Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rawlinson, Christopher (1806-1888)

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RAWLINSON, Sir CHRISTOPHER (1806–1888), Indian judge, born at Combe on 10 July 1806, was second son of John Rawlinson (d. 1847) of Combe and Alresford, Hampshire, by his wife Felicia (Watson). He was educated at the Charterhouse and at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1828, M.A. 1831). Called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1831, he joined the western circuit in 1832, and was recorder of Portsmouth from 1840 to 1847, when he was appointed recorder of Prince of Wales Island, Singapore, and Malacca. In 1847 he was knighted. In 1849 he was appointed chief justice of the supreme court of judicature at Madras, and held that position till his retirement in 1859. In his charge to the grand jury on 5 Jan. 1859 he expressed the belief that great benefits would accrue from the recent transfer of the government of India from the East India Company to the crown, and refuted the assertion then commonly made by English officials in India, that no materials for self-government existed in the country. On 9 Feb. 1859 he was presented with a farewell address by the native community of Madras at an entertainment at which the governor, Lord Harris, was present. He died at 33 Eaton Square, London, on 28 March 1888.

On 27 May 1847 he married Georgina Maria, younger daughter of Alexander Radclyffe Sidebottom, barrister, by whom he had three sons—Christopher (b. 1850), Albemarle Alexander, late major 8th hussars, John Frederick Peel—and one daughter. In 1842 he published a work on ‘The Municipal Practices Act.’

[Madras Standard, 10 Jan. 1859; Times, 2 April 1888.]

S. W.