John Westlake

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John Westlake
John Westlake by Marianne Stokes.jpg
Profile portrait of John Westlake by Marianne Stokes, 1902
Born 4 February 1828
Lostwithiel, Cornwall, UK
Died 14 April 1913 (1913-04-15) (aged 85)
Nationality British
Education Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Academic lawyer and writer
Employer University of Cambridge
Known for Work in public international law
Title Whewell Professor of International Law
Predecessor Sir Henry Maine
Successor Lassa Francis Lawrence Oppenheim
Spouse(s) Alice Hare

John Westlake (4 February 1828 – 14 April 1913)[1] was an English law scholar.


He was born at Lostwithiel, Cornwall, the son of a Cornish wool-stapler. He was educated at Lostwithiel and, from 1846, at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA (6th Wrangler and 6th Classic) in 1850.[2] He was a fellow of Trinity from 1851 to 1860, called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1854, and became a bencher of the Inn in 1874. In 1885 he was elected to Parliament as Liberal member for the Romford Division of Essex; from 1888 to 1908 he held the Whewell Chair as professor of international law at Cambridge; in 1900-06 he was a member for Great Britain of the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

In 1864 he married Alice Hare (1842–1923), artist and key supporter of the women's suffrage movement.

He was connected with the Christian Socialist Movement, being a member of the Committee of Teaching and Publication. He is considered to be one of the founders of the Working Men's College in 1854, where he taught mathematics for many years.[3] He was an honorary president of the Institute of International Law.[4]


His works, of the highest importance in their field, include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 2)
  2. ^ "Westlake, John (WSTK845J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ J. F. C. Harrison, A History of the Working Men's College (1854-1954), Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954
  4. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Westlake, John". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York. 
  5. ^ Oppenheim, L., ed. (1914). The Collected Papers of John Westlake on Public International Law. Cambridge: At the University Press. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive. 

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Romford
Succeeded by
James Theobald