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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 413 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR CRESSWELL 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).
End of Article: SIR CRESSWELL CRESSWELL (1794-1863)

Additional information and Comments

Sir Cresswell was the fourth of five brothers; the eldest, Addison John Baker-Cresswell of Cresswell, Northumberland was born in 1788, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1821 and MP for Northumnberland 1841-1847; he married Elizabeth Mary Reed, cousin and heir of John Baker of Hinton, Gloucs, and had four sons and two daughters. The second brother, Francis, married Rachel Elizabeth Fry and moved to Kings Lynn, where they had six sons and a daughter who died young. The third brother was William and the fifth was Rev Oswald Joseph Cresswell, Rector of Hanworth, Middlesex. There were also three sisters; Elizabeth (d 1827), Frances and Jane Catherine (d 1828). Their parents were Francis Easterby and Frances Dorothea Cresswell, twin daughter and co-heir of John Cresswell (d 1781) and Catherine Dyer. Francis Easterby purchased the other, younger co-heir's half of the estate and changed his name to Cresswell.
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