1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Erle, Sir William

ERLE, SIR WILLIAM (1793–1880), English lawyer and judge, was born at Fifehead-Magdalen, Dorset, on the 1st of October 1793, and was educated at Winchester and at New College, Oxford. Having been called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1819 he went the western circuit, became counsel to the Bank of England, sat in parliament from 1837 to 1841 for the city of Oxford, and, although of opposite politics to Lord Lyndhurst, was made by him a judge of the common pleas in 1845. He was transferred to the queen’s bench in the following year, and in 1859 came back to the common pleas as chief justice upon the promotion of Sir Alexander Cockburn. He retired in 1866, receiving the highest eulogiums for the ability and impartiality with which he had discharged the judicial office. He died at his estate at Bramshott, Hampshire, on the 28th of January 1880, and a monument without his name but in his memory (sometimes erroneously supposed to mark the place where an old gibbet was) stands on the top of Hindhead.

See E. Manson, Builders of our Law (1904).