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Geldart, James William (DNB00)


GELDART, JAMES WILLIAM, LL.D. (1785–1876), professor of law at Cambridge, eldest son of the Rev. James Geldart, rector of Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, who died 12 Nov. 1839, by Sarah, daughter of William Williamson of Linton Spring, Wetherby, Yorkshire, was born at Swinnow Hall, Wetherby, 15 Feb. 1785, and educated at Beverley grammar school. He was admitted at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 5 May 1800, and became a scholar in December 1803. On 16 Feb. 1808 he was elected Skirne fellow of St. Catharine's Hall, but returned to Trinity Hall as a fellow and tutor on 4 Oct. 1809, and resided there as vice-master until 1820. He took the degree of LL.B. in 1806 and became LL.D. in 1814. On 28 Jan. 1814 he was admitted regius professor of civil law at Cambridge, on the nomination of the Earl of Liverpool, and continued to fulfil the duties of that post until 1847. After the death of his father, and on his own presentation, he became rector of Kirk Deighton in January 1840, and held that benefice until his death, which took place in the rectory house there on 16 Feb. 1876. He was buried in Kirk Deighton churchyard on 19 Feb. His literary work consists of ‘An Analysis of the Civil Law. By Samuel Halifax, bishop of Gloucester. A new edition, with additions, being the heads of a course of Lectures read in the University of Cambridge by J. W. Geldart,’ 1836.

Geldart married, 4 Aug. 1836, Mary Rachel, daughter of William Desborough of Kensingford Grey, Huntingdonshire, who survived him. He left two sons, the Rev. J. W. Geldart, rector of Kirk Deighton, and H. C. Geldart, who was sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire in 1887–8.

[Times, 19 Feb. 1876, p. 7; Illustrated London News, 6 May 1876, p. 450.]

G. C. B.