Local judges (1) - stipendiary magistrates and county court judges

Here are some details of those who held office at the Lambeth Street and Thames Police (Magistrates') Courts, and at Whitechapel County Court. It is interesting to compare them with the incumbents who held office locally, who were also 'Oxbridge men', some of them from quite grand families, with homes in the country, but did not have the generous stipends of the judges, and lived on their patch rather than in the West End. Cushioned from the rigours of life in the East End, how much understanding did they have of those who appeared before them? The best of them showed a degree of realism - and the worst of them exploited their position - but all were inevitably more aloof than the clergy.

Stipendiary magistrates - Lambeth Street and Thames Courts


Sir Daniel Williams
was the first presiding magistrate at the new court; his activities are considered here. He was was also a Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Tower Hamlets Militia. He lived in Stamford Hill. In 1824 a Parliamentary question was asked by Joseph Hume, MP for Aberdeen at the time, but for Middlesex from 1832-37, about his and other magistrates' use of discretionary powers under the new 1824 Vagrancy Act, following cases where a number of those accused of indecent exposure, some of them of 'good character', had been summarily committed to prison, with hard labour, without reference to the Home Secretary (as had previously been the norm) and without giving them proper opportunity to defend their reputations. (An exception was a case involving a n 'eminent prelate' who was granted bail.) It was claimed in reply that the new Act limited magistrates' powers in some respects, and needed time for its working to become established, but concerns remained about the removal of the supervision of their activities.
His namesake son Daniel served on HMS Agamemnon, and was taken prisoner: this letter of Horatio Nelson refers.

Rice Davies (born 1841, and appointed in 1792; he died at Neath, Glamorgan in 1818)) and Henry Reynott DD (a relative, Sir James Henry Reynott, was Governor of Jersey a generation later) were also magistrates at this time. 

Matthew Wyatt (1773-1831), also a magistrate in Roscommon, Ireland; his sons Thomas Henry and Matthew Digby were noted architects.

John Hardwick (1790-1875), whose father Thomas was an architect; a good linguist, BCL and DCL graduate of Balliol College Oxford,  barrister of Lincoln's Inn, he was appointed to Lambeth Street in 1821; elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1838, and a deputy lieutenant for Tower Hamlets. He transferred to Great Marlborough Street in 1841 and retired in 1856. His wife was the daughter of a colonel in the Swedish artillery. He died in Hove in 1875; The Times obituary noted the inflexible uprightness of his judgements and his extreme urbanity and courtesy of manner.

Thomas Walker (1784-1836), son of a Manchester cotton merchant (also Thomas) who led the Whig cause there and founded the Manchester Constitutional Society, and was accused but acquitted of treason. Thomas junior, of Trinity College Cambridge, called to the bar (Inner Temple) in 1812, took a special interest in poor law issues and published Observations on the Nature, Extent, and Effects of Pauperism, and on the Means of reducing it (1826 and 1831), and Suggestions for a Constitutional and Efficient Reform in Parochial Government (1834). Appointed to Lambeth Street in 1829, from 1835 until his death the following year (unmarried, in Brussels - there was a memorial plaque in St Mary Whitechapel) he published a weekly journal The Original, intended to raise the national tone in whatever concerns us socially or individually but mainly concerned with health and gastronomy: selections on 'The Art of Dining, and of attaining High Health', and  'Aristology, or the Art of Dining'  were republished in the coming years, with biographies of father and son.

The Hon George Chapple Norton (1800-75): grandson of Baron Grantley, who was nicknamed 'Sir Bull-face Double Fee' because of his success in geting government legal appointments, and son of the well-paid Baron of the Exchequer in Scotland, he attended Edinburgh University but does not appear to have graduated. Through family connections, he became Tory MP for Guildford 1826-30, voting mainly with the party line. Appointed Recorder of Guildford, his Whitechapel magistracy (with a salary of £1,000) debarred him from standing again for Parliament. This post was fixed by his wife Caroline [right, by George Hayer 1832], daughter of the playwright Sheridan, and herself a considerable writer  - with Lord Melbourne, the Home Secretary. Not only was she from a family with Whig connections, but also mistress of widower and philanderer Melbourne. Norton, although he protested undying love for his childhood sweetheart, was in fact an appallingly violent and abusive husband; they separated three times, but she returned for the children's sake. Norton sued Melbourne, who had become Prime Minister, in attempt to achieve a divorce. Melbourne was acquitted, but many rash words were spoken by all parties and no-one emerged smelling of roses. Dickens drew on the case - and the farcical way the lovers' correspondence was treated in court - for his Pickwick Papers. Norton then exonerated his wife in an attempt to win her back, and thereafter denied her a divorce; further washing of dirty linen followed, and she became a campaigner for women's matrimonial rights in marriage - leading to the Custody of Infants Act 1839, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 and the Married Women's Property Act 1870. Nevertheless, he continued to hold his magistracy, now sitting at Lambeth, until he retired because of 'failing health' in 1867, with pension, after 36 years on the bench.

