Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sullivan, Francis Stoughton

SULLIVAN, FRANCIS STOUGHTON (1719–1776), jurist, the son of Francis Sullivan, was born at Galway in 1719. He was educated at Waterford and subsequently at Trinity College, Dublin, which he entered in 1731 as a boy of twelve. His academic career was most successful, and he achieved the unprecedented distinction of gaining a fellowship at nineteen in 1738. In the year following his vote at a parliamentary election for his university was disallowed by a committee of the House of Commons on the ground of his being a minor. In 1750 Sullivan became regius professor of law in the university of Dublin, and in 1761 professor of feudal and English law. He enjoyed a very high reputation as a jurist, and his book, entitled ‘An Historical Treatise on the Feudal Law, and the Constitution and Laws of England, with a Commentary on Magna Charta’ (London, 1772, 4to; 2nd edit. 1776; Portland, U.S.A. 1805, 2 vols. 8vo), was long recognised as an authority. Sullivan died at Dublin in 1776.

His son, William Francis Sullivan (1756–1830), born in Dublin in 1756, was educated for the church at Trinity College, but entered the navy upon his father's death, and served through the American war. In 1783 he settled in England. He produced a farce called ‘The Rights of Man’ (printed in the ‘Thespian Magazine,’ 1792); ‘The Flights of Fancy,’ a miscellaneous collection of poems, epigrams, and trifles, Leeds, 1792, 8vo; ‘The Union and Loyalty, or the long-threatened French Invasion,’ a patriotic poem, London, 1803, several editions; and ‘Pleasant Stories,’ London, 1818, 12mo. He died in 1830.

[Stubbs's Hist. of the University of Dublin; Todd's List of Graduates of Dublin University; College Calendars.]

C. L. F.