Chapter

‘A More Public Scene’ (1758–61)

Wilfrid Prest

in William Blackstone

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550296
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720925 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550296.003.0008
 ‘A More Public Scene’ (1758–61)

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Despite his unopposed election to the Vinerian chair, and an acclaimed inaugural lecture on The Study of the Law, Professor Blackstone's standing in the university, even his own All Souls College, continued to suffer damage, amid on-going controversy over his personal character and role in university affairs. After considering some of the reasons behind Blackstone's increasingly embattled position at Oxford, this chapter outlines his growing activities in the wider world, including contacts with the future King George III, a pioneering edition of Magna Carta and membership of the London Society of Antiquaries, and the resumption of legal practice in Westminster Hall. It closes with an account of his marriage to Sarah Clitherow, appointment as King's Counsel equivalent, and near-simultaneous election to Parliament.

Keywords: controversy; character; academic politics; George III; Magna Carta; publications; marriage; Parliament

Chapter.  14580 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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