Sir Thomas Henry (1807-76 - right): an Irish Roman Catholic, graduate of Trinity College Dublin, called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1829, and after working on the northern circuit was appointed to Lambeth Street in 1840, transferring in 1846 to Bow Street, where he became chief magistrate. He was a principal architect of the 1862 Extradition Act, and was a government adviser on licensing (theatres and pubs), betting, and Sunday trading.

(at East Arbour Street from 1844)

Five of the following justices were appointed from the Oxford circuit.

Edward Yardley (1846-60)

The eldest son Edward Yardley of Shrewsbury, he was born in Paley, Shropshire in 1804. After Shrewsbury School, he went to Magdalen College Cambridge, where he was the 40th and last wrangler and a Fellow from 1830-2; in that year he married Elizabeth Taylor of Everley, near Scarborough. Admitted to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1834, he was appointed a stipendiary magistrate in 1846, moving four years later to Marylebone to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Isaac O. Seeker. (There he was a member of the parish vestry, and became embroiled in a long-standing antipathy with the assistant overseer of poor relief.) It is said that his decisions on river law were scarcely ever challenged: one example of this jurisdiction is his involvement in 1856 over the collision of the Josephine Willis and the Mangerton steamer. He gave evidence to the Select Committee on Poor Law Relief in 1861.

He was the elder brother of Sir William Yardley (1810-78), of the Middle Temple, who was made a puisne judge of the Bombay supreme court in 1847, was knighted, and became chief justice 1852-58; on his return to England he was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate, and died in 1878. And he was the father of Edward, also of the Middle Temple, who practised for a time in Bombay alongside his uncle (and was clerk of the insolvent debtors' court). It was to the son, rather than the father (contrary to the claims of one source) that Charles Dickens wrote in 1868, acknowledging the receipt of a package of books, since Edward died at his home at 8 Blandford Square in 1866 after a long illness.

Henry Selfe Selfe
[sic] 1856-63

Born at Rose Hill, near Worcester, in 1810, he changed his surname from Page to inherit his maternal grandmother's property at Trowbridge, Wiltshire. He studied at Glasgow University and was called to the Bar in 1834, practising on the Oxford circuit and the Parliamentary Bar until his appointment to the Thames Court in 1856. Here he was associated with Colonel ffrench and Aspinall Turner on the Weedon Commision inquiring into the state of the Army Clothing Department and defalcations in war stores sent to the Crimea. He transferred to the Westminster Court in 1863 until his death in 1870, from chronic gout. He was said to be astute and fair-minded, leavening his judgements with common sense and wit. He was a governor of Rugby School.
In 1840 he married Anna Maria, eldest daughter of William Spooner, Archdeacon of Coventry and Rector of Elmdon, near Rugby; her sister married Archibald Tait, who was Bishop of London at the time of the Ritualism Riots at St George-in-the-East and later became became Archbishop of Canterbury. They lived at 15 St George's Square [West, rather than East, End!] and had three daughters and four sons (one of whom, Sir William Lucius Selfe (1845-1924) became a county court judge and was for a time the principal Secretary to Lord Cairns, the Lord Chancellor).

Selfe was active in the Canterbury Association, promoting settlement to New Zealand (where another son, James, went to live; another relative, Charles Henry Selfe Matthews (1873-1961), was a priest serving with the Bush Brotherhood in Australia in the early years of the next century). Right  is a presentation casket from Lord Lyttleton of 1854. He used his contacts and knowledge of the principal settlers to help the colony get established. He became honorary London agent for the Provincial Government, but resigned in 1866 because he felt compromised by misinformation about a railway loan, whereupon he was given an honorarium of £500 by the government, with which he bought a plot of 100 acres at Heathcote, travelling out to Canterbury with Lord Lyttleton in 1866-67. He was a director of the London Board of the New Zealand Trust and Loan Company. He had hoped to be appointed to a judgeship there, and there is much correspondence on the matter, but Henry Barnes Gresson was appointed instead.

Like Lord Lyttleton (who was president of the British Chess Association), he was a chess player, and involved in the establishment and running of the Westminster Chess Club, formed in the 1860s when the Cigar Divan was converted into a dining room. A correspondent of 1873 to the Westminster Papers comments
... The Divan was thirty years old. It was known to and visited by all the Chess world. It was one of the sights of London, and the admission was but sixpence. The establishment was well conducted, and the members behaved as gentlemen. The Divan being converted into a Dining room, and the Chess room provided in its place not giving the accommodation that the Chess players expected, they resolved to start a Club. The starting a Club necessitated Whist, and Whist, containing the element gambling, smothered Chess; so much so that, unless an effort of some sort be made to revive Chess, the Club as a Chess Club will cease to exist. I am not at all sure that it is advisable to attempt this revival, because, with all deference to such as you who support Chess with your purse and brains, the professional Chess players have been much too pampered ever to have a healthy existence. I think it would be much better to let Chess alone until the Chess players find their own level. The Club still has amongst its members some of our most brilliant players; but as my letter is for the Whist department, I daresay you will think I have said more than enough on this subject ... [Left is an 1855 illustration of Lyttleton and other chess players.]
See here for a chess champion who was curate at St George-in-the-East in 1866. Lord Lyttleton committed suicide in 1876 following bouts of insanity.

