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Thomas Dogherty

From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Dogherty, Thomas (d. 1805), legal writer, was born in Ireland, the son of Patrick Dogherty of Edenderry, King's county. Educated at a country school, he later moved to England, and became clerk to Mr Foster Bower, an eminent pleader or legal writer. He spent more than sixteen years in this capacity, studying law industriously, and making from his master's manuscripts, and those of Sir Joseph Yates and Sir Thomas Davenport, vast collections of precedents and notes. However, about 1785, on Bower's advice, he became a special pleader, concerned with drawing up the written proceedings of lawsuits. Dogherty was admitted a member of Gray's Inn on 4 October 1804. For some years he held the office of clerk of indictments on the Chester circuit.In 1787 Dogherty wrote The Crown Circuit Assistant, in 1790 and 1799 he edited the sixth and seventh editions of The Crown Circuit Companion, and in 1800 he brought out an edition of Sir Matthew Hale's The History of the Pleas of the Crown. Dogherty wore himself out with hard work and died at his chambers in Clifford's Inn on 29 September 1805, leaving a large family ill-provided for. Describing Dogherty as a self-taught genius, an obituary praised ‘his modest and unassuming manners, his independent mind, his strict honour and probity’ (GM, 1074).J. A. Hamilton, rev. Robert Brown
A. Chalmers, ed., The general biographical dictionary, new edn, 32 vols. (1812–17) · R. Ryan, Biographica Hibernica: a biographical dictionary of the worthies of Ireland (1819–21) · GM, 1st ser., 75 (1805), 1074 · J. Foster, The register of admissions to Gray’s Inn, 1521–1889, together with the register of marriages in Gray's Inn chapel, 1695–1754 (privately printed, London, 1889)


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