A Successful Haunted House Defence, 1885

From the Cambridge Independent Press, 28 February 1885: “A remarkable case was heard on Saturday in Dublin. Mr Waldron, a solicitor’s clerk, sued his next door neighbour, who is a mate in the merchant service, named Kiernan, to recover £500 damages for injuries done to his house. Kiernan denied the charge, and asserted that Waldron’s…

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Two Nights with Rose Lovely, 1823

From the Morning Chronicle, 10 October 1823, yet another lesson in the dangers lurking for the unwary on the journey home from the Four Courts: “THE LOVELY ROSE – A dashing Cyprian, whose charms were quite in accordance with her name, Rose Lovely, was indicted for having robbed William Kelly, a very respectable man of…

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The Affair of the White Waistcoat, 1899

From the Belfast Telegraph, 17 June 1899: “Yesterday, in the Four Courts, Dublin, in the course of a trial, Lord Chief Justice O’Brien observed that one of the Queen’s Counsel appeared in a white waistcoat, which was not professional costume. The MacDermot QC, leading counsel for the Corporation (who, by the way, holds the old…

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The Devil’s Own, or, the Bar and the Boers, 1900

From the Freeman’s Journal, 22 February 1900: “We have never been quite able to understand why the Four Courts has not raised a ‘Devil’s Own’ Corps for service in the present war. It was not that there were not plenty of juniors and others, with sufficient leisure for soldiering, nor yet was it that business…

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Lawyer Relieved of Silk Handkerchief by Female Cutpurses, 1818

From the Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, 7 March 1818 “A few days since, a Professional Gentleman, on his return from the Four Courts, was accosted in D’Olier Street, Dublin, by two females, who said “Sir, some dirty people have put filth upon your coat,” and offered very obligingly to remove it with their handkerchiefs,…

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Attorney-General Arranges Bare-Knuckle Boxing Bout, 1824

From the Evening Mail, 30 June 1824: “The lovers of the Fancy were gratified on Monday last, with a display seldom witnessed in this uncivilised Country. Two matches had been made. The parties were – two draymen of Christies’ Bray Brewery, versus one Rev. Fellow of College, and a son of our clever Attorney-general. Loughlinstown…

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By Dublin Central Station We Nearly Sat, 1863

From the Freeman’s journal, 3 July 1863: “SIR – Kindly allow me to express my opinion on the construction of the Dublin Metropolitan Railway, and to offer what I think would be the most picturesque and least obstructive way the railway could run… Let a viaduct be constructed with cylindrical iron shafts, to run along…

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Whacksation of Costs, 1848

From the Cork Examiner, 14 June 1848: “A fracas took place yesterday morning in the Four Courts between two professional gentlemen. The circumstance caused a good deal of conversation during the day. The facts appeared as follows:- A solicitor of eminence lately had a medical gentleman as a client. The latter some time since left…

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The Problem of Paging Barristers, 1846

From Saunders’s Newsletter, 20 November 1846: “SIR- In consequence of the numerous complaints by respectable solicitors against the present system of calling barristers’ names at the door of the library, and the uncertainty in which inquirers leave the ante-room, after suffering ten minutes’ crushing among clerks, idlers, &c., when the return of non est is…

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Cockfighting in Arran Square, 1844

From the Freeman’s Journal, 15 April 1844: “In consequence of a communication by the secretary for the prevention of cruelty, instructions were given to the police to look sharply after a cockfighting match about to come off in Hammond-Lane. The police proceeded to the place at the specified time, and the result was an introduction…

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Juror Arrested, Blames Seagull-Shooting Lodger, 1866

From the Manchester Chronicle, 17 December 1866: “An extensive seizure of arms and ammunition was made in a house in Trinity Street, Dublin belonging to a tailor called Downey… at the top story of the house, the police found ten well-finished revolvers, two fowling pieces and a large quantity of ammunition. One of the revolvers…

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Lord Chief Justice Declared Too Good to Live, 1822

From Saunders’s Newsletter, 26 April 1822: “A singular character appeared about noon yesterday, in the yard of the Four-Courts, seated upon a jaunting-car, and holding in each hand a curious small gun loaded with ball; he was habited in a green coat, with G.R. on the buttons… he declared he could fire off his pieces…

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A Shortened Period of Apprenticeship, 1836

In the Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent, 3 November 1836, we find an account of a young man’s application to be admitted as a solicitor despite having served less than the standard five years’ apprenticeship: “COURT OF EXCHEQUER [today’s Court 3]: Mr Jackson KC applied on behalf of Henry Merrick, praying that he be admitted…

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Round Hall Ablutions Averted, 1808

From Saunders’s Newsletter, 22 October 1808: “The alterations now making in the New Courts upon the Inns Quay, consist of raising the floor of the great hall up to the level of the platform at the great entrance, which has been somewhat lowered in order to meet the newly raised floor and by this alteration…

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Solicitors Meet to Discuss the General Impossibility of Barristers, 1843

From the Freeman’s Journal, 29 November 1843, this account of an early Solicitors’ Society meeting: “The secretary read the… steps that had been taken [to prevent] the inconvenience of the solicitors being required by the bar to convey books from the Law Library… [T]he committee had written to Mr Dixon, father of the Bar, to…

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Court Documents Stolen for Possible Sale as Toilet Paper, 1860

From the Evening Freeman, 27 February 1860: “Bessie Birmingham… employed for sweeping a portion of the offices at the Four Courts, Matthew Campbell and Philip Keely were brought up in custody… charged with having stolen and sold a number of valuable parchment and paper documents from one of the offices of the Court of Exchequer……

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Mr Finn’s Four Courts Coffee-Room, 1839

From the Freeman, 22 January 1839: “John Finn, Henrietta-street, applied for a license for the coffee-room of the Four Courts. Mr Walsh opposed the application, on the part of the Vintners’ Society, and dwelt on the impropriety of such an establishment in the courts. Mr Curran replied in favour of the application, and said that…

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The Bigamist Barrister, 1846

From the Liverpool Mail, 18 April 1846: “At Dublin, on Saturday, the trial of Mr Henry Augustus Browne, barrister, for bigamy took place in the Commission Court… Mr Browne is a remarkably well-looking man of about 24 or 25 years of age… a prime favourite with his brethern at the Bar. The prosecutor was Mr…

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Bookstalls, Showmen and Dancing Dogs, 1821-1840

From the Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail, 26 September 1840: “THE FOUR COURTS:- Although law is very busy in the interior, and the lawyers are not idle in their vocation, the exterior of the building resembles an unfortunate criminal, debarred the privilege of counsel and left to his fate. It is not sufficient that the…

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Armed Footpad Overpowered in Church Street, c. 1800

From the Freeman’s Journal, 30 January 1882: “A curious reminiscence of… old Dublin life turned up at one of the central [police] stations on Friday… [A]n old gentleman entered the station… and produced a small silver-mounted flint pistol, evidently of the last century… He said that he was most anxious to obtain a licence for…

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