We are delighted that former BLS President and local legal historian Jack Lyes is producing a series giving information about past BLS Presidents. Here he looks at the Presidents from 1870 – 1890
1870 Charles Edward Ward. Clerk to Merchant Venturers. Partner Osborne Ward (later with Brooke Smith, Vassall & Parr).
1871 George Cooke. Evangelical Anglican. Patron of St. Maryleport. Son of Isaac Cooke. City Councillor (Clifton ward) 1855/1877).
1872 James Flower Fussell. Senior partner Savery & Clarke – later Fussell, Pritchard, Swann & Henderson (three partners connected to him by marriage).
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. Treasurer Bristol Dispensary. Committee member Bristol Royal Infirmary.
1875 Henry Sidney Wasbrough. Partner Stanley & Wasbrough. Coroner. Solicitor to Clifton College (with Alfred Cox). Secretary Bristol Law Library Society and Bristol Law Association; President Metropolitan & Provincial Law Association.
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.
1877 Lewis Fry. Grandson of founder of chocolate dynasty. Partner in Fry, Abbot, Pope & Brown. 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.
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.
1880 John Latham Press. A commercial lawyer. Associated with Bevan & Girling, then Inskip & Thomas, then Henry Brittan & Inskip.
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.
1883 Edward Morcom Harwood. Deputy Coroner, President Grateful Society, officer in Bristol Volunteer Rifles.
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).
1885 Francis Fox Cartwright. Clerk of the Peace. President Grateful Society. Senior Partner Danger & Cartwright (with Louis Charles. Danger – see 1906).
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.
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).
1888 Edward Arthur Harley. Registrar Bristol County Court & District Registrar High Court.
1889 Henry Herbert Meade-King. MA (probably the first graduate president). Partner Meade-King, Cooke, Wansey & John Miller.