EWART, WILLIAM (1798-1869), English politician, was born in Liverpool on the 1st of May 1798. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, gaining the Newdigate prize for English verse. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1827, and the next year entered parliament for the borough of Bletchingley in Surrey. He subsequently sat for Liverpool from 1830 to 1837, for Wigan in 1839, and for Dumfries Burghs from 1841 until his retirement from public life in 1868. He died at Broadleas, near Devizes, on the 23rd of January 1869, Ewart, who was an advanced liberal in politics, was responsible during his long political career for many useful measures. In 1834 he carried a bill for the abolition of hanging in chains, and in 1837 he was successful in getting an act passed for abolishing capital punishment for cattle-stealing and other offences. In 1850 he carried a bill for establishing free libraries supported out of the rates, and in 1864 he was instrumental in getting an act passed for legalizing the use of the metric system of weights and measures. He was always a strong advocate for the abolition of capital punishment, and on his motion in 1864 a select committee was appointed to consider the subject. Other reforms which he advocated and which have since been carried out were an annual statement on education, and the examination of candidates for the civil service and army.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)