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Sir Edward Fry.

Sir Edward Fry GCB, GCMG, FRS (1827-1918), was a judge in the British Court of Appeal (1883-1892) and also an arbitrator on the International Permanent Court of Arbitration. He was a Quaker, son of Joseph Fry (1795-1879) and Mary Ann Swaine.

He was called to the bar in 1854, took silk in 1869 and became a judge in Chancery in 1877.[1] He was raised to the Court of Appeal in 1877[2] and retired in 1892. Retirement from the court did not mean retirement from legal work. In 1897 he accepted an offer to preside over the royal commission on the Irish Land Acts. He also acted as an arbitrator in the Welsh coal strike (1898), the Grimsby fishery dispute (1901) and between the London and North Western Railway Company and its employees (1906, 1907).

He was also involved in international law. In 1902 he acted as an arbitrator at The Hague between the United States and Mexico in the pious funds of California dispute. In 1904 he was the British legal assessor on the commission to investigate the Dogger Bank incident where the Russian navy accidentally attacked a British herring fleet in the North Sea. He was involved in the second Hague Conference (1907). In 1908/1909 he was an arbitrator between France and Germany over a case where France had seized deserters (including some German citizens) from German diplomatic protection.

Besides law he was on the council of University College London and interested in Zoology (he was elected to the Royal Society in 1883).

He wrote two books on bryophytes, British Mosses (1892) and, with his daughter Agnes, The Liverworts: British and Foreign (1911).



Edward Fry married in 1859 Mariabella Hodgkin (1833-1930), granddaughter of Luke Howard and sister of the historian, Thomas Hodgkin, and they were the parents of among others:


  • 1877 – Knight Bachelor[3]
  • 1883 – Appointed to Privy Council[4]
  • 1907 – Knight of the Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George.[5]
  • 1907 – Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath[6]


  1. ^ "The New Judge". London: The Times. April 27, 1877; Issue 28927. p. 10; col F.  
  2. ^ "London Gazette, Tuesday, May 1.". London: The Times. May 02, 1877; Issue 28931. p. 9; col F.  
  3. ^ "London Gazette, Friday, May 4". London: The Times. May 05, 1877; Issue 28934. p. 10; col B.  
  4. ^ "London Gazette, Tuesday, April 24". London: The Times. April 25, 1883; Issue 30803. p. 8; col B.  
  5. ^ "The King has been pleased to approve of the following appointments". London: The Times. April 30, 1907; Issue 38320. p. 9; col E.  
  6. ^ London Gazette Issue 28019, p.3080, published on the 7 May 1907. Retrieved on 2008-10-07

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