Edmund Humphr(e)y Woolrych (1862-64)
The eldest son of Josiah Woolrych and an Italian mother, of Monastier, in Lombardy, and from a family which produced several lawyers (a relative Humphry William Woolrych was a Serjeant-at-Law and a prolific writer of legal textbooks), he was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1839. Prior to his appointment as a magistrate, he played a key role in the early years of the Metropolitan Board of Works, created by Sir Benjamin Hall's Metropolis Local Management Act of 1855 (later revised). It started with a staff of about 50 and an annual wage bill of £25,000, but this increased markedly. The Board itself had 45 members, elected from the various vestries (unpaid), and was efficiently chaired for fifteen years by Sir John Thwaites, a Strict and Particular Baptist from Westmorland but who had adapted to 'London ways' (and was paid, something between £1000 and £2000 a year), and had an outstanding engineer in the famous Joseph Bazalgette. But - partly because (although its offices were at the former Commissioners of Sewers premises in Greek Street) its meetings were held in the Guildhall, with many members of the public in the gallery - the workings of what was variously dubbed the 'Senate of Sewers', 'Parliament of Parishes' or 'Metropolitan Board of Words' tended to be long-winded; and it later became open to charges of corruption.  Woolrych was one of 22 candidates for the post of clerk - he had been secretary to the extinct Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers; regarded as a 'City man', but was, in the view of one commentator, a clerk of signal ability, who read his minutes with dispatch and paid close attention to debates. Within four years he proposed that he should be appointed Legal Adviser and Standing Counsel, and despite protests, this was done, at a salary of £800. He had a point: drainage and street improvement schemes were mounting in number and complexity, and when he moved on in 1861 the Metropolitan Board of Works created a separate legal department, headed by a solicitor. See further David Edward Owen
The Government of Victorian London, 1855-1889: The Metropolitan Board of Works, the Vestries, and the City Corporation (Harvard 1982), and Woolrych's own work The Metropolis Local Management Acts, with introduction, notes and an appendix, containing statues incorporated with the Metropolis Local Management Act 1855 or relating to the functions fo the boards and vestries thereby constituted (Shaw & Sons 1863).
He moved on to the Southwark court (and was replaced here by John Paget) -  giving evidence on the Sale of Liquors on Sunday Bill 1868 - and then to Westminster; on leaving that post in 1880 he was made a JP for Middlesex.

William Partridge (1863-69)
Born in 1818, the eldest son of John Partridge of Bishop's Wood, Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, he attended Winchester College and was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1843 (though previously studied at Lincoln's Inn). Two years earlier
he married Elizabeth Emily Webb, daughter of a Herefordshire magistrate. He worked on the Oxford circuit before appointment as a stipendiary magistrate in Wolverhampton in 1860, and tranferred to the Thames Court in 1863. He moved on to Southwark, and then Marylebone; the illustration right is from the year of his death, 1891. Their London home was at 49 Gloucester Place, Hyde Park (his club was the Oxford & Cambridge), and in Hereford at Wyelands (a large house built in the 1820s), near Ross on Wye. He was a director of the Ross and Monmouth Railway, opened in 1873. His eldest son Richard William was a barrister of the Middle Temple, and a grandson R. Cecil Partridge became manager of the Central London Railway, aka the 'twopenny tube', which soon after became part of the Central Line.

John Paget (1864-??)
Born in 1811 in Humberstone, Leicestershire, he was the son of banker (Pares, Paget & Co in Leicester) and Whig (Liberal) politician Thomas Paget, who was the first Mayor of the reformed Coropration of Leicester and briefly MP for the county before the constituency was divided in 1832. Another son Thomas Tertius - with whom he
had a bitter feud over their father's substantial estate - and John's own son Thomas Guy (heir of his childless uncle Thomas Tertius) also served as Leicestershire MPs. John wrote some election material in support of his father's activities.The family were of Huguenot origin, descended from Valerian Paget who fled to England after the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France in 1572. In 1834 John married Elizabeth Rathbone, from a Liverpool Unitarian family active in social reform - her brother and his daughter were both MPs. He joined the Reform Club when it was founded in 1836, and was a member of its library committee for 24 years and chairman from 1861-65. He was called to the Bar in 1838 and served as secretary to Lord Chancellors Truro and Cranworth from 1850-55, becoming a stipendiary magistrate in 1864, succeeding John Paget when he transferred to Southwark.
Living at some points in and around Euston Square, but mainly at 23 The Boltons in West Brompton, John and Elizabeth had a son and two daughters, one of whom was Dame Mary Rosalind Paget (1855-1948), a nursing sister and campaigner for midwifery registration and reform [which began with the 1902 Midwives Act], who was the first Superintendent, later Inspector General, of the Queen's Jubilee Institute for District Nursing at the London Hospital. He died in 1898.
There is more about the family's political involvement in the second half of this paper by R.H. Evans, including discussion of a letter from John to Guy.

