Francis de Zulueta

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Francis de Zulueta, FBA (born Francisco Maria José de Zulueta, 12 September 1878 – 16 January 1958) was the Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford from 1919 until 1948.

The son of Pedro Juan de Zulueta, a Spanish diplomat, by his wife Laura, daughter of Sir Justin Sheil, de Zulueta was educated at Beaumont College, The Oratory School and New College, Oxford, where he took Firsts in classical moderations (1899), literae humaniores (1901), and jurisprudence (1902). He was elected to a prize fellowship at Merton College, Oxford, in 1902, and won the Vinerian Scholarship the following year. He was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1904. He subsequently returned to Oxford as a fellow of New College, Oxford, and of All Souls College, Oxford.

On the outbreak of World War I, de Zulueta, who regarded himself as British rather than Spanish, was naturalized a British subject, and was commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment, reaching the rank of captain. In 1919, he was appointed Regius Professor of Civil Law at All Souls, becoming the first Roman Catholic Regius Professor since the Reformation

He was a leading Catholic figure at Oxford for many years, befriending Tolkien amongst others with whom he debated the nature of good and evil prior to the Lord of the Rings.[clarification needed] He was cousin of Cardinal Merry del Val (Secretary of State under Pope Saint Pius X).[1] His son Sir Philip de Zulueta became the Foreign Office representative at No. 10 Downing Street principally under Harold Macmillan and grandson, also Francis, is a leading investment professional in insurance in the city of London and a Knight of Malta.

De Zulueta is an ancient Basque family from the Pamplona region of Northern Spain, tracing ancestry back at least 700 years and connected titles to the Conde de Torre Díaz.[2] This title was awarded by Isabella II of Spain in 1846.[3]


  • Patronage in the Later Empire
  • The Liber Pauperum of Vacarius
  • The Roman Law of Sale
  • Institutes of Gaius'

Noble line -Prof Francis de Zulueta's father was the Conde de Torre Díaz.


  1. ^ Obituaries from the Times, 1951-1960: Including an Index to All Obituaries and Tributes Appearing in the Times During the Years 1951-1960, ed. Frank C. Roberts, 1979, pg 777
  2. ^ Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 1965, Burke's Peerage, pg 206
  3. ^ Town and Country magazine, 18 Sep. 1937, pg 26