Lord Justices (Ireland)

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Sir William Pelham, Lord Justice of Ireland

The Lord Justice of Ireland was an ancient senior position in the governance of Ireland, held by a number of important personages, such as the Earl of Kildare.

In the later centuries of British rule the Lords Justices were three office-holders in the Kingdom of Ireland who in the absence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland fulfilled the social and political duties of the Viceroy as head of the Irish executive.

The office-holders were usually:

Among their duties was to welcome the incoming Lord Lieutenant when he arrived in state in the port of Dublin, having travelled from Great Britain to take up his post.

The decision in 1765 of the government of Great Britain to require the viceroy to be a full-time resident in Ireland, rather than just pay visits during sessions of parliament, removed the need for the Lords Justices, while the abolition of the Parliament of Ireland in 1800 meant that there was no longer a speaker of the House of Commons to serve as a Lord Justice.

Easter Rising, 1916[edit]

After the Easter Rising of 1916, the British Government withdrew the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Wimborne, and the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Augustine Birrell, back to Britain. Both men had been responsible for the civil government of Ireland and under these unusual circumstances the British Government appointed Lord Justices on 11 July to carry out their functions; however, as martial law was then in place, General Sir John Maxwell was actually the individual largely responsible for governing Ireland.[1] The Lord Justices were Lord Castletown, Sir David Harrel, Richard Cherry (the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland), James Owen Wylie and Jonathan Pim (both Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Ireland).[1][2] The Lord Justices were not in place for long as a new Chief Secretary, Henry Duke, was appointed on 31 July and Lord Wimborne was re-appointed as Lord Lieutenant in the following days.[3][4]

Lord Justices[edit]

Twelfth century[edit]

Thirteenth century[edit]

  • Gerald FitzWilliam FitzGerald, Lord Offaly (d. 1205)
  • Sir Edmond Butler (in office 1215).
  • Maurice FitzGerald FitzGerald, Lord Offaly (1229 – c.1248 )
  • Stephen de Longuespee (d. 1260 in office)
  • David O'Barry, 1st Viscount of Buttevant (d. 1278) 'Appointed 1267'
  • Sir James Audley (d. 23 June 1272 in office)
  • Maurice FitzMaurice Fitzgerald (d. 1286) (July 1272 – )
  • William de Vescy (12 September 1290 – 1294)
  • Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald, Lord Offaly (d. 1296) (April to October 1295)
  • John Logan (18 October 1295 – )

Fourteenth century[edit]

Fifteenth century[edit]

Sixteenth century[edit]

Seventeenth century[edit]

Eighteenth century[edit]

Twentieth century[edit]

11 July 1916 – 11 August 1916

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/jul/24/executive
  2. ^ http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29660/pages/6851/page.pdf
  3. ^ Editorial in The Irish Times, 1 August 1916, p. 4
  4. ^ The Irish Times, 7 August 1916, p. 4
  5. ^ a b Bagwell 1909, p. 312: "As soon as Wandesford's death was known Robert [Dec 1640] Lord Dillon and Sir William Parsons were appointed Lords Justices."
  • Bagwell, Richard (1909), Ireland under the Stuarts and under the Interregnum, 1, London: Longmans, Green, and Co. - 1603–1642
  • Lodge, John, Archdall, Mervyn, A.M., The Peerage of Ireland, Dublin, 1789.
  • Smyth, Constantine J. (1839). Chronicle of the law officers of Ireland . London: Henry Butterworth.