Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thesiger, Alfred Henry

THESIGER, ALFRED HENRY (1838–1880), lord justice of appeal, third and youngest son of Frederick Thesiger, first baron Chelmsford [q. v.], by his wife Anna Maria, youngest daughter of William Tinling of Southampton, was born on 15 July 1838. He was educated at Eton, and matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 15 May 1856, graduating B.A. in 1860 and M.A. in 1862. Both at school and at college he was distinguished as a cricketer and as an oarsman. He was a student of the Inner Temple, and was called to the bar in 1862. He joined the home circuit, and rapidly obtained a large London practice. For a time he was ‘postman’ of the court of exchequer, and on 3 July 1873 he became a queen's counsel.

He was slight and youthful in appearance, extremely industrious, and extremely honourable as an advocate. He was lucid in statement and sound in counsel. After he retired from parliamentary work his practice lay chiefly in commercial and compensation cases. In January 1874 he was elected a bencher of his inn of court, and on 10 Sept. 1877 attorney-general to the Prince of Wales. In 1876 he was a member of the commission upon the fugitive slave circular, and in 1877, on the recommendation of Lord Cairns and to the surprise of the public, he was appointed to succeed Sir Richard Paul Amphlett [q. v.] as a lord justice of the court of appeal, though only thirty-nine years old, and was sworn of the privy council. During his brief tenure of a seat on the bench he showed great judicial ability. He died in London of blood-poisoning on 20 Oct. 1880. On 31 Dec. 1862 he married Henrietta, second daughter of the Hon. George Hancock, fourth son of the second Earl of Castlemaine, but left no issue.

[Times, 21 Oct. 1880; Law Times, 23 Oct. 1880.]

J. A. H.