Herbert Cozens-Hardy, 1st Baron Cozens-Hardy
The Lord Cozens-Hardy
|Master of the Rolls|
6 March 1907 – 3 May 1918
|Preceded by||Sir Richard Collins|
|Succeeded by||Sir Charles Swinfen Eady|
Herbert Hardy Cozens
22 November 1838
Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk
|Died||18 June 1920 (aged 81)|
Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk
|Spouse(s)||Maria Hepburn (d. 1886)|
|Alma mater||University College London|
Early life and career
Cozens-Hardy was born in Letheringsett, Norfolk in 1838, the second son of William Hardy Cozens-Hardy, a former Norwich solicitor, and Sarah, née Theobald, daughter of Thomas Theobald, textile manufacturer. His grandmother was the diarist Mary Hardy. His family were Methodists, an connection which proved to be useful in his career at the bar.
Cozens-Hardy was educated at Amersham School and University College, London, where he read Law, graduating in 1858 and taking the LLB in 1863, later becoming a fellow of University College. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1862, and read in the chambers of Thomas Lewin and James Dickinson.
Cozens-Hardy acquired a large junior practice at the Chancery bar, and became Queen's Counsel in 1882. It was then the practice of Chancery Queen's Counsels to attach themselves to the court of a particular Chancery Division judge: Cozens-Hardy initially attached himself to the court of Mr Justice Fry; upon the latter's promotion to the Court of Appeal in 1883 he attached himself to Mr Justice North. In 1893 he became a 'special', a Chancery silk unattached to any particular judge, but who charged a special fee of £50 for any appearance. Popular among his peers, he was elected chairman of the General Council of the Bar and served until his elevation to the bench 1899.
In 1885, Cozens-Hardy was returned as the Liberal Member of Parliament for North Norfolk, keeping the seat until 1899. He frequently spoke on legal matters, although he was never a prominent figure. His most important achievement was the passage of the Law of Property Amendment Act 1860 (23 & 24 Vict. c. 38) relating to the law of mortmain, sometime known as Cozen Hardy's Act. He remained with Gladstone when the Liberal Party split over Irish Home Rule in 1886, although he wavered towards the defectors for a time.
In 1899, the elevation of Sir Robert Romer to the Court of Appeal on the death of Lord Justice Chitty created a vacancy in the Chancery Division. Though Lord Halsbury, the Lord Chancellor, was known to biased toward Conservatives in judicial appointments, he nevertheless recommended Cozens-Hardy for the vacancy, writing to him that "Notwithstanding your abominable politics I think you are the fittest person to succeed Romer". Cozens-Hardy was duly appointed to the High Court and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood in the 1899 Birthday Honours. In 1901, he succeded Lord Justice Rigby as a Lord Justice of Appeal and was sworn of the Privy Council.
In 1907 Cozens-Hardy succeeded Sir Richard Henn Collins as Master of the Rolls. He was created Baron Cozens-Hardy, of Letheringsett, in the county of Norfolk, on 1 July 1914. Retiring from in 1918, he died less than two years later in 1920, aged 81, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. His eldest son, the Hon William Cozens-Hardy KC MP, succeeded to the barony.
In 1868 he married Maria Hepburn, who bore him two sons and two daughters before her death in 1886.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Herbert Cozens-Hardy, 1st Baron Cozens-Hardy.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Herbert Cozens-Hardy
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Edmund Lacon
| Member of Parliament for North Norfolk
William Brampton Gurdon
| Master of the Rolls
Sir Charles Swinfen Eady
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baron Cozens-Hardy
William Hepburn Cozens-Hardy