Charles Herbert Treadwell was born in Victoria in 1862 and was educated in Scotland before arriving in New Zealand in 1876, when his father, a Presbyterian minister, was called to a charge in Wanganui. Treadwell served articles with Borlase and Barnicoat, qualifying in 1883, when he was bracketed first in the final examinations with AS Adams, WC MacGregor (both to become Judges) and H Halliwell.
On admission Treadwell joined the staff of Smith Anderson and Co, and later (in 1884) entered the offices of Buckley Stafford and Fitzherbert, a firm founded in 1842 by Robert Hart, RD Hanson's erstwhile partner. Treadwell was admitted to partnership in 1887.
He was President of the Wellington Law Society in 1914. For many years he was a member of the New Zealand Law Society Council and treasurer and virtual controller of the Council of Law Reporting, whose arcana he preserved with almost proprietorial jealousy.
Treadwell's yeoman service to the Society over the years, his seniority in the profession and his connection with one of the oldest firms led to his election at the age of seventy-one to the Presidency, the crowning point in his career. If he had shortcomings as President they would not have flowed from any failure on his part to bring to the office an aura of immense dignity.
He retired after a little under two years in the office, amidst eulogistic references of which it is appropriate to quote AT Donnelly's statement that all members of the Council had the deepest gratitude for the work done by him for the New Zealand Law Society over a period longer than the lifetime of some of those present at the meeting.
Charles Herbert Treadwell died in Wellington on 5 June 1936 aged 74.
From Portrait of a Profession (edited by RB Cooke QC, New Zealand Law Society, 1969, pages 172 to 173).