Donald Kingdon

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Sir Donald Kingdon
Born(1883-11-24)24 November 1883
Died17 December 1961(1961-12-17) (aged 78)
EducationEastbourne College
Alma materSt. John's College, Cambridge
OccupationBarrister; Civil Servant; Legal theorist.
Known for
AwardsKnight Bachelor

Sir Donald Kingdon (24 November 1883 – 17 December 1961) was a British judicial officer who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 1929 to 1946.

He remains Nigeria's longest serving Chief Justice. He served under four colonial Governors: Graeme Thomson, Donald Cameron, Bernard Bourdillon and Arthur Richards. He had previously served as the Attorney-General of Nigeria, from 1919 to 1925. He also edited and or composed several authoritative books about West African laws.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kingdon was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge


Kingdon was born in November 1883. He was the son of Walter Kingdon. He was educated at Eastbourne College, and at St John's College, Cambridge.


Kingdon worked for the Colonial Service in The Gambia as an Inspector of Schools and Legal Assistant, he was later appointed as a member of the country's Legislative Council. He was Attorney-General of Uganda, and in 1918, he was appointed as Attorney-General of the Gold Coast.

Between 1929 and 1930, two women led revolts against taxation in Calabar and Owerri Provinces claimed the lives of 55 people. In 1930, Kingdon was appointed as head of a commission to investigate the riots.[2] The commission report's noted inadequate police training and undue restriction placed on the police in the investigation of criminal activities contributed to the breakdown of law and order in those provinces.

He was a Knight Bachelor.[3]


Donald Kingdon married Kathleen Moody. Kathleen was the daughter of Charles Edmund Moody, a businessman,[4] and the granddaughter of Major-General Richard Clement Moody, the founder of British Columbia, and Mary Hawks of the Hawks dynasty.[3]

Kingdon and Kathleen Moody had 3 children:

  • 1. Joan Campbell Kingdon (1915 - 1941). She married Hamish Forsyit who died in the Blitz. Joan was killed, in 1941, by a bomb blast, whilst driving an ambulance.[5]
  • 2. Richard Donald Kingdon (1917 - 1952). He married Leslie Eve Donnell. He died whilst flying, to LeMons, as a pilot, when his engines failed and he crashed into the English Channel, whereupon he gave his life jacket to a passenger of the aircraft.
  • 3. Elizabeth Kingdon


  • 1959. Revised edition of The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and Lagos : in force on the 1st day of June, 1958.
  • 1920. The laws of Ashanti; containing the ordinances of Ashanti and the orders, proclamations, rules, regulations and bye-laws made thereunder, in force on the 31st day of December, 1919.
  • 1955. The laws of the Gambia in force on the 1st day of January 1955.


  1. ^ Ogundere, J.D. (1994). The Nigerian judge and his court ([Pbk. ed.]. ed.). Ibadan: University Press. pp. 88–90. ISBN 9782494135.
  2. ^ Akpeninor, James (2013). Merger politics of nigeria and surge of sectarian violence. [S.l.]: Authorhouse. pp. 35–40. ISBN 1467881716.
  3. ^ a b The Cambria Daily Leader, Thursday 20 August 1914, The National Library of Wales.
  4. ^ Hunter, Andrew Alexander (1890). Cheltenham College Register, 1841-1889. George Bell and Sons, London. p. 295.
  5. ^ Wireless to The New York Times. (1941, Apr 22). KILLED ON HOME FRONT. New York Times