Giffard, George Markham (DNB00)

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GIFFARD, Sir GEORGE MARKHAM (1813–1870), lord justice of appeal, fourth son of Admiral John Giffard, and Susannah, daughter of Sir John Carter, was born at his father's official residence, Portsmouth dockyard, 4 Nov. 1813. He was educated at Winchester College and at New College, Oxford, where he was elected to a fellowship in 1832 and took the degree of B.C.L. on 4 March 1841, entered at the Inner Temple, of which he eventually became a bencher, and was called to the bar in November 1840. He rapidly obtained an excellent equity practice, and was for many years a leading chancery junior counsel. In 1859 he became a queen's counsel, and attached himself to the court of Vice-chancellor Sir William Page Wood, and, in spite of a severe illness which kept him from his work for many months after he received silk, he soon obtained a leading position in that court. When Vice-chancellor Wood in March 1868 became a lord justice of appeal, Giffard succeeded him, and was again his successor on his promotion from the court of appeal to the woolsack in December, when he also became a member of the privy council. After an illness of some length he died at his house, 4 Prince's Gardens, Hyde Park, London, on 13 July 1870. He was both quick and learned, indifferent to rhetorical display, terse in argument, and a refined and cultivated scholar. He was a decided liberal in politics, but never contested any constituency. In 1853 he married Maria, second daughter of Charles Pilgrim of Kingsfield, Southampton.

[Solicitors' Journal, 16 July 1870; Law Times, 16 July 1870. For descriptions of him by the Lord-chancellor and Lord-justice James, see Times, 16 and 20 July 1870; Cat. Oxf. Graduates; Kirby's Winchester Scholars.]

J. A. H.