Nolan was born in Dublin around 1760. He died in 1827, probably at his London home. Details of his early life are unknown, but his legal training probably also took place in Dublin and he was admitted an attorney to the Irish Court of the Exchequer around 1787. He then moved to England, and in 1792 was called to the English bar, establishing a practice at Lincoln's Inn. He established an early reputation as both practitioner and scholar, and in 1793 published Reports of Cases Relative to the Duty and Office of a Justice of the Peace, a manual for magistrates. He became a particular specialist in the poor laws, and was regarded by contemporaries as a great authority on the subject.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.