Peake, Thomas (DNB00)

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PEAKE, THOMAS (1771–1838), serjeant-at-law and legal author, born in 1771, probably son of Thomas Peake, solicitor, of Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, gained celebrity in the legal profession by his unusually accurate reports of Lord Kenyon's decisions, viz. ‘Cases determined at Nisi Prius in the Court of King's Bench from the sittings after Easter Term, 30 Geo. III, to the sittings after Michaelmas Term, 35 Geo. III, both inclusive,’ London, 1795 and 1810, 8vo; American reprint, ed. T. Day, Hartford, 1810, 8vo; and ‘Additional Cases at Nisi Prius; being a Continuation of Cases at Nisi Prius before Lord Kenyon and other eminent Judges, taken at different times between the years 1795 and 1812, with Notes by Thomas Peake, jun.,’ London, 1829, 8vo. Peake was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 6 Feb. 1796, and to the degree of serjeant-at-law in Hilary term 1820. He practised as a special pleader and on the Oxford circuit. He died on 17 Nov. 1838.

Peake married, on 21 Jan. 1800, Miss Budgen of Tottenham, by whom he had issue a son Thomas, who was admitted student at Gray's Inn on 15 April 1823, called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 19 June 1828, and died on 30 Jan. 1837.

Besides his reports, Peake was author of ‘A Compendium of the Law of Evidence,’ London, 1801, 8vo, a work which, though largely indebted to that of Sir Geoffrey Gilbert [q. v.], embodied considerable original thought and research, and was long in high repute on both sides of the Atlantic. The fifth edition, greatly enlarged, was published at London, 1822, 8vo; American reprint, ed. J. P. Norris, Philadelphia, 1824, 8vo.

[Gent. Mag. 1800 pt. ii. p. 587, 1837 pt. i. p. 329, 1838 pt. i. p. 106; Foster's Gray's Inn Admission Register; Law List; Marvin's Legal Bibliography; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.