Sir William Bovill
|Chief Justice of the Common Pleas|
|Born||26 May 1814|
|Died||1 November 1873 59) (aged|
Kingston upon Thames
Sir William Bovill, PC, FRS (26 May 1814 –1 November 1873) was an English lawyer, politician and judge. He served as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas between 1866 and his death in 1873.
Bovill was born at Allhallows, Barking, a younger son of Benjamin Bovill, of Wimbledon, London.
On leaving school, Bovill did not go to university but was articled to a firm of solicitors. He entered the Middle Temple and practised for a short time as a special pleader below the bar. He was called to the bar in 1841 and joined the home circuit. His special training in a solicitor's office, and its resulting connection, combined with a thorough knowledge of the details of engineering, acquired through his interest in a manufacturing firm in the east end of London, soon brought him a very extensive patent and commercial practice.
Bovill became a Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1855, and on 28 March 1857 was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Guildford. In the House of Commons, he was very zealous for legal reform, and the Partnership Law Amendment Act 1865, which he helped to pass, is always referred to as Bovill's Act. In 1866, he was appointed Solicitor General, an office which he vacated on becoming Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in succession to Sir William Erle in November of the same year.
Bovill had married, in 1844, Maria Bolton, eldest daughter of John Henry Bolton of Lee Park, Blackheath. They lived firstly in London and then moved to Worplesdon, where they made their home at Worplesdon Lodge (later renamed Worplesdon Place).
He died at Kingston upon Thames on 1 November 1873. Maria, Lady Bovill died in London 21 October 1901.
Bovill was knighted in 1866. In May 1867 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
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