Francis Blackburne

Blackburne, Francis, Lord-Chancellor of Ireland, was born at Footstown, County of Meath, 11th November 1782. He distinguished himself at Trinity College, was called to the Bar in 1805, appointed Sergeant in 1826, Attorney-General in 1830, Chief-Justice in 1846, and Chancellor in 1852. It was he who counselled the Government to put down by proclamation the Repeal monster meetings; and one of his aphorisms was, "England can never destroy the Irish Church, because, if she does, she will sever the Union." He presided at most of the political trials in 1848. He was a staunch Conservative, and never recovered the acceptance of his almost compelled resignation of office by Lord Derby in March 1867 — regarding it as "a harsh and cruel return for his abnegation of self, and for the sacrifices which he had so cheerfully made." He declined a baronetcy; and died shortly afterwards, 17th September 1867, aged 84, at his residence, Rathfarnham Castle, near Dublin. He was buried at Mount-Jerome. As a lawyer, his character stood deservedly high; while in his private life he was greatly beloved.


43. Blackburne, Right Hon. Francis, Life: Edward Blackburne. London, 1874.