Thomas Wyndham, 1st Baron Wyndham

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The Lord Wyndham

PC
WyndhamArms.jpg
Arms of Wyndham: Azure, a chevron between three lion's heads erased or
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
In office
1726–1739
Monarch George I
George II
Preceded by Richard West
Succeeded by The Viscount Jocelyn
Personal details
Born27 December 1681
Died14 November 1745
Wiltshire, England
Nationality Irish
Alma mater Wadham College, Oxford
Monument in Salisbury Cathedral to Thomas Wyndham, 1st Baron Wyndham Salisburycathedralthomaslordwyndhamtomb.jpg
Monument in Salisbury Cathedral to Thomas Wyndham, 1st Baron Wyndham

Thomas Wyndham, 1st Baron Wyndham PC (27 December 1681 – 24 November 1745), was an Irish lawyer and politician. He served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1726 to 1739.

The Privy Council of Ireland was an institution of the Kingdom of Ireland until 31 December 1800 and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922. It performed a similar role in the Dublin Castle administration in Ireland to that of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in the government of the United Kingdom.

The office of Lord High Chancellor of Ireland was the highest judicial office in Ireland until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. From 1721 to 1801, it was also the highest political office of the Irish Parliament: the Chancellor was Speaker of the Irish House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor was also Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland. In all three respects, the office mirrored the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

Contents

Background

Wyndham was born in Wiltshire, the son of Colonel John Wyndham and his wife Alice Fownes. His grandfather was the distinguished Restoration judge Sir Wadham Wyndham. [1] He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford and was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn. [2]

Wadham Wyndham (judge) judge

Sir Wadham Wyndham, of Ilton, Somerset and St. Edmund’s College, Salisbury, was a Justice of the King's Bench from 1660 to 1668.

Wadham College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Wadham College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It is located in the centre of Oxford, at the intersection of Broad Street and Parks Road.

Lincolns Inn one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.

Career

Wyndham served as Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas from 1724 to 1726 [2] and was sworn of the Irish Privy Council in 1724. [3] In 1726 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, a post he held until 1739. [1] [2] In 1731 he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Wyndham, of Finglass in the County of Dublin. [1]

The Peerage of Ireland consists of those titles of nobility created by the English monarchs in their capacity as lord or king of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron. As of 2016, there were 135 titles in the Peerage of Ireland extant: two dukedoms, ten marquessates, 43 earldoms, 28 viscountcies, and 52 baronies. The Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland continues to exercise jurisdiction over the Peerage of Ireland, including those peers whose titles derive from places located in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Article 40.2 of the Irish Constitution forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and a citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Government. As stated above, this issue does not arise in respect of the Peerage of Ireland, as no creations of titles in it have been made since the Constitution came into force.

He presided as Lord High Steward of Ireland at the trial of Lord Santry for the murder of Laughlin Murphy in 1739; the verdict was guilty and Wyndham had the distinction of being the only Irish judge to sentence an Irish peer to death for murder (although Santry was ultimately reprieved). His conduct of the trial, as was to be expected of a judge with his reputation for integrity, was exemplary, although the prosecution case was so strong that the outcome cannot have been seriously in doubt.

The Lord High Steward of Ireland is a hereditary Great Officer of State in the United Kingdom, sometimes known as the Hereditary Great Seneschal. The Earls of Shrewsbury have held the office since the 15th century. Although the Irish Free State, later the Republic of Ireland, became independent in 1922, the title remained the same, rather than reflecting the region of Northern Ireland, which remains within the United Kingdom.

Henry Barry, 4th Baron Barry of Santry (1710–1751), often referred to simply as Lord Santry, was an Irish peer. He is unique in being the only member of the Irish House of Lords to be convicted of murder by his peers, for which crime he was sentenced to death. He later received a full pardon, but died when he was still a young man.

Murder Unlawful killing of a human with malice aforethought

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human with malice aforethought. This state of mind may, depending upon the jurisdiction, distinguish murder from other forms of unlawful homicide, such as manslaughter. Manslaughter is a killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity. Involuntary manslaughter, where it is recognized, is a killing that lacks all but the most attenuated guilty intent, recklessness.

Shortly afterwards he was allowed to retire on account of ill health; by his own account, the strain of the Santry trial had taken a great toll on him. [4] He was only 58, and despite his failing health his retirement seems to have come as a surprise to his colleagues. [5]

Personal life

Lord Wyndham never married. [1] He died in Wiltshire on 24 November 1745, aged 63, and was buried in Salisbury Cathedral. [2] The barony died with him. [1] He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin, and received an honorary degree from Trinity College Dublin. In 1729 he laid the foundation stone for the new Irish Houses of Parliament.

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

Salisbury Cathedral Church in Wiltshire, England

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England. The cathedral is regarded as one of the leading examples of Early English architecture: its main body was completed in 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.

The Freedom of the City of Dublin is awarded by Dublin City Council after approving a person nominated by the Lord Mayor. Eighty-two people have been honoured under the current process introduced in 1876. Most honourees have made a contribution to the life of the city or of Ireland in general, including politicians, public servants, humanitarians, artists and entertainers; others were distinguished members of the Irish diaspora and foreign leaders, honoured visiting Dublin. Honourees sign the roll of freedmen in a ceremony at City Hall or the Mansion House and are presented with an illuminated scroll by the Lord Mayor.

Character

Elrington Ball praises him warmly as "a great gentleman", and one of the most distinguished members of an eminent family. [6] As a statesman he was prudent and conciliating; as a judge he was noted for efficiency, integrity and impartiality. His devotion to duty, which may have contributed to the collapse of his health, is shown by his willingness to hear urgent cases at home, even during the legal vacation. [5]

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References

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Richard Levinge, 1st Baronet
Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas
1724–1726
Succeeded by
William Whitshed
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard West
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
1726–1739
Succeeded by
The Viscount Jocelyn
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Wyndham
1731–1745
Extinct