Thomas Street (judge)

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The Honourable Baron

Sir Thomas Street

Baron of the Exchequer
Personal details
Born(1625-03-22)22 March 1625
Middlesex, England
Died8 March 1696(1696-03-08) (aged 70)
Nationality English
Spouse(s) Lady Penelope Berkeley
Relatives Berkeley family
Alma mater Oxford University

Baron Sir Thomas Street, MP, KB, JP (1625-8 March 1696) was an English judge and politician who was a Baron of the Exchequer and member of the last King's Bench before the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Sir Thomas was the only one of ten presiding judges to rule against King James II's attempt to contravene the Test Act in 1687. He sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1679. He became Mayor of Worcester in 1667, as his father George Streete, MP had been before him. He was then made Chief Justice for Brecknock, Glamorgan and Radnor in 1677, serving through to 1681, before being made Baron of the Exchequer in April 1681.

Justice of the peace Judicial officer elected or appointed to keep the peace and do minor civic jobs

A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or puisne court, elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the same meaning. Depending on the jurisdiction, such justices dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions. Justices of the peace are appointed or elected from the citizens of the jurisdiction in which they serve, and are usually not required to have any formal legal education in order to qualify for the office. Some jurisdictions have varying forms of training for JPs.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.



Street was born in Worcester, the son of George Streete, MP who had also been Mayor of Worcester. He matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford on 22 April 1642 aged 16. He entered Inner Temple in November 1646 and was called to the Bar on 24 November 1653. He was a member of the Oxford Circuit, a judicial jurisdiction. [1]

Worcester Cathedral City and non-metropolitan district in England

Worcester is a city in Worcestershire, England, 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Birmingham, 101 miles (163 km) west-northwest of London, 27 miles (43 km) north of Gloucester and 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Hereford. The population is approximately 100,000. The River Severn flanks the western side of the city centre, which is overlooked by Worcester Cathedral.

A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.

Lincoln College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Lincoln College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, situated on Turl Street in central Oxford. Lincoln was founded in 1427 by Richard Fleming, then Bishop of Lincoln.

Political career

In 1659, Street was elected Member of Parliament for Worcester in the Third Protectorate Parliament. [2] Street was re-elected MP for Worcester in 1660 for the Convention Parliament. He was appointed JP for Worcestershire on 10 July 1660. In 1661 he was re-elected MP for Worcester in the Cavalier Parliament and sat until 1679. He was sub-secretary to dean and chapter of Worcester from 1661 to 1687. He was town clerk of Worcester and was Mayor in 1667. [3]

Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Worcester is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Since 1885 it has elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election; from 1295 to 1885 it elected two MPs.

Third Protectorate Parliament

The Third Protectorate Parliament sat for one session, from 27 January 1659 until 22 April 1659, with Chaloner Chute and Thomas Bampfylde as the Speakers of the House of Commons. It was a bicameral Parliament, with an Upper House having a power of veto over the Commons.

Convention Parliament (1660)

The Convention Parliament followed the Long Parliament that had finally voted for its own dissolution on 16 March that year. Elected as a "free parliament", i.e. with no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth or to the monarchy, it was predominantly Royalist in its membership. It assembled for the first time on 25 April 1660.

An active member of parliament, Street was appointed to 175 committees, in twelve of which he took the chair, made sixteen recorded speeches, and three times acted as teller. [4] When came Monmouth's Rebellion, the Catholic King James II had dispensed with the Test Act and began filling the military high-command with Catholics. This led to a confrontation with Parliament. The issue took shape as the case of Godden v. Hales (1686), which was to be settled by the King's Bench, of which Sir Thomas was by then a member. Of the 10 judges who composed the King's Bench, Sir Thomas was the only one to decide against the King's power to contravene the Test Act, [4] [5] giving rise to his reputation and the Street family motto: "faithful among the faithless †", which would appear on his tomb.[ citation needed ]

Test Act any of a series of English penal laws that served as a religious test for public office

The Test Acts were a series of English penal laws that served as a religious test for public office and imposed various civil disabilities on Roman Catholics and nonconformists. The principle was that none but people taking communion in the established Church of England were eligible for public employment, and the severe penalties pronounced against recusants, whether Catholic or nonconformist, were affirmations of this principle. In practice nonconformists were often exempted from some of these laws through the regular passage of Acts of Indemnity. After 1800 they were seldom enforced, except at Oxbridge, where nonconformists and Catholics could not matriculate (Oxford) or graduate (Cambridge). The Conservative government repealed them in 1828 with little controversy.

Parliament legislature whose power and function are similar to those dictated by the Westminster system of the United Kingdom

In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries.

Juridicial career

From 1667 to 1677 he was Puisne judge of great sessions and ex officio JP for Brecknock, Glamorgan and Radnor. He became a Bencher of his Inn on 7 November 1669 but was fined £100 for refusing to come up to the bench when called. He became Serjeant at law on 3 July 1677 and was Chief Justice for Brecknock, Glamorgan and Radnor from 1677 to 1681. [3] He became King's Sergeant on 23 October 1678. He was knighted on 8 June 1681 and was a Baron of the Exchequer from April 1681 to 1684. In 1682 he was recorder of Worcester and 1683 recorder of Droitwich 1683, He was a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas from 1684 to 1689. [1]

Further details

Sir Thomas married Lady Penelope Berkeley, of the Berkeley family. He died peacefully at age 70 and was buried in Worcester Cathedral alongside fellow members of the King's Bench. [1] He is the patriarch of the Street family juridical tradition.

Berkeley family

The Berkeley family is an aristocratic English family, nearly unique in English history in that it has to this day an unbroken male line of descent from a noble Saxon ancestor before the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and also retains possession of much of the lands it held from the 11th and 12th centuries, centred on Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, which still belongs to the family.

Worcester Cathedral Church in Worcester , United Kingdom

Worcester Cathedral, is an Anglican cathedral in Worcester, England, situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn. It is the seat of the Bishop of Worcester. Its official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester. The present cathedral church was built between 1084 and 1504, and represents every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic. It is famous for its Norman crypt and unique chapter house, its unusual Transitional Gothic bays, its fine woodwork and its "exquisite" central tower, which is of particularly fine proportions.

Street family prominent Australian legal, political and military family

The Street family is a prominent Australian legal, political and military family. The Streets are the only dynasty in Australian history with three consecutive vice-regal appointments to their name. Sir Philip Whistler Street, his son Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Kenneth Whistler Street, and grandson Commodore Sir Laurence Whistler Street each attained the offices of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales. Notable otherwise are Brigadier Geoffrey Austin Street, who died in office as Minister of Defence during World War II, his son Anthony Austin Street, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Fraser Government, and the women's and aboriginal rights advocate Lady "Red Jessie" Street.

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  1. 1 2 3 "The parliamentary history of the county of Worcester : including the city of Worcester, and the boroughs of Bewdley, Droitwich, Dudley, Evesham, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Pershore, from the earliest times to the present day, 1213-1897, with biographical and genealogical notices of the members". 21 July 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  2. Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp.  onepage&q&f&#61, false 229–239.
  3. 1 2
  4. 1 2
Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Collins
Edward Giles
Member of Parliament for Worcester
With: William Collins
Succeeded by
Not represented in restored Rump