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William Blackstone

(This article is about Sir William Blackstone, English jurist. Blackstone is also the name of a place in the State of Massachusetts in the U. S. A.; see Blackstone, Massachusetts.)

Sir William Blackstone, (1723 - 1780 was an English jurist and professor who produced the historical treatise on the common law called Commentaries on the Laws of England, first published in four volumes over 1765 - 1769.

Blackstone was educated at Pembroke College at Oxford University. In 1743 he was made a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and he was called to the bar as a barrister in 1746. After practicing in the courts of Westminster for several years, he returned to Oxford in 1758 when another lawyer, Charles Viner, established an endowed chair at the university for a lecturer in law. Viner's endowed chair became known as the Vinerian professorship, and it continues to exist to the present day.

In addition to the Commentaries, Blackstone published treatises on the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. In 1761 he was elected a Member of Parliament for Hindon and "took the silks" as king's counsel.

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