Pearson, John (1819-1886) (DNB00)

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PEARSON, Sir JOHN (1819–1886), judge, born on 5 Aug. 1819, was son of John Norman Pearson [q. v.], and elder brother of Charles Henry Pearson [q. v.] He graduated B.A. at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, on 24 Feb. 1841, and proceeded M.A. on 2 July 1844, having been called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 11 June the same year. A sound and painstaking lawyer, but without influential connections or conspicuous brilliance, Pearson rose slowly at the chancery bar, and did not take silk until 1866 (13 Dec.). In the following year he was elected a bencher of his inn, of which he was treasurer in 1884–1885. In 1882, on the retirement of Vice-chancellor Hall, Pearson was appointed on 24 Oct. to succeed him, but without the title of vice-chancellor, and on 30 Nov. following was knighted at Windsor. He died at his residence, 75 Onslow Square, South Kensington, after a painful illness of some weeks' duration, on 13 May 1886. His remains were interred in Brompton cemetery.

During his brief judicial career Pearson proved himself an eminently competent judge. His decisions on the Settled Land Act of 1882 did much to determine the construction of that important statute; nor did he show less ability in dealing with patent cases and company law. Pearson was for some time a member of both the councils of legal education and law reporting.

Pearson married, on 21 Dec. 1854, Charlotte Augusta, daughter of William Short, rector of St. George's, Bloomsbury, who survived him.

[Foster's Men at the Bar and Index Ecclesiasticus; Grad. Cant.; Times, 14 May 1886; Ann. Reg. 1886, obituary; Law Times, Law Journ. and Solicitors' Journ. 22 May 1886; Haydn's Book of Dignities.]

J. M. R.