Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Legal History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2006

University of Georgia School of Law

Somerset v. Stewart

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Lord Mansfield; Judicial Integrity Or Its Lack; Somerset's Case, Alan Watson Jan 2006

Lord Mansfield; Judicial Integrity Or Its Lack; Somerset's Case, Alan Watson

Scholarly Works

I write this after re-reading Steven M Wise's Though the Heavens May Fall. My argument, if convincing, undermines the basis of the book. Probably the most famous decision in English law is that of Lord Mansfield in Somerset v. Stewart in 1772. It is very short and very dramatic; indeed, it is so rhetorical that much of what is vital is overlooked -- as it was meant to be. Somerset was Stewart's slave in Virginia and was brought to England by his owner. Somerset travelled extensively in the service of his master, to Bristol and Edinburgh, for example. But ...