Pigot, David Richard (DNB00)

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PIGOT, DAVID RICHARD (1797–1873), chief baron of exchequer in Ireland, born in 1797, was son of Dr. John Pigot, a physician of high reputation, resident at Kilworth, co. Cork. He received his early education at Fermoy, and graduated B.A. at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1819. He devoted himself for a time to medicine, and went through a course at Edinburgh, but eventually decided to adopt the profession of the law. He was for a period a pupil of Sir Nicolas Conyngham Tindal [q. v.], subsequently chief justice of England; and in 1826 he was called to the bar in Ireland. Through profound legal knowledge and skill in pleading he rapidly acquired extensive practice. He was made king's counsel in 1835, solicitor-general for Ireland in 1839, elected member of parliament for Clonmel, as a liberal, on 18 Feb. in the same year, and was attorney-general from August 1840 to September 1841. He was re-elected for Clonmel in August 1840 and July 1841. In 1845 he was appointed one of the visitors of Maynooth College. Pigot was made chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland in 1846, in succession to Sir Mazière Brady [q. v.], and continued in that office till his death at Dublin on 22 Dec. 1873. In Ireland he was regarded as one of the most learned judges who had ever administered law in that country. He possessed literary attainments of a high order, as well as great proficiency in music, especially that of Ireland. Some of the Irish sketches published by Crofton Croker were written by Pigot when a law student in London. A portrait of him appeared in the ‘Dublin University Magazine’ in 1874.

[Metropolitan Magazine, London, 1842; Nation Newspaper, Dublin, 1873; Men of the Reign; Official Return of Members of Parliament; personal information.]

J. T. G.