Brady, Sir Francis William (1824–1909), judge, 2nd baronet, and founding member of the RIAM, was born in Dublin 22 July 1824, eldest son among two sons and three daughters of Sir Maziere Brady (qv), 1st baronet and Irish lord chancellor, and Elizabeth Ann Brady, daughter of Bever Buchanan of Dublin. Educated at University College, London, and the University of London, he graduated BA (1843) and was called to the Irish bar (1846). His father became lord chancellor the same year, probably because of the insistence of Daniel O'Connell (qv), bringing the young Francis into contact with many of the important people of the day. In 1857, and again in 1859, he unsuccessfully contested a seat in the city of Dublin as a liberal candidate. He became QC (1860) and served as chairman of quarter sessions first for King's County (1861–3), and then for Roscommon (1863–72), abandoning his political ambitions. He was also appointed crown prosecutor for Co. Cork, a position he held till his death; but the suspicion that his rise owed more to favouritism than ability damaged his career in the long term. At a meeting of the Statistical Society in Dublin (27 April 1860) Brady read a paper that attracted much attention, on the dangers of the ‘black list’, the published list of bankrupts and insolvents. With the passing of the county courts officers act he became a county court judge, serving in Co. Tyrone (1872–1908). Forced to choose between retaining his practice as a barrister or a sizeable pension, he sacrificed the latter to retain his lucrative position of crown prosecutor.
An amateur musician of some note, he composed numerous ensemble pieces. In 1856 he was part of the committee that set up the Irish Academy of Music (the title ‘Royal’ was granted in 1872) to advance the art and science of music in Ireland and provide the highest standard of training. A senior vice-president for many years, Brady was seen as the guiding spirit of the body. His father and his sister, Charlotte Westropp Brady, were both poets, and he collaborated with his sister on a collection of hymns entitled Christian songs (1894). He also wrote the lyrics for the popular song ‘In my wild mountain valley he sought me’ in Sir Julius Benedict's opera ‘The lily of Killarney’, but relinquished the copyright in return for a donation of £10 to the RIAM. Later he penned a paraphrased version of ‘Come back to Erin’, which was sung on the 1900 visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland.
Chairman of the boards of the South & West Clare railway, he was a member of the Garrick club in London, the Royal St George Yacht Club in Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire), and the St Stephen's Green Club in Dublin. At the time of his death he was one of the longest serving KCs, and second only to former vice-chancellor Hedges Eyre Chatterton at the Irish bar. He remained energetic and healthy till near his death, but went into a sharp decline after being knocked down in the street early in 1909; he died a few months later (26 August 1909). He was buried at Mount Jerome cemetery, and was succeeded as 3rd baronet by his nephew Lt-col. Robert Maziere Brady.
He married twice: first, Emily Elizabeth (d. 1891), daughter of the Rev. Samuel Kyle, bishop of Cork. They had two children: a daughter, Marion, and a son, Maziere Kyle. In 1892 he married Geraldine Kathleen, daughter of George W. Hatchell, MD; they had no children.