Longfield, Mountifort (DNB00)

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LONGFIELD, MOUNTIFORT (1802–1884), Irish judge, born in 1802, was son of Mountifort Longfield, vicar of Desert Serges or Desert Magee, co. Cork, by his wife Grace, daughter of William Lysaght of Fort William and Mount North, co. Cork. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, graduated as moderator and gold medallist in science in 1823, became a fellow in 1825, and proceeded to the degrees of M.A. in 1829 and LL.D. in 1831. In 1828 he was called to the Irish bar, but did not practise. When the professorship of political economy in Trinity College was founded in 1832, he was appointed the first professor; and in 1834 he resigned his fellowship and became regius professor of feudal and English law in the university of Dublin, an office which he held till he died, though from 1871 he ceased to discharge its duties, except by his deputy, N. Ritchie, Q.C. He was esteemed an especially learned real-property lawyer. In 1842 he became a queen's counsel, and in 1859 a bencher of the King's Inns. Upon the passing of the Incumbered Estates Act in 1849 he was appointed one of the three commissioners under it, and he held that office until the landed estates court was constituted in 1858, when he became a judge of that court, and continued to sit until 1867. He was an active liberal, and assisted to draft the Irish measures of the first and second Gladstone administrations. In 1867 he was sworn a member of the Irish privy council. He was appointed a commissioner of Irish national education in 1853, and on several occasions was an assessor to the general synod of the Irish church, and with Professor Galbraith principally arranged the scheme for the church's finance. He was an active member of the Social Science Congress and the Statistical Society. He died at 47 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, on 21 Nov. 1884. In 1845 he married Elizabeth Penelope, daughter of Andrew Armstrong.

[Law Mag. 4th ser. vol. x.; Law Times, 6 Dec. 1884; Solicitors' Journal, 29 Nov. 1884; Times, 24 Nov. 1884; Catal. Dublin Graduates; Annual Register, 1884.]

J. A. H.