Lawyers Exit, Pursued by a Bull, 1835

From the Dublin Pilot, via the Leeds Times, January 3, 1835:

“On Thursday week, about one o’clock, a bull on its way from Smithfield, turned into the entrance of the Four Courts, under the grand portico, and immediately put to flight the crowd of litigants who were at the time actively engaged in what is technically termed ‘hall practice’. Some of the fugitives escaped into the Court of Exchequer, others ran for protection to the Rolls… The abrupt visitor, however, seemed to have no other object in view than merely, like other illustrious strangers, to satisfy a laudable curiosity and, having traversed the scene for a few minutes, he was suddenly beset by his attendants, who unceremoniously ejected him through the portico which he entered…”

The Court of Exchequer was today’s Court 3, and the Rolls Court today’s Court 5. Courts 1, 2 and 4 do not appear to have been sitting, or perhaps the judges inside were scarier than the escaped bull?

Tragically, there exists no contemporaneous illustration of the above event, but the above cartoon by James Gillray on a different subject seems appropriate for the Round Hall’s brief but dramatic agricultural tenure!

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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