Charles Hodson, Baron Hodson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Lord Hodson
Charles Hodson, Baron Hodson.jpg
Hodson in 1954, by Walter Stoneman
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
1 October 1960 – 1971
Personal details
Born Francis Lord Charlton Hodson
17 September 1895
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Died 11 March 1984(1984-03-11) (aged 88)
Goring-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire
Nationality United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Susan Mary Blake (m. 1918; her death 1965)
Children 3, including Anthea Joseph
Education Cheltenham College
Alma mater Wadham College, Oxford
Occupation Judge
Civilian awards Knighthood
Life peerage
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1915–1919
Rank Captain
Unit Gloucestershire Regiment
Battles/wars First World War
Military awards Military Cross

Francis Lord Charlton Hodson, Baron Hodson PC MC (17 September 1895 – 11 March 1984), also known as Charles Hodson, was a British judge who served as Lord of Appeal in Ordinary from 1960–71.[1]


Charles, as he was always known, was the son of Rev. Thomas Hodson and Catherine Anne (née Maskew), he was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and educated in Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford.[1][2]

During the First World War, he served with the 7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, being wounded several times. He received the Military Cross for his action during the Siege of Kut 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.

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 42, 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.[3]

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]

Selected judgments[edit]

In Shaw v DPP, (1961) UKHL 1 rendered on 4 May 1961, Lord Hodson said,

Personal life[edit]

In 1918, Hodson married Susan Mary Blake, daughter of Major William Greaves Blake. Susan had been his nurse during the war.[4] They had three children. Their daughter, the Hon. Anthea Joseph, became a prominent publisher. Their elder son, Lt. Hubert Blake Hodson, was killed in action in Libya on 22 January 1941 while serving with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers.[5] The younger son, Hon. Charles Christopher Philip Hodson, married Rose Markham, daughter of Sir Charles Markham, 2nd Baronet, in 1953.[6]

Lady Hodson died in 1965. Lord Hodson died in 1984 at a nursing home in Goring-on-Thames.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c "Lord Hodson: Former Lord of Appeal". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 14 March 1984. p. 18. 
  2. ^ a b c d 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.)
  3. ^ "No. 42159". The London Gazette. 4 October 1960. p. 6701. 
  4. ^ Morrison, Victor. "Joseph , Anthea Esther (1924–1981)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31211.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "Hodson, Hubert Blake : Winchester College at War". Winchester College at War. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 2619. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.