John Hamilton, 1st Viscount Sumner
|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Sumner
GCB PC KC
Contemporary photograph of Lord Sumner by Walter Thomas
3 February 1859|
|Died||24 May 1934(aged 75)|
|Spouse(s)||Maude Margaret Todd|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
John Andrew Hamilton, 1st Viscount Sumner GCB PC KC (3 February 1859 – 24 May 1934), was a British lawyer and judge. He was appointed a judge of the High Court of Justice (King's Bench Division) in 1909, a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1912 and a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1913. Created a life peer as Baron Sumner in 1913, he was further honoured when he was granted a hereditary peerage as Viscount Sumner in 1927.
Background and education
Hamilton was born in Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Lancashire, the second son of Andrew Hamilton, an iron merchant of Manchester, and his wife, Frances, daughter of Joseph Sumner. Hamilton was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1883, he was called to the bar, Inner Temple. Hamilton was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, for seven years from 1892 and was nominated an honorary fellow in 1909. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Edinburgh in 1913 and by the University of Manchester in 1919. One year later, Hamilton obtained also an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the University of Oxford.
Hamilton joined in the Northern Circuit and became a King's Counsel in 1901. He was elected a standing counsel to the Oxford University in 1906, a post he held for the next three years. On his appointment as Judge of the High Court of Justice (King's Bench Division) in 1909, he was knighted and invested a bencher. In 1912 he became a Lord Justice of Appeal and sworn of the Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. Already in the following year, Hamilton became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and created a life peer as Baron Sumner, of Ibstone, in the County of Buckingham. He was further honoured, when on 31 January 1927, he was also elevated to a hereditary peerage as Viscount Sumner, of Ibstone, in the County of Buckingham. Hamilton retired as judge in 1930.
In 1908, Hamilton was Inspector in the Swansea Education Dispute. In the House of Lords, he was chairman of the Working Classes Cost of Living, the British Cellulose Enquiry and the British and Foreign Legal Procedure committees. Hamilton took part at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as delegate of the reparations commission, for which he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 1920 Birthday Honours. In the next year, he chaired the Royal Commission on Compensation for Suffering and Damage by Enemy Action.
Family and legacy
In 1892, he married Maude Margaret Todd, the second daughter of Reverend John Wood Todd. Their marriage was childless, and with Hamilton's death, the viscountcy became extinct. In 2009 a biography of Lord Sumner was published by Anthony Lentin.
- Bowman v The Secular Society (1917)
- Elder Dempster & Co v Paterson Zochonis & Co (1924)
- "The Open University - Lord Sumner: a 'vice-like grip of legal principles'". Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- Debrett, John (1922). Arthur G. M. Hesilrige, ed. Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench. London: Dean & Son, Ltd. p. 346.
- Whitaker's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage. London: Whitaker & Sons. 1921. p. 535.
- Who is Who 1926. London: Adam & Charles Black Ltd. 1926. p. 2816.
- "No. 28766". The London Gazette. 21 October 1913. p. 7335.
- "No. 33245". The London Gazette. 4 February 1927. p. 722.
- "Spectator Book Club - Review of "The Last Political Law Lord: Lord Sumner, 1859-1934"". Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Hamilton, 1st Viscount Sumner
- Portraits of John Hamilton, 1st Viscount Sumner at the National Portrait Gallery, London
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Viscount Sumner