Carson, Edward, Rt. Hon. Sir (1854-1935)

Biography/History

The Rt Hon Sir Edward Henry Carson, born in 1854 in Dublin, educated at Portarlington School and Trinity College Dublin, had a distinguished career in the law: he was called to the Irish Bar in 1877 and the English Bar in 1893; became QC in Ireland in 1889 and England in 1894; was Solicitor General for Ireland in 1892 and for the UK in 1900-6; was knighted in 1900; was Attorney General in 1915-16 and First Lord of the Admiralty in 1917. He was MP for Dublin University 1892-1918 and Duncairn Division, Belfast 1918-21. He was acknowledged a leading advocate after his part in the libel action brought by Oscar Wilde against the Marquess of Queensberry in 1895. He was elected leader of the Irish Unionists in the House of Commons in 1910 to oppose Home Rule and worked tirelessly for the exclusion of Ulster from the Home Rule Bill to the extent of involvement in the Curragh incident and gun-running at Larne (1914). He was Lord of Appeal in Ordinary 1921-9 and became a life peer under the title Baron Carson of Duncairn. He died in Kent in 1935 and after a state funeral in Belfast was buried in St Anne's Cathedral.