Sir Denis Henry, 1st Baronet

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The Right Honourable
Sir Denis Henry
Bt KBE PC (Ire) QC
1st Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
In office
1922–1925
Monarch George V
Preceded by new office
Succeeded by Sir William Moore, Bt
Attorney-General for Ireland
In office
1919–1921
Monarch George V
Preceded by Arthur Warren Samuels
Succeeded by Thomas Watters Brown
Solicitor-General for Ireland
In office
1918–1919
Monarch George V
Preceded by John Blake Powell
Succeeded by Daniel Martin Wilson
Member of Parliament
In office
1916–1921
Preceded by John Gordon
Succeeded by Robert Chichester
Constituency South Londonderry
Personal details
Born (1864-03-07)7 March 1864
Cahore, Draperstown, County Londonderry, Ireland
Died 1 October 1925(1925-10-01) (aged 61)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political party Ulster Unionist Party
Alma mater Queen's College, Belfast
Profession Barrister
Religion Catholic

Sir Denis Stanislaus Henry, 1st Baronet, KBE PC (Ire) QC (7 March 1864 – 1 October 1925), was an Irish lawyer and politician who became the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Henry was born in Cahore, Draperstown, County Londonderry, the son of prosperous Roman Catholic businessman. He was educated at Marist College, Dundalk, Mount St Mary's College, Chesterfield (a Jesuit foundation) and Queen's College, Belfast, where he won every law scholarship open to a student and many other prizes and exhibitions. In 1885, he was called to the Irish Bar.

During the general election campaign of 1895, Henry spoke in support of unionist candidates in two constituencies: Thomas Lea in South Londonderry, Henry's native constituency, and E. T. Herdman in East Donegal.

Henry's legal career flourished - he became Queen's Counsel in 1896, a Bencher of the King's Inns in 1898 and ultimately Father of the North-West Circuit - but his interest in politics did not diminish. By March 1905, he was a delegate at the inaugural meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council and the Unionist Parliamentary candidate for the ultra-marginal North Tyrone seat, which he lost by seven votes in a 1907 by-election.

On 23 May 1916, in the first by-election to be held in Ireland after the Easter rebellion, he was elected MP for South Londonderry. The rebellion had had no discernible impact on the contest.

In November 1918, he became Solicitor-General for Ireland and in July 1919, Attorney General for Ireland. He later served as the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1925. In 1923, he was created a Baronet, of Cahore in the County of Londonderry.

He married Violet Holmes, daughter of Hugh Holmes, judge of the Irish Court of Appeal. They had five children, including James Holmes Henry, who succeeded as second baronet.

He died in 1925, aged 61, and was buried near his native Draperstown.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Gordon
Member of Parliament for South Londonderry
19161921
Succeeded by
Robert Chichester
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Blake Powell
Solicitor-General for Ireland
1918–1919
Succeeded by
Daniel Martin Wilson
Preceded by
Arthur Warren Samuels
Attorney-General for Ireland
1919–1921
Succeeded by
Thomas Watters Brown
New office Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
1922–1925
Succeeded by
William Moore
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Cahore)
1923–1925
Succeeded by
James Holmes Henry