Pollock, Charles Edward (DNB01)

POLLOCK, Sir CHARLES EDWARD (1823–1897), judge, fourth son of chief baron Pollock [see Pollock, Sir Jonathan Frederick], by his first wife, Frances, daughter of Francis Rivers, was born on 31 Oct. 1823. He was educated at St. Paul's school from 1833 to 1841, and, dispensing with a university course, served a long and varied apprenticeship to the law as private secretary and (from 1846) marshal to his father, and also as pupil to James (afterwards Sir James) Shaw Willes [q. v.] On 18 Jan. 1842 he was admitted student at the Inner Temple, where he was called to the bar on 29 Jan. 1847, and elected bencher on 16 Nov. 1866.

For some years after his call Pollock went the home circuit without success. Meanwhile, however, he made himself known as a reporter in the court of exchequer, then unusually efficient [cf. Alderson, Sir Edward Hall, and Parke, Sir James, Baron Wensleydale], and as a legal author (see infra). By these means he gradually worked his way into practice, and after holding the complimentary offices of 'tubman' and 'postman' in the court of exchequer, took silk on 23 July 1866.

As a leader he had for some years a large and lucrative practice, especially in mercantile cases, and on the retirement of Baron Channell in 1873 he was raised to the exchequer bench (10 Jan.), invested with the coif (13 Jan.), and knighted (5 Feb.) The consolidation of the courts effected by the Judicature Acts gave him in 1875 the status of justice of the high court, but did not alter his official designation. It was, however, provided that no new barons of the exchequer should be created, and the death of Baron Huddleston (5 Dec. 1890) left Pollock in exclusive possession of one of the most ancient and honourable of our judicial titles. A similar historic distinction, that of representing the ancient and doomed order of serjeants-at-law, he shared with Lords Esher and Penzance, and Sir Nathaniel (afterwards Lord) Lindley. On the dissolution of Serjeants' Inn in 1882 he was re-elected bencher of the Inner Temple. Pollock tried, in April 1876, the unprecedented case of the Queen v. Keyn, arising out of the sinking of the British vessel Strathclyde by the German steamship Franconia. The collision occurred within three miles of the English coast, and Keyn, the master of the Franconia, to whose culpable negligence it was imputed, was indicted for manslaughter and found guilty. Pollock deferred judgment pending the decision of the question of jurisdiction by the court for the consideration of crown cases reserved, and concurred with the majority of that court in quashing the conviction (Cox, Criminal Cases, xiii. 403). He took part in several other important decisions of the same tribunal. In the St. Paul's reredos case in 1889 he differed from Lord Coleridge, and his judgment was sustained by both the court of appeal and the House of Lords. Pollock was vice-president of the Rochester Diocesan Association, a member of the Commons' Preservation Society, and of the Board of Conservators of Wimbledon Common. He died at his residence, The Croft, Putney, on 21 Nov. 1897, leaving a well-merited reputation for sound law and unaffected piety. He married thrice: first, on 1 Sept. 1848, Nicola Sophia, second daughter of the Rev. Henry Herbert, rector of Rathdowney, Queen's County, Ireland; secondly, on 25 May 1858, Georgiana, second daughter of George William Archibald, LL.D., M.R., of Nova Scotia; thirdly, on 23 Dec. 1865, Amy Menella, daughter of Hassard Hume Dodgson, master of the court of common pleas and cousin of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) [q. v. Suppl.] He had issue by all three wives. His portrait, etched from a sketch made in court, is in ‘Pump Court’ for March 1884.

Pollock was joint author, with J. J. Lowndes and Sir Peter Maxwell, of ‘Reports of Cases argued and determined in the Queen's Bench Practice Court: with Points of Practice and Pleading decided in the Courts of Common Pleas and Exchequer’ (1850–1), London, 1851–2, 2 vols. 8vo. He was also joint author, with F. P. Maude, of ‘A Compendium of the Law of Merchant Shipping; with an Appendix containing all the Statutes of practical utility,’ London, 1853, 8vo; 4th ed. by Pollock and (Sir) Gainsford Bruce, 1881. He was author of the following works: 1. ‘The Practice of the County Courts,’ London, 1851, 8vo (Supplements entitled (1) ‘An Act to facilitate and arrange proceedings in the County Courts, 15 & 16 Vict. c. 54; together with the Absconding Debtors Act,’ 14 & 15 Vict. c. 52, London, 1852, 8vo. (2) ‘The Practice of the County Courts in respect of Probate and Administration,’ London, 1858, 8vo. (3) ‘Equitable Jurisdiction of the County Courts,’ London, 1865, 12mo); last edition, including supplements, revised by H. Nicol and H. C. Pollock, London, 1880, 8vo. 2. ‘A Treatise on the Power of the Courts of Common Law to compel the production of documents for inspection; with an Appendix containing the Act to amend the Law of Evidence, 15 & 16 Vict. c. 99, and notes thereto, ’ London, 1851, 8vo; reprinted with Holland and Chandler's ‘Common Law Procedure Act of 1854,’ London, 1854, 12mo.

[Foster's Men at the Bar, and Baronetage; St. Paul's School Adm. Reg.; Law List, 1848; Celebrities of the Day (ed. Thomas), 1881, i. 60; Law Rep. Appeal Cases xii. p. xvii; ib. 1891, p. 669; Vanity Fair, 9 Aug. 1890; Men and Women of the Time, 1891; Times, 22 Nov. 1897; Ann. Reg. 1876 ii. 175, 1897 ii. 194; Law Times, 11 Jan. 1873, 27 Nov. 1897; Law Journ. 27 Nov. 1897; Solicitors' Journ. 27 Nov. 1897; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.