From 1860-88 he wrote regularly for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. His articles criticizing Macaulay's views of Marlborough, the massacre of Glencoe, the highlands of Scotland, Claverhouse, and William Penn, were reprinted as The New Examen (1861). Other articles on a wide range of topics, including Nelson, Byron, well-known legal cases, and art, appeared as Paradoxes and Puzzles: Historical, Judicial, and Literary (1874). He was also a skilful draughtsman, and his illustrations to Edward Fordham Flower's Bits and Bearing-Reins (1875) helped to show the cruelty to horses caused by this method of harnessing [example right]. The Pagets moved in artistic circles, and Elizabeth's collection of family papers (now in the National Archive) includes letters to and from well-known artists of the day.

Following the publication of James Greenwood A Night in the Workhouse in the Pall Mall Gazette (1866) and associated dramas, there was a spate of prurient middle class fascination with workhouse life and its 'hideous enjoyments', and two cases of people who had presented themselves at workhouses but had money in their pockets (in breach of the rules) came to court. In the first, which he claimed was a drunken spree, David Greenall was released from Marlborough Street Police Court with a severe caution; but in the second, heard by Paget at the Thames Police Court, a woman ostentatiously arrived by cab at the Mile End Workhouse demanded lodging in the casual ward, claiming that the Poor Law Board regulations required them to take in all who claimed admission. She was found to have 17s 7½d on her; and Paget sentenced her to a month's hard labour in prison, exciting much press comment. (
She does not appear to have been a serious investigator of conditions, unlike the 'destitute but once respectable' widow hired by medical reformer Dr J.H. Stallard that same year to report on her findings at four casual wards, including St George-in-the-East and Whitechapel, which she did without titillation, but with terror of the ubiquitous vermin, and convinced that cholera was generated every night - text here.)

But the previous year, according to Punch, he had been very kind as usual, and only bade her move on, when a well dressed young woman was charged with being tipsy and incapable of taking care of herself:
The prisoner, who was attired in hat and feathers, a lace veil of fine texture, a Paisley shawl worth at least four guineas, and a superb flounced black silk dress said the unfortunate condition she was in was all owing to the Underground Railway.
Mr Paget: What do you mean?
The Prisoner said she paid a visit to her brother and his wife yesterday at Paddington and proceeded there and back by the Underground Railway, which had such an effect upon her that sho became insensible.
Mr Paget: You were intoxicated.
Prisoner: Yes, I had one glass of gin, no more, after leaving the Underground Railway. I will never take any more.
Mr Paget: What are you?
Prisoner: A policeman's wife. He has been twenty years in the force. Oh, Sir, it is all owing to the Underground Railway [Laughter].

A case where he sought to be helpful was reported in the Shipping Gazette, July 29, 1864:
George La Pierre, a seaman, came before Mr. Paget, at the Thames Police Court, on Thursday, for redress under very singular circumstances. He went out in the English ship Universe to New York. One day he went on shore in New York with the third mate, who got tipsy and made a noise. He was leading the third mate along with the intention of returning to their ship when the Police interfered, and took the third mate into custody and locked him up for making a noise. At the same time several runners and crimps attacked him and beat him, and having overpowered him took him to a house where they kept him a close prisoner all night, and in the morning forced him on board the American ship Caroline Nasmyth. He was compelled to remain on board by the Captain and chief mate, to whom he represented that he was the boatswain of the Universe, was afflicted with a bad leg, and unable to do any hard work. The Captain said he did not care about his leg, and that all he wanted was his body; that he had paid men to bring him on board, and that he must work on the voyage to England. He arrived in the Victoria Dock on Wednesday, and asked for wages for his services. The Captain refused to pay him anything, and he had now come on shore to seek redress and compensation for a gross act of injustice and oppression.
Mr. Paget asked the applicant if he had signed any articles of agreement on board the Caroline Nasmyth, to which he answered in the negative, and said he had no other clothes but what he stood upright in. He came across the Atlantic Ocean without a change of clothes and linen. In answer to further questions by the magistrate, the applicant said all his clothes were on board the Universe, which had arrived at Liverpool. His wife had applied for his chest, hammock, and clothing on board the Universe, at Liverpool, and the reply of the Captain was that he knew nothing about them. Mr. Paget could not help thinking it was a very hard case on the man. He was afraid he could not interfere in the matter. If the Caroline Nasmyth was an English ship he would grant a summons for wages. He had no jurisdiction over American ships. With regard to the clothes on board the Universe he would recommend La Pierre to write to his wife at Liverpool and direct her to apply to Mr. Raffles, the stipendiary magistrate there, who would render every possible assistance. The Applicant: What am I to do here? I have no means of living, and no money. Mr. Paget advised the seaman to wait on the American Consul and represent his grievances to him. The seaman then left, and at 5 o'clock returned and said the American Consul refused to give him any redress, and only laughed at him. The consul threatened to have him arrested and sent back to the Caroline Nasmyth again. Mr. Paget said that could not be done, and he would take care the sailor was not arrested or kidnapped in his own country. He directed Howland, a police constable, No. 89 H, who is attached to the court, to take charge of the seaman, to provide him with food and a lodging, and to make very particular inquiries into all the circumstances of the case, and report to him the result. The applicant then left with the officer.

