Shaw, Joseph (DNB00)

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SHAW, JOSEPH (1671–1733), legal writer, son of John Shaw of London, was born in 1671. He matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, on 10 June 1687, and in 1695 entered the Middle Temple. About 1700 he made a tour through Holland, Flanders, and part of France, and embodied his observations in a series of letters to Anthony Ashley Cooper, third earl of Shaftesbury [q. v.], whose friendship and patronage he enjoyed. The letters were published in 1709. They are full of interesting details of the state of those countries during the brief interval of peace which followed the treaty of Ryswick. In later life Shaw settled at Epsom in Surrey, and devoted himself to legal study. In 1728 he published ‘The Practical Justice of the Peace,’ which attained its sixth edition in 1756. Shortly before his death he published a companion volume entitled ‘Parish Law,’ dedicated to his personal friend, Sir J. F. Aland, justice of common pleas, which has remained the standard work on that subject. The latest edition was published in 1881. Shaw died at Clapham on 24 Oct. 1733, leaving a son Joseph, who afterwards resided at Epsom.

[Gent. Mag. 1733, p. 551; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Shaw's Letters to a Nobleman; Allibone's Dict.; and for a singularly incorrect account which attributes his works to his grandson, Gent. Mag. 1806, ii. 672.]

E. I. C.