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 60 times in a minute – that he was the King of Wales, and had millions at his command; at one time he called out for some vigilant persons to guard a Noble Lord who presides in one of the Courts… at another moment he vowed that he would in charity despatch so worthy a character as our Lord Chief Justice, who, he asserted, was much too good to live. Some of the police, however, conceiving that he might be induced to carry his love for that exalted character a little too far, came behind his back and disarmed him; he was conveyed to College-street Office [and] removed in a carriage, in the hope of securing an asylum for him in Swift’s Hospital.”

Lord Chief Justice Downes resigned shortly afterwards. Given what had happened to his predecessor, he may have been justifiably concerned for his safety. It sounds like the police on the scene dealt very well with what could have been a very difficult situation indeed!

Picture credits (left) (right)

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

Leave a Reply