Ralph Augustus Benson (?1867-69)
Born in Hanley in 1828, son of Moses George Benson of Lutwyche Hall, near Wenlock (the family home from the start of the 19th century - left), whose grandfather Moses was a Liverpool merchant, probably involved in the slave trade, and whose father Ralph was MP for Stafford. His mother Charlotte Riou Browne was a descendant, several generations back, of Mathieu Riou, member of the protestant congregation of Vernoux in eastern France. Ralph studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and was admitted to the Bar, practising in the Oxford circuit. He stood unsuccessfully as a Tory candidate for the Wrekin Division of Shropshire, and also for Reading..

In 1867 he refused to make a conviction based on the evidence of a ten-year old girl, although it was given in a very clear and straightforward manner, and with an appearance of great truth, since it was uncorroborated, and a second girl who was present had not come forward, despite the case being twice adjourned; furthermore, he had before him the character witness of the incumbent of a large parish, who had known the prisoner five years, and spoke of him as a well conducted, respectable, and moral man. Recognising that his action might be regarded as controversial (because the evidence of a single witness was normally sufficient), he said he hoped he was not doing wrong in the step he was about to adopt. Punch commented favourably on this remark: The really worthy Magistrate may make up his mind on that point. He was not doing wrong in refusing to convict on evidence which, whether true or false, was insufficient. He was doing right. In so doing he certainly did what was, as aforesaid, a very extraordinary thing, but will be, let us hope, in good time an ordinary thing, as it will whenever Magistrates in general get accustomed invariably to weigh evidence by the standard of reason and justice. Mr Benson has shown them how to use the scales.

In 1869, according to the Daily News and The Times, Constable William Smith was dismissed from the force and sentenced by Benson to a month's hard labour for using excessive force in protecting a woman abused by her husband - John Stuart Mill noted this case in correspondence.Benson was transferred to Southwark (working alongside William Partridge) on the appointment of Sir Franklin Lushington.

He married Henrietta Cockerell in 1860 and they had three sons and two daughters, to one of whom, at St Peter Easthope in Shropshire (the local church of Lutwyche Hall, rebuilt in Arts and Crafts style after a fire in 1928)), there is a window in the chancel of 1933 [right] by the famous firm of Kempe (which closed the following year): In honour of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Martyrs, and of His Apostle St. Philip who suffered martyrdom on the Cross, this window is dedicated as a memorial to Philippa Jessie, daughter of Ralph Augustus Benson of Lutwyche, by George Reginald Benson. A.D. mcmxxxiii.
was a member of Marylebone Cricket Club: his 'career' details are here. He contracted smallpox in 1871 but recovered, living until 1886 when he died in Marylebone.

Sir Franklin Lushington (1869-90)
Franklin (1822-1901) was the fourth son of the 13 children of the Hon Edmund Henry Lushington, who among other judicial posts was puisne judge of the Court of Ceylon (and whose father was a well-known barrister). There were other lawyers in the family, but ironically his older brother Edmund (1811-93), who was given the middle name 'Law', was not one of them - he became a Professor of Greek and Rector of Glasgow University. Franklin was named for a distinguished naval captain ancestor of the previous century. He was a pupil of Thomas Arnold at Rugby - one of the last, along with the Dean of Westminster, to survive into the 20th century. After Trinity College Cambridge, where he held scholarships and was a medal-winner, graduating in 1846. he was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1853.  A spell in the diplomatic service brought him an appointment from 1855-58 to the Supreme Council of Justice of the Ionian Islands which were under British rule from 1815-62 - Bulmer Lytton, Secretary of State for the Colonies, appointed him; Sir George Bowen was the Governor; and Gladstone was for a time the High Commissioner, who recommended that rule of the islands should be returned to Greece. Like other lawyers, he did not feel specifically called to 'serve' abroad, and not keen to leave home, but it is necessary to have some definite work to do in place of the prospect of spending the best years of one's life at home doing little or nothing - a prospect common to most pursuers of the English bar at the present (1855, to Whiiliam Whewell).

In 1869 he became a metropolitan magistrate, with the Thames Police Court as his first appointment, where he sat until 1890 (on a stipend of £1500 a year), when he was transferred to Bow Street (the Central Criminal Court), becoming chief magistrate - and knighted - in 1899 until his sudden death two years later. He was described as quiet and severe, and as fair and impartialThe Sketch said he would be remembered for his capacity for giving the closest attention to every case, trivial as some might be, and for a uniform kindliness towards all. [Right is his gravestone, at St Mary Boxley, near Maidstone - Park House was the family home.]

An example of a 'trivial' case was a dispute in 1877 between members of a group known as the 'Social Trumps' - settle it among yourselves, he told them. But he was involved in many high-profile criminal trials - including, at the time of his death, the prosecution of Dr Frederick Edward Trangott Krause on charges of high treason and incitement to murder, in relation to the Boer War.

He was jealous of the reputation of the police: Sir Leslie 'Spy' Ward (the caricaturist of Vanity Fair - image left, 1899) provided the strapline 'He Believes in the Police'. When evidence conflicted, he almost invariably accepted the police version, once remarking I have had occasion for many years to listen closely to evidence given by ihe police concerning the persons they are brought into contact with. As compared with, other witnesses they are, in nine cases out of ten, least likely to have made a mistake, for it is part of their duty to cultivate a habit of observation. But there were occasions when he dealt harshly with police defaulters.

