He was the second son of Sir Simon Bradstreet, 1st Baronet of Kilmainham, Dublin and his wife Ellen Bradstreet, daughter of his uncle Samuel Bradstreet of County Kilkenny. In 1773, Bradstreet succeeded his older brother Simon as baronet. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and was then called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1758, becoming King's Counsel in 1767
In 1766, he became Recorder of Dublin. Bradstreet entered the Irish House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Dublin City in 1776, representing the constituency until 1784, when he was appointed Fourth Justice at the Court of King's Bench (Ireland). Ironically like several of his colleagues Bradstreet as a politician had opposed increasing the number of High Court judges: Elrington Ball remarked cynically that an increase in the salary and a guarantee of security of tenure soon convinced him of the error of his ways. Unlike most of his colleagues, he was able to work harmoniously with his Chief Justice, John Scott, 1st Earl of Clonmell, who called him "my assistant".
He was a good and frequent speaker in Parliament: though loosely associated with the Irish Patriot Party he clashed on occasion with Henry Grattan, and claimed that the liberties granted by the Constitution of 1782 were insufficient. He prided himself on independence of mind; according to Ball his nickname "Slippery Sam" did not mean that he was untrustworthy but rather that no party could ever count on his support.
He was described as firm and decisive in character, rough in manner, and enormously fat (Chief Justice Scott flippantly called him "the double man").
On 19 January 1771, he married Elizabeth Tully, daughter of James Tully, and had by her four sons. Bradstreet died at his seat in Booterstown in County Dublin. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his oldest son Simon.
- "Leigh Rayment - Baronetage". Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926 Vol. II p.168
- "ThePeerage - Sir Samuel Bradstreet, 3rd Bt". Retrieved 8 April 2007.
- Burke, John (1832). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. vol. I (4th ed.). London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. p. 139.
- Hill, Jacqueline R. (1997). From Patriots to Unionists. London: Oxford University Press. p. 391. ISBN 0-19-820635-6.
- "Leigh Rayment - Irish House of Commons 1692-1800". Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- Haydn, Joseph (1851). The Book of Dignities: Containing Rolls of the Official Personages of the British Empire. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longman's. p. 453.
- Ball p.168
- Sylvanus, Urban (1791). The Gentleman's Magazine. part I. London: John Nichols. p. 492.
|Recorder of Dublin
|Parliament of Ireland|
|Member of Parliament for Dublin City
With: William Clement 1776–1782
Travers Hartley 1782–1784
|Baronetage of Ireland|