Month: April 2021

Marry a Former Chief Justice of Tobago in Haste, Repent at Leisure, 1840-55

There were many Irish barristers who took on the task of administering justice on foreign and often inclement shores in such a way as to do credit to their country of origin. Barristers such as John Jefcott, first Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, Henry Barnes Gresson, Judge of the New Zealand Supreme Court and Michael Hogan, Chief Justice of Hong Kong, to name only a few.

And then there was Robert Nicholas Fynn, whom Queen Victoria was pleased to appoint Chief Justice of the Island read more

The Irish Bar and Bench at Home, 1784-1890

Wilmot Harrison’s 1890 book, ‘Memorable Dublin Houses: A Handy and Descriptive Guide,’ includes much interesting information about town residences of the Irish bar and bench in the early and middle parts of the 19th century.

First up is 14 Harcourt Street, home of barrister and raconteur Jonah Barrington, whose memoirs can be read in full here. Barrington later moved to 42 Merrion Square before financial irregularities forced him to retire to Versailles, France.

Up the street read more

A Pleading Two-Step, Part 2: The Proper Business of the Junior Bar, 1856-64

From the Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent, Saturday 8 March 1856:

IMPORTANT – BAR PRACTICE

Judge Ball having during the day proceeded to settle issues in records to be tried in Cork at the ensuing assizes, and Mr Brereton, QC, having appeared for one of the parties, Mr John Leahy interrupted the learned gentleman, and said that as the senior of the junior bar in court, he had been requested to object to a Queen’s counsel acting in the settlement of issues without a junior with read more

A Rare Bird at the Four Courts, 1888

From the Irish Times, 24 May 1888:

“CHASE AFTER A WILD BIRD IN THE LIFFEY

Yesterday, for nearly three hours, the inhabitants, and those who could spare the time, were entertained by a most interesting and exciting chase after a large bird of varied plumage, which was observed in the River Liffey opposite the Four Courts.  It transpired that the bird had some days since wandered from its habitation in the Zoological Gardens, Phoenix Park, and a reward was offered for its recovery.  read more

A Pleading Two-Step, Part 1: The Dangers of Dispensing With Counsel, 1866

From the Evening Freeman, 28 July 1866 and the Cork Constitution, 30 July 1866:

Mr Hardy applied to have the defence filed in the case of Tedcastle v Stockholme set aside on the ground that it was informal and embarrassing.

Mr O’Driscoll said he held a brief for the defendant, but he would save much trouble by stating that the defence was not maintainable.  It was framed in the old style and pleaded the general issues.

Mr Justice Keogh – Who prepared it?

Mr O’Driscoll – It read more

The Brats of Mountrath Street, 1867-1890

From the Freeman’s Journal, 27 May 1867:

“CHANCERY PLACE AND MOUNTRATH STREET

Dear Sir-

I beg, through the medium of your influential journal, to call the attention of the authorities to an assemblage of ill-behaved boys and girls that meet nightly at the corner of the above mentioned localities, throwing stones and making use of the most obscene language to passers-by.  Whilst passing through Chancery-place from my business the other evening I was struck with a stone and cut severely.  read more

The Man of Many Wives, 1884-1895

From the Illustrated London News, 14 June 1884:

“At the Dublin Commission Court, before Mr Justice Lawson, on Saturday, Brian Denis Molloy, son of a magistrate for the County of Mayo, and who, on the death of his father, will become entitled to £1000 per annum, was indicted for bigamy.  The prisoner has married five times, the last person with whom he went through the ceremony being his own first cousin, a lady of about forty, Miss Robertina Greene, who has an income in her read more