His private life has been subject to some speculation. In 1848/49, when he was in Malta (where his brother Henry was Government Secretary) he met Edward Lear [right]; they toured southern Greece together, and Lear developed an intense passion for him, though wrote to his sister Anne in somewhat more guarded terms: My companion is Mr. F. Lushington a very amiable & talented man – to travel with who is a great advantage to me as well as a pleasure. When Lushington went to the Ionian Islands Lear joined him, making his home in Corfu, remaining there for many years (together with his servant Giorgio Kokali) as he toured the Mediterranean. (An aside: in Cannes Lear met old Harrovian, and forthright advocate of male intimacy, John Addington Symonds, for whose daughter Janet he wrote The Owl and the Pussycat. Some say Symonds was implicated in the non-preferment of Harrow's headmaster, brother of the vicar of St Mark Whitechapel - more details here. Symonds was also a friend from student days of Judge Cluer of Whitechapel County Court).

On Lear's last trip to England in 1880 he stayed with the Lushingtons at their home at 33 Norfolk Square 9near Paddington Station), where he put on an exhibition of his works. Lushington and others continued to visit Lear at his Italian home in San Remo until his death in 1888, when Lushington wrote to Mrs Charles Street  he has always been the most charming & delightful of friends to me; & apart from all his various qualities of genius, I have never known a man who deserved more love for his goodness of heart & his determination to do right; & I don’t think any human being knew him better than I did. There never was a more generous or more unselfish soul. He was the executor of Lear's estate - all his papers and paintings were left to him, and the proceeds from the sale of Villa Emily, or Tennyson [named for the poet's wife] in San Remo and its contents were left to Franklin's eldest daughter Luoisa Gertrude. He wrote the entry on Lear (and others) which appeared in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

Was Lear's passion for Franklin Lushington ever reciprocated? Though they remained friends for over forty years, the consensus is a fairly firm 'no' - which was a source of torment to Lear, whose other relationships were also fraught. Lushington had married Kate, a clergyman's daughter, in 1862, and as noted above they had a family (their out-of-town home was at Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells - in a house named 'Templechurch'). Yet he is listed in Keith Stern Queers in History: The Comprehensive Enclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (2013), with an inconclusive entry.

In 1855, at the time of the Crimean War, he published a slim book of verse Wagers of Battle, writen by himself and his brother Henry. Henry was a close friend of the poet Tennyson - who wrote of him Three men have I loved, and / Thou art the last of the three - and a member of the Cambridge Apostles. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, called to the Bar but not in regular practice because of delicate health; appointed by Lord Grey as chief secretary of the government of Malta, he was engaged in many issues - police policy, law reform, education, and internal relgious and other conflicts; he took a keen interest in the revolutionary movements of 1848 and was symathetic to the French Republic, Italian Risorgimento and Hungarian nationalism. He fell ill after seven years there and died in Paris in 1855, Franklin rushing from Corfu to be with him. The book was republished, with additions, in 1899. Here is an extract from one of the later poems, of dubious poetic but undoubted patriotic merit:

  Prayers—for strength to defend the right, through drifts of doubt, In trouble and stress,
  Prayers—for wisdom to guide the helm—prayers for His grace to govern and bless:
  Thanks—for valour of daughter nations, happy to press where their mother strives,
  Eager to aid her, eager to shield her, loyally lending love and lives.
  Hail, Australia! welcome, Canada! Greater Britain all round the wave,
  Fight one fight and carry one banner, plant it firm on tyranny's grave.
  Weld our kinship Into Empire—Empire based on the one true plan,
  Freemen's rights and freemen's Justice broadening still between man and man.
  Honestly wrought for, fearlessly fought for, spreading o'er land and spread aver sea,
  Empire—born of a stern death-struggle, christened in blood of the brave and the free.

He contributed to journals on various subjects:
Other Lushingtons were politicians, civil servants (including Privy Councillors) and had naval careers.

Whitechapel County Court: Judges Manning, Riddell, Bacon, Cluer

James Manning - 1847-63

Serjeant James Manning (1781-1866) was appointed the first judge of the new court. Son of James Manning, a Unitarian minister in Exeter, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1817. Like others mentioned on these pages, he served as a 'revising barrister' of electoral rolls, and the outcome of his proceedings for Newport, Isle of Wight in 1832 were published, with 'explanatory remarks' on that year's Reform Act, four years later by his nephew William Montagu Manning, also of Lincoln's Inn [who later became KCMG LLD, an Australian judge, politician and chancellor of Sydney University).
He was appointed Recorder of Sudbury from 1835 and of Oxford and Banbury from 1836, continuing to hold these offices when he was appointed to the Whitechapel post in 1847. His wife Clarissa, whom he married in 1820, died that year; ten years later he married a widow, Charlotte; they lived in Sussex Gardens (near Paddington Station) and were childless.
The title 'Serjeant', granted in 1840 was an ancient one - he published a work in that year
Serviens ad Legem: a Report of Proceedings … in relation to a Warrant for the Suppression of the Antient Privileges of the Serjeants-at-Law - and he received a 'Patent of Precedence' in 1845, becoming 'Queen's Serjeant' the following year; this in theory entitled him to attend the House of Lords, but not to vote. He was a scholar rather than an orator, who edited law reports - A Digested Index to the Nisi Prius Reports of T. Peake, I. Espinasse, and Lord Campbell, with Notes and References (1813); The Practice of the Exchequer of Pleas, Appendix (1816); A Digest of the Nisi Prius Reports, with Notes and References (1820); with Archer Ryland (one of the 'City Pleaders'), 5 volumes of Reports of Cases in Court of King's Bench 1828–37 and with T. C. Granger and J. Scott 9 volumes of Common Bench Reports 1846–57, and  with T.C. Grainger 7 volumes of Cases in the court of Common Pleas 1841-46. Also The Practice of the Court of Exchequer, Revenue Branch, with an appendix containing an inquiry into the tenure of the conventionary estates in Cornwall (1827); and Observations on the Debate to make lawful Marriages within certain of the Prohibited Degrees of Affinity (1854) - an issue that excited churchmen at that time.

