Records of the King’s Bench in Ireland?


This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 3 months ago by tjcoffice.

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    Where would I find records of a court case settled the last term of 1818 in the King’s Bench of Ireland between William Nash of Cork and the late Daniel Callaghan of Cork, merchant.  Apparently, William Nash, the guardian of his niece, Priscilla Nash, put £1700 in the hands of Callaghan secured by a bond and warrant of attorney.  However, Nash had to sue the estate of the late Callaghan to recover the funds.  As the 3 June 1825 marriage settlement act between Domingas Egidio Marques, formerly of Portugal, and Priscilla Nash only accounts for £850, I suspect the other half was intended for her sister Eliza Nash.  I am hoping to learn more about the particulars of this case.  Have the records for the King’s Bench of Ireland survived?  Where can they be accessed?

     Bob Frewen

    I wonder why Kings Bench? AFAIK that Court usually was for criminal cases. Many of the court records of that era went up in smoke with the Four Courts explosion in 1922. If (a big IF) the Nash case decision was of some note it might have been used as a precedent in subsequent cases so some later law books might have a reference to it. (Nash –v- Callaghan) but detail would be in broad strokes rather than fine detail. I would concentrate on contemporary newspapers – there was a fascination with law cases back then, much reporting of detail.  Have you searched in ‘Saunder’s Newsletter’? Failing that I’d try a letter to the librarian in Kings Inns.


    I have checked the newspapers and found nothing, which surprises me as I have been very lucky with other newspaper searches when it comes to court cases.  People did like to read the court news to see who was in trouble for what! I have Google Nash v. Callaghan and found nothing, it must have been a minor case.  I did a search of the Registry of Deeds and found a deed from 181 between William Nash and Daniel Callaghan, but it appears to be a land deal, I have to read it through more carefully.

    Thanks for the suggestions, but I fear any traces of this court case and the will that started it are long gone in the fire of 1922.


    Have you checked whether they have a copy of the will in the National Archives at Kew?  A number of Irish wills were proved in England also.  English archive copies still exist.  🙂

     IGRS Editor

    As there was little enough difference in the jurisdiction of the Irish court of Kings Bench it would be worth your while reading this wiki article on the Kings Bench in England:

    In Ireland, among the four superior courts, it was mainly “big” criminal cases that were heard by the Kings Bench. Though much ordinary, but nonetheless serious, day-to-day crime was dealt with by the Assize courts, the next down, the Quarter Sessions and below them, the Petty Sessions. But the Kings Bench wasn’t exclusively hearing criminal cases, it could hear cases too where citizens sued one another, but where there appeared to be some aspect (sometimes fictional) that involved the King (or Queen, when the monarch was female).

    Hope this helps. Bob Frewen is right that the best place for details about court cases is often the press, even where original material survives.


    Hello Jill, that is an interesting suggestion about checking the national archives at Kew for wills. I did a name search and did not get any results. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to pay someone to research for me. Do you know what sort of wills are likely to have been preserved in the national archives? A couple of ancestors were moderately prominent. So, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to ask someone at Kew to look at the wills that have not been digitized?

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