Home  »  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men  »  Lord Norbury

S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Lord Norbury

  • [John Toler, an Irish judge, celebrated for his power of repartee; born in Tipperary, 1745; solicitor-general, 1789; attorney-general, 1798; chief justice of the common pleas, 1800; raised to the Irish peerage; died 1831.]
  • Only a shilling to bury an attorney? Here’s a guinea: go and bury one and twenty of them.

  • When asked to contribute a shilling to bury a poor attorney.
  • During the trial of the Irish rebels, among whom was Emmet, Norbury gained the soubriquet of the “hanging judge,” from the celerity with which he tried and condemned prisoners to be hanged. When told that he was going on swimmingly, he replied, “Yes, seven knots an hour.” Curran made this reputation of Norbury for judicial severity the occasion of a famous pun. One day at dinner the judge said to Curran, that if that was hung beef before him, he would try it; to which the witty advocate rejoined, “If you try it, my lord, it is sure to be hung.”
  • When Daniel O’Connell said, during the trial of a case, that he feared the chief justice did not apprehend him, Norbury replied by alluding to the report that the Agitator had surrendered himself to avoid fighting a duel: “No one is more easily apprehended than Mr. O’Connell—whenever he wishes to be apprehended.”
  • Sir Jonah Barrington says of the judge, in his “Recollections,” “Lord Norbury had a hand for everybody, and a heart for nobody.”