Richard Cayley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Richard Cayley
14th Chief Justice of Ceylon
In office
1 October 1879 – 1882
Appointed by James Robert Longden
Preceded by John Budd Phear
Harry Dias Bandaranaike as Acting
Succeeded by Jacobus de Wet
14th Queen's Advocate of Ceylon
In office
4 April 1876 – 1879
Preceded by Richard Morgan
Succeeded by Bruce Burnside
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon
In office
26 July 1873 – 1 February 1876
Personal details
Born (1833-04-22)22 April 1833
Died 5 April 1908(1908-04-05) (aged 74)
Spouse(s) Sophia
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge

Sir Richard Cayley (22 April 1833 – 5 April 1908) was a British lawyer who served as the 14th Chief Justice of Ceylon and 14th Queen's Advocate of Ceylon.[1][2]

Richard Cayley was born on 22 April 1833, the son of Edward Cayley and Frances Twopenny. He was educated at Stamford School between 1842 and 1851 before going up to St John's College, Cambridge in 1851.[3]

He married Sophia, daughter of David Wilson, a member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, on 17 April 1866.

On 26 July 1873 he was appointed Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon, and between 9 September 1875 to 1 February 1876 he functioned as Senior Puisne Justice. After serving for a period as Queen's Advocate, he succeeded Sir John Budd Phear as Chief Justice.[4]

As such he heard before the Supreme Court the case of Jayawardena v. Queen's Advocate. Up to the time of Jayawardena's case, the right to sue the Crown had the character of a "taken for granted law", but here the serving Queen's Advocate argued that suing the Crown was an "attempt to impugn the royal prerogative". In giving his ruling on this case, Chief Justice Cayley said, "To hold at this date, for the first time, that a practice, which has so long been sanctioned by the Courts and acquiesced in by the Government, is bad in law,...would [lead to] widespread confusion and many cases to injustice."

In 1882 he returned to England, initially on ill-health leave, and then retiring.[5] He was knighted in June that year.[6] He was succeeded as Chief Justice by Jacobus de Wet.[7]

After retirement he held the office of Justice of the Peace for the counties of Northamptonshire and Rutland.[8] He was a member of the original committee responsible for the foundation, in 1889, of the Old Stamfordian Club for old boys of his alma mater.[9] The club remains a thriving concern to this day.

He died on 5 April 1908 aged 74.


  1. ^ John Ferguson (1996) [1887]. Ceylon in the Jubilee Year (Repr. ed.). Asian Educational Services. p. 254. ISBN 978-81-206-0963-1. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Amerasinghe, A. Ranjit B (1986), The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka : the first 185 years, Sarvodaya Book Pub. Services, ISBN 978-955-599-000-4 
  3. ^ "Cayley, Richard (CLY851R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ Amerasinghe, A. Ranjit B. (1986). The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka : the first 185 years. Ratmalana: Sarvodaya Book Pub. Services. ISBN 955599000X. 
  5. ^ Ferguson’s Ceylon Directory 1883-84
  6. ^ Announcement in London Gazette
  7. ^ "Overview". Judicial Service Commission Secretariat. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition
  9. ^ Deed, B L, The History of Stamford School. 1982
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Budd Phear
Harry Dias Bandaranaike as Acting
Chief Justice of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Jacobus de Wet
Preceded by
Richard Morgan
Queen's Advocate of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Bruce Burnside