Malins, Richard (DNB00)

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MALINS, Sir RICHARD (1805–1882), judge, third son of William Malins of Ailston, Warwickshire, by his wife Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas Hunter of Pershore, Worcestershire, was born at Evesham on 9 March 1805. He was educated at a private school, and afterwards entered at Caius College, Cambridge, where he was sixth junior optime, and graduated B.A. in 1827. He had already joined the Inner Temple in 1825, and was called to the bar 14 May 1830. He practised with success as an equity draughtsman and conveyancer in Fig Tree Court, Temple, and later in New Square and in Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn. He had no professional interest, but he was industrious and persevering, and eventually, through his special knowledge of real property law and of the interpretation of wills, he obtained a good court practice in equity. He trained in his chambers numerous pupils, of whom the most eminent, Hugh Cairns [q. v.], was his responsible assistant for some time. In 1849 he transferred his membership from the Inner Temple to Lincoln's Inn, and was made a bencher, acting as treasurer in 1870. In 1849 also he was appointed a queen's counsel, and soon enjoyed a large leading business in the court of Vice-chancellors Parker and Stuart. He sat as a conservative for Wallingford from 1852 to July 1865, when he was defeated by Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke [q. v.]. He was a frequent parliamentary speaker (cf. W. Fraser, Disraeli and his Day, p. 113), joined in the determined opposition which was made to the Divorce Bill, 1857, and avowed himself a protectionist. He carried two bills successfully through parliament, the Infants' Marriage Settlements Act, 1855, and the Married Women's Reversionary Property Act, 1857. On 1 Dec. 1866 he was appointed a vice-chancellor in succession to Sir Richard Kindersley [q. v.], and was knighted in 1867. He had a considerable gift of marshalling facts, expressed himself with fluency and point, and was esteemed for his amiability and generosity of sentiment; but he was talkative and impulsive, and his judgments have not added much to the law of England. Early in 1879 he was lamed by a fall from his horse, was seized with paralysis early in 1881, and in March 1881 he retired and was sworn of the privy council. He died at his house in Lowndes Square, London, 15 Jan. 1882, and was buried 21 Jan. at Bray, Berkshire. He married in 1831 Susannah, elder daughter of the Rev. Arthur Farwell, rector of St. Martin's, Cornwall, whose death in the last days of 1881 accelerated his own. He left no family.

[Law Times, 21 Jan. 1882; Solicitors' Journal, 21 Jan. 1882; Times, 17 Jan. 1882.]

J. A. H.