William John Law

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William John Law (1786–1869) was a British judge of the 19th century.


Law was born on December 6, 1786. His father, Ewan Law, second son of Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle, was Member of Parliament for Westbury, Wiltshire, 1790–5, for Newtown, Isle of Wight, 5 May to 29 June 1802, and died at Horsted, Sussex, 29 April 1829, having married, 28 June 1784, Henrietta Sarah, eldest daughter of Dr. William Markham, Archbishop of York; she died on August 15, 1844, aged 80.

The eldest son, William John, was educated at Westminster School, and matriculated, 16 May 1804, from Christ Church, Oxford, where he held a studentship until 1814. He took a university prize for Latin verse in 1807, a first class in the following year, graduated B.A. 1808, and proceeded M.A. 1810. On February 11, 1813 he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, and on the passing of Lord Eldon's Act in 1825 became one of the commissioners of bankruptcy. Subsequently he was appointed a commissioner of the court for the relief of insolvent debtors, and on August 1, 1853 promoted to be the chief commissioner. This court was abolished in 1861.

He was a hard-working and intelligent lawyer, possessed of a thorough practical mastery of the branch of justice which he administered for so many years. Though he was not a betting man, he knew the ‘Racing Calendar’ by heart, and never missed seeing the Epsom Derby. His fondness for...
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