Edward Gibson – Lord Ashbourne

The first Lord Ashbourne, Edward Gibson, was one of the leading lawyers in Ireland before he embarked on his political career. He was the second son of William Gibson of Gaulstown, Meath. Born in 1837 at 22 Merrion Square, Dublin, he was  educated at Trinity College and was a Queens Counsel by profession; he was an MP for the Trinity College constituency from 1875 to 1885.

In 1885 he was raised to Lord Chancellor of Ireland and raised to the peerage. Most famously associated with land reform in Ireland, in particular the 1885 Ashbourne Land Act, which created a £5 million fund to allow tenants buy land by way of government loan repayable on a monthly basis over 48 years at an interest rate of 4% to buy their farms from landlords. On his appointment as Lord Chancellor Gibson was raised to the peerage as Lord Ashbourne of Ashbourne, County Meath. He took the name Lord Ashbourne, from where he was living at the time. The first Lord Ashbourne was a member of the Conservative Party and a devoted Unionist. Ashbourne remained Lord Chancellor of Ireland for 20 years except for the three-year period from 1892 when the Liberals under Gladstone returned to power.  He lived on Pembroke Street in Dublin, died in London and his ashes were interred in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin