Solicitor-General for Ireland

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Lord Atkinson, Solicitor-General for Ireland from 1890 to 1892.

The Solicitor-General for Ireland was the holder of an Irish and then (from the Act of Union 1800) United Kingdom government office. The holder was a deputy to the Attorney-General for Ireland, and advised the Crown on Irish legal matters. At least one holder of the office, Patrick Barnewall (1534–1550) played a significant role in Government.

The first record of a Solicitor General is in 1511; early Solicitors invariably held the rank of Serjeant-at-law. In the sixteenth century a Principal Solicitor for Ireland shared the duties of the office: confusingly both were usually referred to as "the Solicitor".

Elizabeth I thought poorly of most of her Irish-born Law Officers, and from 1584 there was a practice, which lasted for several decades, of appointing English-born lawyers as Solicitor General.

Unlike the Attorney General he was not as a rule a member of the Privy Council of Ireland, although he might be summoned to it to give advice.[1]

With the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the duties of the Attorney General and Solicitor General for Ireland were taken over by the Attorney General of Ireland, and the office of Solicitor General was abolished, (despite complaints over many years about the undue burden of work which this placed on the Attorney General).

Solicitors-General for Ireland (1511–1922)[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

Principal Solicitors for Ireland (1537–1574)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Delaney, V.T. H. Christopher Palles Allen Figgis and Co Dublin 1960 p.60
  2. ^ Here, and elsewhere, there appear to be gaps caused by the destruction of records- see Smyth Chronicle of the Irish Law Officers (1839)
  3. ^ In the confusion of the English Civil War, Sambach's office seems to have simply lapsed