Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kelham, Robert

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KELHAM, ROBERT (1717–1808), legal antiquary, born in 1717, was the son of Robert Kelham, vicar of Billingborough, Threckingham, and Walcot, Lincolnshire. He practised as an attorney in the king's bench until 1792 (Browne, General Law Lists). He died at Bush Hill, Edmonton, on 29 March 1808, in his ninety-first year, and was buried at St. Michael Royal, College Hill, London (Robinson, Edmonton, p. 73), leaving a son, Robert (1755–1811), an attorney of the king's bench, and a daughter (Gent. Mag. vol. lxxviii. pt. i. p. 370, vol. lxxxi. pt. ii. p. 492). His wife, Sarah, the youngest daughter of Peter and Joanna Gery, of the family of Gery of Bilstone, Leicestershire, had died on 28 Sept. 1774, aged 53 (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. iii. 264–5).

Kelham published:

  1. ‘An Alphabetical Index to all the Abridgments of Law and Equity, and to several Books of the Crown Law, Conveyancing and Practice; chiefly calculated to facilitate the references to the “General Abridgement of Law and Equity,” by Charles Viner,’ fol., London, 1758.
  2. ‘Britton, containing the antient Pleas of the Crown; Translated, and Illustrated with References, Notes, and antient Records,’ 8vo, London, 1762.
  3. ‘The Dissertation of John Selden, annexed to Fleta, translated, with Notes,’ 8vo, London, 1771.
  4. ‘A Dictionary of the Norman or Old French Language; … the Laws of William the Conqueror (and Dr. Wilkins's translation of them), with Notes and References,’ 2 pts. 8vo, London, 1779. 5. ‘Domesday Book Illustrated,’ 8vo, London, 1788.

[Marvin's Legal Bibliography, p. 712; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. v. 191.]

G. G.