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Adair, James (1743?–1798), judge and serjeant-at-law, whose place of birth remains unknown and whose date of birth is unconfirmed, was the first son of James Adair, a Belfast merchant, and Margaret Maxwell of co. Down where the younger Adair later inherited estates. While his early years remain somewhat obscure it is known that ...

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William Ballantine (1812–1887) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Ballantine, William (1812–1887), serjeant-at-law, was born in Howland Street, Tottenham Court Road, London, on 3 January 1812, the eldest son of William Ballantine (1778/9–1852). His father was called to the bar from the Inner Temple on 5 February 1813, was magistrate of the ...

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Barham, Nicholas (c. 1520–1577), serjeant-at-law, was born at Wadhurst, Sussex, the first son of Richard Barham of Wadhurst, and his wife, Alice Cradock. His was a branch of the Barham family of Teston House, Kent, which traced its descent from Robert of Barham...

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Bellasis, Edward (1800–1873), serjeant-at-law and Roman Catholic convert, the only son of the Revd George Bellasis of Queen's College, Oxford, rector of Yattendon and vicar of Basilden and Ashampstead, Berkshire, and his second wife, Leah Cooper, only surviving child and heir of Emery Viall...

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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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Thompson Cooper

revised by Catherine Pease-Watkin

Burke, Peter (1811–1881), serjeant-at-law, was born on 7 May 1811 in London, the eldest son of John Burke (1786–1848) of Elm Hall, co. Tipperary, the originator of Burke's Peerage, and his wife, Mary (1781–1846), daughter of Bernard O'Reilly of Ballymorris. His brother was ...

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Davy, William (d. 1780), serjeant-at-law, was the son and heir of William Davy (d. before 1741), druggist, of Exeter. Admitted to the Inner Temple on 16 October 1741, he was called to the bar in 1745. According to Lord Eldon's anecdotes he had originally begun in trade and had been made bankrupt, though it is possible that legend had confused the son with the father. ...

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Densell, John (d. 1536), serjeant-at-law, was the son of Remfry Densell and his wife, Katherine, daughter of John Skewys. He came of a Cornish family whose name derived from Densell or Denzil in the parish of Mawgan in Pydar. He was admitted to ...

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Alsager Vian

revised by Jonathan Harris

Frere, William (1775–1836), serjeant-at-law and college head, was born on 28 November 1775, the fourth son of the antiquary John Frere (1740–1807) of Roydon, Norfolk, and Jane, daughter of John Hookham of Beddington, Surrey. He was the younger brother of the diplomatist and author ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by Beth F. Wood

Gaselee, Stephen (1807–1883), serjeant-at-law, eldest son of Sir Stephen Gaselee (1762–1839), judge, and his wife, Henrietta, daughter of James Harris of the East India Company's Service, was born at 77 Upper Guilford Street, Russell Square, London, on 1 September 1807, and educated at ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Joanne Potier

Goulburn, Edward (1787–1868), serjeant-at-law, was the second son of Munbee Goulburn (d. 1793), of Amity Hall, co. Vere, Jamaica, and Portland Place, London (where Edward was born), and his wife, the Hon. Susannah Chetwynd (d. 1818), eldest daughter of William, fourth Viscount Chetwynd...

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Greene, John (1578–1653), serjeant-at-law, was the eldest son of Thomas Greene, a haberdasher on London Bridge and of Bois Hall, Navestock, Ongar, Essex, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Lawrence Greene of London. John probably matriculated from St John's College, Cambridge, taking his BA in 1599 and his MA in 1602, before entering ...

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Francis Watt

revised by Joanne Potier

Halcomb, John (1790–1852), serjeant-at-law, was the son of John Halcomb of Marlborough, a coach proprietor. He studied law in chambers with the future judges John Patteson and John Taylor Coleridge, and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in June 1823. He joined the ...

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Hawkins, William (1681/2–1750), serjeant-at-law, was one of at least four sons and one daughter of John Hawkins of London, barrister of the Inner Temple, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Edward Dewe of Islip, Oxfordshire. His father was said to be a descendant of ...

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Hetley [Hedley], Sir Thomas (c. 1570–1637), serjeant-at-law, was the eldest son of William Hetley of Brampton, Huntingdonshire, a tanner, and his wife, Janet, daughter of Percival Worme of Peterborough. After spending some time at Staple Inn, Hetley was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1587 and called to the bar in 1595. Though he was made an ancient of the inn in 1603, his early practice seems to have been centred on his locality; he was appointed to several commissions of sewers and remained on the commission of the peace for ...

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Leeds, Edward (bap. 1693, d. 1758), serjeant-at-law, was baptized at St Faith under St Paul, London, on 6 March 1693, the eldest son of Edward Leeds (1663×9–1729), citizen and mercer of London, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1718/19), daughter of Adam Woolley...

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J. A. Hamilton

revised by David Pugsley

Lens, John (1756–1825), serjeant-at-law, was born on 2 January 1756 in Norwich, son of John Lens, a well-known land agent in the city. He was educated first at a school in Norwich, and then by the Revd John Peele. In 1775 he matriculated at ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by Eric Metcalfe

Manning, James (1781–1866), barrister and serjeant-at-law, was the son of James Manning, Unitarian minister in Exeter, and his wife, Lydia, daughter of John Edge of Bristol. He acquired an early familiarity with history, antiquities, and European languages. He was called to the bar...

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Charles Welch

revised by Alec Brian Schofield

Merewether, Henry Alworth (1780/81–1864), serjeant-at-law, was the eldest son of Henry Merewether of Calne, Wiltshire. He was educated at Reading School under Dr Richard Valpy, was called to the bar at the Inner Temple on 5 May 1809, was created serjeant-at-law on 25 June 1827, and received a patent of precedence in 1832. He practised on the ...