Sir William Blackstone SL KC (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, judge and Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the Commentaries on the Laws of England. Born into a middle-class family in London, Blackstone was educated at Charterhouse School before matriculating at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1738. After switching to and completing a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, he was made a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford on 2 November 1743, admitted to Middle Temple and called to the Bar there in 1746. Following a slow start to his career as a barrister, Blackstone became heavily involved in university administration, becoming accountant, treasurer and bursar on 28 November 1746 and Senior Bursar in 1750. Blackstone is considered responsible for completing the Codrington Library and Warton Building, and simplifying the complex accounting system used by the college. On 3 July 1753 he formally gave up his practice as a barrister and instead embarked on a series of lectures on English law, the first of their kind. These were massively successful, earning him a total of £453 (£65,000 in 2018 terms), and led to the publication of An Analysis of the Laws of England in 1756, which repeatedly sold out and was used to preface his later works.
Based on Emery Walker's "Historical Portraits" (1909)
Includes portrait, short biography and links to various of Blackstone's works and links to selected quotations
First part of a four-part series examining how Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal affected federal courts and other legal practices; contrasts the thoughts of Blackstone and Bentham
Discusses the influence of Edward Coke and William Blackstone in early colonial America
Reviews the Supreme Court majority opinion in the decision of the Boumediene v. Bush case, holding that Guantanamo Bay detainees can use the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
To bereave a man of life ... would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.As the Court noted, Blackstone described the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 as the stable bulwark of our liberties.
Selection extracted from Commentaries on the Laws of England, vol. I
Partial contents: Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals - Of the King's Revenue - Of People, Whether Aliens, Denizens or Natives - Of Master and Servant - Of Husband and Wife - Of Parent and Child - Of Guardian and Ward - Of Corporations
- ISBN 0226055388: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 1979
Partial contents: Of Property in General - Of the Title to Things Real, in General - Of Title by Purchase, and First by Escheat - Of Title by Occupancy - Of Title by Forfeiture - Of Property in Things Personal - Of Title by Gift, Grant, and Contract
- ISBN 0226055418: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 1979
Partial contents: Of the Redress of Private Wrongs by the Mere Act of Parties - Of Courts in General - Of the Cognizance of Private Wrongs - Of Injuries to Personal Property - Of Trespass - Of Process - Of Pleading - Of the Trial by Jury
- ISBN 0226055434: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 1979
Partial contents: Of the Nature of Crimes, And Their Punishment - Of Principals and Accessories - Of High Treason - Of Offences Against the Persons of Individuals - Of Offenses Against Private Property - Of Arrests - Of Commitment and Bail - Of Process
- ISBN 0226055450: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 1979
The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "William Blackstone" as of 14 Mar 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.