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Sir George Edward Fitzroy Kelly (George Edward Fitzroy Kelly)

Sir George Edward Fitzroy Kelly

Solicitor General and Attorney General. Born in London, the son of Robert Hawke Kelly a captain in the Royal Navy. His mother was the novelist Isabella Kelly, daughter of Captain William Fordyce. In 1824, he was called to the bar by Lincoln’s Inn, having already gained a reputation as a skilled special pleader. In 1837 he again became member for that town. From 1843 to 1847 he was MP for Cambridge, and in 1852 was elected member for Harwich, but a vacancy suddenly occurring in East Suffolk, he preferred to contest that seat and was elected. Most of his legal cases were of a commercial nature, but one was one of the great criminal poisoning crimes of the early Victorian period. In March 1845 George defended John Tawell, the “Quaker” murderer. Tawell had poisoned his mistress, Sarah Hart, and fled from Salt Hill in Aylesbury by train. A description of Tawell was sent to London by electric telegraph and he was captured. George did the best for his client, but it was not the type of case to which he was accustomed. His argument that Sarah Hart had eaten too many pips (pits) of her apples and got poisoned by the prussic acid in the pips led to the nickname “Apple-pip” which followed him for the rest of his life. Despite his endeavors his client was found guilty and hanged. He was knighted in 1845 while he was a Solicitor-General, and again from February to December 1852, during which time he was junior to Attorney-General Sir Frederic Thesiger in the prosecution of John Henry Newman for libel, the Achilli trial. In 1858–1859 he was Attorney General in Lord Derby’s second administration. In 1866 he was raised to the bench as the last Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer and made a member of the Privy Council, entitling him to sit on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He died in Brighton, England at the age of 83. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Parents:  Isabella Fordyce Kelly Hedgeland (1759 – 1857)  Spouse:  Ann Kelly (1830 – 1874)* *Calculated relationship


  • October, 09, 1796


  • September, 09, 1880


  • Highgate Cemetery (West)
  • England

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