Dublin Solicitor Helps Couple Elope, Sends Them Bill of Costs, 1905

From the Dublin Daily Express, 8 December 1905:


In the King’s Bench Division yesterday, before Mr Justice Boyd, in the case of Hehir v Kelly and another, Mr Carrigan (instructed by Mr Edward McHugh) applied on behalf of the defendants, Denis Kelly and Mary Kelly, otherwise Molloy, residing in the City of Dublin, for an order that all future proceedings in the action should be stayed pending the taxation of the costs by the taxing officer, pursuant read more

Solicitor Tarred in South William Street Wine Cellar, 1875

61 South William Street, Dublin, today, via Google maps..

From the Freeman’s Journal, 27 August 1875:


At the Southern Divisional Police-court yesterday, Joseph Steele, who described himself as a wine merchant, of 16 Summer-hill, summoned Mr Richard Parsons, solicitor, for having assaulted him in the complainant’s place of business at 61 South William Street on the night of the 10th August.  It will be recollected that a few days ago Mr Richard Parsons, solicitor, summoned Joseph Steele and William McCabe for alleged read more

Dublin Solicitor Dies in Lover’s House of Ill-Fame, 1879

From the Freeman’s Journal, 29 September 1879:

On Saturday morning at ten o’clock Richard D Lawless, solicitor, formerly resident in Lower Mount Street, was found dead in his bed, at the house No 4 Mecklenburgh-street.  Deceased sixteen years ago was a member of a respectable and thriving firm of attorneys on Usher’s Quay.  After a time the partnership was dissolved, and Richard Lawless practised his profession on his own account for a year or two, when he suddenly disappeared read more

An Aggrieved Apprentice, 1874

From the Freeman’s Journal, 16 December 1874:

“To the Editor of the Freeman.

SIR – Would you kindly insert the following in the interest of the grievances of attorneys’ apprentices.  The facts are briefly these:- In the second week of last month a sessional examination was held at the Four Courts to test the knowledge of the apprentices who attended the professors of law lectures during the preceding year.  No official announcement of the result has yet been afforded, and read more

Carlow Solicitor Takes Down Two IRA Men in Career-Ending Gun Battle, 1923

From the Freeman’s Journal, 19 February 1923:





Sensational to an almost incredible degree is the account that has just come to hand of experiences that befell Mr Edward S Maffett, a Co Carlow solicitor, and his family some time ago.

Held at the point of the gun by two men, who were ransacking his house, he succeeded in eluding his captors, armed himself with an automatic pistol, and in the most dramatic read more

Teenager Hoaxes Thirteen Belfast Solicitors, 1925

From the Weekly Telegraph, September 5, 1925:

Unlucky Thirteen – Belfast Solicitors Hoaxed

An extraordinary hoax has been carried out on at least thirteen Belfast solicitors, as a result of which a person about whom the police are now enquiring, is believed to be richer to the extent of about £220.

The ruse to obtain the money is a very old one, and was explained to a ‘Telegraph’ representative by Mr George Pollock, solicitor, who, more fortunate than some of his colleagues, read more

No False Telegram, 1928

From the Nottingham Journal, 11 September 1928:

An Irish solicitor, Mr NC Caruth, of Ballymona (Co Antrim) left a curious request in his will just proved. He directed that if any of his sons were abroad at the time of his death no false telegram shall be sent announcing his death, but his wife should write a letter to each son giving details and any message he might have, stating “I make this rather peculiar request as I have had experience in my lifetime of receiving telegrams read more

Solicitor Delays Discovery to Protect Morals of Lady Typists, 1906

From the Mail, 15 August 1906:


In the Probate and Matrimonial Division, today, in the case of Fitzgerald v Fitzgerald, known as the Waterford matrimonial case, Mr Rice applied on behalf of the male petitioner for an order directing Mr Shannon, the solicitor on the other side, to give the male petitioner copies of certain documents, discovery of which had been obtained so far back as the 25th July last

Mr Shannon said he had some difficulty in giving them read more

Apprentice Solicitor Swordfight on Eve of Qualification, 1717

A very early Irish legal story, from Pue’s Occurrences, 31 January 1719:  

“About 3 quarters after 2 in the Afternoon, Mr Leigh, eldest Son of Richard Leigh Esq of the County of Westmeath, and one Mr Smith, Son to Mr Smith, at the Sun near Smithfield (who served his Time to an Attorney, and was to be Sworn an Attorney next day) Fought in the Tholsel of this City.  Mr Leigh was run into the Left Breast and died in a Minute after.  The same Night the Coroner’s Inquest read more

