Sir Denis Henry
|1st Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland|
|Preceded by||new office|
|Succeeded by||Sir William Moore, Bt|
|Attorney-General for Ireland|
|Preceded by||Arthur Warren Samuels|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Watters Brown|
|Solicitor-General for Ireland|
|Preceded by||John Blake Powell|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Martin Wilson|
|Member of Parliament|
|Preceded by||John Gordon|
|Succeeded by||Robert Chichester|
|Born||7 March 1864|
|Died||1 October 1925 (aged 61)|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Political party||Ulster Unionist Party|
|Alma mater||Queen's College, Belfast|
Henry was born in Cahore, Draperstown, County Londonderry, the son of a prosperous Roman Catholic businessman. He was educated at Marist College, Dundalk, Mount St Mary's College, Chesterfield (a Jesuit foundation) and Queen's College, Belfast, where he won every law scholarship available to a student in addition to many other prizes and exhibitions. In 1885, he was called to the Bar of Ireland.
During the general election campaign of 1895, Henry spoke in support of unionist candidates in two constituencies: Thomas Lea in South Londonderry, Henry's native constituency, and E. T. Herdman in East Donegal.
Henry's legal career flourished - he became Queen's Counsel in 1896, a Bencher of the King's Inns in 1898 and ultimately Father of the North-West Circuit - but his interest in politics did not diminish. In March 1905, he was a delegate at the inaugural meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council and in the North Tyrone by-election in 1907, he was the Unionist candidate, which he lost by a mere seven votes.
On 23 May 1916, he was elected as an MP in the South Londonderry by-election, the first by-election to be held in Ireland after the Easter Rising. The rebellion had had no discernible impact on the contest.
In November 1918, he became Solicitor-General for Ireland and in July 1919, Attorney General for Ireland. He later served as the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1925. In 1923, he became a Baronet, of Cahore in the County of Londonderry.
He married Violet Holmes, daughter of Hugh Holmes, a judge of the Court of Appeal in Ireland, and Olivia Moule. They had five children, including James Holmes Henry, who succeeded as second baronet. It was a mixed marriage as Violet was and remained a staunch member of the Church of Ireland. Despite their religious difference, the marriage is said to have been happy.
He died in 1925, aged 61, and was buried near his native Draperstown.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Denis Henry
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for South Londonderry
John Blake Powell
| Solicitor-General for Ireland
Daniel Martin Wilson
Arthur Warren Samuels
| Attorney-General for Ireland
Thomas Watters Brown
|New office|| Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet
James Holmes Henry