Bewley, Edmund Thomas (DNB12)

BEWLEY, Sir EDMUND THOMAS (1837–1908), Irish lawyer and genealogist, born in Dublin on 11 Jan. 1837, was son of Edward Bewley (1806–1876), licentiate of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians, Ireland, by his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Mulock of Kilnagarna, King's County (1791-1857). Entering Trinity College, Dublin, in 1855, he obtained a classical scholarship in 1857, and a first senior moderatorship and gold medal in experimental science in 1859. In 1860 he graduated B.A. and in 1863 M.A. Subsequently (1885) he proceeded LL.D. In 1861 he obtained the degree of B.A., ad eundem, and also that of M.A., with honours and first gold medal in experimental science, in the Queen's (afterwards Royal) University of Ireland. Called to the Irish bar in 1862, he practised successfully for some years, and in 1882 took silk. From 1884 to 1890 he was regius professor of feudal and English law in Dublin University, and in 1890 became a judge of the supreme court of judicature of Ireland, and judicial commissioner of the Irish Land Commission. Owing to declining health he retired in 1898, when he was knighted. He was elected F.S.A. 10 Jan. 1908, and died at Dublin on 27 June following.

Bewley married in 1866 Anna Sophie Stewart, daughter of Henry Colles, a member of the Irish bar, and by her had two sons and one daughter.

Bewley spent his leisure in genealogical pursuits. He was a frequent contributor to the 'Genealogist,' 'Ancestor,' and other genealogical periodicals. His most important researches were privately printed. His three books, 'The Bewleys of Cumberland' (1902); 'The Family of Mulock' (1905); and 'The Family of Poe' (1906), are sound and patient investigations into family history; in the monograph on the Poe family he proved that Edgar Allan Poe was descended from a family of Powell, for generations tenant-farmers in co. Cavan. Bewley was also author of 'The Law and Practice of Taxation of Costs' (1867); 'A Treatise on the Common Law Procedure Acts' (1871); and joint-author of 'A Treatise on the Chancery (Ireland) Act, 1867' (1868).

[The Bewleys of Cumberland, 1902; The Times, 29 June 1908; Dublin Nat. Libr. Cat.; Irish Times, 28 June 1908.]

D. J. O'D.