Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Law, Charles Ewan

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LAW, CHARLES EWAN (1792–1850), recorder of London, second son of Edward Law, first baron Ellenborough, [q. v.], by his wife, Anne, daughter of George Phillips Towry of the victualling office, was born on 14 June 1792. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. 1812 and LL.D. 1847. Having been admitted a member of the Inner Temple in 1813, Law was called to the bar on 7 Feb. 1817, and subsequently became a member of the home circuit. Previously to his call he was appointed by his father clerk of the nisi prius in London and Middlesex in the court of king's bench, and shortly afterwards became a commissioner of bankruptcy. On 30 Jan. 1823 he was elected by the court of common council one of the four common pleaders of the city of London, and in 1828 was appointed a judge of the sheriff's court. In 1829 he became a king's counsel, and in the same year was elected to the bench of the Inner Temple, of which society he was treasurer in 1839. In November 1830 he was appointed to the office of common serjeant in succession to Denman, who had become attorney-general. Upon the resignation of Newman Knowlys in 1833 Law was elected to the post of recorder, which he continued to hold until his death. At a by-election in March 1835, occasioned by the elevation of Charles Manners-Sutton [q. v.] to the House of Lords as Viscount Canterbury, Law was returned unopposed to the House of Commons for the university of Cambridge as the colleague of Henry Goulburn [q. v.], with whom he continued to represent the constituency until his death. The only occasion on which his seat was contested was at the general election of 1847, when he was returned at the head of the poll as a protectionist, while Goulburn only narrowly escaped being defeated by Viscount Feilding. Law was a staunch tory, but did not take any prominent part in the debates of the House of Commons. He was a man of moderate abilities (Law Magazine, xliv. 291). He died at No. 72 Eaton Place, Belgrave Square, London, on 13 Aug. 1850, aged 58, and was buried on the 20th of the same month at St. John's Church, Paddington, whence his remains were removed to Wargrave, Berkshire.

Law married, first at Gretna Green on 8 March, and again on 22 May 1811, Elizabeth Sophia, third daughter of Sir Edward Nightingale, bart., of Kneesworth, Cambridgeshire, by whom he had three sons and seven daughters. His widow died at Twyford, Berkshire, on 25 Jan. 1864, aged 74. His second son, Charles Edmund Towry Law, succeeded his uncle, Edward, earl of Ellenborough, as third baron, Dec. 1871.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. 1850 xxxiv. 433–4, new ser. 1864 xvi. 402; Annual Register 1850, p. 122, App. to Chron., pp. 252–3; Law Times, 17 Aug. 1850; Illustr. London News, 17 Aug. 1850; Burke's Peerage, 1889, p. 498; Foster's Peerage, 1883, p. 264.]

G. F. R. B.