Barnes Peacock

Sir Barnes Peacock (1810  3 December 1890) was an English judge. He was the first Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court in India.

Peacock was the son of Lewis Peacock, a solicitor. After practising as a special pleader, he was called to the bar in 1836 by the Inner Temple, and joined the Home Circuit.[1] In 1844 he obtained great reputation by pointing out the flaw which invalidated the conviction of Daniel O'Connell and his fellow defendants.[2] He took silk in 1850, and was elected a bencher of the Inner Temple the same year.[1]

In 1852, Peacock went to India as a legal member of the Governor General's Council. The Legislative Council was established soon after his arrival, and although no orator, he was so frequent a speaker that legislation enjoining councillors to deliver their speeches sitting was said to have been devised with the sole object of restraining him.[2] As a member of Lord Dalhousie's council he supported the annexation of Oudh, and he stood by Lord Canning all through the Indian Mutiny.[2]

In 1859 Peacock became the last Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William, and was knighted.[1] He was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on 1 July 1862. He returned to England in 1870 and in 1872 was appointed as a paid member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the court of last resort for the British Empire.[2]


  1. Hamilton, J. A.; Stearn, Roger T. "Peacock, Sir Barnes (1810–1890)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21670.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Chisholm 1911, p. 20.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir James William Colvile
Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
New position
Chief Justice of Bengal
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Couch
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