Budd, Frederic Gardner Orford (1904–76), barrister and judge, was born 11 April 1904 in Ennis, Co. Clare, second son of Samuel Duguid Budd, later chief officer of the Provincial Bank of Ireland, and Fanny Beatrice, the daughter of Dr Orford of Leicestershire. Samuel Budd had five children by his first marriage and during Gardner's childhood the family lived in Ennis, Waterford, and Cork before moving to Dublin. He was educated at the Manor School, Fermoy, then at Felsted, Essex, and at TCD (1921–7), from where he graduated BA (1925), in history and political science, LLB (1926), and LLD (1928). Called to the bar in 1927, he devilled with Paul McCarthy and quickly became the leader of the Leinster bar. He took silk in 1943 and became a bencher of the King's Inns in Trinity term 1951.
Budd was elected an independent senator for Dublin University in August 1951, but resigned his seat just a month later, in advance of his appointment in October as a judge of the high court. His many notable judgments included O'Donovan v. A.G. (1961), which held that the disparities under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1959 were repugnant to the constitution. This decision received international acclaim as an example of the judiciary enforcing the rule of law over the executive. In The Educational Company of Ireland v. Fitzpatrick (1961) Budd held that the provisions of the Trades Disputes Act (1906) could not be applied to coerce persons to join a union. After being elevated to the supreme court in 1966 he read the majority judgment in a number of leading constitutional cases, including Byrne v. Ireland (1972), which established that the state was as liable to be sued in tort as any private person, and the seminal case of McGee v. A.G. (1974), which established a general unenumerated constitutional right to privacy and authorised the private importation of contraceptives for personal use.
Budd was chairman of the bankruptcy law committee (1962–73), which published a comprehensive report on the law and practice concerning bankruptcy and the administration of insolvent estates of deceased persons. Renowned for his patience, politeness, and compassion, he was the only Church of Ireland member of the supreme court at that time and regarded himself as being ideologically on the left wing. He retired on 18 December 1975.
Budd was a member of the governing body of the Incorporated Society for the Promotion of Protestant Schools in Ireland and the General Synod and Representative Church Body of the Church of Ireland. During the second world war he joined the LDF and served with an anti-aircraft company based at Ringsend in Dublin. A family man, he was hospitable, charming, and witty. He read widely and greatly enjoyed the outdoor life; in his youth he was highly regarded as a sprinter.
On 11 August 1931 Budd married Oonah, the daughter of James Blennerhassett, merchant, and his wife, Selina (née Noble), of Sligo, with whom he had one son, Mr Justice Declan Budd, and three daughters. The family lived at 73 South Hill, Dartry, Dublin, and Magherabeg, Wicklow. Budd died 9 February 1976 in Dublin.