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Cresswell, Sir Cresswell

CRESSWELL, SIR CRESSWELL (1794-1863), English judge, was a descendant of an old Northumberland family, and was born at Newcastle in 1794. He was educated at the Charterhouse and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He graduated B.A. in 1814, and M.A. four years later. Having chosen the profession of the law he studied at the Middle Temple, and was called to the bar in 1819. He joined the northern circuit, and was not long in earning a distinguished position among his professional brethren. In 1837 he entered parliament as Conservative member for Liverpool, and he soon gained a reputation as an acute and learned debater on all constitutional questions. In January 1842 he was made a judge of the court of common pleas, being knighted at the same time; and this post he occupied for sixteen years. When the new court for probate, divorce and matrimonial causes was established (1858), Sir Cresswell Cresswell was requested by the Liberal government to become its first judge and undertake the arduous task of its organization. Although he had already earned a right to retire, and possessed large private wealth, he accepted this new task, and during the rest of his life devoted himself to it most assiduously and conscientiously, with complete satisfaction to the public. In one case only, out of the very large number on which he pronounced judgment, was his decision reversed. His death was sudden. By a fall from his horse on the 11th of July 1863 his knee-cap was injured. He was recovering from this when on the 29th of the same month he died of disease of the heart.

See Foss's Lives of the Judges; E. Manson, Builders of our Law (1904).

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

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