Baggallay, Richard (DNB01)

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BAGGALLAY, Sir RICHARD (1816–1888), judge, eldest son of Richard Baggallay, merchant, of London and Kingthorpe House, Tooting, Surrey, by Anne, daughter of Owen Harden, was born at Stockwell, Surrey, on 13 May 1816. Like his contemporary, William Baliol Brett, Viscount Esher [q. v. Suppl.], he was an alumnus of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read hard, graduating B.A. (fourteenth wrangler) in 1839, and proceeding M. A. in 1842. He was Frankland fellow of his college from 1845 until his marriage in 1847, and honorary fellow from 1880 until his death. Admitted student at Lincoln's Inn on 23 March 1837, he was there called to the bar on 14 June 1843, and elected bencher on 13 March 1861, and treasurer in 1875. He practised with distinction in the rolls court, which during Lord Romilly's later years attracted most of the talent of the equity bar, took silk in 1861, and was made counsel to the university of Cambridge in 1869. He was returned to parliament for Hereford on 14 July 1865 as a conservative reformer, found no difficulty in accepting Disraeli's scheme of household suffrage, succeeded Brett as solicitor-general on 16 Sept. 1868, and was knighted as the government went out of office (9 Dec.) In the meantime he had lost his seat, which he failed to recover at a subsequent contest (30 March 1869). He re-entered parliament in 1870, being returned on 17 Oct. for Mid-Surrey, which seat he retained at the general election of February 1874, and until his elevation to the bench. The return of his party to power in 1874 reinstated him in the office of solicitor-general (27 Feb.), and on the early retirement of Sir John Karslake he was advanced to the attorney-generalship (20 April).

As attorney-general he piloted the Judicature Act of 1875 through committee, and under that measure he was created (29 Oct. 1875) justice of appeal, for which was soon afterwards substituted the title of lord-justice of appeal, and was sworn of the privy council.

On Baggallay thus devolved no small portion of the heavy burden of construing the Judicature Acts, and determining the course of procedure under the new system which they introduced. The task proved to be beyond his physical powers. In the summer of 1882 his health broke down, and a prolonged rest failed completely to restore it. He retired from the bench in November 1885, but assisted occasionally in the deliberations of the privy council until shortly before his death, which took place at Brighton on 13 Nov. 1888.

Baggallay was a sound lawyer but hardly a strong judge. He married, on 25 Feb, 1847, Marianne, youngest daughter of Henry Charles Lacy of Withdean Hall, Sussex, by whom he left issue.

[Cal. Univ. Camb. 1840-5; Grad. Cant,; Foster's Men at the Bar; Lincoln's Inn Records; Law List, 1843, 1861, 1862, 1875, 1876; Gent, Mag. 1847, i. 543; Members of Parliament (official lists); Hansard's Parl. Deb. 3rd ser, clxxxii. 1578, clxxxvi. 1223, ccx-ccxxvi; Times, 14 Nov. 1888; Ann. Reg. 1868 ii. 252, 254, 1888 ii, 179; Law Times, 5 Dec. 1885, 24 Nov. 1888; Law Journ. 5 Nov. 1875, 27 May 1882, 17 Nov. 1888; Solicitor's Journ. 17 Nov. 1888; Burke's Peerage, 1888; Foster's Baronetage; Men of the Time, 1884.]

J. M. R.