1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/O'Hagan, Thomas O'Hagan, 1st Baron
O'HAGAN, THOMAS O’HAGAN, 1st Baron (1812–1885), lord chancellor of Ireland, was born at Belfast, on the 29th of May 1812. He was educated at Belfast Academical Institution, and was called to the Irish bar in 1836. In 1840 he removed to Dublin, where he appeared for the repeal party in many political trials. His advocacy of a continuance of the union with England, and his appointment as solicitor-general for Ireland in 1861 and attorney-general in the following year, lost him the support of the Nationalist party, but he was returned to parliament as member for Tralee in 1863. In 1865 he was appointed a judge of common pleas, and in 1868 became lord chancellor of Ireland in Gladstone’s first ministry. He was the first Roman Catholic to hold the chancellorship since the reign of James II., an act throwing open the office to Roman Catholics having been passed in 1867. In 1870 he was raised to the peerage, and held office until the resignation of the ministry in 1874. In 1880 he again became lord chancellor on Gladstone’s return to office, but resigned in 1881. He died in London on the 1st of February 1885, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas Towneley (1878–1900), and then by another son, Maurice Herbert Towneley (b. 1882).