Country Litigants, and Other Frequenters of the Four Courts, 1822

A Flat Between Two Sharps’ by Rowlandson, via Rare Old Prints. The background is Westminster Hall, not the Four Courts, but the litigant seems to fall into the same category as the Irish country litigant described below.

From the Yorkshire Gazette, 21 December 1822:


Some very able papers are now in the course of publication in the New Monthly Magazine entitled ‘Sketches of the Irish Bar;’ giving an account of the various forensic characters in our sister country, and of the mode of practice in the Courts there. The following animated account of the scenes daily occurring in the Hall of the Four Courts is from the last No. of the above-named miscellany:

‘The law, and the practice read more

The Battle of Pill Lane, 1829

The site of the former Pill Lane, Dublin, just behind the Four Courts.
In 1829, this location was the scene of a spirited verbal confrontation between the then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Jacob West, and the wholesale fish dealers he sought to clear from its sidewalks into a yard at Boot Lane nearby.

From the Clonmel Herald, 24 October 1829:

“On Wednesday morning, at an early hour, a vast concourse of persons had assembled in Pill Lane, to witness the battle royal which was expected to take place between the Lord Mayor and the Fishmongers.  At a few minutes before six, his Lordship, attended by his personal staff, and accompanied by a strong party of the horse police, arrived on the ground; and having duly reconnoitered the position taken up by the fish women and their adherents, read more

Sudden Deaths at the Angel Hotel, Inns Quay, 1852-1882

he Angel Hotel at 11 Inns Quay, which supplied refreshment and accommodation to lawyers throughout the second half of the 19th century, was located in the block shown above adjacent to the west wing of the Four Courts.

From the Dublin Weekly Nation, 17 July 1869:


On Monday Mr. John McNally, solicitor, had an awfully sudden death in the coffee room of the Angel Hotel, Inns Quay, Dublin. He went in to have some refreshment, and almost immediately after having ordered it dropped dead on the floor. Mr. McNally was a son of Counsellor Leonard McNally, who ‘defended’ the State informers of 1798, and at the same time betrayed their secrets to the Government, whose pensioner agent he was all the read more

Defenders of the Home Front: The Four Courts Veteran Volunteer Corps in 1916

Lord Chancellor Ross, in full judicial robes, as depicted on the frontspiece to his autobiography. Ross, who himself served as a private in the Four Courts Division of the Volunteer Corps, was impressed that these ‘dress robes,’ left hanging in his chambers during the occupation of the Four Courts in 1916, were untouched by rebels.

From the Northern Whig, 25 May 1916:


A great many members of the legal profession and officials of the Four Courts have been for more than a year in military training for home defence, and when the Sinn Fein rebellion broke out and the rebels took possession of the Four Courts these quasi-military officials rendered a good account of themselves.  At a meeting of the Benchers of the King’s Inns, under the presidency of the Lord Chancellor, a few days ago, read more

Mr Dunn BL Goes to Law, 1840

Angelina Burdett-Coutts, by all available evidence a kind, intelligent and highly philanthropic woman, saw her youth, marital prospects and hope of a family comprehensively destroyed by the relentless pursuit of Irish barrister Richard Dunn who followed, beset and litigated against her for over two decades in the absence of any justification or encouragement. Image via Alamy.

Previous posts on the long-running saga of Irish barrister Richard Dunn: (1) Mr Dunn BL in Love, 1836 (2) Mr Dunn BL in Love Again, 1838 (3) Mr Dunn BL in Prison for Love, 1838 (4) Mr Dunn BL Back in Town, 1839-40.

Early readers of this blog will remember the amorous Irish barrister Mr. Dunn, who first came to notoriety for his pursuit of the beautiful Miss. Burgh at the Royal Hotel, Kingstown, read more