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Thomas Erskine and Trial by Jury Paperback – 30 Mar 2010
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'Almost 200 years after Thomas Erskine's death most barristers and solicitor advocates still aspire to his legendary oratorical and forensic skills. Those who are not familiar with the man would be well advised to read this biography without delay': Law Society Gazette 'This work is of more than historical interest. It shows how the advocate can affect the law, and by doing so, the constitution': Counsel 'Thomas Erskine was one of the bar's greatest names. Few however know this extraordinary story of the man who traced his way from poverty through the navy all the way to the bar and Parliament to the House of Lords and the Woolsack. John Hostettler's biography explores this astonishing man and his even more astonishing life': Litigation 'With eloquent invective Erskine mesmerized juries': Justice of the Peace
About the Author
John Hostettler was a practicing solicitor in London for thirty-five years as well as undertaking political and civil liberties cases in Nigeria, Germany and Aden. His earlier books include several biographical and historical works, and his books for Waterside Press include Sir William Garrow; The Criminal Jury Old and New; Fighting for Justice -The History and Origins of Adversary Trial; A History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales (2009); and Hanging in the Balance - A History of the Abolition of Capital Punishment in Britain (with Dr Brian P. Block).
Top Customer Reviews
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Today, Thomas Erskine (1750-1823) is certainly not as well-known and celebrated as he should be! He was one of the greatest advocates to appear in an English court of law and such an accolade has much competition over the centuries. The original edition was published by Barry Rose in 1996 and then the excellent Waterside Press re-published and modernized the original text in 2010.
As a senior barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, and a King’s Counsel, Erskine was involved in many celebrated trials, including the prosecution of John Horne Took for seditious libel and of Queen Caroline for adultery. John Hostettler’s biography covers magnificent ground with the famous cases
Other notable achievements include the successful defence of Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man”, which cost him the post of Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales. Thomas Erskine also served as a Member of Parliament for Portsmouth and for just one year was the Lord Chancellor. Later on he was elevated to the peerage as the First Baron Erskine of Restormel Castle. Hostettler’s book covers his controversial and interesting career and his rise to high office in a splendid way.
It is rightly described as a commendable study which deserves a wide readership as Scotland may still reasonably take pride in the achievements of the man who became Lord Erskine of Restormel Castle (that is in the Fowey Valley, Cornwall) - English lawyers may understandably remember with respect his marked abilities amongst other great lawyers of his time.Read more ›