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Encyclopedia > William Blackstone
William Blackstone as illustrated in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Sir William Blackstone (originally pronounced Blexstun) (10 July 172314 February 1780) was an English jurist and professor who produced the historical and analytic treatise on the common law called Commentaries on the Laws of England, first published in four volumes over 1765–1769. It had an extraordinary success, reportedly bringing the author £14,000, and still remains an important source on classical views of the common law and its principles. Image File history File links WilliamBlackstone. ... Image File history File links WilliamBlackstone. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 16 - Louis XV of France attains his majority Births February 24 - John Burgoyne, British general (d. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... A jurist is a professional who studies, develops, applies or otherwise deals with the law. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...



Blackstone was born in Cheapside in 1723, the posthumous son of a London silk mercer. He received his education at Charterhouse School and at Pembroke College, Oxford. In 1743 he became a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and he was called to the bar as a barrister at the Middle Temple in 1746. After practicing in the courts of Westminster for several years, without great success, he returned to Oxford in 1758 when another lawyer, Charles Viner, established an endowed chair at the university for a lecturer in law. Viner's endowed chair became known as the Vinerian professorship, and it exists to the present day. At this time, he was appointed Principal of New Inn Hall (now St. Peter's College, Oxford). Blackstone lived at Castle Priory in Wallingford, and is buried at St Peter's Church in the town. A view of Cheapside published in 1837. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Charterhouse School (Originally, Suttons Hospital in Charterhouse), usually known simply as Charterhouse, is a famous boys English public school, located in Godalming in the county of Surrey. ... College name Pembroke College Collegium Pembrochianum Named after The Earl of Pembroke Established 1624 Sister College Queens College Master Giles Henderson JCR President Dawn Rennie Undergraduates 408 MCR President Ross Nicolson Graduates 119 College Homepage Boat Club The lodge and the entrance to Pembroke College in Pembroke Square. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... // Events February 14 - Henry Pelham becomes British Prime Minister February 21 - - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handels oratorio, Samson. ... College name All Souls College Collegium Omnium Animarum Named after Feast of All Souls Established 1438 Sister College Trinity Hall, Cambridge Warden Dr. John Davis JCR President None Undergraduates None MCR President None Graduates 8 (approx. ... The Call to the Bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... Part of Middle Temple c. ... Westminster is a district within the City of Westminster in London. ... 1758 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Vinerian Professorship of English Law, formerly Vinerian Professorship of Common Law, was established by Charles Viner who by his will, dated 29 December 1755, left about £12,000 to the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, to establish a Professorship of the Common Law in that... St Peters College is a relatively young college of the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. ... Map sources for Wallingford at grid reference SU6089 Wallingford is a small town in Oxfordshire in southern England. ...

In addition to the Commentaries, Blackstone published treatises on Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forests. In 1761 he won election as a Member of Parliament for Hindon and "took silk" as a king's counsel. He also wrote some poetry. Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Hindon was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1448 until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act. ... Cherie Booth QC wearing her ceremonial robes (including full-bottomed wig) as Queens Counsel at the Bar of England and Wales. ...

Blackstone and his work occasionally appear in literature. For example, Blackstone receives mention in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. A bust of Blackstone is a typical ornament of a lawyer's office in early Perry Mason novels, and in Anatomy of a Murder. Blackstone's Commentaries are also mentioned in Charles Portis's comic novel, The Dog of the South. It is also mentioned in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird as the tool used to teach Calpurnia, a black woman, how to read. Blackstone wrote his books on common law shortly before the United States Constitution was written. Many terms and phrases used by the framers were derived from Blackstone's works. Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... Moby-Dick book cover Moby-Dick - the official title of the first edition - is a novel by Herman Melville. ... Perry Mason is a fictional defense attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner. ... Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 film which tells the story of a man charged with murdering a man who may have raped his wife; the bulk of the films plot revolves around the drama as it unfolds in court. ... Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American novelist known for her Pulitzer Prize–winning 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only major work to date. ... To Kill a Mockingbird is a Southern Gothic bildungsroman novel by Harper Lee. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...

