Kelly, Sir Fitzroy Edward
b. 1796-10-09
d. 1880-09-17
Fitzroy Edward Kelly was born 9 October 1796 in London, England. Fitzroy was educated privately, but showed advanced understanding at an early age. Through family connections, Kelly worked in various legal roles, before being called to the bar in 1824.1
Kelly's legal career was extremely lucrative, and it has been suggested that his earnings were second only to Roundell Palmer.2 Kelly practiced mostly commercial law, and often counseled the East India Company and the Bank of England. Then, in 1834 he was added to the King's Council, and appointed to the King's Bench the following year. In 1845, he was made solicitor general, in addition to being knighted. Finally, in 1866 Kelly was appointed as Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.3
Kelly's political career was less successful than his legal career. Kelly faced defeat twice in his attempt to represent Ipswitch in the House of Commons.4 Kelly later represented Cambridge in the 1843 election until 1847, and East Suffolk in the 1852 election. Although a Conservative politician, Kelly often advocated for non-partisan political reform. For example, Kelly often worked with Richard Bethell, a political opponent, on reform bills in the House Of Commons. Kelly was also against capital punishment, and advocated for reform of the legal appeal system.5
Kelly consulted Lytton in 1858 about the legality of appointing a Lieutenant Governor of British territory west of the Rocky Mountains, currently administered by the Hudson's Bay Company.6 Kelly concluded that it was legal and drafted a warrant for the appointment of James Douglas as the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. However, he stated that Parliament would have to pass an act extending the jurisdiction of the Crown, as had been done on Vancouver Island.7 Kelly was later consulted about the money owed to the HBC by the Vancouver Island government. Kelly concluded that the government owed the HBC money for establishment on the island for the purposes of further colonial development.8 Finally, Kelly was consulted about the situation of United States soldiers who had deserted the army and fled to Vancouver Island in 1858. Kelly stated the Douglas acted accordingly by refusing to return the soldiers to the US.9
In 1821, Kelly married Agnes Scarth. Scarth died in 1851, and Kelly married Ada Cunningham in 1856. Kelly's mind began to deteriorate toward the end of his career, and he became increasingly less active in public life.10 Kelly died 17 September 1880 in Brighton, England.
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