Sir William Garrow: His Life, Times And Fight For Justice
Publish Date: 2011-01-17
Author: John Hostettler;Richard Braby
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Sir William Garrow was born in Middlesex, England in 1760. He entered the legal profession and became the dominant figure at Old Bailey - London's Central Criminal Court - from 1783 to 1793. Later on, he was a Member of Parliament, a Solicitor-General, an Attorney-General, and, finally, a judge and a lawmaker within the English Common Law Tradition. Aside from BBC1 TV's prime-time drama series Garrow's Law, the story of Sir William Garrow's unique contribution to the development of English law and Parliamentary affairs is little known by the general public. This book tells the real story of the man behind the drama. Garrow dared to challenge the entrenched legal ways and means. His 'gifts to the world' include altering the relationship between judge and jury (the former had until then dominated over the latter in criminal trials), helping to forge the presumption of innocence, rules of evidence, and ensuring a general right to put forward a defense using a trained lawyer. He gave new meaning to the trial advocate's forensic art of cross-examination, later diverting skills honed as a radical to help the Crown when it was faced with alleged plots, treason, and sedition. In this generous work - now available in paperback - well-known legal historian and biographer John Hostettler and family storyteller Richard Braby (a descendant of Garrow) combine their skills and experience to produce a gem of a book. The lost story of Sir William Garrow and its rediscovery will prove enlightening for professional and general readers alike and provides an invaluable 'missing-link' for legal and social historians. It is also a remarkable work of genealogical research which will register strongly with family historians.