The Indian Biographical Dictionary (1915)/Norton, Eardley John

Find main topic

Norton, Eardley John, Bar-at-law, Madras and Calcutta; s. of late Mr. John Bruce Norton, Advocate-General, Madras; educ: at Brussels, Esher, Rugby and Merton College, Oxford; called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn), 1876; joined the Oxford Circuit, had a brief or two at Assize and Sessions, and was on more than one occasion junior to his father in the Privy Council; landed at Madras, 1879; practiced in the Madras Courts for well nigh 30 years; was Counsel either for prosecution or for defence in very many sensational cases in the Madras Courts as well as in Burma and Hyderabad (Deccan); Coroner of Madras for 7 years from 1880; worked on the popular side in the famous Salem riots of old; was engaged in the equally famous Garstin Dacoity case; in his admirable address to the Jury in this case, Mr. Norton was alleged to have made observations derogatory to Government; he was asked to explain why he should not be proceeded against under the Charter; the case was heard by a Full Bench of the Madras High Court; Mr. Norton defended himself in person and successfully mentioned that the “Privilege of Counsel in England was the measure of Counsel’s Privilege in India”; defended Timol at the Calcutta High Court Sessions, 1906; settled in Calcutta, at the instance, it is said, of a Calcutta Solicitor, who is said to have offered him as many as six briefs as an opening; returned to Madras temporarily to defend Sir George Arbuthnott, 1907; was engaged on behalf of Government in the famous Manicitollah Garden and Harrison Road bomb cases, 1908-03; staunch supporter of the Indian National Congress movement from its start; was Captain of the Volunteer Artillery for 5 years; Member, Madras Municipal Commission for 4 years, representing that body in the Madras Legislative Council; elected a Member of the Supreme Legislative Council, 1S94; resigned this some time after; was a Freemason in Madras and was Junior Warden of the District Grand Lodge of Madras; is the 4th of his name who has taken up the profession of law in India. Recreation: Watching football, and the reading of Law Reports. Address: Calcutta, India.