Charles Kendal Bushe

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Bushe, Charles Kendal, Chief-Justice of the King's Bench, son of Rev. Thomas Bushe, was born at Kilmurry, County of Tipperary, in 1767. In 1782 he entered Trinity College, where he was noted for classical scholarship, and for his eloquence at the Historical Society. "He spoke with the lips of an angel," according to Grattan. On coming of age he secured the payment of his father's heavy debts. His success at the Bar was not rapid. Entering Parliament he opposed the Union. He is said to have expressed to his dying day a continuance of his convictions against that measure. In 1805 he was appointed Solicitor-General, and in 1822 Chief-Justice of the King's Bench. "In retiring from the Bench, which he did (while his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated,' though at the age of seventy-four or seventy-five, he probably contemplated passing a long sabbath of comparative rest;" but his health began to fail from some excitement consequent on the circumstances of his retirement, and a slight surgical operation being followed by erysipelas, he died, 10th July 1843, aged about 76. His remains were interred at Mount Jerome. "To law students we know of no books of the same value as the series of reports of judgments of the Court of King's Bench in Ireland during the period in which Bushe presided." He is described by Barrington as "Incorruptible; as nearly devoid of private or public enemies as any man; endowed with superior talents; his eloquence was of the purest kind." His conversational powers were of the highest order. William H. Curran writes of him: "His imposing figure and deportment; his graceful, persuasive gestures; his manly, pliant features, so easily seduced from their habitual dignity by a love of gentlemanly fun; his fine, sonorous voice; his genial laughter — such were some, though not all, of the ingredients in that combination which made Bushe the most fascinating of companions."

Sources

21. Barrington, Sir Jonah, Historic Memoirs of Ireland. 2 vols. London, 1835.

39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.

185. Irish Bar Sketches: W.H. Curran. 2 vols. London, 1855.

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