U.S. courts frequently quote Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England as the definitive pre-Revolutionary War source of common law; in particular, the United States Supreme Court quotes from Blackstone's work whenever they wish to engage in historical discussion that goes back that far, or further (for example, when discussing the intent of the Framers of the Constitution). His work has been used most forcefully as of late by Justice Clarence Thomas. U.S. and other common law courts mention with strong approval Blackstone's formulation also known as Blackstone's ratio popularly stated as "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" — although he did not first express the principle. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Combatants United States France Spanish Empire Dutch Republic Oneida Tuscarora Polish volunteers Quebec volunteers Prussian volunteers Great Britain Iroquois Confederacy Hessian mercenaries Loyalists Commanders George Washington Nathanael Greene Gilbert de La Fayette Comte de Rochambeau Bernardo de Gálvez Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben King George III Sir... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ... Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. ... In criminal law, Blackstones formulation (also known as Blackstones ratio or the Blackstone ratio) is the principle that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. Named after the English jurist William Blackstone, the principle expressed in the formulation is much older, being...

Blackstone's work was more often synthetic than original, but his writing was organized, clear, and dignified, which brings his great work within the category of general literature. He also had a turn for neat and polished verse, of which he gave proof in The Lawyer's Farewell to his Muse.

Blackstone and Property Jurisprudence

Blackstone's characterization of property rights as "sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe," has often been quoted in judicial opinions and secondary legal literature as the dominant Western concept of property. In spite of the frequency with which this conception is quoted, however, the phrase is often presented without taking into account the greater context of Blackstone's thought on the subject of property. Blackstone likely offered the statement as a rhetorical flourish to begin his discussion, given that even in his age, individual property rights were not sole and absolute. Property owners must rely on the enforcement powers of the state, in any event, for the realization of their rights. This page deals with property as ownership rights. ...

Blackstone and anti-Catholicism

William Blackstone shared the general Anti-Catholic prejudices of his age and millieu. As discussed in more detail in the article on Anti-Catholicism, his Commentaries summarized his attitude toward Roman Catholics as follows: Anti-Catholicism is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Catholics or the Catholic Church. ... Anti-Catholicism is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Catholics or the Catholic Church. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic...

As to papists, what has been said of the Protestant dissenters would hold equally strong for a general toleration of them; provided their separation was founded only upon difference of opinion in religion, and their principles did not also extend to a subversion of the civil government. If once they could be brought to renounce the supremacy of the pope, they might quietly enjoy their seven sacraments, their purgatory, and auricular confession; their worship of reliques and images; nay even their transubstantiation. But while they acknowledge a foreign power, superior to the sovereignty of the kingdom, they cannot complain if the laws of that kingdom will not treat them upon the footing of good subjects.(very good subjects)
— Bl. Comm. IV, c.4 ss. iii.2, p. *54

Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...


The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature is a collection of biographies of writers by John W. Cousin, published around 1910. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
William Blackstone

  Results from FactBites:
William Blackstone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (709 words)
Blackstone was the posthumous son of a silk mercer in London, and received his education at Charterhouse School and at Pembroke College, Oxford.
A bust of Blackstone is a typical ornament of a lawyer's office in early Perry Mason novels, and in Anatomy of a Murder.
Blackstone was defending a large body of British laws, collectively known as the penal laws, which imposed various civil disabilities and legal penalties on recusant Catholics.
BLACKSTONE IN AMERICA - The Early America Review, Spring 1997 (3871 words)
Blackstone had no illusions that he had covered every important aspect of the law adequately; his lectures and the books were designed as an introduction to the whole of the law.
Blackstone was often in poor health, and was irritable and impatient on the bench.
Blackstone's definition of a writ of mandamus, an order directing the state to perform at act, was a linchpin in Marbury v.
  More results at FactBites »



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