John Thomas Ball

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John Thomas Ball QC (24 July 1815 – 17 March 1898) was an Irish barrister and politician in the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

He was born in Dundrum, Dublin, eldest son of Major Benjamin Ball and Elizabeth Feltus. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, LLD 1844. He became a barrister in 1840; Queen's Counsel, 1854; Vicar-General of the province of Armagh, 1862; Queen's Advocate in Ireland, 1865; Solicitor General for Ireland, 1868 and Attorney General for Ireland, 1868 and 1874–1875. He became a member of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1868.

He was a Conservative Member of Parliament for Dublin University 1868–1875 and Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1880. He was regarded in politics as an opportunist without any strong convictions: on a celebrated occasion in the House of Commons, when he asked for the precise date of an event, the Government spokesman replied that it was at roughly the time when Ball changed parties to advance his political career.

He opposed the Irish Church Act 1869, but assisted in framing future constitution of the disestablished Church of Ireland. He opposed Gladstone's first Irish Land Bill of 1870 and the Irish University Bill of 1873.

On the return of the Conservative Party to power, he served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 1875–1880.[1]

He wrote two books, one on the Church of Ireland, the other on the Irish legislative system.

He married Catherine Elrington in 1852; she died in 1887. His son, F Elrington Ball, was an author and legal historian, still remembered for The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 and for his 6 volume History of the Parishes of Dublin.

  1. ^ DNB

References[edit]

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Anthony Lefroy
Robert Warren
Member of Parliament for Dublin University
1868–1875
With: Anthony Lefroy 1868–1870
David Plunket 1870–1875
Succeeded by
David Plunket
Edward Gibson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Michael Harrison
Solicitor General for Ireland
1868
Succeeded by
Henry Ormsby
Preceded by
Robert Warren
Attorney General for Ireland
1868
Succeeded by
Edward Sullivan
Preceded by
Christopher Palles
Attorney General for Ireland
1874
Succeeded by
Henry Ormsby
Political offices
Preceded by
In Commission
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
1875–1880
Succeeded by
The Lord O'Hagan