John Burgess Karslake

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"Jack". Caricature by Lyall published in Vanity Fair in 1873.

Sir John Burgess Karslake (13 December 1821 – 4 October 1881) was an English lawyer and politician.

The son of Henry Karslake, a solicitor and Confidential Secretary to the Duke of Kent, by his wife Elizabeth Marsh Preston, the daughter of Richard Preston, Q.C. and sometime M.P. for Ashburton, he was educated at Harrow. His elder brother, Edward Kent Karslake (born 1820), was a Q.C., sometime M.P. for Colchester and Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

He was appointed a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1846, and a Queen's Counsel in 1861. He held office as Solicitor General for England and Wales in 1866-67 and as Attorney General for England and Wales from 1867-8 and again in 1874. He was knighted in 1866 and appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1876. He was a member of the Judicature Commission.

Between 1867 and 1868 he was a Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Andover. That constituency was reduced to one seat in 1868 and Karslake unsuccessfully contested Exeter at the general election of that year. He was MP for Huntingdon 1873-1876. He died in Marylebone aged 59, unmarried, having had to retire from Parliament in February 1876 due to progressively worsening eyesight, which finally resulted in total blindness.

He was the brother or nephew of John Karslake Karslake.[1]


  1. ^ Acland, Leopold G. D. (1946). "Mt. Torlesse". The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. p. 233. 
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Concise Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Dudley Francis Fortescue
William Humphery
Member of Parliament for Andover
With: Dudley Francis Fortescue
Succeeded by
Hon. Dudley Fortescue
Preceded by
Thomas Baring
Member of Parliament for Huntingdon
Succeeded by
Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir William Bovill
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Jasper Selwyn
Preceded by
Sir John Rolt
Attorney General
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Collier
Preceded by
Sir Henry James
Attorney General
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Baggallay