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Anderson, Sir Edmund

ANDERSON, SIR EDMUND (1530-1605), English lawyer, descended from a Scottish family settled in Lincolnshire, was born in 1530 at Flixborough or Broughton in that county. After studying for a short time at Lincoln College, Oxford, he became in 1550 a student of the Inner Temple. In 1579 he was appointed serjeant-at-law to Queen Elizabeth, and also an assistant judge on circuit. As a reward for his services in the trial of Edmund Campian and his followers (1581), he was, on the death of Sir James Dyer, appointed lord chief justice of the Common Pleas (1582), and was knighted. He took part in all the leading state trials which agitated England during the latter years of Elizabeth's reign. Though a great lawyer and thoroughly impartial in civil cases, he became notorious by his excessive severity and harshness when presiding over the trials of catholics and nonconformists; more markedly so in those of Sir John Perrot, Sir Walter Raleigh, and John Udall the puritan minister. Anderson was also one of the commissioners appointed to try Mary queen of Scots in 1586. He died on the 1st of August 1605 at Eyworth in Bedfordshire. In addition to Reports of Many Principal Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Time of Queen Elizabeth in the Common Bench, published after his death, he drew up several expositions of statutes enacted in Elizabeth's reign which remain in manuscript in the British Museum.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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