James Whiteside

James Whiteside

James Whiteside (1804 – 1876) was an Irish politician and judge.

The son of William Whiteside, a clergyman of the Church of Ireland, was born in August 1804, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, being called to the Irish bar in 1830. He very rapidly acquired a large practice, and after taking silk in 1842 he gained a reputation for forensic oratory surpassing that of all his contemporaries, and rivalling that of his most famous predecessors of the 18th century. He defended Daniel O'Connell in the state trial of 1843, and William Smith O'Brien in 1848; and his greatest triumph was in the Yelverton case in 1861. He was elected member for Enniskillen in 1851, and in 1859 became member for Dublin University. In Parliament, he was no less successful as a speaker than at the bar, and in 1852 was appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland in the first administration of the earl of Derby, becoming attorney general in 1858, and again in 1866. In the same year he was appointed chief justice of the Queen's Bench; and he died on the 25th of November 1876. Whiteside was a man of handsome presence, attractive personality and cultivated tastes. In 1848, after a visit to Italy, he published "Italy in the Nineteenth Century"; and in 1870 he collected and republished some papers contributed many years before to periodicals, under the title "Early Sketches of Eminent Persons". In 1833 Whiteside married Rosetta, daughter of William Napier, and sister of Sir Joseph Napier (1804-1882), lord chancellor of Ireland.



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