Nathaniel Lindley, Baron Lindley

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The Lord Lindley
LordLindley cropp.jpg
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
10 May 1900 – 2 December 1905
Master of the Rolls
In office
19 October 1897 – 9 May 1900
Preceded byThe Lord Esher
Succeeded byThe Lord Alverstone
Personal details
Nathaniel Lindley

(1828-11-29)29 November 1828
Acton Green, London, England
Died9 December 1921(1921-12-09) (aged 93)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
ParentJohn Lindley
EducationUniversity College School
Alma materUniversity College London

Nathaniel Lindley, Baron Lindley, PC, FRS, FBA (29 November 1828 – 9 December 1921) was an English judge.

Early life[edit]

He was the second son of the botanist Dr. John Lindley,[1] born at Acton Green, London. From his mother's side, he was descended from Sir Edward Coke. He was educated at University College School, and studied for a time at University College London, and the University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge in 1898 and achieved Doctor of Civil Law in University of Oxford in 1903.[1][2]

Legal career[edit]

He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1850,[1] and began practice in the Court of Chancery. In 1855 he published An Introduction to the Study of Jurisprudence, consisting of a translation of the general part of Thibaut's System des Pandekten Rechts, with copious notes. In 1860 he published in two volumes his Treatise on the Law of Partnership, including its Application to Joint Stock and other Companies, and in 1862 a supplement including the Companies Act 1862. This work has since been developed into two textbooks well known to lawyers as Lindley on Companies and Lindley on Partnership.[2] Among his pupils were Francis William Maclean, later Chief Justice of Bengal, and Frederick Pollock.

He took silk in February 1872.[3] In 1874 he was elected a bencher of the Middle Temple, of which he was treasurer in 1894[2]

Judicial career[edit]

In 1875, he was appointed to be a Serjeant-at-law[4][5] and a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas,[4][5] the appointment of a chancery barrister to a common-law court being justified by the fusion of common law and equity then shortly to be brought about, in theory at all events, by the Judicature Acts.

In 1875, he was knighted.[6][7] In 1880 he became a justice of the Queen's Bench and in 1881 he was raised to be a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal[1][8] and was sworn of the Privy Council.[2][9]

In 1897, Lord Justice Lindley succeeded Lord Esher as Master of the Rolls,[1][10][11] and in 1900 he was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary[12][13] with a life peerage and the title of Baron Lindley, of East Carleton in the County of Norfolk.[12][13] He resigned the judicial post in 1905.[2]

Prior to the 1875 reforms, the appointment of serjeants-at-law had already declined, but common law judges could only be appointed from amongst the serjeants-at-law, so it was customary for any appointee who was not yet a serjeant to be appointed a serjeant immediately prior to being appointed a judge. As the requirement for common law judges to be serjeants was abolished shortly after, Lord Lindley became the last serjeant-at-law appointed, and the last judge to wear the serjeant's coif, or rather the black patch representing it, on the judicial wig.[2]

Mount Lindley in Antarctica is named after him.


He married Sarah Katharine, daughter of Edward John Teale of Leeds, on 5 Aug 1858.[1][2][14] He died at home in East Carleton, near Norwich, in 1921.[15] They had nine children, including diplomat Sir Francis Oswald Lindley and the army officer Major-General John Lindley.[16]

Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Nathaniel Lindley, Baron Lindley
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Lindley Escutcheon.png
In front of a Pelican in her piety Argent, vulning herself proper, and charged with a Pheon point downwards Or, three Quatrefoils fesswise Or.
Argent, on a Chief nebuly Azure, a Quatrefoil between two Griffin’s Heads erased Argent.
Dexter: a Griffin wings elevated Argent, standing on a Fasces proper.
Sinister: a Pelican wings elevated Argent, vulning herself and standing on a Fasces proper.
SIS FORTIS (May you be brave)


Lord Lindley published two notable works, Lindley on Companies and Lindley on Partnership.[2] The latter is still published today, as Lindley and Banks on Partnership, now in its 20th edition (2017).


Company law[edit]

Contract law[edit]



Trusts and equity[edit]



  • Nathaniel Lindley, An Introduction to the Study of Jurisprudence; Being a Translation of the General Part of Thibaut’s System des Pandekten Rechts (William Maxwell, 1855)


  1. ^ a b c d e f (Hesilrige 1921)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h (Chisholm 1911)
  3. ^ "No. 23825". The London Gazette. 6 February 1872. p. 466.
  4. ^ a b "No. 24211". The London Gazette. 25 May 1875. p. 2773.
  5. ^ a b "No. 8584". The Edinburgh Gazette. 28 May 1875. p. 349.
  6. ^ "No. 24209". The London Gazette. 18 May 1875. p. 2681.
  7. ^ "No. 8582". The Edinburgh Gazette. 21 May 1875. p. 333.
  8. ^ "No. 25033". The London Gazette. 1 November 1881. p. 5353.
  9. ^ "No. 25050". The London Gazette. 20 December 1881. p. 6757.
  10. ^ "No. 26903". The London Gazette. 26 October 1897. p. 5869.
  11. ^ "No. 10931". The Edinburgh Gazette. 29 October 1897. p. 1026.
  12. ^ a b "No. 27192". The London Gazette. 15 May 1900. p. 3070.
  13. ^ a b "No. 11198". The Edinburgh Gazette. 18 May 1900. p. 494.
  14. ^ RS. "The Royal Society: Library and Archive catalogue: surname Lindley". Retrieved 10 July 2011.[dead link]
  15. ^ The Royal Society 1921.
  16. ^ "Lindley, Baron (UK, 1900 - 1921)". Cracrofts Peerage. Retrieved 9 June 2020.



Further reading[edit]

  • Pine, L. G. (1972). The New Extinct Peerage 1884–1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms. London, U.K.: Heraldry Today. p. 178..

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by