Thomas Reeve

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Sir Thomas Reeve, in a portrait by Jacopo Amigoni. Amigoni - Portrait of Sir Thomas Reeve.jpg
Sir Thomas Reeve, in a portrait by Jacopo Amigoni.

Sir Thomas Reeve KC SL PC (1673 January 19, 1737) was a British justice.

Serjeant-at-law Member of an order of barristers at the English bar

A Serjeant-at-Law (SL), commonly known simply as a Serjeant, was a member of an order of barristers at the English and Irish bar. The position of Serjeant-at-Law, or Sergeant-Counter, was centuries old; there are writs dating to 1300 which identify them as descended from figures in France before the Norman Conquest. The Serjeants were the oldest formally created order in England, having been brought into existence as a body by Henry II. The order rose during the 16th century as a small, elite group of lawyers who took much of the work in the central common law courts. With the creation of Queen's Counsel during the reign of Elizabeth I, the order gradually began to decline, with each monarch opting to create more King's or Queen's Counsel. The Serjeants' exclusive jurisdictions were ended during the 19th century and, with the Judicature Act 1873 coming into force in 1875, it was felt that there was no need to have such figures, and no more were created. The last appointed was Nathaniel Lindley, later a Law Lord, who retired in 1905 and died in 1921. The number of Irish Serjeants-at-law was limited to three. The last appointment was A. M. Sullivan in 1912; after his 1921 relocation to the English bar he remained "Serjeant Sullivan" as a courtesy title.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, commonly known as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or simply the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Life

He was the son of Richard Reeve, and was matriculated to Trinity College, Oxford in 1688 at the age of 15, joining Inner Temple in 1690. [1] In 1698 he was called to the Bar, migrating to Middle Temple in 1713. He was called to the Inn bench in 1720, and served as treasurer in 1728. In 1717 he became a King's counsel, and in 1722 became attorney-general of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was at this point one of the most prolific barristers in Britain. An analysis of records show that in 1720 he was appearing in more cases than any other barrister in the Court of the King's Bench. He was appointed a judge in the King's Bench on 18 November 1723. [2]

Trinity College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Trinity College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. The college was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, on land previously occupied by Durham College, home to Benedictine monks from Durham Cathedral.

Inner Temple one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honorable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as the Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, a person must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

Middle Temple one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known simply as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers, the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. It is located in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

On 17 April 1733, [3] he became a Puisne justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and was created a Serjeant-at-law at the same time to satisfy the minimum requirements for the office. After the death of Sir Robert Eyre in office in 1735 Reeve was rumoured to be succeeding him, but had competition in the form of Alexander Denton, who he had previously succeeded as attorney-general of the Duchy of Lancaster; Denton was rejected on grounds of ill-health, however, and Reeve was promoted on 26 January 1736, and knighted at the same time. [4] He was appointed to the Privy Council shortly after. [5] He died in office within a year on 19 January 1737, and was buried in Temple Church on 28 January. He was at the time of his death very wealthy, including over £22,000 in personal property, as well as land in Berkshire and London; he was apparently courted by Lord Sidney Beauclerk, an infamous fortune-seeker, who hoped to be given a legacy, although without success. He was married to Annabella Topham, whose brother Richard Topham was Keeper of the Records at the Tower of London; Beauclerk later succeeded in getting the estate of Richard in and around Windsor and Old Windsor.

Court of Common Pleas (England) common law court in the English legal system

The Court of Common Pleas, or Common Bench, was a common law court in the English legal system that covered "common pleas"; actions between subject and subject, which did not concern the king. Created in the late 12th to early 13th century after splitting from the Exchequer of Pleas, the Common Pleas served as one of the central English courts for around 600 years. Authorised by Magna Carta to sit in a fixed location, the Common Pleas sat in Westminster Hall for its entire existence, joined by the Exchequer of Pleas and Court of King's Bench.

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Temple Church Church in London

The Temple Church is a church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem. During the reign of King John (1199–1216) it served as the royal treasury, supported by the role of the Knights Templars as proto-international bankers. It is jointly owned by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, bases of the English legal profession. It is famous for being a round church, a common design feature for Knights Templar churches, and for its 13th- and 14th-century stone effigies. It was heavily damaged by German bombing during World War II and has since been greatly restored and rebuilt.

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References

  1. . H. Baker, ‘Reeve, Sir Thomas (1672/3–1737)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , accessed 9 March 2009
  2. "No. 6217". The London Gazette . 16 November 1723. p. 1. Note that London Gazette dates are Old Style prior to the British calendar reform of 1752, and the English New Year was on 25 March until this time
  3. "No. 7187". The London Gazette . 14 April 1733. p. 1.
  4. "No. 7476". The London Gazette . 27 January 1735. p. 1.
  5. "No. 7482". The London Gazette . 17 February 1735. p. 1.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Eyre
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
17361737
Succeeded by
Sir John Willes