Information about Past Presidents banner

Information about Past Presidents

  • Posted on

In this section Jack Lyes summarises information about Bristol Law Society Past Presidents from 1870 - 1889

1870 Charles Edward Ward. Clerk to Merchant Venturers. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/2. Partner Osborne Ward (later with Brooke Smith, Vassall & Parr). See BW(2) page 146 and The Merchant Venturers of Bristol by Patrick McGrath page 267.

1871 George Cooke. Evangelical Anglican. Patron of St. Maryleport. Son of Isaac Cooke. City Councillor (Clifton ward) 1855/1877). For funeral see BM 16 April 1894. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/3.

1872 James Flower Fussell. Senior partner Savery & Clarke – later Fussell, Pritchard, Swann & Henderson (three partners connected to him by marriage). For obituary see WDP 27 December 1880.

1873 Alfred Cox. Member Anchor Society – supported Liberal candidates in West Gloucestershire constituency. On committee of Bristol Commercial Rooms. Solicitor to Clifton College (with HS Wasbrough) from its inception.

1874 George Fisher Prideaux. Younger brother of Charles Greville Prideaux, Recorder of Bristol. Secretary Dolphin Society. Staunch churchman. In partnership with Myles Ariel Clark. See BW(2) page 86. Treasurer Bristol Dispensary (for resignation see WDP 26 December 1871). Committee member Bristol Royal Infirmary.

1875 Henry Sidney Wasbrough. Partner Stanley & Wasbrough. Coroner. Solicitor to Clifton College (with Alfred Cox). Photograph in BA ref. 44687/BL/IM/Ph/2/4. Secretary Bristol Law Library Society and Bristol Law Association; President Metropolitan & Provincial Law Association (‘Bristol’s Law Societies’ in TBGAS vol 127–(2009) pages 281-2). See BW(1) page 76.

1876 Robert Lowe Grant Vassall. High Sheriff (1879/80). President Dolphin Society (1892). Chairman Taff Vale Railway Company. Partner Brooke Smith, Vassall & Parr which merged with Osborne Ward & Co. For obituary see WDP 11 April 1913. See BW(1) page 119 and BCR(1) page131.

1877 Lewis Fry. Grandson of founder of chocolate dynasty. Partner in Fry, Abbot, Pope & Brown. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BL/IM/Ph/2/5.City councillor, first chairman of School Board, Liberal (later Unionist) Member of Parliament, Privy Councillor. President Colston Society, a Governor of Clifton College, involved in foundation of University College. Lengthy obituary in WDP 12 September 1921. See BW(1) page 101, Leisure and the Changing City by Helen Meller (various references see index), At the Port of Bristol, Volume 1 by W.G. Neale page 90 and BCB(1) page 52. The last two references incorrectly describe him as President of Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association (see H.S. Wasbrough above). For more information

1878 Henry Gribble. Direector Bristol Port Railway & Pier Co. Member Anchor Society. Appointed (with EM Harwood) to supervise preliminary examination for legal profession in 1878. In partnership with John Whittington; Gribble’s brother-in-law, Samuel Salter Gouldsmith (see 1901), later joined the firm..

1879 Charles Bevan. In partnership with Charles Robert Hancock (see 1890). Solicitors to Daniel Sykes & Son, brewers, later part of Bristol United Breweries Ltd. Bevan was a major in the Bristol Volunteer Rifles Corps and may well have been in the contingent that marched over Clifton Suspension Bridge on the day it was opened in 1864. See BW(2) page 9.

1880 John Latham Press. A commercial lawyer. Associated with Bevan & Girling, then Inskip & Thomas, then Henry Brittan & Inskip. See BW(2) page 84.

1882 John Miller. Commissioner to take affidavits for the Irish courts and also a commissioner to take affidavits and examine witnesses for the courts of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South-West Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Cape Colony, Bengal and Bombay. Solicitor to the Bristol & West of England Trade Protection Society and the Great Western Colliery Company. Member of the Council of Bristol Law Society from 1871 until just before his death in 1910; his particular concern was the society’s library. His practice was taken over by Meade-King & Sons. For his obituary see WDP 4 October 1910. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/6.

1883 Edward Morcom Harwood. Deputy Coroner, President Grateful Society, officer in Bristol Volunteer Rifles. See BW(1) page 46 (photograph facing page 56). Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/7.

1884 Thomas Parr. Secretary and, later, president Dolphin Society, Clerk to Bristol Guardians, solicitor to and officer in Bristol Volunteer Artillery Corps, Chairman Kingswood & Parkfield Collieries Ltd. Practised as Vassall & Abbot – later amalgamated with Osborne & Ward. Father-in-law of Louis Charles Danger (see 1906). Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/8. See BW(1) page 59, BCB(1) page 130. For obituary see WDP 12 June 1905.

1885 Francis Fox Cartwright. Clerk of the Peace. President Grateful Society. Senior Partner Danger & Cartwright (with Louis Charles. Danger – see 1906). BCB (1) page 79.Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/9.

1886 Henry O’Brien O’Donoghue. Clerk to Long Ashton Magistrates, Bedminster Highways Board, Bedminster Guardians, Bedminster Tax Commissioners. Superintendent Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. Senior partner O’Donoghue & Forbes. See BW(2) page76. Obituary in WDP 18 January 1906.

1887 William Hurle Clarke. Diocesan Registrar, Probate Registrar & Registrar of Consistory Court. President Colston Parent Society. Senior partner Clarke & Co (after his death firm carried on by his brother and his nephew William Sefton Clarke – see 1915). See BW(2) page 22. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/10. Obituary in WDP 6 November 1906.

1888 Edward Arthur Harley. Registrar Bristol County Court & District Registrar High Court. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/11 and caricature in BTM 8 October 1924. See BW(1) page 111.

1889 Henry Herbert Meade-King. MA (probably the first graduate president). Partner Meade-King, Cooke, Wansey & John Miller. Photograph in BA ref 44687/BLS/IM/Ph/2/12. See BW(2) page 191.

Note:- Jack has given references in these two articles to sources held at the records office for anyone interested in doing their own research. The codes are as follows:-



Bristol 1898 – Contemporary Biographies Vol 1.(all entries include photographs) – in Bristol Reference Library               BCB (1)



Bristol 1898-9 – Contemporary Biographies Vol. 11. (all entries include photogtaphs) – in Bristol Reference Library            BCB (11)


Bristol Worthies 1st Series by A.B. Freeman (a few entries contain photographs) – in Bristol Reference Library                 BW (1)


Bristol Worthies 2nd Series by A.B. Freeman (a few entries contain photographs) – in Bristol Reference Library                BW (2)



Notable Bristolians 1931-2 Introduction by Charles Wells (all entries contain photographs) - in Bristol Reference Library                        NB


Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society – in Bristol Reference Library                                  TBGAS


Bristol Archives                                  BA


Western Daily Press                            WDP


Bristol Times & Mirror                       BTM


Bristol Mercury                                   BM