Cumann Onórach Óstaí an Rí
|Inn of Court
|Hugh I. Mohan SC
|CEO and Under Treasurer
The Honorable Society of King's Inns : Cumann Onórach Óstaí an Rí) is the "Inn of Court" for the Bar of Ireland. Established in 1541, King's Inns is Ireland's oldest school of law and one of Ireland's significant historical environments.(Irish
The Benchers of King's Inns award the degree of barrister-at-law necessary to qualify as a barrister and be called to the bar in Ireland. As well as training future and qualified barristers, the school extends its reach to a diverse community of people from legal and non-legal backgrounds offering a range of accessible part-time courses in specialist areas of the law.
The King's Inns society was granted a royal charter by King Henry VIII in 1541, 51 years before Trinity College Dublin was founded, making it one of the oldest professional and educational institutions in the English-speaking world. The founders named their society in honour of King Henry VIII of England and his newly established Kingdom of Ireland. Initially, the society was housed in a disused Dominican friary in Dublin and secured a lease of lands, originally called "Blackfriars", at Inns Quay on the north bank of the River Liffey in Dublin.
The society was reconstituted in 1607 after a period of inactivity and lost possession of its original premises twice, once at the end of the 16th century and again in the mid-18th century. A period of recovery in the 1780s led to the acquisition of the present Constitution Hill site.
In 1790, the Inns Quays site was acquired for the purposes of the Four Courts; the foundation stone at the present building at the top of Henrietta Street was laid on 1 August 1800, with James Gandon being commissioned as the architect. The building was completed by his pupil Henry Aaron Baker.Turn Again Lane, adjacent to the grounds, was renamed King's Inns Street.
For much of its history, the society functioned more as a club than an educational institution. Irishmen who wished to practise as barristers were primarily educated at the English Inns of Court in London until the late 19th century. It was only from the mid-18th century onwards that courses of legal education were provided at King's Inns.
Some academics have cited the early history of the King's Inns as an instrument by the colonial power for controlling Irish lawyers due to its practice of excluding Catholics from legal practice until the late 18th century until the overturning of Penal laws.
King's Inns initially hoped the 1920–1922 partition of Ireland would not end its all-island remit, and it set up a "Committee of Fifteen" Northern Ireland benchers in 1922.These sought more independence, and separatism was fuelled by King's Inns admitting in 1925 as a barrister Kevin O'Higgins, who had not sat the exams but was Minister for Justice in the Irish Free State. In 1926, a separate inn of court in Northern Ireland catered for the Bar of Northern Ireland. In 1929, Hugh Kennedy succeeded in making knowledge of Irish compulsory for admission to King's Inns.
|List of treasurers from 1804 to 1979
|1804–1805 Viscount Avonmore
|1805–1806 William Downes
|1806–1807 Lord Norbury
|1807–1808 S. O'Grady
|1808–1809 No name
|1809–1810 Mr.Justice Day
|1810–1811 No name
|1811–1812 Mr. Justice Fox
|1812–1813 No name
|1813–1814 W.C. Smith
|1814–1815 Charles Osbourne
|1815–1816 Baron McCleland
|1816–1817 Judge Mayne
|1817–1818 Mr. JUstice Fletcher
|1818–1819 Judge Arthur Moore
|1819–1820 Judge Johnson
|1820–1821 Judge Jebb
|1821–1822 No name
|1822–1823 Mr. Justice Burton
|1823–1824 Baron Pennefather
|1824–1825 Charles Kendal Bushe, LCJ
|1825–1826 Mr. Justice Vandeleur
|1826–1827 Mr. Justice Torrens
|1827–1828 William MacMahon, Master of the Rolls in Ireland
|1828–1829 Lord Plunket
|1829–1830 No name
|1830–1831 S. O'Grady
|1831–1832 Sir William Smith. Bt.
