Sir William Blackstone
Historical Period: The 18th Century
Sir William Blackstone’s (1723-1780) four-volume Commentaries on the Laws of England assures him a place in history as one of the greatest scholars of English common law. Blackstone began his lectures on the common law in 1753. His Commentaries served as a primary instruction tool in England and America well into the nineteenth century and exerted a pronounced influence on the development of the American legal tradition.
Blackstone featured as the July 2021 OLL Birthday. Read it here.
Quotes from Sir William Blackstone:
- The Women of Seneca Falls and William Blackstone
- Sir William Blackstone differentiates between “absolute rights” of individuals and social rights
- Sir William Blackstone provides a strong defence of personal liberty and concludes that to “secretly hurry” a man to prison is a “dangerous engine of arbitrary government”
- Sir William Blackstone declares unequivocally that slavery is “repugnant to reason, and the principles of natural law” and that it has no place in English law
- Sir William Blackstone argues that occupancy of previously unowned land creates a natural right to that property
Titles from Sir William Blackstone:
- Author: BOLL 9: William Blackstone, “Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals” (1766)
- Author: Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, 2 vols.