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Hobhouse
Hobhouse
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relationship of the Church of South Africa with the Church of England, and decided that the South African Church is independent of it. In the consolidated appeals in 1887 by several Canadian banks (12 Appeal Cases, 575) against the decisions of the court of queen's bench for Quebec, which involved the respective limits of the power of the dominion and provincial legislatures to regulate banks, Hobhouse's judgment upheld the right of the province to tax banks and insurance companies constituted by Act of the dominion legislature. In a case from India in 1899 (26 Indian Appeals, Law Reports 113) which necessitated the review of a number of conflicting decisions of the Indian courts, Hobhouse settled a long disputed point in Hindu law and decided, contrary to much tradition, that when an individual person was adopted as an only son, the fact of adoption should be legally recognised and the parents' plenary powers admitted.

In 1885 Hobhouse accepted a peerage with a view to assisting in the judicial work of the House of Lords, but a statutory qualification by which only judges of the high courts of the United Kingdom could sit to hear appeals had been overlooked. In 1887 the disqualification was removed by Act of Parliament in regard to members of the judicial committee; but Hobhouse did not take up the work of a judge in the House of Lords. He only sat there to try three cases, in two of which, Russell v. Countess of Russell (1897 Appeal Cases 395) and the Kempton Park case (1899 Appeal Cases 143), he was in a dissenting minority. As a judge Hobhouse, who was always careful and painstaking, invariably stated the various arguments fully and fairly, but he was tenacious of his deliberately formed opinion.

While engaged on the judicial committee, Hobhouse devoted much energy to local government of London. From 1877 to 1899 he was a vestryman of St. George's, Hanover Square. In 1880 he assisted to form and long worked for the London Municipal Reform League, which aimed at securing a single government for the metropolis. From 1882 to 1884 ho was a member of the London School Board. Upon the creation of the London County Council in 1888 Hobhouse was one of the first aldermen. Advancing years and increasing deafness led him to retire from the judicial committee in 1901. He died at his London residence, 15 Bruton Street, on 6 Dec. 1904, and was cremated at Golder's Green.

To the last an advanced liberal and constructive legal reformer, Hobhouse, all of whose judicial work was done gratuitously, urged many legal changes, which won adoption very slowly. Much influence is assignable to an address by him before the Social Science Congress at Birmingham in 1868 on the law relating to the property of married women (1869; new edit. 1870), and to 'The Dead Hand' (1880), a collection of addresses on endowments and settlements of property (reprinted from the 'Transactions of the Social Science Association').

Hobhouse married, on 10 Aug. 1848, Mary (d. 1905), daughter of Thomas Farrer, solicitor, and sister of Thomas, first Baron Farrer [q. v.], Sir William Farrer (d. 1911), and Cecilia Frances (d. 1910), wife of Stafford Henry Northcote, first earl of Iddesleigh. He left no issue, and the peerage became extinct on his death. Two portraits, a drawing by George Richmond and an oil painting by Frank Holl (1882), are in the possession of his nephew, the Rt. Hon. Henry Hobhouse.

[Lord Hobhouse, a Memoir, by L. T. Hobhouse and J. L. Hammond, 1905; Burke's Peerage, 1899; Foster, Alumni Oxonienses; Foster, Men at the Bar; The Times, 7 and 10 Dec. 1904; private information.]

C. E. A. B.


HOBHOUSE, EDMUND (1817–1904), bishop of Nelson, New Zealand, antiquary, born in London on 17 April 1817, was elder brother of Arthur, first Baron Hobhouse of Hadspen [q. v. Suppl. II], and was second son of Henry Hobhouse [q. v.], under-secretary of state for the home department. He entered Eton in 1824, but left it in 1830 from ill-health and read with tutors. He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 16 Dec. 1834, and graduated B.A. in 1838, proceeding M.A. in 1842, B.D. in 1851, and D.D. in 1858. He rowed in the Balliol boat for four years (1835-8), and was stroke in 1836-7. Oxford giving no facilities for theological study, Hobhouse went to Durham University, where he graduated L.Th. in 1840. At his father's wish, ho entered for a fellowship at Merton, and was elected at his third trial in 1841. He was ordained deacon in the same year and priest in 1842. In 1843 he became vicar of the college living of St. Peter in the East, Oxford, which he held with his fellowship till 1858.

Hobhouse worked his parish with zeal and declined offers of better preferment. Bishop Samuel Wilberforce [q. v.] made him rural dean, and as secretary of the diocesan board of education he did much