Recorder of Dublin
The Recorder of Dublin was a judicial office holder in pre-Independence Ireland. The Recorder was the chief magistrate for Dublin, and heard a wide range of civil and criminal cases; his overall responsibility was to keep the peace, and he also maintained strict control over the number of public houses. His duties were so onerous – by the 1830s he was hearing roughly 2,000 cases a year – that some recorders sought promotion to the High Court bench in the hope that the workload would be lighter. The Recorder also acted on occasion as a mediator in conflicts between the central government and Dublin Corporation.
Although he held a full-time office, the Recorder, unlike a High Court judge, was not debarred from sitting in the Irish House of Commons, and despite their heavy workload, several Recorders were MPs at the same time. After the Act of Union 1800 the Recorder was eligible to sit in the English House of Commons, although an objection was made to this in 1832, on the ground that a judge should not sit in Parliament. There was apparently no such objection to combining the office with that of a Law Officer: Sir Richard Ryves, Recorder 1680-1685, was a Serjeant for part of the same period.
The first man to hold the position was James Stanihurst, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, in 1564, and the last was Sir Thomas O'Shaughnessy. The recordership was abolished in 1924 and the recorder's functions transferred to the new Circuit Court.
List of holders of the office of Recorder of Dublin 1564-1924
Holders of the position have included:
- 1564 James Stanihurst (d. 1573)
- 1573 Henry Burnell
- 1599 Patrick Fitzgerald
- c. 1603 William Talbot, removed shortly afterwards as a Roman Catholic
- 1604–1613 Richard Bolton
- 1620s–1626 James Barry
- 1626-1634 Nathaniel Catelyn
- 1634-1660 John Bysse
- 1661–1672 Sir William Davys, later Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.
- 1672 Elisha Leighton
- 1680-1685 Sir Richard Ryves
- 1685-1687 Colonel Garrett Dillon
- 1687 Sir John Barnewall
- 1690–1693 Thomas Coote
- 1693-1695 Nehemiah Donnellan
- 1695–1701 Sir William Handcock
- 1701–1714 John Forster
- 1733–1750 Eaton Stannard
- 1751-1756 Thomas Morgan
- 1756–1766 James Grattan
- 1766–1784 Samuel Bradstreet
- 1784–1785 Dudley Hussey
- 1785–1794 Denis George (later Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland) |
- 1794–1820 William Walker Appointed 30 May 1794 (Died 31 December 1820)
- 1822-1828 Sir Jonas Greene
- 1828–1876 Sir Frederick Shaw
- 1876-1905 Sir Frederick Falkiner (1831–1908)
- 1905-1924 Sir Thomas O'Shaughnessy (1850–1933)—the last Recorder of Dublin
- F. Elrington Ball (1926) The Judges in Ireland, 1221-1921
- Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)
- Jacqueline R. Hill (1997) From Patriots to Unionists: Dublin Civic Politics and Irish Protestant Patriotism, 1660-1840
- Courts of Justice Act 1924 s.51
- Ball vol. I p. 223.
- Ball vol. I p. 227.
- "Talbot, William (d.1633)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Bolton, Richard". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Barry, James (1603-1672)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Hill p. 391.
- His DNB article.
- Ball vol. I p. 365.
- Ball vol. II p. 61.
- Hill p. 392.
- Hill p. 321.
- Sylvanus, Urban (1785). The Gentleman's Magazine. part II. London: John Nichols. p. 1007.
- George Baronets
- By Paymaster Captain Reginald P Walker published 1939.