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Horace Davey, Baron Davey (30 August 1833 ‚Äď 20 February 1907) was an English judge, son of Peter Davey of Horton, Bucks. He was educated at Rugby School and University College, Oxford.

He took a double first-class in classics and mathematics, was senior mathematical scholar and Eldon law scholar, and was elected a fellow of his college. In 1861, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, and read in the chambers of Mr. (afterwards Vice-Chancellor) Wickens.

Devoting himself to the Chancery side, he soon acquired a large practice, and in 1875 became a Queen's Counsel (Q.C.) In 1880, he was returned to Parliament as a Liberal for Christchurch, Hants (now in Dorset), but lost his seat in 1885. On Gladstone's return to power in 1886, he was appointed solicitor-general and was knighted, but had no seat in the House of Commons, being defeated at both Ipswich and Stockport in 1886; in 1888 he found a seat at Stockton-on-Tees, but was rejected by that constituency in 1892.

As an equity lawyer, Sir Horace Davey ranked among the finest intellects and the most subtle pleaders ever known at the English bar. He was standing counsel to the University of Oxford, and senior counsel to the Charity Commissioners, and was engaged in all the important Chancery suits of his time. Among the chief leading cases in which he took a prominent part were those of The Mogul Steamship Company v. M'Gregor, Gow & Co., 1892, Boswell v. Coaks, 1884, Erlanger v. New Sombrero Company, 1878, and the Ooregum Gold Mines Company v. Roper, 1892; he was counsel for the promoters in the trial of Edward King, bishop of Lincoln, and leading counsel in the Berkeley peerage case.

In 1862, he married Miss Louisa Donkin, who, with two sons and four daughters, survived him. In 1893, he was raised to the bench as a Lord Justice of Appeal, and in the next year was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and a life peer as Baron Davey, of Fernhurst in the County of Sussex. He died in London aged 74. Lord Davey's great legal knowledge was displayed in his judgments no less than at the bar. In legislation, he took no conspicuous part, but he was a keen promoter of the act passed in 1906 for the checking of gambling.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Drummond Wolff
Member of Parliament for Christchurch
1880 ‚Äď 1885
Succeeded by
Charles Edward Baring Young
Preceded by
Joseph Dodds
Member of Parliament for Stockton-on-Tees
1888 ‚Äď 1892
Succeeded by
Thomas Wrightson
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir John Eldon Gorst
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir Edward George Clarke


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