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Richard Henry Cardwell (August 1, 1846 – March 19, 1931) was an American lawyer, politician and jurist. Cardwell was born in Madison, North Carolina. Losing his father, Richard Perine Caldwell, when he was only an infant, there were many difficulties in receiving an education. His mother, Elizabeth, taught him to read. As a youth, he attended local schools and worked on the family farm in the summers. He attended, for brief sessions, the Beulah Male Academy and the Madison Male Academy.[1]

At sixteen, he enlisted in the junior reserves of North Carolina and served until the end of the war. He returned then to North Carolina but, in 1869, moved to Hanover County, Virginia and, four years later, to Doswell, where he lived for two years. Because he was devoted to the study of law, he carried on his education by studying at night and, for a while, in the office of Samuel C. Redd. He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and began practice in Richmond.[1]

From 1881 to 1894, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Hanover County, serving as Speaker from 1887 onward. In 1894 he was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals.[1] He was made president of the court on June 12, 1916, but resigned on November 6, 1916.

Cardwell died at his home, Prospect Hill, on March 19, 1931, and was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Ashland, Virginia. His son, William D. Cardwell, was Speaker of the House of Delegates from 1906-1908.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c Tyler, ed., Lyon Gardiner (1907). Men of Mark in Virginia: Ideals of American Life, v.2. Men of Mark Pub. Co. (accessed via Google Books).  

Jamerson, Bruce F., Clerk of the House of Delegates, supervising (2007). Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1776-2007. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia House of Delegates.  

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles E. Stuart
Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
1887-1894
Succeeded by
John H. Ryan
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