Open main menu


GAMBIER, Sir EDWARD JOHN (1794–1879), chief justice of Madras, third son of Samuel Gambier, first commissioner of the navy (1752–1813), by Jane, youngest daughter of Daniel Mathew of Felix Hall, Essex, and nephew of Admiral James, baron Gambier [q. v.], was born in 1794 and entered at Eton in 1808. He afterwards proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his bachelor's degree in 1817. He was ninth senior optime, and junior chancellor's medallist; he proceeded M.A. in 1820, and became a fellow of his college. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn 7 Feb. 1822, and acted as one of the municipal corporation commissioners in 1833. The recordership of Prince of Wales Island was conferred on him in 1834, and he was knighted by William IV at St. James's Palace on 6 Aug. in that year. He was removed to Madras 28 Nov. 1836 as a puisne judge of the supreme court, and raised to the chief justiceship there 11 March 1842, being sworn in on 22 May. The duties of this high post he discharged with ability and efficiency until his retirement in 1849, when he received from the Hindu community of Madras a testimonial consisting of a silver centre-piece weighing 550 ounces, and Lady Gambier was at the same time presented with a handsome tripod centrepiece by the European ladies of Madras (Illustrated London News, 1 Feb. 1851, p. 77, with views of the testimonials). ‘A Treatise on Parochial Settlement,’ which he published in 1828, went to a second edition under the editorship of J. Greenwood in 1835. He died at 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London, 31 May 1879, in his eighty-sixth year. He married in 1828 Emilia Ora, daughter of C. Morgell, M.P.; she died on 25 Feb. 1877.

[Times, 4 June 1879, p. 11; Law Times, 7 June 1879, p. 105.]

G. C. B.