Born in Hamden, Connecticut, Bristol graduated from Yale University in 1798 and read law to enter the bar in 1800. He entered private practice in New Haven, Connecticut in 1800, and became U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut in 1812. He was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1817, and of the Connecticut State Senate from 1818 to 1819. He was an Alderman in the City of New Haven in 1818, 1821, and 1826. He was a judge to the Connecticut Superior Court and Supreme Court of Error from 1819 to 1826. In 1827, he became mayor of the City of New Haven.
On May 15, 1826, Bristol was nominated by President John Quincy Adams to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut vacated by Pierpont Edwards. Bristol was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 22, 1826, and received his commission the same day. He served until his death in 1836, in New Haven, and was buried at Grove Street Cemetery.
- William Bristol at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Mayors of New Haven, Connecticut