Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lefroy, Thomas Langlois

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LEFROY, THOMAS LANGLOIS (1776–1869), Irish judge, born 8 Jan. 1776 in county Limerick, was eldest son of Anthony Lefroy of Carrickglass, co. Longford. His father, the representative of a Flemish protestant family which had sought refuge in England in the sixteenth century, was sometime colonel of the 9th dragoons. His mother's name was Anne Gardiner. He was educated from 2 Nov. 1790 at Trinity College, Dublin, where, after taking numerous university prizes and medals, he graduated B. A. in 1795, and afterwards LL.B. and LL.D. in 1827. He was called to the Irish bar in 1797, and practised for many years in equity with great success. He became king's counsel in 1806, king's Serjeant in 1808, and in 1819 a bencher of the King's Inns. He was frequently appointed a commissioner of assize, but in 1830, being mortified by his omission from the commissions, he resigned his 8erjeantcy (Fitzpatrick, Correspondence of O'Connell, i. 196). A typical Irish protestant tory, he first entered parliament in 1830 as one of the members for the university of Dublin. He steadily voted with Peel, and opposed the Irish measures of the Melbourne administration, but he made no great figure as a speaker in the House of Commons, tnough he spoke often. A baronetcy is said to have been offered to him in 1839. Having represented the university till 1841, he was then appointed a baron of the Irish court of exchequer, and took part in the political trials of 1848. In 1852 he became lord chief justice of the queen's bench, and, in spite of old age, did not resign that post until 1866. He died at Newcourt, near Bray, 4 May 1869, and was buried at Mount Jerome cemetery 12 May. He published in 1802 a law tract on 'Proceedings in Elegit.' and in 1806, with John Schoales, 'Reports of Cases in the Irish Court of Chancery under Lord Redesdale from 1802 to 1806.' He married in 1799 at Abergavenny Mary, only daughter and heiress of Jeffrey Paul of Silver Spring, co. Wexford, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.

[Memoir by Thomas Lefroy, Dublin, 1871; Times, 6 May 1869; Cat. of Graduates of Dublin University; Webb's Compendium. The references to him in Fitzpatrick's Correspondence of O'Connell are depreciatory.]

J. A. H.