Charles Hodson, Baron Hodson

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Francis Lord Charlton Hodson, Baron Hodson PC, MC (17 September 1895 – 11 March 1984), known as Charles Hodson, was a British judge.


The son of Rev. Thomas Hodson, he was educated in Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford. During the First World War he served with the 7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, being wounded several times and receiving a Military Cross with the following citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led his company most gallantly against a strong enemy redoubt, being twice wounded, and refused to be brought in till the wounded round him had been evacuated.

In 1918, Hodson married his nurse, Susan Mary Blake. They had a daughter Anthea Joseph who became a leading publisher.[1]

After the war, Hodson finished his studying and was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1921. He was made a King's Counsel in 1937 and appointed to the High Court the same year, receiving the customary knighthood shortly after. Aged forty-two, he was the youngest High Court judge ever appointed.[2]

He was Lord Justice of Appeal from 1951 to 1960, and was sworn in the Privy Council in 1951. On 1 October 1960, he was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and was created a life peer with the title Baron Hodson, of Rotherfield Greys in the County of Oxford. He retired as Lord of Appeal in 1971. Hodson was a member of the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague between 1949 and 1971 and further president of the British branch of the International Law Association.

Of his legacy, Lord Devlin wrote that "Hodson's thirty-four years of judicial service left little or no mark on the law. He took the law as he found it, whether he liked it or not."[2]


  1. ^ Victor Morrison, ‘Joseph , Anthea Esther (1924–1981)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 9 April 2017
  2. ^ a b Devlin. "Hodson, Francis Lord Charlton [Charles], Baron Hodson". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31243.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)