Samuel Shepherd

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The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Shepherd
Samuel Shepherd.jpg
Solicitor General for England and Wales
In office
December 1813 – 1817
Attorney General for England and Wales
In office
1817 – June 1819
Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer
In office
June 1819 – February 1830
Personal details
Born 6 April 1760
Died 3 November 1840(1840-11-03) (aged 80)
Nationality British
Alma mater Merchant Taylors' School
Profession Barrister, Judge, Politician

Sir Samuel Shepherd KS PC (6 April 1760 – 3 November 1840) was a British barrister, judge and politician who served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer.

Early life and career[edit]

Shepherd was born on 6 April 1760 to Henry Shepherd, a London toymaker. From 1773 to 1774 he was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and then at a different school in Chiswick, entering the Inner Temple in July 1776. After a pupillage under Charles Runnington he was called to the Bar on 23 November 1781. He soon joined the home circuit, a place where, along with the Court of Common Pleas, he had great success. From 1790 onwards he gradually became deaf, rejecting the honour of being made a King's Counsel in 1793 but accepting a promotion to Serjeant-at-Law in 1796, becoming a King's Serjeant the next year and, after the death of Serjeant Cockell, King's Ancient Serjeant. In 1812 he became Solicitor-General of the Duchy of Cornwall.[1]

Political and judicial work[edit]

In December 1813, Shepherd was made Solicitor General for England and Wales, and returned to Parliament for Dorchester on 11 April 1814. He received a knighthood on 11 May 1814, and became Attorney General for England and Wales in 1817. Shepherd was an excellent and popular lawyer, who would have become far more successful if it was not for his deafness; he refused the offices of both Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, partly due to his deafness and partly because he refused to hold a judicial office that involved the trial of prisoners. In June 1819 he accepted the position of Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer, becoming a member of the Privy Council on 23 July, and as Lord Chief Baron advised Scottish judges on the application of English treason law to the participants of the Radical War. In February 1830 Shepherd was forced to retire due to ill health, and he died on 3 November 1840.[1]


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Williams
William à Court
Member of Parliament for Dorchester
With: Robert Williams
Succeeded by
Robert Williams
Charles Warren
Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Jekyll
Solicitor-General of the Duchy of Cornwall
Succeeded by
William Draper Best
Preceded by
Sir Robert Dallas
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Gifford
Preceded by
Sir William Garrow
Attorney General
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Gifford