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Alderson, Sir Edward Hall (bap. 1787, d. 1857), law reporter and judge, was baptized on 10 September 1787 at Great Yarmouth Presbyterian Old Meeting Chapel, the eldest son of Robert Alderson (d. 1833), barrister and recorder of Norwich, and his first wife, ...

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Annesley, Alexander (d. 1813), legal writer and political commentator, was a London solicitor and member of the Inner Temple. After many years' practice, by which he acquired a large fortune, he retired to Hyde Hall, Hertfordshire. Annesley—a man of many accomplishments—paid repeated visits to the continent and was an enthusiastic sportsman. In later life, though afflicted with gout, it was said that he 'drove four in hand at ...

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Anstruther, Sir Alexander (1769–1819), judge and legal writer, was born on 10 September 1769, the second son of Sir Robert Anstruther, third baronet (1733–1818), of Balcaskie, Fife, and his wife, Lady Janet Erskine (d. 1770), youngest daughter of the fifth earl of Kellie...

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Atkyns, John Tracy (1706–1773), law reporter, was born John Tracy at Lower Swell, Gloucestershire, on 10 January 1706, the second surviving son of John Tracy of Stanway, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Atkyns of Sapperton, Gloucestershire, chief baron of the ...

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Bacon, Mathew (b. c. 1700, d. in or before 1757), legal writer, was the second son of Edward Bacon of Rathkeny, co. Tipperary, Ireland. He was admitted to the Inner Temple on 27 May 1726, and to the Middle Temple on 21 June 1731. He was called to the bar on 24 November 1732. In 1731 he published anonymously the ...

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Balfour, Sir James, of Pittendreich (c. 1525–1583), politician and legal writer, was the eldest son of Sir Michael Balfour (d. 1577) of Mountquhanie in Fife, and Joneta Boswell. He may have been educated at St Andrews in 1539 or 1540, when he would have been about fifteen years old, and was at ...

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Ballow [Bellewe], Henry (1704?–1782), legal writer, was probably born on 3 May 1704 in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, the son of Henry Ballow and his wife, Dorothy. He was admitted a pensioner at Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 15 October 1720, and admitted to ...

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Barnardiston, Thomas (1706–1752), law reporter, was born at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, the eldest child and only surviving son of Thomas Barnardiston (b. 1677) of Wyverstone and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and his wife, Mary (c.1671–1728), daughter of Sir George Downing, ...

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Sir John Bayley, first baronet (1763–1841) by William Russell, c. 1808 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bayley, Sir John, first baronet (1763–1841), judge and legal writer, was born on 3 August 1763, at Elton, Huntingdonshire, the second son of John Bayley (d. 1790) of Abbots Ripton, whose ancestors had emigrated from Spanish Flanders in the seventeenth century, and his wife, ...

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George Joseph Bell (1770–1843) by Sir Henry Raeburn, 1816 in the collection of the Faculty of Advocates; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Bell, George Joseph (1770–1843), jurist and legal writer, was born on 26 March 1770 at Fountainbridge near Edinburgh, the third of the four sons of Revd William Bell (1704–1779), a Scottish Episcopal clergyman, and his wife, Margaret Morrice. His eldest brother, Robert Bell...

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Bellenden, Sir John, of Auchnoul [of Auchinoul] (d. 1576), judge and legal writer, was the eldest son of Thomas Bellenden of Auchinoul (d. 1546), director of the king's chancery and justice clerk; his mother's name is unknown. He had two brothers, Patrick Bellenden...

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Bendlowes, William (1516–1584), serjeant-at-law and law reporter, was the son of Christopher Bendlowes of Great Bardfield, Essex, and Elizabeth, daughter of John Rufford. He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge (c.1530), Thavies Inn, and Lincoln's Inn, where he was admitted in 1534 and called to the bar in 1539. In his early years at the bar he practised as an attorney of the ...

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Best, William Mawdesley (1809?–1869), legal writer, was probably born in December 1809 at Haddington, East Lothian, the elder of the two sons of Thomas Best (1784–1813), captain in the Cameronian regiment, and his wife, Anne Kearney, of Tuam, Ireland. After his father's death he was educated in ...

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Bever, Thomas (bap. 1725, d. 1791), lawyer and legal writer, was baptized at Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire, on 22 September 1725, one of at least two sons of Thomas Bever, whose family had owned land in the parish since the fifteenth century, and of ...

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Bingham, Peregrine (bap. 1788, d. 1864), legal writer and reformer, was baptized at Radclive, Buckinghamshire, on 19 April 1788, the eldest son of the Revd Peregrine Bingham (1754–1826) and his wife, Amy, née Bowles. He was educated at Winchester College and at Magdalen College, Oxford...

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Blackstone, Sir William (1723–1780), legal writer and judge, was born on 10 July 1723 in Cheapside, London, the third surviving but posthumous son of Charles Blackstone (d. 1723), a citizen silk mercer 'not of great Affluence' (Blackstone, Reports, iii), and his wife, ...

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Sir William Blackstone (1723–1780) by John Bacon senior, 1784 All Souls College, Oxford

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James Mew

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Bodkin, Sir William Henry (1791–1874), legal writer, the son of Peter Bodkin, descended from a well-established family in the county of Galway, was born at Islington on 4 August 1791. His mother was Sarah Gilbert of Lichfield. He was educated at the Islington Academy...