Henry George Hughes

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Henry George Hughes (10 August 1810 – 22 July 1872) was an Irish judge, politician, and third Baron of the Court of Exchequer.[1] In 1850 he was appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland. He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Longford in 1856.[2]

Background and early career[edit]

He was born in Dublin, son of James Hughes, solicitor and Margaret Morton.[3] He went to a private school at Jervis St., Dublin and matriculated at the University of Dublin in 1825, but did not proceed to a degree. He entered the King's Inn in 1830, and Gray's Inn in 1832 . He was called to the Irish Bar in 1834, Queen's Counsel in 1844.[4]

He practiced at the Chancery Bar and rapidly built up a very large practice; he became renowned for his mastery of Chancery procedure, which was then very complex. His book Chancery Practice (1837) enjoyed a considerable success.[5] He was equally successful at the Inner Bar.

Political and legal career[edit]

Before entering Parliament for Longford he had stood unsuccessfully for Cavan in 1855. He was a Roman Catholic and could generally rely on the support of the Catholic hierarchy, although his support for the Ecclesiastical Titles Act offended some of his co-religionists.[6]

His appointment to the Bench was well -deserved, but is said to have been partly the result of the Government's policy of increasing the number of Catholic judges. The appointment of such a noted Chancery lawyer to a common-law court caused some surprise, but in time he was recognised as one of the few lawyers who had successfully made the transition from one system of law to another.[7]


He married Isabella l'Estrange, daughter of Major Francis l'Estrange. They had two daughters, of whom Anna, the elder, married the future Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Michael Morris, 1st Baron Killanin.[8] He died at Bray in 1872.


  1. ^ "Obituary: The Hon. Baron Hughes". The Irish Law Times and Solicitors' Journal. J. Falconer. 1872. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926 Vol.2 p.302
  4. ^ Ball, p.302
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, John Donohoe "Henry George Hughes " Dictionary of National Biography Vol.28 p.137
  6. ^ Fitzgerald p.137
  7. ^ Fitzgerald p.137
  8. ^ Ball p.302
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Fulke Greville-Nugent
Richard Maxwell Fox
Member of Parliament for Longford
With: Fulke Greville-Nugent
Succeeded by
Fulke Greville-Nugent
Henry White
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Hatchell
Solicitor-General for Ireland
Succeeded by
James Whiteside
Preceded by
Jonathan Christian
Solicitor-General for Ireland
Succeeded by
Edmund Hayes