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Edward was the younger son of John Badeley M.D. and his wife, Charlotte née Brackenbury of Chelmsford. He graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford in 1823, took his MA in 1828 and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1841.
He started to practise on the home circuit but was attracted by ecclesiastical law. Badeley had met John Henry Newman in 1837 and become a follower soon after. He soon became associated with fellow Anglo-Catholic lawyers James Hope-Scott and Edward Bellasis in defending "Tractarianism".
In 1848 he appeared for the objectors to the appointment of Renn Dickson Hampden as Bishop of Hereford. In 1849, a commission had been established to review the prohibition of marriage with a deceased wife's sister, a practice that was to remain unlawful in the UK until the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907. Badeley made a submission, communicated by Edward Bouverie Pusey opposing any change in the law.
The Gorham judgment
Badeley appeared for Henry Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council when George Cornelius Gorham appealed against Phillpotts' refusal to confirm him in the benefice of Brampford Speke. The Privy Council overturned the Bishop's ruling, confirming Gorham in his living, and were seen to impose secular over canon authority, causing a great scandal in some quarters. In the summer of 1850, Badeley, Henry Manning and 12 other prominent Anglicans called upon the Church of England to repudiate the views that the Privy Council had expressed on baptism. There was no response from the Church and Badeley was one of many when he joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1852.
Badeley was assistant counsel to Sir Alexander Cockburn in Newman's defence when he was prosecuted for libel by Giacinto Achilli in 1852. Badeley frequently advised Newman on legal matters thereafter, advising that Newman reject Charles Kingsley's partial withdrawal of his satirical jibe that Newman cared little for truth and encouraging him to write the Apologia Pro Vita Sua in response.
Much of his later practice concerned trusts and charities. In 1865, in the Constance Kent case, he argued, against settled opinion, that the principle of priest-penitent privilege applied in English law.
He maintained a life-long friendship and correspondence with Hope-Scott and his family and Newman dedicated his Verses on Various Occasions to him as gratitude for his support in the Achilli trial. Badeley died at his chambers at 13 Paper Buildings in the Inner Temple.
- Badeley, E. (1850). Substance of a Speech delivered before the Juridical Committee of the Privy Council. London: John Murrai.
- Badeley, E. (1865). The Privilege of Religious Confessions in English Courts of Justice Considered, in a Letter to a Friend. London: Butterworths.
- Courtney, W. P. (2004) "Badeley, Edward Lowth (1803/4–1868)", rev. G. Martin Murphy, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, accessed 22 July 2007 (subscription required)