Category: Barristers

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 Bar Cricket Club in Season, 1889-1890

From the Clonmel Chronicle, 10 July 1880:

The members of the Bar of Ireland sometimes unbend the legal mind in the soft excitement of lawn tennis; but when they do, the learned gentlemen have their little frolic in ‘chamber’ as it were, and not in court.  They had what is called a ‘Lawn Tennis Tournament’ recently on the Earlsfort Terrace Rink, and a member of the Press went up to tell the public how it went on and off, but the notetaking chiel wasn’t admitted.  He says read more

Boys’ Night In Ends in Three Months’ Hard Labour for Elderly Barrister, 1892

From the Derry Journal, 8 June 1892:

At the Petty Sessions, Nenagh, Mr Sadleir Stoney, Barrister at Law and Justice of the Peace for Dublin, who resides at Ballycapple, between Nenagh and Cloughjordan, surrendered to heavy recognisances and was charged with having assaulted Mrs Alice Bunbury, wife of Captain Bunbury, in her own house at Woodville, about a mile and a half from the defendant’s residence.

Mr Stoney conducted his own defence.

Mrs Bunbury was examined.  She said she read more

A Barrister’s Right to Walk Unobstructed, 1893

From the Cork Constitution, 17 April 1893:



Mr William C Hennessy, barrister-at-law, Tralee, was charged by Constable John Foster with obstructing the footpath on the Grand Parade, at four o’clock on Friday evening.  Mr Hennessy had been arrested and remained in custody during Friday night.  He was not, however, asked to appear in the dock. 

Mr Hennessy applied for an adjournment, as read more

Mr Dunn BL Back in Town, 1839-40

Professed beloved of Mr Dunn, Angela Burdett-Coutts, dressed for the theatre, which she loved.

From the Leeds Intelligencer, 29 December 1838:


At Bow-Street, on Monday, Miss Angelina Burdett-Coutts, accompanied by her father, Sir F Burdett, and attended by Mr Parkinson and Mr Humphries, solicitors, appeared before Sir F Roe to proffer a charge of annoying and insulting conduct against Mr Richard Dunn, an Irish barrister, whose ridiculous attempt to appear in the character of the lady’s suitor produced, on former occasions, no small share of annoyance read more

Fun on Circuit, 1909

‘When the Court rises for the day the members of the Circuit amuse themselves as best they can until dinner-time.’

From the Irish Independent, 2 July 1909:


July is undoubtedly the pleasantest month in the barristers’ working year.  The Circuits are out then, and business is judiciously combined with pleasure.  The old stager, whose hair is whiter than his wig, and to whom briefs are a weariness to the flesh, renews his youth again, and the junior, who hopes timidly that some good-natured solicitor may take pity on him, enjoys himself fully, and forgets his brieflessness.

From read more

His Only Brief, 1896

From the Weekly Irish Times, 27 June 1896:


QC, MP’ tells a true story infinitely full of pathos.  A fortnight ago a letter reached him in the handwriting of an old college friend, telling a pitiful story of a stranded life.  The writer had been called to the Bar, hoping some day to land on the judicial bench, even if he did not reach the Woolsack.  He had no influence, and very little money.  No business came his way.  But he held on through long read more

Mr Dunn BL in Prison for Love, October 1838

Mr Dunn’s Belle Dame Sans Merci, Angela Burdett-Coutts

From the Tuam Herald and the Sheffield Independent, 13 October 1838:

The Irish Gentleman (Mr Dunn, the Irish Barrister) alluded to in our paper a few weeks ago, is now at Knaresboro’ in the custody of a police officer from London, on the charge of annoying a certain rich young lady, Miss Burdett Coutts. He was brought before the magistrates at Knaresborough, and Miss Coutts appeared to complain of his outrageous conduct. The case was adjourned to Friday, when the bench ordered Mr read more

Enough to make Curls Stand on End: Fee Recovery and the Junior Bar, 1862-present

Barristers and Solicitors – sharing the weight of litigation, but not the entitlement to sue for fees incurred in so doing.

From the Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette, 5 February 1876:

“The normal calm of the ‘Coffee-Room,’ that veritable place of ‘refreshers,’ was somewhat disturbed by an occurrence of an unprecedented character, so far as the Four Courts of our days are concerned.  In a very short space of time as many versions of the strange episode went through the hall as there are curls on a barrister’s wig.  So, from about a dozen different accounts, we take the following, although we read more

Mr Dunn BL in Love Again, 1838

Angela Burdett-Coutts, Mr Dunn’s second love

From an unnamed London journal, as recounted in the Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, 25 September 1838, this update on the continued romantic endeavours of Irish barrister Richard Dunn, last heard of on the way to Kilmainham Gaol two years earlier, after an unsuccessful attempt to win the hand of the Honourable Anne Burgh:

“Some months back a well-known Irish barrister, Mr Richard Dunn, was making a pedestrian tour of Hyde-park, when, on passing the carriage of Miss Burdett-Coutts, read more