of the Kingston Graft Lodge, the Kingston Mark and the Kingston Chapter of Rose Croix in each of which he filled the position of first W.M. He also served in various capacities in the District Grand Lodge up to that of D.G.S.W. Some years ago he had the honour of being elected by the Supreme Grand Council of the 33 deg. a member of the 32 deg., having taken all the intermediate degrees. Last year he received a patent to the office of District Grand Master of the Mark Masons in Jamaica, but owing to his illness was never installed. He had a thorough knowledge of Masonic ritual and the allegories connected therewith and was altogether an enthusiastic mason. 

Mr. Andrews had a keen and cultivated intellect and a heart that was open to all the finest influences. He endeared himself to his friends and was always kind and generous to all.

His death is surrounded with other circumstances of sadness. His brother [Raynes Andrews?], who was connected with him in his business, died lately, after a lingering illness, while his wife and two children only came out from England last mail in time to see him pass away. To them and to all his sorrowing friends we beg to extend our respectful sympathy.

The funeral of Mr. Andrews takes place this morning from the Parish Church at  9 o'clock.

As a mark of respect the flags of the Merchants' Exchange, and the Atlas Steamship Coy. and Mr. Soutar's Consular flag were flown at half-mast yesterday.


The Honourable Mr. Edward Vickers Resident Magistrate for Kingston on taking his seat yesterday morning paid the following tribute to the memory of the late Mr. William Andrews.

Before proceeding with the business of the Court this morning I have to express the deep regret at the loss which the profession and the community have sustained in the death of Mr. William Andrews.

He practised before me in this Court and I have always found him an able, skilful, and honourable advocate. The Court could always rely on any statement made by him.

It is just to the memory of so able an advocate, that this Court should express its regret and sorrow, at the loss which the profession has sustained by the death of Mr. Andrews.

Mr. Dayes rose and said : Your Honor will permit me to add on behalf of the profession the extreme regret which is felt at the death of Mr. Andrews. I acknowledge and endorse the tribute paid by the Court, to the ability, and integrity, of Mr. Andrews who held a unique position in the profession and although others may fill the place which he has left vacant yet the fact is not lessened that his death is a great loss to the profession

Andrews, William jnr.odt Andrews, William jnr.odt
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