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Charles Fearne (1742–1794) was an English jurist.
Fearne adopted the legal profession, but devoted time and money to experiments: he saw a commercial application to morocco leather, and designed a musket. He died in 1794, leaving his widow and family in necessitous circumstances.
Fearne's 1772 work, "Essay on the Learning of Contingent Remainders and Executory Devices", is deemed to have done "more than any other to preserve the Rule in Shelley's Case as black letter law (as distinguished from a rule of construction)." His Essay on the Learning of Contingent Remainders and Executory Devises, the work which has made his reputation as a legal authority, and which passed through numerous editions, was called forth by a decision of Lord Mansfield in the case of Perrin v. Blake, and had the effect of reversing that decision.
A volume entitled Fearne's Posthumous Works was published by subscription in 1797 for the benefit of his widow.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1889). "Fearne, Charles". Dictionary of National Biography. 18. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Powell, John Joseph". Dictionary of National Biography. 46. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Lobban, Michael. "Cruise, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6847. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- ^ Division Four Library Courtroom Biographies, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. URL accessed December 31, 2005.
- "The posthumous works of Charles Fearne...", on WorldCatLibraries.
- Fearne, Charles. The posthumous works of Charles Fearne, Esquire, barrister at law : consisting of a reading of the statute of inrolments, arguments in the singular case of General Stanwix, and a collection of cases and opinions, compiled by Thomas Mitchell Shadwell, London: A. Strahan for J. Butterworth, 1797.