1739-1798 [1st Earl of Clonmell; var. Clonmel]; ed. TCD and Middle Temple;
Irish bar, 1765; MP Mullingar, 1769; KC, 1770; Solicitor-Gen., 1774; Att.-Gen.
and privy Councillor, 1777; supported legislative independence, resulting
in his dismissal from Attorney-Generalship, 1782; Chief Justice, 1784;
later ruined judicial reputation by issued fiat for £4,000 [DIB var. £7,800]
against John Magee in the case arising from Magees attacks on Francis
Higgins for his part in the release of Lord Carhamptons pimp Mrs.
Llewellan, 1789; resulting in a popular embargo on his court; Viscount
Clonmell, 1789; Earl, 1793; Reputation, printed privately, revealed
him as unscrupulous, passionate, and greedy; d. 23 May (being the first
day of the Rebellion). ODNB DIB
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J. Craig, Dublin 1660-1860 (1980), p.227f., quotes from Scotts
diary, with the remark, Parts of the diary are extremely funny,
but too long to quote here; and other reasons forbid.
Ward & Ward, eds., Letters of Charles OConor, 1988, note that he was dismissed from Attorney-Generalship in 1784 for refusing the acknowledge the right of England to legislate for Ireland. (p.423, n.2.)
Mary Campbell, Lady Morgan: Life and Times of Sydney Owenson (London: Pandora 1988): 'When Byrne, the Irish publisher, advertised the text of the trial of Hamilton Rowan, the United Irishman, he was warned by the Chief Justice, Lord Clonmel: Take care, sire, what you do; I give you this notice, if there are any reflections on the judges of the land, by the Eternal God, I will lay you by the heels. (p.61.)
Copperface Jack: Lord Clonmell is a prominent figure in Barringtons Memoirs and the butt
of many Curran jokes. He is also subject of Copperfaced Jack (1963). a play by John
St., Lord Clonmell's former home, was the scene of the first showing of the paintings contributed to
the Municipal Gallery by Sir Hugh Lane, and were reviewed there by J.
M. Synge in Good Pictures in Dublin (Manchester Guardian,
24 Jan. 1908.)