|1832–1833 John Leslie Foster
|1833–1834 John Doherty
|1834–1835 Henry Joy
|1835–1836 Mr. Justice Burton
|1836–1837 No name
|1837–1838 Mr. Justice Torrens
|1838–1839 Baron Foster
|1839–1840 Judge Crampton
|1840–1841 Judge Perrin
|1841–1842 No name
|1842–1843 Baron Richards
|1843–1844 Nicholas Ball
|1844–1845 No name
|1845–1846 Thomas Lefroy
|1846–1847 Edward Pennefather, LCJ
|1847–1848 Francis Blackburn, LCJ
|1848–1849 T. B. C. Smith, MR
|1849–1850 David R. Pigot
|1850–1851 Judge Moore
|1851–1852 James Henry Monahan, LCJ of the Common Pleas Court
|1852–1853 The Lord Chancellor
|1853–1854 Baron Greene
|1854–1855 No name
|1855–1856 Thomas Lefroy
|1856–1857 T. B. C. Smith, MR
|1857–1858 No name
|1858–1859 James Henry Monahan, LCJ of the Common Pleas Court
|1859–1860 Mr. Justice Christian
|1860–1861 Mr. Justice O'Brien
|1861–1862 Mr. Justice Hayes
|1862–1863 Baron Fitzgerald
|1863–1864 No name
|1864–1865 Baron Fitzgerald
|1865–1866 Baron Deasy
|1866–1867 Mr. Justice O'Hagan
|1867–1868 James Whiteside, LCJ
|1868–1869 The Lord Chancellor
|1869–1870 No name
|1870–1871 Mr. Justice Lawson
|1871–1872 George Battersby, QC
|1872–1873 Lord Justice Gerald FitzGibbon
|1873–1874 Baron Dowse
|1874–1875 Michael Morris, Baron Morris
|1875–1876 Robert Warren, Judge of the Irish Court of Probate
|1876–1877 Hewitt Poole Jellett
|1877–1878 Mr. Justice Barry
|1878–1879 James Murphy QC
|1879–1880 George Augustus Chichester May
|1880–1881 Edward Pennefather, QC
|1881–1882 Mr. Justice Michael Harrison
|1882–1883 Mr. Serjeant David Sherlock (First Serjeant at Law)
|1883-1884 Judge John FitzHenry Townsend
|1884–1885 Thomas De Moleyns, QC
|1885–1886 Andrew M. Porter, MR
|1886–1887 Piers F. White, QC
|1887–1888 The Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer
|1888–1889 Arthur Stanley Jackson, QC
|1889–1890 Lord Justice FitzGibbon
|1890–1891 John Richardson, QC
|1891–1892 Mr. Justice Hugh Holmes
|1892–1893 Sir Samuel Walker, 1st Baronet
|1893–1894 Judge Miller
|1894–1895 Charles Hare Hemphill, QC, Solicitor General
|1895–1896 Mr. Justice Johnson
|1896–1897 William Bennett Campion, QC
|1897–1898 Mr. Justice O'Brien
|1898–1899 No name
|1899–1900 Mr. Justice Andrews
|1900–1901 John H. Twigg, QC
|1902–1903 Stephen Ronan KC
|1903–1904 Sir Walter Boyd, 1st Baronet
|1904–1905 Mr. Serjeant William Huston Dodd (Third Serjeant-at-law (Ireland))
|1905-1906 Mr. Justice Madden
|1906–1907 James Campbell, 1st Baron Glenavy
|1907–1908 Mr. Justice Kenny
|1908–1909 Charles L. Matheson, KC
|1909–1910 Mr. Justice White
|1910–1911 Charles Andrew O'Connor, KC, Solicitor General for Ireland
|1911–1912 Mr. Justice Dunbar Plunket Barton
|1912–1913 John Gordon, KC
|1913–1914 Mr. Justice William E. Wylie
|1914–1915 Sir Denis Henry, 1st Baronet, later first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
|1915–1916 Gerald Fitzgerald
|1916–1917 Arthur Samuels, KC
|1917–1918 Thomas Lopdell O'Shaughnessy (Last Recorder of Dublin)
|1918–1919 Godfrey Fetherstonhaugh, KC
|1919–1920 Sir William Moore, 1st Baronet, later Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
|1920–1921 Robert F. Harrison
|1921–1922 Mr. Justice John Blake Powell
|1922–1923 William Jellett, KC, MP
|1923–1924 Thomas Francis Molony, LCJ (Last Lord Chief Justice of Ireland)
|1924–1925 Samuel L. Brown, KC
|1925–1926 Mr. Justice Gerald Fitzgibbon
|1926–1927 Alexander F. Blood, KC
|1927–1928 Mr. Justice Henry Hanna
|1928–1929 Garrett William Walker
|1929–1930 Mr. Justice William E. Wylie
|1930–1931 Hewitt R. Poole
|1931–1932 Mr. Justice Timothy Sullivan (First President of the High Court)
|1932–1933 Frederick W. Price
|1933–1934 Frederick W. Price
|1934–1935 Mr. Justice James Creed Meredith
|1935–1936 Ernest J. Phelps, SC
|1936–1937 Mr. Justice Johnson
|1937–1938 Frederick F. Denning
|1938–1939 Mr. Justice James Murnaghan
|1939–1940 Andrew Kingsbury Overend, KC
|1940–1941 Mr. Justice John O'Byrne
|1941–1942 Thomas S. McCann
|1942–1943 Conor Alexander Maguire (Second President of the High Court)
|1943–1944 Patrick Lynch, KC
|1944–1945 Mr Justice James Geoghegan
|1945–1946 J. M. Fitzgerald, SC
|1946–1947 Mr. Justice Cahir Davitt
|1947–1948 John Aloysius Costello
|1948–1949 Mr. Justice George Gavan Duffy (Third President of the High Court)
|1949–1950 R. G. L. Leonard, KC
|1950–1951 Mr. Justice George William Shannon (First President of the Circuit Court)
|1951–1952 Vincent Rice, SC
|1952–1953 Mr. Justice Cecil Lavery
|1953–1954 Frank Fitzgibbon, QC
|1954–1955 Mr. Justice Martin C. Maguire
|1955–1956 Mr. Carson
|1956–1957 Mr Justice Kevin Haugh
|1957–1958 P. McCarthy
|1958–1959 Mr. Justice T.C. Kingsmill Moore
|1959–1960 Henry J. Molony
|1960–1961 Mr. Justice Carroll O'Daly
|1961–1962 Richard McGonigal, SC
|1962–1963 Mr. Justice Gardner Budd
|1963–1964 Thomas F. Bacon
|1964–1965 Mr. Justice George D. Murnaghan
|1965–1966 Mr Campbell
|1966–1967 Mr. Justice Richard McLoughlin
|1967–1968 Denis Pringle
|1968–1969 Mr. Justice William FitzGerald
|1969–1970 G. Micks
