REEVES, CHARLES (1815–1866), architect, was born in 1815 at Fordingbridge, Hampshire. He studied under Thomas Leader of Romsey, and Messrs. Suter and Voysey of London, becoming eventually Mr. Voysey's partner. He held the appointments of architect and surveyor to the metropolitan police from 1843, designing and superintending forty-four new police-stations, and attending to dangerous structures and common lodging-houses. In 1847 he became architect to the county courts in England and Wales. He designed and superintended sixty-four new courts in various parts of the country, among others those at Bradford, Newcastle, Bolton, Derby, Walsall, Birkenhead, Bristol, Sunderland, and Wolverhampton. He designed Coalbrookdale church, Staffordshire (Illustr. London News, 1852, xx. 67, 68); the home for children of missionaries at Highbury; and Pebblecombe House, Betchworth, Surrey. Most of his works were in the Italian style. A medal was awarded to him for services in connection with the exhibitions of 1851 and 1862. He died at Halterworth, Romsey, on 6 Dec. 1866.
[Dictionary of Architecture; Gent. Mag. 1867, i. 124.]
REEVES, JOHN (1752?–1829), king's printer, born in 1752 or 1753, was son of John Reeves of St. Martin-in-the Fields, London. He was educated on the foundation at Eton, but failing in his expectation of a fellowship at King's College, Cambridge, he matriculated on 31 Oct. 1771 at Merton College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1775. In 1778 he became fellow of Queen's College, and proceeded M.A. He was called to the bar from the Middle Temple in 1779, and was elected a bencher in 1824 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886, iii. 1185). In 1780 he was appointed a commissioner of bankruptcy. In 1791, upon a court of judicature being instituted at Newfoundland, Reeves was made chief justice, the appointment being for a year; he was again chosen in 1792. Owing to the antagonism of the merchants to the courts, the post was one of much difficulty, but Reeves by his ‘firmness, courtesy, and resolute impartiality, finally triumphed over all opposition.’ Upon his return to England in the autumn of 1792, he found the public mind much agitated by the French revolution. On his initiative an ‘Association for preserving Liberty and Property against Levellers and Republicans’ was organised; he became chairman on 20 Nov., and branch associations were subsequently formed in London and the provinces (Gent. Mag. 1793, pt. i. p. 48). Under the auspices of the association pamphlets in defence of the constitution were circulated among the people. In 1793 Reeves gave voluminous evidence before the House of Commons' committee on Newfoundland, which was printed in the parliamentary bluebook and also separately. For many years Reeves was superintendent of aliens. He was also law clerk to the board of trade, and from 1800 till his death one of the treasurers for the Literary Fund. In 1800 Pitt, who entertained a high opinion of his abilities, appointed him to the office of king's printer, in conjunction with Messrs. Eyre & Strahan.
Reeves died unmarried in Parliament Place, Westminster, on 7 Aug. 1829, and was buried on the 17th in the Temple Church. His parsimonious habits enabled him to amass considerable wealth. To distinguished classical attainments he added a knowledge of Hebrew, while his legal acquirements were both extensive and accurate. In 1789 he was elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1790 fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1783 Reeves issued the first volume of his ‘History of the English Law, from the time of the Saxons to the end of the reign of Edward I,’ 4to. A second volume, bringing the work to the end of Henry VII, was published in 1784, and in 1787 appeared a second edition of the book in four vols. 8vo, with considerable additions, and a continuation to the end of Philip and Mary; a third edition, also in four 8vo vols., being published in 1814. A fifth volume, containing the reign of Elizabeth, was issued in 1829, 8vo, together with an index to the whole work. Reeves's object in writing the book was to furnish the student with a guide to ‘Coke upon Littleton,’ to which work it may be considered as an introduction, as incorporated into the work is the whole of ‘Glanville’ and all the most valuable part of ‘Bracton.’ A new edition by W. F. Finlason was published in 1869, 3 vols. 8vo.
In 1795 Reeves published an anonymous pamphlet, entitled ‘Thoughts on the English Government, addressed to the quiet good sense of the People of England in a series of Letters: Letter I,’ 8vo. In this he maintained that the government and administration, with a few exceptions, rested ‘wholly and solely on the king,’ and that