Erle was the fourth son of the Reverend Christopher Erle of Gillingham, Dorset, and brother of Sir William Erle. He was educated at New College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1816. Having been called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in Trinity Term, 1821, he became a Queen's Counsel in 1854, and was for some time one of the Charity Commissioners. He was elected Treasurer of the Middle Temple in 1863. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1872.
- Hutchinson, J. (1902). A Catalogue of Notable Middle Templars: With Brief Biographical Notices. London: Butterworth.
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