John Scott

Life
1739-1798 [1st Earl of Clonmell; var. Clonmel]; ed. TCD and Middle Temple; Irish bar, 1765; MP Mullingar, 1769; KC, 1770; Solicitor-Gen., 1774; Att.-Gen. and privy Councillor, 1777; supported legislative independence, resulting in his dismissal from Attorney-Generalship, 1782; Chief Justice, 1784; later ruined judicial reputation by issued fiat for 4,000 [DIB var. 7,800] against John Magee in the case arising from Magee’s attacks on Francis Higgins for his part in the release of Lord Carhampton’s pimp Mrs. Llewellan, 1789; resulting in a popular embargo on his court; Viscount Clonmell, 1789; Earl, 1793; Reputation, printed privately, revealed him as unscrupulous, passionate, and greedy; d. 23 May (being the first day of the Rebellion). ODNB DIB

[ top ]

Commentary
M. J. Craig
, Dublin 1660-1860 (1980), p.227f., quotes from Scott’s diary, with the remark, ‘Parts of the diary are extremely funny, but too long to quote here; and other reasons forbid.’

Ward & Ward, eds., Letters of Charles O’Conor, 1988, note that he was dismissed from Attorney-Generalship in 1784 for refusing the acknowledge the right of England to legislate for Ireland. (p.423, n.2.)

Mary Campbell, Lady Morgan: Life and Times of Sydney Owenson (London: Pandora 1988): 'When Byrne, the Irish publisher, advertised the text of the trial of Hamilton Rowan, the United Irishman, he was warned by the Chief Justice, Lord Clonmel: “Take care, sire, what you do; I give you this notice, if there are any reflections on the judges of the land, by the Eternal God, I will lay you by the heels.”’ (p.61.)

[ top ]

Notes
Copperface Jack: Lord Clonmell is a prominent figure in Barrington’s Memoirs and the butt of many Curran jokes. He is also subject of Copperfaced Jack (1963). a play by John (Purcell) O’Donovan.

17 Harcourt St., Lord Clonmell's former home, was the scene of the first showing of the paintings contributed to the Municipal Gallery by Sir Hugh Lane, and were reviewed there by J. M. Synge in ‘Good Pictures in Dublin’ (Manchester Guardian, 24 Jan. 1908.)

[ top ]