He retired in 1863 on an annual pension of £700; two further publications were the recondite An Inquiry into the Character and Origin of the Possessive Augment in English and in cognate Dialects (1864) - Journal of the Marican Oriental Society vol 9 includes this review:
The paper of Prof. Hindley was a review of an essay on 'The English Possessive Augment', by Serjeant James Manning of Oxford, Eng., published in the Transactions of the Philological Society (London 1864). Mr Manning holds that the Anglo-Saxon genitive was given up in the 13th century, and its place supplied by of with the accusative; but that for the possessive relation, a special form was then introduced, such as 'father his book', 'mother his gown',  'children his plaything', which gradually passed into 'father's book', 'mother's gown', 'children's plaything'. Against the common view, which identifies the s of our possessive with that of the A.-S. genitive, he urges that the latter was not applied to feminines and plurals, and that it was used for many relations which are not expressed by our possessive. But Prof. Hadley referred to examples of grammatical forms (as the s of plural nouns in French and Spanish) extended to classes of words that once excluded them, and of forms (as the Latin perfect indicative active in all Romance languages) restricted in the range of meanings that once belonged to them. He examined the constructions of our possessive which Mr. Manning regards as inconsistent with its genitive origin. In 'Cæsar's crossing the Rubicon' we have only the ordinary use of a genitive to denote the subject of an action. In 'John and Walter's house' the possessive s is added to 'John and Walter' taken as a complex whole; compare eth in 'three-and-twentieth'. The same explanation applies to 'King of England's crown': compare ism in 'Church-of-England-ism'. In 'a servant of my brother's', Lowth regarded 'brother's' as depending on 'servants' understood—an explanation which fails for 'that wife of my brother's': it is better to regard the genitive here as dependent on a general idea of 'belongings', 'that which belongs', the same idea which is evidently understood in 'all mine is my brother's'. Positive arguments for his own view Mr. Manning draws from the popular dialects of modern Germany, and from the usage of Semi-Saxon and early English writers. But while the common German says 'des Vaters sein Buch', he says 'der Mutter ihr Kleid': if our English possessive were of the same nature, we should have, not 'mother his gown' (according to Mr. M.'s theory) but 'mother her gown'. That the Gothic reflexive seins and the Latin reflexive suus mean her and their as well as his, proves, at most only a possibility that his]might be so used in place of her: that it was actually and currently used in this way, there is no sufficient reason for believing. In almost every instance where it seems to be used, his refers to a word like wife, maiden, child, which in Anglo Saxon were neuter not feminine. Mr Manning gives great prominence to a comparison between the two manuscripts of Layamon's Brut. in the first of which, written about 1200 A.D., the genitive expressed by his is rarely, if ever, met with; while in the second, written perhaps sixty years later, such forms are of common occurrence. Even here, in examining amining the first 9000 lines of the poem, Prof. Hadley had found, from common nouns, about eighty genitives with inflectional s, and only two expressed by his; from proper names of place, thirteen with inflectional s, and two expressed by his; even from proper names of persons, where the genitives expressed by his are numerous there are nearly as many with inflectional s, and the two forms are and freely and capriciously interchanged. In the Ormulum, written bv a very careful scribe at a time not earlier than the second text of Layamon, the form with his is never once used. And although this form is often seen in old English writings, and to the beginning of the last century, yet it appears, on the whole, as an occasional—and, seemingly, a merely orthographic—variation of the inflectional genitive—a variation suggested by a false, though plausible, etymology, and favored [sic] by general confusion of early English orthography.

In connection with this paper, Prof. Whitney referred to another and wholly account of our possessive suffix, given in the Reader for Sept. 24, 1864, in the form of a critique upon Mr. Manning's essay, under the signature of Th. G. [Prof. Goldstücker}. Its author accepts as satisfactory Mr. Manning's disproof of the relationship between the suffix in question and the ancient genitive-ending, but regards the former as a mere connecting-link between the name of the possessor and the thing possessed, binding them together into a kind of compound. Prof. Whitney combated this view, as in a high degree far-fetched and fanciful, and attempted to overthrow the arguments by which it was supported. There is no more difficulty, he claimed, in supposing the retention of a true synthetic form along with the elaboration of an analytic substitute for it in the case of John's son and the son of John, than in the case of I loved and I did love. The position of the possessive before the thing possessed is no more fixed in the case of a noun than in that of a pronoun, as his or her, which no one would think of denying to be ancient genitives. And the s in such German words as Hilfstruppen, Liebesgabe is really a genitive-ending, or introduced after the analogy of such; precisely as is the s of nachts, formed after the analogy of abends, morgens, etc.

