Charles Pearson, Lord Pearson

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For other people named Charles Pearson, see Charles Pearson (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Sir John Pearson, QC or William Pearson, QC, father of Karl Pearson
Pearson in 1895.
Lord Pearson's grave, Dean Cemetery

Sir Charles John Pearson (1843–1910) was a Scottish politician and judge.


He was born at Edinburgh on 6 November 1843. He was second son of Charles Pearson, chartered accountant, of Edinburgh, by his wife Margaret, daughter of John Dalziel, solicitor, of Earlston, Berwickshire. After attending Edinburgh Academy, he proceeded to the University of St. Andrews, and thence to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he distinguished himself in classics, winning the Gaisford Greek prizes for prose (1862) and verse (1863). He graduated B.A. with a first class in the final classical school in 1865.[1]

He afterwards attended law lectures in Edinburgh, and became a member of the Juridical Society, of which he was librarian in 1872-3, and of the Speculative Society (president 1869–71). He was called to the English bar (from the Inner Temple) on 10 June 1870, and on 19 July 1870 passed to the Scottish bar, where he rapidly obtained a large practice. Though not one of the crown counsel for Scotland, he was specially retained for the prosecution at the trial of the City of Glasgow Bank directors (January 1879), became sheriff of chancery in 1885, and procurator and cashier for the Church of Scotland in 1886.[1]

In 1887, he was knighted, and was appointed sheriff of Renfrew and Bute in 1888, and of Perthshire in 1889. Pearson was a conservative, though not a keen politician, and in 1890 was appointed Solicitor General for Scotland in Lord Salisbury's second administration, and was elected (unopposed) as Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. In the same year he became Q.C.[1]

In 1891, he succeeded James Patrick Bannerman Robertson, as lord advocate, and was sworn of the Privy Council. At the general election of 1892, he was again returned unopposed for Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities. After the fall of Lord Salisbury's ministry in 1892, he ceased to be lord advocate, and was chosen dean of the Faculty of Advocates. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh University in 1894, and on the return of the conservatives to power in the following year became again lord advocate, and resigned the deanship. In 1896, on the resignation of Andrew Rutherfurd-Clark, Lord Rutherfurd-Clark, he was raised to the bench, from which he retired, owing to bad health, in 1909.

He died at Edinburgh on 15 August 1910, and was buried in the Dean cemetery.[1] He is buried against the north wall, near the north-west corner.

On 23 July 1873, Pearson married Elizabeth, daughter of M. Grayhurst Hewat of St. Cuthbert's, Norwood, by whom he had three sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Omond 1912.


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Moir Tod Stormonth Darling
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh & St Andrews Universities
Succeeded by
William Overend Priestley
Legal offices
Preceded by
Moir Stormonth Darling
Solicitor General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Andrew Murray
Preceded by
James Robertson
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
John Blair Balfour
Preceded by
John Blair Balfour
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Andrew Graham Murray