|1970–1971 Mr. Justice Thomas Teevan
|1971–1972 T. K. Liston, SC
|1972–1973 Mr. Justice Aindrias Ó Caoimh (Fifth President of the High Court)
|1973–1974 Thomas B. Hannin
|1974–1975 Mr. Justice Brian Walsh
|1975–1976 Ernest M. Wood
|1976–1977 Mr. Justice John Kenny
|1977–1978 Oliver D. Gogarty, SC
|1978–1979 Mr. Justice Séamus Henchy
|1979–1980 Thomas Vincent Davy, SC (The last officeholder to hold the position as Treasurer)
The society had generally kept a low profile in current affairs in Ireland, though it did come to prominence in 1972, when financial difficulties led to it selling a considerable stock of non-legal books it had in its library. The library collection dates from the end of the 18th century (when it also adopted its motto 'Nolumus mutari'), and was based in part on that of Christopher Robinson, senior puisne judge of the Court of King's Bench (Ireland), who died in 1787. Books were sold at auction at Sotheby's, London, and a considerable stock of them was sold to clients outside Ireland. This was seen at the time as a major cultural outflow, as many of the books were of historical and cultural significance. In addition, its library had received an annual grant since 1945 for the upkeep of the books from the Irish Exchequer.
A King's Inns team or individual has often won the Irish Times National Debating Championship, and in 2010 won the European Universities Debating Championships. In 2006 the Inns' hurling team competed in and won the Fergal Maher Cup (3rd Level Division 3) in their inaugural year and subsequently reached the final and semi-final.
The Hungry Tree, a London Plane that is encapsulating a park bench, lies in the grounds of the King's Inns, near the south gate.
The King's Inns complex, situated near Henrietta Street in Dublin, is considered a significant example of neo-Classical architecture. It is often cited as an integral part of Dublin's architectural heritage.
The complex was initially designed by architect James Gandon, who was well known for his work on the Custom House and Four Courts. Construction began in 1800, with the first stone laid by Lord Chancellor John FitzGibbon, Earl of Clare on 1 August of that year. Gandon's original design featured two parallel buildings connected by a narrow bridge-like structure at the west front. This structure had three openings and was crowned by a cupola—a domed structure supported by columns.
Due to various delays and funding issues, Gandon resigned from the project in 1808. His assistant, Henry A. Baker, took over and completed the project by 1816.
The complex underwent extensions in the mid-19th century. Architect Frederick Darley added three bays to the north end in 1846, while Jacob Owen extended the south end by three bays in 1849. These extensions were designed to include fireproof strong rooms for storing records, toilets, a carpenters' shop, and a book binder.
The King's Inns complex is notable for its use of Portland stone caryatids, which symbolise themes like Plenty, Bacchante, Security, and Law. The building also features a copper dome, a design element that Gandon popularised in Dublin.
The architecture of King's Inns has been the subject of various opinions. Some consider its gable end to be in the style of Louis Sullivan, a renowned architect known for his work in Chicago.
In 1998, a major refurbishment project was carried out in the Registry of Deeds. This renovation included updates to the entrance lobby and conservation work on the staircase, windows, and roof.
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John Bathe was an Irish barrister and judge. He was a member of a famous legal dynasty, and had a distinguished career under the Tudors, holding office as Solicitor General for Ireland and Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
Patrick Barnewall was a leading figure in the Irish Government of the 1530s and 1540s. He owed his position largely to his close links with Thomas Cromwell. He sat in the Irish House of Commons as MP for County Dublin, and held the offices of Solicitor General for Ireland and Master of the Rolls in Ireland. Today he is mainly remembered for his role in founding the King's Inns. He belonged to a junior branch of the family of Lord Trimlestown: his own descendants held the title Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland.
Thomas Dowdall, also spelt Dowdale, Douedall, or Dowedall, was an Irish barrister and judge who held the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland.
Walter Kerdiff was an Irish judge and landowner of the sixteenth century.
William Neave (c.1662-1713) was an Irish barrister, politician and law officer. He held the office of Serjeant-at-law (Ireland) and in that capacity played a crucial role in the Dublin Castle administration from 1696 to 1711. He sat in the Irish House of Commons in four successive Parliaments as MP for Tulsk.
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