He also wrote Thoughts upon Subjects connected with Parliamentary Reform (1866). He died in 1866, at Phillimore Gardens in South Kensington.

Sir Walter Buchanan Riddell - (1863-??)
was from an ancient 'Norman Scots' family with land in the Borders region (Roxburghshire & Northumberland) granted by Duke William of Normandy for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. However, he was born in Ramsgate, in 1810. He became the 10th Baronet Riddell 'of that ilk' of Hepple (near Rothbury in Northumberland) at the age of nine, on his father's death in 1819; his guardians carefully surveyed and valued his estate. Northumbrian connections continued: for example, in 1842, he was appointed Steward of the Manorial Courts of the Duke of Northumberland, on the elevation of Mr. Justice Cresswell to the Bench; in 1856, he was present at the opening by Duke of Northumberland of Tyne Sailors' Home, North Shields; in 1872 he was involved in creating a National Society School in Hepple (which was also licensed for worship); and in 1890 was a member of the
Jubilee Hall Committee in Rothbury though does not seem to have been actively involved in its rebuilding a few years earlier. Many papers relating to the family's Northumbrian connections  - and also Walter's 1836 journal of a summer tour of the Low Countries and German States - are held by the National Archives at the Northumberland Record Office.

Educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, graduating in 1831, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1834. (In 1848 he was appointed Special Constable for Lincoln's Inn, and he was adjutant for its Constabulary Corps, maintaining a muster roll with 34 companies, and returns of those willing to servce as captains and officers, reporting to the Commandant, Kenyon Parker QC.)

The family home by then was at (all or part of?) The Palace, Maidstone - originally, in the 14th century, a palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury (and nowadays a popular wedding venue). A younger brother, Canon John Charles Buchanan Riddell, was Rector of nearby Harrietsham.  Sir Walter was appointed Recorder of Maidstone & Tenterden in 1846 (in the room of  [= succeeding] R G Temple, deceased) and continued to hold this office alongside others until 1868, when the Mayor of Maidstone moved a vote of thanks for his contribution to the town.
The Annual Report of the Royal Humane Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead recorded, as 'medallion case 14,027':
On Tuesday night last, Dec. 26, 1843, Sir Walter Riddell, Bart., was returning to his residence at the Palace, Maidstone, when, on passing the mill-head of Messrs. Mercer and Parton's mills, the honourable baronet met a man and woman, and immediately afterwards heard a splash in the water and a cry of distress. Sir Walter hastened to the spot, and seeing something on the surface of the water, which is at this spot about six feet deep, and runs with a rapid current under a low archway of the mill, without hesitation plunged in with all his clothes on, and succeeded in saving from a watery grave the woman whom he had passed just before, and who, by some means or other not clearly ascertained, had got into this most dangerous situation, from which, without the honourable baronet's aid, there is no probability that she could have been rescued. The difficulty of effecting a landing from a deep piece of water on a perpendicular bricked embankment is obvious; and had not the man assisted in getting her on the bank, it is not likely that Sir Walter could have accomplished his humane object, if indeed he had himself escaped a watery grave.
(Signed) Edw. Pickard Hall, Maidstone.

N.B. The Secretary of the Institution is indebted to Sir John Croft, who resides at Millgate, near Maidstone, for the following additional particulars: — Sir Walter Riddell, on rescuing the woman, carried her towards a public-house, upwards of two hundred yards. His strength failing him, he obtained assistance, and had her conveyed to the Man of Kent, where he remained in his wet clothes, affording every means for her recovery, for an hour and a half. The night was intensely dark, and nothing but the most prompt and determined energy on his part could have saved him from being swept by the rapid mill-race through the low arch with the woman whose life he saved.
He was involved in other Kentish projects, including in 1839 proposals for the creation of an agricultural college (supported also by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other divines). He remained a member of the Royal Agricultural Society until his death.

Some further details of his career:
Judge Riddell died in 1892 at Henham Hall, Suffolk [right]  - another stately pile (at one time among the 'top five' landed estates): the redbrick Tudor house was rebuilt in the 1790s after a major fire, and given a Victorian 'makeover' by Edward Middleton Barry (third son of Sir Charles Barry); it was demolished in 1950. See further Alan Mackley 'The Construction of Henham Hall' in vol 6 of the Journal of the Georgian Group (1996).

There have been many other prominent Riddells - some of them titled, through three different branches of the family, in the UK and Canada (Nova Scotia) - including lawyers and academics as well as a sprinkling of clergy. Some emigrated to the USA and Canada (whence Judge William Renwick Riddell,1852-1945); one became Principal of Hertford College Oxford from 1922-30; and more recently another was the Prince of Wales' private secretary from 1985-90.

See separate pages for the following judges:

Francis Henry Bacon (1878-1912)

Albert Rowland Cluer (1912-1934)

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