Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dart, Joseph Henry

DART, JOSEPH HENRY (1817–1887), conveyancer, eldest son of Joseph Dart of Tidwell, Devonshire, secretary to the East India Company, was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where, having gained the Newdigate prize for a poem on the ‘Exile of St. Helena,’ he graduated B.A. in 1838, and proceeded M.A. in 1841. Having been admitted a student at Lincoln's Inn on 25 Jan. 1836, he was called to the bar on 28 Jan. 1841. He married, on 15 Sept. 1842, Adeline Pennal, eldest daughter of Richard Humber. In 1851 Dart published ‘A Compendium of the Law and Practice of Vendors and Purchasers of Real Estate,’ London, 8vo. A second edition appeared in 1852, a third in 1856, a fourth in 1871, and a fifth in 1876. In the last three editions Dart was assisted by William Barber, esq. (now Q.C.). The work attained the reputation of a standard treatise many years before the death of the author. In 1860 Dart was appointed one of the six conveyancing counsel to the court of chancery, and, on the passing of the Judicature Act, 1875, senior conveyancing counsel to the high court of justice. This office he resigned in 1886. In 1877 he was elected one of the verderers of the New Forest, on the borders of which he had an estate—Beech House, Ringwood. He was also a justice of the peace for Hampshire. Though he never took silk, he was elected in 1885 a bencher of his inn. He died on 27 June 1887 at his house at Ringwood at the age of seventy. He left a family. Besides the legal work already mentioned, Dart was the author of a translation of the ‘Iliad’ into English hexameter verse, which attracted the favourable notice of Dr. Whewell and Lord Lindsay. The first volume, containing the first twelve books, appeared in 1862, the second in 1865, Lond. 8vo.

[Times, 1 July 1887; Law Journ. 2 July 1887; Solicitors' Journ. 2 July 1887; Foster's Men at the Bar; Law List, 1886; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.