Open main menu

CRUISE, WILLIAM (d. 1824), legal writer, second son of Patrick Cruise of Rahue or Rathugh, Westmeath, was admitted on 5 Nov. 1773 a member of Lincoln's Inn. Being a Roman catholic, and thus disabled by the statute 7 and 8 William III, c. 24, from practising at the bar, he took out a license to practise as a conveyancer, and acquired a considerable reputation. In 1783 he published ‘An Essay on the Nature and Operation of Fines and Recoveries,’ London, 8vo. The plan of this work, dealing with an intricate subject then of great importance, was suggested by Fearne's classic treatise on ‘Contingent Remainders.’ A second edition was published in 1785, and a third in 1794. Meanwhile the act for the relief of Roman catholics of 1791 (31 Geo. III, c. 32) had opened the bar to him. His call took place in the autumn of 1791 at Lincoln's Inn. His practice, however, seems to have remained wholly conveyancing. He does not appear to have married, and seems to have led a rather recluse life. In 1823 he retired from the profession, and took up his quarters at the Albany, Piccadilly, London, where he died on 5 Jan. 1824. Besides the treatise on fines and recoveries already mentioned, he published the following works: 1. ‘An Essay on Uses,’ London, 1795, 8vo. 2. ‘A Digest of the Laws of England respecting Real Property,’ London, 1804, 7 vols. 8vo; a work of considerable learning, which passed through three editions in his lifetime, the last appearing in 1812. It was reprinted, with corrections and additions by Henry Hopley White of the Middle Temple, barrister-at-law, in 1834, London, 7 vols. 8vo. A fifth edition by Simon Greenleaf, LL.D., Royall professor of law in Harvard University, appeared at Boston in 1849–50, 3 vols. 8vo. 3. ‘Principles of Conveyancing,’ London, 1808, 6 vols. 8vo. 4. ‘The Origin and Nature of Dignities or Titles of Honour,’ London, 1810, 8vo; second edition 1823, roy. 8vo. Cruise does not rank as an authority, but his works bear a high character for accuracy, and are still occasionally consulted by the practitioner.

[Lincoln's Inn Register; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.