William Moore Johnson


1828 – 1918


Who was William Moore Johnson?

Rt Hon Sir William Moore Johnson, 1st Baronet KC was an Irish barrister and judge: he was held in great affection by the Bar, despite his nickname "Wooden-headed Billy".

He was the son of Rev. William Johnson, chancellor of the Diocese of Cloyne, and Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. William Hamilton, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. He was educated at Dublin University, entered Lincoln's Inn in 1849, and was called to the Irish Bar four years later. In 1872, he became a Queen's Counsel.

He was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Mallow in County Cork in 1880, and held the seat until 1883. He also served as Solicitor General for Ireland from 1880 to 1881. In 1881, he was sworn a member of the Privy Council of Ireland and made Attorney General for Ireland. He remained Attorney General until 1883, when he was appointed a Justice of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. He married Susan, daughter of Richard Bayly of Green Park, Kilmallock the following year.

According to Maurice Healy, Johnson did not wish to become a judge but when Attorney General he had caused a furore, in the course of prosecuting Maurice's uncle Timothy Michael Healy, by publicly shaking his hand, and it was felt better that he cease to be a Law Officer.

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  • United Kingdom
  • Trinity College, Dublin
Dec 9, 1918

on July 23, 2013


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