Sir William Grantham - Encyclopedia




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"SIR WILLIAM GRANTHAM (1835-1911), English judge, was born at Lewes Oct. 23 1835. He came of an old Sussex family, and inherited property in the county. After a successful career at the bar and in Parliament, where he represented East Surrey in the Conservative interest from 1874-85, he was appointed in 1885 judge of the Queen's Bench division of the High Court. He was never at pains to conceal his own views on politics, and after 1906, when he was on the rota of judges for election petitions, his decisions were sharply criticized as biassed against the Liberal party, notably in the Great Yarmouth case, which led to a motion of censure in the House of Commons in July 1906. But in certain criminal cases he gained considerable credit, and in the Adolf Beck trial he was one of the first to suspect the mistake as to the prisoner's identity (see 14.287). He was chairman of the East Sussex quarter sessions, and as a landlord took a practical interest in the housing of the rural labourers. He died in London Nov. 30 1911.

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