Arthur Samuels

Arthur Warren Samuels (19 May 1852 – 11 May 1925) was an Irish Unionist Alliance Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom Parliament and subsequently a Judge. The Irish Unionists were the Irish wing of the Conservative Party.


He was born in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, second son of Arthur Samuels, a solicitor. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, before being called to the Irish Bar in 1877. He became a Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1894 and was called to the English bar in 1896.

Samuels was Solicitor-General for Ireland 1917–1918 and Attorney-General for Ireland in 1918–1919. He was also made a member of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1918.

He was MP for Dublin University 1917–1919, having previously been defeated in a 1903 by-election for the same constituency.

Samuels left the House of Commons when he was appointed to the office of Justice of the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland in 1919, an office which he held until the court's abolition under the Courts of Justice Act 1924. In common with most of the judges of the old regime, he was not appointed to the High Court established under the 1924 Act. He died a year later.

Maurice Healy in The Old Munster Circuit praised his personal qualities, his erudition and his valuable book on the financial aspects of Home Rule; but as a Law Officer and judge dismissed him as "undistinguished".


He married in 1881 Emma Margaret Irwin of Howth, by whom he was the father of the barrister and writer Arthur P. I. Samuels (1886-1916). The younger Arthur was an authority on Edmund Burke and edited a collection of his correspondence and writings, which he had almost completed when his work was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. He became a captain in the Royal Irish Rifles, and was killed on the Western Front in September 1916. His father completed his book on Burke, which was published in 1923. Young Arthur had married Dorothy Young of Milltown, County Antrim, in 1913.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
J. H. M. Campbell
Member of Parliament for Dublin University
Succeeded by
W. M. Jellett
Political offices
Preceded by
James Chambers
Solicitor-General for Ireland
Succeeded by
John Blake Powell
Preceded by
James O'Connor
Attorney-General for Ireland
Succeeded by
Denis Henry
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