Irish Solicitor Efficiently Rescued After Falling Off Dublin-Holyhead Ferry mid-Channel, 1932

From the Belfast Telegraph, 26 October 1932:

Passengers on the RMS Scotia from Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown) to Holyhead on Tuesday night witnessed the rescue of an Irish solicitor, Mr O’Connor.  It appears that somewhere about mid-channel he fell overboard.  The ship was stopped and one of the lifeboats lowered, and after a time Mr O’Connor was got safely into the lifeboat.  After the lifeboat was hoisted up the vessel proceeded on her way to Holyhead.

The Scotia was travelling read more

Breach of Promise Proceedings by Smitten Solicitor’s Clerk, 1892

From the Freeman’s Journal, 9 January 1892:


Yesterday Master Pigott sat in the Master’s office to hear a case of Lee v Doyle.  The defendant, describing himself as Richard Lee, solicitor’s assistant, 17 Walton Terrace, Drumcondra Park Upper, sued Miss Marion Doyle, 15 Kenmare Park, spinster, to recover £100 damages for breach of promise. 

The plaintiff and defendant appeared in person without professional advisors.

When the case was called only read more

Popular Killarney Solicitor Disappears after Derby Win, Turns Up Decades Later in South Africa, 1886-1906

From the Kerry Evening Post, 19 June 1886:

The public who are conversant with the facts of the sudden and mysterious disappearance in London of Mr Alfred M Bernard, Solicitor, of Sheheree, near Killarney, where he was on official business, entertain the gravest apprehension that he met with foul play, and, indeed, everything surrounding the circumstances point to this end.  His immediate friends, however, look upon the affair in a totally different light, believing that he must read more

The Wimple Life, 1908

From the Preston Herald, 22 August 1908:

Unless the widow of Mr Michael J Hanmore, a solicitor, late of 3, Prince of Wales Terrace, Bray, Co Wicklow, consents to enter a convent and devote the remainder of her life to prayer. His executors are instructed that she is to receive her jewellery and wearing apparel only.

This is one of the conditions governing the disposal of the testator’s fortune of which the net personalty has been sworn for probate at £7,801.  It was, Mr Hanmore read more

If Cats Could Talk: The Fatal Fall of a Donegal Solicitor, 1916

From the Evening Herald, 7 September 1916:

“Solicitor’s Claim for Alleged Slander etc

Today, before Mr Justice Gordon, sitting as Vacation Judge, the case of John Mackey v the Four Courts Hotel Co Ltd, and Henry G Kilbey, managing director, was listed for hearing.

The plaintiff sought damages laid at £10,000 for slander, false imprisonment, improper detinue of goods, including a claim of £1000 for being deprived of his Persian cat.  The plaintiff, who had been Sessional Crown Solicitor read more

Lady Law Clerks Strike Out, 1920

From the Irish Examiner, 3 June, 1920

“The Law Clerks, who are on strike, and a number of their colleagues, who joined with them in sympathy, made a remarkable demonstration at the Four Courts today, on the occasion of the resumption of business there on the opening of Trinity Term.  At about 10 o’clock, to the number of about 250, of whom a large number were ladies, the demonstrators marched in procession from their headquarters in College St.  Arrived at the Four Courts, they read more

Law Student Shoots Solicitor, Barrister Touts for Defence Brief, 1926

From the Londonderry Sentinel, 3 June 1926:

A shocking crime was committed in Dublin on Tuesday night as a result of which Daniel Joseph Gleeson, a law student, giving an address in Clonliffe Road, has been arrested on a charge of murder. Shortly after seven p.m. it is alleged that Gleeson entered the office of Mr William Ryan, a sixty three year old solicitor, in Lower Gardiner Street, and some time afterwards information was conveyed that shots had been heard coming from the house… read more

Solicitor Restrained from Breaking Through Judicial Procession Sues for Assault, 1898

From the Weekly Nation, 30 April 1898:

“Constable 141A was summoned [for assault] by Mr Alfred MacDermott, solicitor.

Mr McDermott said he was crossing under the covered passage at the coffee room door of the Four Courts [when he got] a blow across the chest from the defendant… he was seized from behind by the defendant by the collar and pushed up against a stone pillar and held there.  The next thing he heard was Judge Johnson saying “Let go that gentleman; he is a solicitor.”

