Thomas Webster (1810–1875) was an English barrister, known for his involvement in patent legislation, and for committee work leading up to The Great Exhibition.
He was born on 16 October 1810, the eldest son of Thomas Webster, vicar of Oakington, Cambridgeshire. From Charterhouse School he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. as fourteenth wrangler in 1832, proceeding M.A. in 1835.
Oakington is a small rural Anglo-Saxon village 7 miles north-west of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire in England, and belongs to the administrative district of South Cambridgeshire. Since 1985 the village has formed part of the parish of Oakington and Westwick.
Charterhouse is a boarding school in Godalming, Surrey. Originally founded by Thomas Sutton in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London, it educates over 800 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years, and is one of the original Great Nine English public schools. Today pupils are still referred to as Carthusians, and ex-pupils as Old Carthusians.
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.
In 1837 Webster became secretary to the Institution of Civil Engineers. In 1839 he resigned the post, but remained honorary secretary till 1841. In that year he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, and joined the northern circuit.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is an independent professional association for civil engineers and a charitable body in the United Kingdom. Based in London, ICE has over 92,000 members, of whom three-quarters are located in the UK, while the rest are located in more than 150 other countries. The ICE aims to support the civil engineering profession by offering professional qualification, promoting education, maintaining professional ethics, and liaising with industry, academia and government. Under its commercial arm, it delivers training, recruitment, publishing and contract services. As a professional body, ICE aims to support and promote professional learning, managing professional ethics and safeguarding the status of engineers, and representing the interests of the profession in dealings with government, etc. It sets standards for membership of the body; works with industry and academia to progress engineering standards and advises on education and training curricula.
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.
Webster built up a practice in scientific cases, and was recognised as an authority on patent law. He played a major part in the reforming Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852. He had also a parliamentary practice. He was one of the counsel engaged for Birkenhead in the contests over the Liverpool and Mersey docks.
Birkenhead is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England. Historically until 1974 in Cheshire, it is on the Wirral Peninsula, along the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 88,818.
Webster was on the governing body of the Society of Arts, a significant member of the reforming group in the Society of the mid-1840s; others were George Bailey, John Bethell, John Scott Russell, Edward Speer, William Tooke, and Joseph Woods.He was in the chair at the meeting of the society in 1845 when the first proposal was made for holding the International Exhibition of 1851, and was a member of initial committee appointed to organise it.
John Scott Russell FRSE FRS FRSA was a Scottish civil engineer, naval architect and shipbuilder who built Great Eastern in collaboration with Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He made the discovery of the wave of translation that gave birth to the modern study of solitons, and developed the wave-line system of ship construction.
William Tooke FRS (1777–1863) was an English lawyer, politician, and President of the Society of Arts.
Joseph Woods was an English Quaker architect, botanist and geologist born in the village of Stoke Newington, a few miles north of the City of London. A Member of the Society of Antiquaries, and an Honorary Member of the Society of British Architects, he was also elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Geological Society in recognition of his original research.
Webster was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1847, and in 1865 he was appointed Queen's Counsel. He died in London on 3 June 1875.
Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.
In the United Kingdom and in some Commonwealth countries, a Queen's Counsel during the reign of a queen, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is a lawyer who is appointed by the monarch of the country to be one of "Her [His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law". The position originated in England. Some Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate".
Webster's Reports and Notes of Cases on Letters Patent for Inventions (1844) became a standard textbook. In 1848 he published a handbook The Ports and Docks of Birkenhead. In 1853 and 1857 he republished the reports of the acting committee of the conservators of the Mersey.
Webster married twice. Firstly, in 1839, he married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Richard Calthrop of Swineshead Abbey, Lincolnshire. His second wife was Mary Frances, daughter of Joseph Collier Cookworthy (of Plymouth), and sister of Joseph Cookworthy, a member of parliament in Western Australia. By his first wife he had three sons, the second being Richard Everard Webster, and two daughters; by his second wife he had one son and one daughter.
Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury, was a British lawyer, judge and Liberal politician. He served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain between 1861 and 1865. He was knighted in 1852 and raised to the peerage in 1861.
John Shore, 1st Baron Teignmouth was a British official of the East India Company who served as Governor-General of Bengal from 1793 to 1797. In 1798 he was created Baron Teignmouth in the Peerage of Ireland.
Harrington Dock was a dock on the River Mersey and part of the Port of Liverpool. Situated in the southern dock system, it was connected to Toxteth Dock to the north and Herculaneum Dock to the south.
Sir Robert Joseph Phillimore, 1st Baronet, was an English judge and politician. He was the last Judge of the High Court of Admiralty from 1867 to 1875 bringing an end to an office that had lasted nearly 400 years.
James Meadows Rendel FRS was a British civil engineer.
Major General Sir William Reid was a Scottish soldier, administrator and meteorologist. He was Governor of the Bermudas (1839–1846), of the British Windward Islands (1846–1848), and of Malta (1851–1858). Reid founded the Bermuda National Library in 1839.
Johan Joseph Zoffany, RA was a German neoclassical painter, active mainly in England, Italy and India. His works appear in many prominent British collections such as the National Gallery, London, the Tate Gallery and in the Royal Collection, as well as institutions in Europe, India, the United States and Australia. His name is sometimes spelled Zoffani or Zauffelij.
Thomas Emerson Headlam was an English barrister and politician, who became judge advocate-general.
Henry Vincent Bayley (1777–1844) was an English clergyman. Of the High Church party and a reformer, he became Archdeacon of Stow.
John Bowdler (1746–1823) was a campaigner for moral reform in Britain and a founder of the Church Building Society. His brother and sister were the editors of the expurgated Family Shakspeare.
Thomas Bowdler the Younger (1782–1856) was an Anglican priest, who wrote a memoir of his father, John Bowdler, and his uncle, Thomas Bowdler the elder. He was also editor of an expurgated version of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as prepared by his uncle.
Sir Joseph Littledale was a British judge.
Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 1st Baronet, was an English art patron, horticulturalist and Whig politician. He is best remembered as one of the chief promoters of the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Sir John Patteson was an English judge.
Charles Augustus Tulk (1786–1849) was an English Swedenborgian and politician.
Joseph Brooks Yates (1780–1855) was an English merchant and antiquary.
William Wedd Tuxford was a parliamentarian and agricultural machinery dealer in the early days of the Colony of South Australia.
Prof Joseph David Everett DCL FRSE (1831–1904) was an English physicist, professor of natural philosophy at Queen's College, Belfast.
Sir William Shelford (1834–1905) was an English civil engineer.
Sir John Tomes was an English dental surgeon.