William Blackstone

(1723 - 1780)

Orphaned at twelve when his mother died in 1735—his father had died before his birth—William Blackstone became a barrister in 1746 but found little success; according to one historian, Blackstone “evidently spent too little time at the law courts.” Six years later, at the age of twenty-nine, he retired from practicing law, citing his “constitution, inclinations, and a thing called principle.” He later wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England, a thorough description of English law that quickly became a crucial part of the law school curriculum.

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Voices In Time

1758 | Oxford

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William Blackstone dreams of a better legal education.More

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