Cross-examined: read more

Solicitor Caned in Four Courts Yard Over Missed Deed, 1846

From the Dublin Evening Post, 26 November 1846:

“Mr Richard Hackett, solicitor, summoned Mr Michael Hackett, also solicitor, for assault. The complainant gave evidence that he was in the yard of the Four Courts [when] the defendant, in passing by, asked him to return him a deed. The complainant replied that the deed was not intended to be sent back; the defendant said “what you state is false”; the complainant replied “if what you say is that what I say is false you are read more

Acid Attack on Solicitor Charged with Indecent Assault, 1884

From the Belfast News-Letter, 14 March 1884:

Miss Lillie Tyndall, a young lady of prepossessing appearance, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer outside Arklow [was] charged with having thrown a bottle of… vitriol into the face of [Mr John Kelly Toomey, a well-known solicitor].

[Information sworn by Mr Toomey, from hospital] Lillie Tyndall came to my office… asked me to write a letter that I had no intimacy with her beyond a business acquaintance… to get paper I turned read more

Gallant Liffey Rescue by Solicitor, 1872

From the Freeman’s Journal, 12 August 1872:

“At about 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon a man, who apparently was under the influence of drink, leaped across the boundary wall into the Liffey, nearly opposite the Four Courts. His position was extremely perilous as the tide was pretty full, and it seemed clear that unless prompt assistance were rendered he would have been drowned. An outside car which was passing was stopped and the reins procured, and a couple of gentlemen read more

Lawyer Relieved of Silk Handkerchief by Female Cutpurses, 1818

From the Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, 7 March 1818

A few days since, a Professional Gentleman, on his return from the Four Courts, was accosted in D’Olier Street, Dublin, by two females, who said “Sir, some dirty people have put filth upon your coat,” and offered very obligingly to remove it with their handkerchiefs, to which the Gentleman thankfully acceded: the operation of cleaning having been performed, they took their leave with a courtesy; the Gentleman, read more

Whacksation of Costs, 1848

From the Cork Examiner, 14 June 1848:

“A fracas took place yesterday morning in the Four Courts between two professional gentlemen. The circumstance caused a good deal of conversation during the day.

The facts appeared as follows:- A solicitor of eminence lately had a medical gentleman as a client. The latter some time since left his former legal adviser and engaged another gentleman to transact his business. Last week a motion was made in the Rolls Court on foot of the medical gentleman read more

A Shortened Period of Apprenticeship, 1836

In the Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent, 3 November 1836, we find an account of a young man’s application to be admitted as a solicitor despite having served less than the standard five years’ apprenticeship:

“COURT OF EXCHEQUER [today’s Court 3]: Mr Jackson KC applied on behalf of Henry Merrick, praying that he be admitted an attorney before serving his time… the father of the applicant was a most respectable solicitor.. he was in partnership with a gentleman read more

Solicitors Meet to Discuss the General Impossibility of Barristers, 1843

From the Freeman’s Journal, 29 November 1843, this account of an early Solicitors’ Society meeting:

“The secretary read the… steps that had been taken [to prevent] the inconvenience of the solicitors being required by the bar to convey books from the Law Library… [T]he committee had written to Mr Dixon, father of the Bar, to convene a meeting, [who replied] stating that, unless called upon by a requisition from the members of the Bar, he had no power to do so…

Mr read more

Long Hours for Law Clerks, 1865

From the Freeman’s Journal, 13 May 1865:

“The general half-year meeting of the Attorneys and Solicitors’ Society was held yesterday in the Solicitors Hall, Four Courts [now the Law Library]… to consider the propriety of giving a half-holiday each Saturday to their employees.

Mr Molloy observed that the early closing movement had been carried out in Dublin with great success.  The merchants of the city had generally adopted it, and he did not see why they should be read more

Solicitor’s Spouse Springs Prisoner from the Marshalsea, 1850

If you were to find yourself in a 19th century Victorian cab, driving through Dublin, where would you direct the driver to go? The Four Courts of course! Be careful, though, to check your pocket for your fare, or you might end up at the other Four Courts – the Four Courts Marshalsea – where debtors were sent for not paying their debts!

Sometimes the two institutions overlapped, with interesting results, as shown in this story from the Montrose Standard of 5 July 1850:

Mrs read more